Introduction to the Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Office:  4th Floor Reed Library
Academic Advising / Liberal Arts
(716) 673-3188
Amy Marshall, Director of Academic Advising


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, education or career goals require programs that are not found within the traditional graduate boundaries of a single discipline. Students may select courses from any Fredonia post-baccalaureate program in whatever combination that helps them achieve their goals (obtain any necessary department permission with the help of faculty advisors). 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.

Application Requirements/Guidelines:

  • Students applying to the program must have earned their B.A. or B.S. and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in order to be eligible to apply for the INDS Master's program. Two letters of recommendation are required as part of the application. Applications will be approved by the administrator in charge of Interdisciplinary Studies.
  • Students will submit, as part of their application, a formal proposal outlining their educational and career objectives, proposing coursework from two distinct disciplines. The proposal should include a paragraph explaining why these objectives cannot be met through existing post-baccalaureate programs at Fredonia, and how the interdisciplinary program will allow the student to meet the Graduate Goals and Learning Outcomes. A list of tentative courses should be included as part of the proposal, including a tentative description of the intended capstone (thesis, degree project, comprehensive examination). The proposal may be amended as the student progresses through the program. 
  • With consultation from the INDS Coordinator, students will select two faculty members representing the primary disciplinary areas, who will sever as advisors and mentors for the student's work in the program.
  • Students are free to choose courses in any modality, as offered, and recommended by their advisors.

Program Parameters:

  • The INDS Master's program is a 30 credit hour program
  • All INDS Master's programs will require a 600- level capstone experience [=thesis, degree project, or comprehensive examination) minimally 3 credit hours - (INDS 690-694 (or program-specific 600-level capstone number)]
  • Students may include no more than 15 hours from any one disciplinary area
  • Students may include no more than 6 hours of independent study exclusive of capstone (whether taken as INDS 590 Independent Study, or program-specific graduate independent study number)
  • Students may include no more than 6 hours of experiential coursework exclusive of capstone, such as a graduate-level internship
  • Students may apply no more than 9 hours of transfer credit (open SUNY or other accredited graduate programs)
  • Students may apply no more than 6 hours of undergraduate coursework taken at the graduate level
  • Students will keep an E-portfolio of their work in the program to be submitted as part of their capstone
  • Students entering the INDS program are strongly encouraged to take advantage of graduate workshops (e.g., 'Library Research Skills for Graduate Students' or 'Introduction to Zotero') and asynchronous research skills/information literacy modules offered through Reed Library (note: these are non-credit experiences intended to develop students' graduate-level research skills)