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Interdisciplinary Studies

University Programs

CSULB Dirtbags at bat

Interdisciplinary Studies - Programs

Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (code IDSCBA01) (120 units)

ADMISSION IS SUSPENDED TO NEW STUDENTS.

The Interdisciplinary Studies Program is not a means of bypassing normal graduation requirements nor a means by which students may seek to graduate who have failed to gain admission to impacted programs nor to complete a degree major in which they are currently enrolled. Consequently, a candidate must apply for approval of an interdisciplinary Studies major when:

1. At least one full year of academic work (30 units) remains to be completed to meet minimum graduation requirements;

2. At least 2/3 of the upper-division (300-400) units in the proposed course of study remain to be completed at the time the application is submitted for approval; and

3. The cumulative GPA is 3.0 or better. A higher grade-point average may be required if the Primary department in the Interdisciplinary Studies program of study is impacted or requires a higher GPA for transfer students.

4. An Interdisciplinary Studies program must be justified by legitimate career, academic, and/or professional goals commensurate with the broader mission of the University in baccalaureate education. Interdisciplinary Studies majors are considered on a case-by-case basis. Approval is determined on the basis of the academic merit of the proposed course of study, the proposal rationale, the applicant’s potential for successful completion of the program, the potential application of the resulting degree, and the ability of the University to support the proposed program. It is the student’s responsibility to provide a clear written statement of the goals for his or her program of study, and the reasons these goals cannot be accomplished using an existing major, or combination of major and other available programs, and or concentrations of course work.

Procedures

1. To prepare for the initial interview:

  • A. Review the CSULB Catalog Interdisciplinary Studies Program requirements.
  • B. Meet with the ISP Director and consider your reasons for selecting an Interdisciplinary Studies major; including why a traditional major, double major, major and a minor, or other conventional educational pathway will not suffice. Discuss with the ISP Director what combination of courses in disciplines/departments you are interested in combining, and explain how this combination will:
    • 1) facilitate the achievement of your career and/or educational goals and objectives;
    • 2) provide you with an opportunity to obtain skills and knowledge not otherwise available at CSULB through conventional programs and degree options.

2. Meet with the department’s undergraduate advisor, or in the absence of a department undergraduate advisor meet with the department chair from each prospective department from which you propose courses to combine in the IS major. With the guidance of these individuals, create a tentative program of study, subject to the ISP Director's approval.

3. Draft a program of study with the assistance of the Undergraduate Advisors and/or Chairs of the various departments from which courses for your program of study will be used. Arrange a meeting with the Department Undergraduate Advisor and the Department Chair of each of the respective departments. With their guidance develop a list of courses (a program of study) that will constitute your Interdisciplinary Studies degree program. Obtain signatures of approval for the Program of Study from these respective Advisors/Chairs. Any subsequent changes must be made using the official Program Addendum forms.

4. Draft a three-to-four page proposal essay outlining the program of study you have created. State what you foresee will be the length of time you will need to complete your degree. Explain why no existing degree will assist you in terms of achieving your intended goals or propelling your future career.

5. Return your program of study along with your typed interdisciplinary studies proposal to the ISP Director. Completed programs must be signed by undergraduate advisors and chairs from all departments from which courses included in the Program of Study have been chosen. The ISP Director is the final signator on the Program of Study. Be advised that pending final approval of your interdisciplinary studies program, you should proceed with the course work for your previously declared major or with General Education and elective courses. You should delay taking courses that apply exclusively to your proposed Interdisciplinary Studies major until all signatures have been secured. Thus, in the event you are not accepted into the Interdisciplinary Studies program, you will not have impeded your academic progress.

Requirements

1. An interdisciplinary studies major consists of a maximum of four lower-division courses (100-200) and a minimum of 28 units of upper-division courses (300-400) totaling a minimum of 40 units in the program.

2. An Interdisciplinary Studies Program is based on a thematically cohesive core of classes involving significant work in two or more disciplines. A proposal must accompany the program and be signed by the faculty advisors when the program is submitted to the Interdisciplinary Studies Program Director for approval.

3. Thirty-eight of the forty-eight approved General Education units must come from courses outside the student's ISP program.

4. The maximum amount of course work that may be taken in one department is 60% of the total course work designated for the program.

5. Students may need more than four lower-division courses to prepare for the upper-division courses in their major. However, no more than four of these lower-division courses will be counted in the official program.

6. Students must maintain a 3.0 or better GPA in their program course work in order to remain in the major.

7. Each Program course and prerequisite course must be completed with a grade of 'C' or better.

8. As a capstone to the ISP undergraduate curriculum, each ISP major will complete either a thesis or portfolio project with an advisor in the department in which the majority of courses are taken. The student will enroll in a 3 unit directed study course in the advisor's home department in which he or she will complete a capstone project that integrates skills acquired from at least two areas; blends multiple disciplinary tools and methods of analysis; and synthesizes disciplinary content knowledge.

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (code IDSCBS01) (120 units)

Requirements

ADMISSION IS SUSPENDED TO NEW STUDENTS.

The basic requirements and application procedures for the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies shall be the same as the Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. The Bachelor of Science is awarded when the Primary department typically issues a Bachelor of Science degree.

Master of Arts (code IDSCMA01) and Master of Science (code IDSCMS01) in Interdisciplinary Studies

ADMISSION IS SUSPENDED TO NEW STUDENTS.

The Master of Arts or Master of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies permits students to earn an interdisciplinary master's degree when their special needs or interests cannot be met by an existing CSULB graduate degree program or a degree program at another CSU campus in the LA Basin. The Interdisciplinary Studies master's degree is not a degree divided between or among disciplines, but is a cohesive program of study, which integrates the methodologies, perspectives, and content of two or more disciplines. A master's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies must be justified by legitimate academic goals.

Acceptance of an applicant to an Interdisciplinary Studies master's program is based on such considerations as the academic merit and rationale of the proposed course of study, the applicant's potential for successful completion of a master's program, the potential application of the degree towards the applicant’s career and educational goals, and the ability of the University to support the proposed study with faculty, curricula, and facilities. Candidates should carefully assess goals before considering this degree. The degree program is administered by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies serving as the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Director.

Prerequisites

The minimum requirements for acceptance to the Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies Program (ISP), in addition to general University requirements for post-baccalaureate admission, are as follows:

  • 1. A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
  • 2. Upper division or graduate level preparatory course work, as it is required by each department in the program of study, (upper division units are CSULB 300-400 level courses or their equivalent at another institution; graduate units are CSULB 500-600 units or their equivalents at another institution).
  • 3. A grade point average of 3.0 in the baccalaureate degree or in the last 60 units of upper division and/or graduate course work completed at an accredited college or university. And a 3.0 average in all prerequisite course work listed on the Prerequisite Check Sheet for the Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies Program . Please note that lower division courses (CSULB 100-200 level courses or their equivalent at another institution) must be excluded from qualifying G.P.A. calculations.
  • 4. Submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from the three sections of the General Test taken within five years of applying to the Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies Program.

Acceptance to the Program

Those students who meet all program and University prerequisites for graduate study and whose Interdisciplinary Studies master's programs have been approved by the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies (Graduate Dean) will be admitted as Classified graduate students in the Interdisciplinary Studies program.

Procedures

Determine if you are eligible to apply to the Graduate ISP by consulting the ISP website: http://www.csulb.edu/divisions/aa/grad_undergrad/isp/. Make sure to keep a copy of all of your application materials for your own records. Application materials should be e-mailed to: Dr. Cecile Lindsay, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies, at clindsay@csulb.edu.

  • 1. If you believe you meet the basic eligibility requirements to apply to the Graduate ISP, contact the Director of the Graduate ISP at least two months prior to the application deadline of March 30 via e-mail at the address shown below to submit an ISP proposal. The proposal should be a 3-5 page Word document detailing the conceptual framework of the program of study you envision. The proposal must address your undergraduate preparation for such study, as well as future career and educational goals that the program of study is designed to achieve.
  • 2. The director will review the proposal in consultation with appropriate faculty. If you receive approval to apply, you must complete the California State University, Long Beach application through CSU Mentor (www.csumentor.edu).
  • 3. Apply to the Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies Program by submitting the following materials to the Director of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies Program:
    • A. The Prerequisite Check Sheet for the Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies Program, as completed in consultation with the Graduate Advisors in the primary and secondary departments/programs of interest.
    • B. The student's proposed Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies Program of Study as completed in consultation with the Graduate Advisors in the primary and secondary departments/programs of interest.
    • C. GRE scores from the three sections of the General Test, taken within five years of applying to the Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies Program.

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to candidacy is formally approved by the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies. Any modifications to the Student Program after advancement to candidacy require the approval of the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Committee and the Graduate Dean on an official Addendum to Program form to be obtained from the ISP website. Students must have advanced to candidacy at least one full semester prior to graduation, but should do as soon as possible.

The Interdisciplinary Studies Director will submit an Interdisciplinary Studies graduate student's program for advancement to candidacy when the following conditions apply:

  • 1. Satisfactory completion of all prerequisite course work with a minimum 3.0 GPA (see item 3 in Prerequisites above) as well as any additional prerequisites (i.e., departmental qualifying exams);
  • 2. Completion of a minimum of six units of graduate-level (500-600) program work with a 3.0 GPA;
  • 3. Fulfillment of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR);
  • 4. Approval by the Graduate Dean of the completed Application for Thesis and Committee Form for thesis option programs;
  • 5. Resolution of all incomplete grades (I) on the record;
  • 6. A cumulative 3.0 GPA in all completed program work;
  • 7. Current enrollment in University course work.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree

Graduate programs may be composed of graduate level (500-600) and certain upper division (400) undergraduate level course work.

The unique nature of an interdisciplinary program of study may require more than the minimum number of course units in order to assure its academic integrity. Programs of Study in Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies frequently total 36 or more units; it is helpful to use the unit requirement of the primary department as a guide in determining an appropriate number of units for a proposed program.

The Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies Program of Study should consist of no less than 30 units of graduate (500-600) and upper division undergraduate (300- 400) course work, including the following requirements:

1. No less than 70% of course work shall be at the 500-600 level. These must be done in residence at CSULB. Extension 500-600 level courses are not acceptable as part of the Graduate ISP.

2. The largest number of graduate units (~70%) shall be completed within a primary department. The primary department will be the degree-issuing department.

3. No more than three units of independent study in addition to thesis in a minimum 30-unit program. Exceptions to this regulation are as follows:

  • A. Up to six units of independent study in addition to thesis may be permitted in a minimum 30 unit program when the projected studies are not to be taken in the same department; when the focus of each projected independent study is clearly distinct from the other (as evidenced on Independent Study Agreement Forms for each study to be submitted with all other application materials.)
  • B. In excess of six units of independent study in addition to thesis may be permitted in cases when an Interdisciplinary Studies graduate program exceeds the minimum 30 units; when the focus of each independent study is clearly distinct from any others (as evidenced on Independent Study Agreement Forms for each study to be submitted with all other application materials). Programs with more than six units of independent study may be referred to the Interdisciplinary Studies Program Advisory Board for approval and recommendation

4. Successful completion of a Thesis or Comprehensive Exam. The selection of the Thesis or Comprehensive examination option will be made by the student in consultation with the graduate committee and Graduate Dean, if such an option is available in the primary department identified in the Graduate Student Program of Study. If no option is available, the student will comply with the culminating requirements of the primary department.

5. Students writing a thesis must enroll for thesis credit in their Primary department (the primary department identified in their Graduate Student Program of Study);

6. Students opting to write a thesis must identify a thesis committee by the beginning of their second full semester of graduate study, complete a thesis proposal form, and submit it to the Graduate Dean. The Thesis Committee must include a chair (from the primary department) and at least one representative faculty member from each of the disciplines included in the student’s Graduate Program of Study. A thesis committee shall contain no fewer than three members, at least two of which must be tenure-track CSULB faculty. The chair of the committee must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member.

7. All requirements of the degree program must be completed within seven years of the date when the program was initiated (i.e., no course on the program at the time of graduation may be more than seven years old).

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree

The basic requirements and application procedures for the Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies shall be the same as the Master of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. One distinction, however, is commonly a requirement by the programs that issue a Masters of Science degree that the culminating activity be a thesis. Students will follow the exit requirements of their primary department.