What Is a Master of Interdisciplinary Studies?

Do you crave adaptability in your education and career? Or are you pursuing a unique career path combining different areas of interest? If so, the Southern Utah University (SUU) online Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (MIS) degree program may be of interest. This program allows students to combine core graduate coursework with their choice of two focused learning blocks in different fields of study. The self-motivated student can take advantage of this program design to create a truly customized graduate degree, tailored to each learner’s educational goals and career aspirations.

How Is SUU’s MIS Degree Program Structured?

As the program title suggests, SUU’s online MIS is structured to integrate multiple disciplines of study, both in core coursework and in each student’s two chosen learning blocks. The program’s 30 credit hours from 10 courses (three credit hours each) are required for degree completion. Four courses are considered core courses, with the remaining six courses consisting of learning block courses. Students may also transfer in appropriate previous graduate coursework to satisfy some requirements.

Core Courses

Two core courses focus on preparing students to make the most out of their degree through the study of graduate-level research, student-led interdisciplinary degree design, and the exploration of career options and possibilities. These courses build core competencies for graduate level study and effectiveness in any role in the workforce. Emphasis areas include the development of critical thinking as well as research and analytical skills.

Students have a number of options as to the two additional core courses. Students choose one course from a number of courses focused on different aspects of leadership development, like theory, strategy, or application in the group or organizational setting. And students will demonstrate the culmination of their learning through the completion of one of three choices for their degree capstone course: an experiential internship, an applied project or a professional thesis.

Learning Blocks

Beyond options available in core course selection, SUU’s online MIS students customize their interdisciplinary education to a great extent through their choice of learning blocks. Students also have further choice of coursework within a number of these learning block options, allowing them to focus more acutely on their individual interests. Each MIS student chooses two of the following learning blocks:

Business Administration. Students study various aspects of managerial business practice through courses chosen from among the graduate-level online business administration courses offered by SUU. These courses focus on subjects like marketing management, organizational behavior, leadership and strategy.

Leadership. This learning block expands on leadership study from core coursework, helping students develop an in-depth understanding of leadership from the conceptual, strategic and applied frameworks.

Systems Quality Leadership and Management. In this learning block, students will explore how to optimize organizational performance through the study and application of management theory, strategic thinking and other modern business models. Students also have the opportunity to gain credit from extracurricular experiential learning activities and a study-abroad experience in Japan.

Professional Communication. This learning block focuses on communication in theory and in all applications, from professional writing, public speaking and public relations to marketing and messaging through various forms of modern media.

Brain-Based Learning. This learning block helps educators of all sorts delve further into modern concepts, theories and practices in human learning, from experiential learning and technology immersion to holistic brain-based learning and its applications.

Online Teaching. Coursework in this learning block focuses on various aspects of online education from the educator’s perspective, from course and instructional design to the learner experience and appropriate assessment models in the e-learning environment.

Music Technology. This unique area of graduate music study focuses on the application of music technology to music production, recording, software-based creation and engineering in both live and studio environments. This block also covers topical business studies for the music entrepreneur.

School Library. This learning block includes numerous course offerings covering every aspect of modern librarianship such as technology integration, media management, media selection and creative techniques of incorporating literature into the classroom.

In constructing a unique interdisciplinary degree, the student can focus studies to pursue a particular career path or add breadth to one’s education, allowing for versatility in careers or continuing education. In fact, research shows that employers increasingly value creative and critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and a multidisciplinary background in their employees.

SUU’s online MIS degree program helps develop these attributes, nurturing the exploration of how and why each student learns. The program also encourages the pursuit of learning in different areas. So not only does a master’s-level education in interdisciplinary studies afford freedom and flexibility in customizing one’s education, it can also add an attractive credential to a potential employee’s resume.

Learn more about Southern Utah University’s online Master of Interdisciplinary Studies program.


Study.com: Interdisciplinary Studies Masters Degree Programs

PathwaysReport.org: Commission on Pathways Through Graduate School and Into Careers

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