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The M.A. in Cross-disciplinary Studies is multidisciplinary, experiential, and allows students to self-design their graduate studies. The program is designed to meet the needs of students who are seeking a broader learning forum and who appreciate the unique self-design of cross-disciplinary studies. The M.A. program provides intellectual advancement and the opportunity to expand and enrich educational horizons in keeping with the liberal studies traditions. The M.A. program utilizes a multidisciplinary approach and variety of perspectives for observing, analyzing, and addressing contemporary social issues. Students focus on systemic approaches and methodologies when studying human challenges. The M.A. utilizes experiential learning to provide students with hands-on training where theory and practice are integrated.

The M.A. consists of an 11-course (33 credits) sequence that includes core classes, practicums, and a 12-credit concentration track.

Program Formats

The M.A. aims at convenience and accommodation by utilizing online course delivery format and self-designed programs. The students enrolled in the M.A. programs are afforded the greatest flexibility in self-selecting and self-directing their concentrated areas of interest, while at the same time retaining and reinforcing an emphasis on general professional skills. Students can complete the program completely online, but have a large selection of on-campus courses from which to choose.

Students may enroll full or part time, taking six to nine credit hours per term. Students who attend full-time can expect to complete the program in 19 months. Part-time students may complete the program in 2 ½ years. Summer attendance is mandatory.


Students complete two practicums during their course of study. Practicum placements have been established in an array of settings depending on student's areas of study. Students are also encouraged to explore and initiate a practicum setting specific to their own individual interests.

Master's Thesis

Option Students who wish to complete a 6-credit Master's Thesis may do so by completing in 3 additional credits. Students must request permission from the Director before enrolling for the Master's Thesis.

Concentration Tracks

Explore conflict resolution in diverse world cultures, business, and public service. Gain professional skills for communication, client support, counseling, crisis management, mediation and conflict resolution.

Manage data and research to meet the challenges of today's health care administration system. Develop skills to mediate between the medical establishment, the patient community, and the insurance community. In partnership with the College of Health Care Sciences.

Appreciate technology-based solutions to leadership challenges, bridge the gap between corporate technology specialists and management staff, and mediate between technophiles and technophobes. In partnership with the College of Engineering and Computing.

Discover environmental data and research as a source of political conflict, while addressing the need to work comfortably within a diversity of local, national, and international cultures and boundaries. In partnership with the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography.

Investigate pedagogy and leadership in the diverse systems of education. Establish skills to manage conflict in learning environments. In partnership with the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education.

Research student-learning outcomes and prepare to lead academic organizations in assessment. Practice techniques to evaluate academic programs and curricula, respond to academic accreditation bodies, and create a "culture of evidence" at academic organizations.

Degree Plans

Below is a sample of a degree plan for a full-time student who begins their studies in the Fall term. Degree plans will be modified based on a student's enrollment date and pace of study.

Below is a sample of a degree plan for full-time students who begins their studies in the Fall term. Degree plans will be modified based on a student's enrollment date and pace of study.

Degree Plan: 33 credit hours

Year 1
Fall (September) MACS 5210 -
Interdisciplinary Research & Writing
Elective Elective
Winter (January)

MACS 5030 - Interdisciplinary Theories

Elective Elective
Summer (April) MACS 6130 - Practicum I Elective Elective
Fall (September) MACS 6900 - Capstone Elective


Final Portfolio Project

MACS students will complete a final portfolio project in lieu of a comprehensive examination. The portfolio project is designed to demonstrate the cross-disciplinary perspective students acquired and honed in the program. Students will use the portfolio to present what they learned through their own personalized curriculum.

The completed portfolio will respond to the following questions:

  • Why did this student choose to do graduate work in Cross-disciplinary Studies?
  • How did this student decide on a concentration track?
  • How did this student's perspective on Cross-disciplinary Studies evolve over the course of the program?
  • How does this student intend to utilize his/her graduate education in the professional marketplace?

The completed portfolio will contain narrative sections responding to the above questions as well as exhibit and comment on selections of the student's work completed during his/her time in the program. Work selections must be drawn from a minimum of four different courses the student took while in the program. The portfolio must clearly identify these courses. One of these courses must be a MACS core course. Selections of the student's work exhibited in the portfolio may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Research papers
  • Professional projects completed during the student's practicum sequence
  • Oral presentations
  • Course journal entries

The completed portfolio will also include both the resume the student used as he/she applied for admission to the program as well as the student's updated resume reflecting the academic expertise he/she gained as a graduate student in Cross-disciplinary Studies.

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