Introduction to Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies Programs

Interdisciplinary Studies offers two degrees, the Master of Arts and the Master of Science. These individually created degree programs are designed specifically for highly motivated, self-directed students whose personal, educational or career goals require programs that are not found within the traditional graduate boundaries of a single discipline. The degrees do not lead to Fredonia's recommendation for certification, so applicants who are pursuing teaching credentials are advised to investigate alternative certification opportunities.

An Interdisciplinary Studies Program Guide is available in the Graduate Studies Office. The guide will assist candidates in planning degree programs.

Requirements for Admission to the Program without Deficiencies:

  • A bachelor's degree at an accredited institution with an overall GPA of at least 2.5.
  • Undergraduate and/or previous graduate transcripts should reveal adequate preparation in selected disciplines to meet graduate course prerequisites.
  • The Interdisciplinary Studies Program Proposal: A separate two-part proposal form available in the Graduate Studies Office and online. Part 1 requires the applicant to provide an explanation of the proposed program; Part II asks for both a proposed program topic or title and a list of graduate courses at the 500- and/or 600-level, selected in cooperation with faculty advisors in desired disciplines, which will constitute the entire 30 credit hour program.

As part of the application review process, the Graduate Studies Office will send the details of the proposed program to the pertinent departments, which will make recommendations to the Graduate Studies Office about the quality of the proposed program and the feasibility of its successful completion. Based on details of this review, the student may or may not be accepted as a matriculated graduate student.

If the applicant does not meet those standards, she/he may be granted conditional graduate acceptance. Matriculated status will be granted contingent upon successful completion of undergraduate foundational courses or a stipulated number of graduate courses to demonstrate academic ability, as stipulated by the advisor.

Program Requirements

Students must select graduate level course work from at least two academic disciplines. No more than 15 credit hours of the required course work may be taken in a single department unless the Graduate Studies Office approves a written request for 18 credit hours. At the time of acceptance, an academic advisor will be appointed. It is imperative that a student working toward an interdisciplinary degree confers with his/her advisor regularly. All changes to the initial proposal must be approved by the advisor and the Graduate Studies Office.

Because student programs are individually designed, the capstone research effort, a topic or project explored in depth as part of INDS 690, is tailored to integrate previous learning and related career experience with professional and personal goals. The concentrated study can follow the traditional research pattern of a thesis with 6 credit hours earned in INDS 690 and INDS 691, or it can employ more innovative forms and methods, but in each case a student is required to conduct research and demonstrate its value by presenting a documented literature review of the focused topic. In projects of any format, the completed project must demonstrate growth in skills, knowledge, and vision. All work on Interdisciplinary Studies proposals will be accomplished with the guidance of a tenure-track faculty mentor in a relevant department and coordinated by the Graduate Studies Office and/or the student's advisor. When the project is completed, three copies of the final version are to be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office at least two weeks before the end of the semester.

Additional information and program planning assistance is available through the Interdisciplinary Studies Program Guide and the Office of Graduate Studies.