The Interdisciplinary Studies program with a concentration in Occupational, Workforce, and Leadership Studies offers a Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (MSIS) or Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS). Each of the degree offerings have the same rules about course choice and requirements, so potential students may choose either based on the degree they would like to receive. The program is 39 hours. Since most graduate courses at Texas State are 3 hours, most students complete the degree with 13 courses.
The degree is individualized for each student based on career experience, needs, and goals. Although a very wide variety of course choices are available, many students make choices based on interests and offering availability. Students often choose courses from the following disciplines:
- education (including educational technology, adult education, developmental education, and curriculum and instruction)
- philosophy (including ethics)
- political science (which includes classes on public management)
- career and technical education
- mass communications
- communication studies
- human resource management
- diversity/women’s studies
Four of the thirteen classes are “specified”, meaning they are required classes which all students are required to take. Students complete an introductory course that orients them to interdisciplinary studies, understand the fields related to occupational, workforce, and leadership studies, understand the rigor of graduate study at Texas State, and plan the remainder of their degree. In addition, students complete either a research track or a practicum track. Both tracks take 3 semesters to complete (3 courses each)...and the courses are not offered every term, so students will plan with an advisor when to start with the "exit track". Each student selects either the Research or Practicum track.
- In the Research Track, comprised of OCED 5300, 5301, and 5302, students learn about academic research methods, propose a research project, plan and carry out the project, usually utilizing a survey or interview protocol, analyze their data, and write up and share their results. This is not a formal thesis project, but a research project that results in a paper suitable for submission to a professional/academic journal.
- In the Practicum Track, comprised of CTE 5330, OCED 5303, and OCED 5304, students take a research class to understand the nature of academic research and its application to interdisciplinary problems, learn about reflection and learning in the workplace, propose and plan a 100-120 hour practicum, which is a masters level experience. It must be supervised by someone with a master’s degree or higher and not duplicate current employment. (Students may take on a new project at their place of work.) Then students reflect on their project and share their results through a formal paper and presentation.
The four specified courses are offered only as online classes, using our online learning management system and related technology tools. These courses may be completed from your home, workplace, or other location with high speed internet and a computer. Depending on what you choose for your other course selections, you may enroll in online or face-to-face courses. If you’d like an entirely online degree plan, it can be arranged easily. If you’d to include some face-to-face courses, we can arrange that as well.
Students may be admitted any term (fall, spring, or summer). We practice “rolling” admissions, which means we are often able to accept and process admissions applications after the posted deadlines. Students often take six hours (which qualifies them to receive federal financial aid) or nine hours a term, and graduate in approximately two years or a bit more.
All students complete a final comprehensive oral and written exam. These can be arranged as online or face-to-face exams. The oral exam is done with a small group of faculty members. The written exam includes papers from your exit module and some brief writing activities.
The Interdisciplinary Studies degree can also include coursework for additional certification programs so you can receive a degree and a certificate as you complete your degree. Popular certifications include:
- Certified Public Manager
- Professional Ethics
- Corporate Communications and Training
(Please note that many certificate programs are not offered online and you must be admitted to a certificate program separately.)