UT Dallas 2016 Graduate Catalog

School of Interdisciplinary Studies

The Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) is a unique program at the University of Texas at Dallas. It combines a solid academic core with student-selected concentration areas, thereby enabling students to incorporate and integrate various academic disciplines, theories, and methodologies. With the aid of the MAIS faculty advisor, each MAIS student designs an individualized course of study that best suits their interests as well as their academic and professional goals, and may incorporate traditional academic courses as well as internships, study abroad, and independent study options.

The MAIS degree program concludes with a two-semester Master's project, completed via the Capstone Seminar (MAIS 5302) and Research Project (MAIS 5303). The Master's project will lend itself to an interdisciplinary approach that synthesizes information from various disciplines, utilizes different theories and methodologies, and draws conclusions that present a new perspective on the topic.

Students must complete 36 credit hours of coursework to earn a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. Students can choose from one of two degree plan options. (www.utdallas.edu/is/prospective-students/masters)

Teacher Development Center

The University offers opportunities in selected fields for teachers and other school personnel to earn initial teaching certification and certificate endorsements.

Students wishing to pursue an advanced degree should consider programs leading to the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree in Science Education, or Mathematics Education. Students enrolling for one of these degrees should consult the appropriate subject area in this catalog. Students pursuing coursework leading to additional certificate endorsement or initial certification should seek counsel in the Teacher Development Center early in their program of study. Contact 972-883-2730 or go to www.utdallas.edu/teach.

Degrees Offered

  • Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (36 semester credit hours minimum)


All faculty in the University are eligible to participate.

Professors: George W. Fair, Karen J. Prager, Lawrence J. Redlinger, Erin A. Smith

Professor in Practice: Seema Yasmin

Senior Lecturers: Kathleen Byrnes, Jillian Duquaine-Watson, Patricia A. Leek, Angela McNulty, Rebekah Nix, Teresa Parker, Elizabeth M. Salter, Nancy C. Van, Elizabeth Winstead, Tonja Wissinger


The Graduate Program in Interdisciplinary Studies, leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, is designed for students who wish to continue their intellectual development within an interdisciplinary framework and for those with specialized training who wish to broaden their education. Students will gain the ability to distinguish between interdisciplinary, disciplinary, multidisciplinary, and transdisciplinary approaches. They will also become familiar with various models used in interdisciplinary research and acquire the ability to assess the relative merits of interdisciplinary research and writing. Of equal importance, students will develop skills necessary to situate their work within an interdisciplinary framework.

Admission Requirements

The University's general admission requirements are discussed on the Graduate Admission page (catalog.utdallas.edu/2016/graduate/admission).

For admission to the program, the student must have a bachelor's degree from an institution of higher education, with a grade average of B (3.0) or better. Students are also required to take the GRE and, based on our experience with student success in the program, should present a verbal plus quantitative minimum GRE score of 295. Additionally, students must submit three letters of academic or professional recommendation, and a statement of purpose which should include the following:

  • Two to three pages in length
  • Description of academic background and interests
  • Relevant career and extracurricular activities
  • Motivation for seeking a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree

Student not meeting the above criteria are considered on an individual basis and may be conditionally admitted to the program.

Degree Requirements

The University's general degree requirements are discussed on the Graduate Policies and Procedures page (catalog.utdallas.edu/2016/graduate/policies/policy).

For the degree of Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, 36 semester credit hours of course work must be completed. These semester credit hours are distributed as follows:

  • Core requirements (12 semester credit hours)
  • Concentration area(s) (18-24 semester credit hours)
  • Electives (up to 6 semester credit hours)

Core Requirements (12 semester credit hours)

The core requirements for the MAIS degree include the following:

  • MAIS 5300 Foundations of Interdisciplinary Inquiry (3 semester credit hours): designed to introduce students to graduate-level academics and provide a solid foundation for interdisciplinary research and writing.
  • MAIS 5321 Library Research Skills (3 semester credit hours): helps students develop the skills to identify what information is needed for their research, how to find and evaluate scholarly resources, and how to organize the information for a thesis or dissertation.
  • MAIS 5302 Capstone Seminar (3 semester credit hours): includes discussion of interdisciplinary theory and preparation for a research project. Must be taken in the student's next-to-last semester.
  • MAIS 5303 Research Project (3 semester credit hours): completion of an interdisciplinary research project. Must be taken in student's final semester in the program.

Concentration Areas (18-24 semester credit hours)

The student may select one or two of the following concentration areas:

  • American Studies
  • Area & Regional Studies (The Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, The Middle East, etc.)
  • Arts Management
  • Diversity Studies
  • Environmental Studies & Sustainability
  • Healthcare Studies
  • Professional Communication & Leadership

Electives (6 semester credit hours)

Students who choose to pursue one concentration area select, in consultation with the faculty advisor, six semester credit hours of elective courses to complete their degree requirements.

Independent Study, Internship, Co-Op Education, and Study Abroad

Students have the opportunity to select from various independent study, internship, co-op education, and study abroad options to complete their concentration(s) and/or elective requirements for up to six semester credit hours.

Existing options within the School of Interdisciplinary Studies include:

Students may also, in consultation with the MAIS faculty advisor, create their own unique concentration area.

Updated: 2019-08-09 13:08:43 v4.57a3f0