Interdisciplinary master’s programs are noteworthy programs that give students the chance to pursue more than one field of specialization. Communication, law, engineering, and liberal arts are some of the many concentrations that students can pick to engage in a diversified educational experience. Many accredited universities offer graduate interdisciplinary programs allowing students a great deal of flexibility and multiplicity in curriculum to pursue their studies.
The programs help students combine both their career and personal inclinations. The curriculum provides thorough instruction in blending academic approaches and disciplines that are compatible. Students must finish a thesis or capstone project that applies an interdisciplinary approach to address a particular topic or problem in addition to earning the necessary credits in their selected majors. Graduates benefit significantly as the scope of knowledge and career opportunities after pursuing a master’s degree are multiple and wide-ranging.
Notable features of Interdisciplinary Master’s Programs
The interdisciplinary graduate programs hold many unique characteristics. These programs can be taken by students to fulfill their educational and professional commitments. Some primary features of interdisciplinary programs are:
- Substantial flexibility: These programs are immensely flexible in nature as students have the option to modify their curriculum as per their curiosity and requirements. Students have the option to complete a thesis or capstone project as a part of these programs.
- Wide-ranging curriculum: Since students get an opportunity to study about two or more disciplines, they are able to receive knowledge on multiple levels. The curriculum can be varied and has a wide scope. For instance, a student pursuing a master’s in communication can also complete a major in music to fulfill both professional and personal goals.
- Quick pace: These programs ensure a rapid pace to complete a graduate degree. Students who aspire to learn new pieces of information regularly are the best fit for interdisciplinary graduate programs.
- Immense Exposure: The ability to take two major subjects at one time allows students to interact with faculty members from different streams and learn their many unique perspectives. The exposure that students pursuing interdisciplinary programs receive is immense and pertinent for students to grow in a competitive world.
Who are the ideal candidates for Interdisciplinary master’s programs?
Students who wish to incorporate new learning experiences every day in their educational journey are best fit for interdisciplinary master’s programs. There are many students who aren’t able to choose between two programs and therefore don’t have to stress about having to make that choice.
Also, there are times when one has dual or multiple interests that they can accomplish by pursuing interdisciplinary programs. These programs also work efficiently for students who wish to incorporate flexible and diverse coursework.
Pre-requisites/ Admission Requirements for master’s in interdisciplinary studies
The prerequisites or requirements for getting admitted into an interdisciplinary master’s program differ from university to university. The program choice of students also plays a crucial factor in the admission decision. While some universities ask candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, most universities accept applications from all undergraduate disciplines. Some of the common prerequisites for admission include:
- Letters of recommendation: Recommendations play a crucial role in the admission decision. Universities ask for recommendations from professional or academic sources and sometimes from both. Personal recommendations are not accepted by most universities.
- Personal statement: A personal statement is a significant document through which a student can express their intent, aspirations, and expectations of the program they are applying for. It is one of the primary admission requirements through which one can stand out from the others.
- Resume: A resume is helpful for students to reflect on their experience, achievements, and interests that set their profile unique and distinct from others. In order to determine a student’s professional experiences in the past, most universities ask for resumes.
- Work Experience: Relevant work experience in the chosen or a related field can also compensate for a lack of formal educational background in the field. While some universities require prior work experience as a part of the admission process, some universities accept applicants with little or no formal training in the field.
- Transcripts: Students have to submit their transcripts of post-secondary and college education. Some universities ask for official information while others accept unofficial transcripts.
- Test scores: GRE or GMAT scores are also required by many universities for admission to master’s in interdisciplinary programs. However, some universities have waived the GRE requirement. The test score requirement is determined by the course and the university’s admission process.
Universities offering Interdisciplinary Master’s Programs
There are many recognized universities that offer interdisciplinary programs to master’s students. These programs help students to widen their creative and metal horizons and als get prepared to fulfill their professional roles upon graduation. Some of the accredited universities that offer interdisciplinary master’s programs include:
Georgia Tech: Interdisciplinary master’s programs
In addition to those given by the eight College of Engineering schools, several interdisciplinary degrees with varied course options are available at Georgia Tech. Numerous of the multidisciplinary programs are recognized and considered to be among the best in the country and the world.
These programs allow students to develop research and educational skills that they can use in their workspace. Students get to interact with faculty members with pivotal experience and learn under their guidance. The admissions to these programs are processed through the eight College of Engineering schools. Some of the interdisciplinary programs include:
- Master of Robotics: The Master of Robotics program prepares students for careers in the rapidly expanding field of interdisciplinary robotics and automation,and equips them with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving field. It is a 36-credit program that can be completed in 16 months.
- Bioengineering graduate program: Bioengineering is an innovative graduate program involving a multidisciplinary curriculum. US News and World Report named the BioE Graduate PhD and MS program as the second-best program in the country. The program comprises faculty members from the Colleges of Engineering, Computing, Sciences, and Design as well as Emory University School of Medicine.
- Machine learning (ML) Ph.D. program: It is a unique initiative that the colleges of computing, engineering, and sciences at Georgia Tech are working together on. Every year, about 25–30 students apply to the program through nine distinct academic departments.
Arizona State University: Interdisciplinary Studies, MA
The master of arts in interdisciplinary studies program enables students to integrate the study of two or more fields into a single program. Students learn a range of research techniques, interdisciplinary views, modes of inquiry, and practice. These programs are time-effective as they allow students to complete both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a period of five years.
The program consists of three obligatory MAS courses, six courses of the student’s choosing, and a capstone in the final semester. They also get to interact with faculty members who are well-versed with the interdisciplinary curriculum.
The application requirements for graduate interdisciplinary programs at Arizona State University are:
- Official transcripts
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a scale of 4.00.
- Statement of purpose
- Two letters of recommendation
- Resume or curriculum vitae (optional)
- An academic writing sample
Syracuse University: Interdisciplinary Master of Arts in International Relations
An interdisciplinary master of arts in International Relations program is offered at Syracuse University. The degree program prepares students for careers in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors by combining academic study with professional field training.
It is a 40-credit program that can be completed in 16 months. The program blends academic and practical methods to solving current global issues with the Maxwell School’s long-standing involvement in these issues. Some learning outcomes of the master’s program are:
- Develop policy options to solve global issues by applying theories of international relations to explain the formation of global events.
- Examine issues pertaining to international affairs from an interdisciplinary standpoint.
- Show the use of international relations research to one’s advantage by identifying appropriate social science research methodologies, evaluating policies based on international affairs research, and using statistical analysis to identify changes in policy and evaluate responses.
- Examine international economic policy using fundamental macro- and microeconomic concepts.
- Showcase expert leadership and management abilities appropriate for players in the global stage.
University of Central Florida: Interdisciplinary Studies (MS)
Master of Science in interdisciplinary studies at the University of Central Florida has a special curriculum made for students who wish to combine subjects typically found in a Master of Science program. Students can create a personalized mode of study by choosing programs of their interest. The program is available for both thesis and non-thesis tracks.
- Thesis track: This track is best suited to prepare students who aspire to pursue Phd or any other advanced degree. Students are expected to prepare an academic publication featuring original research conducted during their graduate program.
- Non-thesis track: This track is for students who don’t wish to conduct research in the future. They are expected to complete a capstone project as part of the program.