Feb 23, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interdisciplinary Studies

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The Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) program offers mature students with appropriate academic qualifications (minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA) the opportunity for interdisciplinary graduate work. Students who enter the program may pursue their study on a full-time or part-time basis.

The program is based on the assumption that technical competence and specialized training are best employed in combination with knowledge traditionally fostered by the liberal arts and sciences. Through core seminars, an individualized program of study, and the completion of a master’s project, students may explore major issues and synthesize knowledge from several disciplines.

Similar programs have attracted professionals who feel they need further study to investigate complex issues connected with their work or interests. Some teachers and librarians find such a course of study an alternative to graduate work in education or in another single discipline. Others see the program as an improvement over a self-directed study of reading or participation in a series of unrelated courses beyond the baccalaureate degree. By emphasizing the integration of knowledge in different disciplines, the program offers a unique alternative to traditional graduate study.

Prior to making application to the Interdisciplinary Studies program, students must contact the Graduate School to arrange an interview to discuss interests and academic goals. After the interview, applicants whose academic goals are consistent with the mission of the program must ensure that the Graduate School receives the following materials:

  1. An e-mail to graduate@maine.edu from a faculty member at the University of Maine who has agreed to serve as the primary advisor.
  2. Two letters of recommendation. Students are strongly encouraged to use the online letter of recommendation feature within the online application or have recommenders send an electronic copy to graduate@maine.edu.
  3. Official college/university transcripts from all institutions attended.
  4. Application for graduate degree. The online application feature allows applicants to include an essay which presents student’s life experiences as well as objectives and reasons for applying to the program.
  5. Online application fee of $65.00.

Admission is contingent upon the positive vote of the majority of the members of the Admissions Review Committee.
Application deadlines are the first Monday in November for the Spring semester and the first Monday in April for the Fall or Summer terms.

Degree Requirements:

Students in the program must complete:

  • 6 to 9 semester hours of interdisciplinary core seminar (IDS 500) credit
  • 15 to 21 semester hours of additional graduate level credit approved by the student’s advisory committee to meet the individual student’s academic interests
  • 3 to 6 semester hours of Master’s Project (IDS 699) credit developed from the student’s coursework and research.
  • IDS 500, Graduate Seminar in Interdisciplinarity,  is a required IDS 500 seminar

Of the minimum 30 semester hours total credit required, at least 15 hours, not including the credit for the master’s project, must be in 500- and/or 600-level courses.


In addition to the self designed option, formal concentrations within the Interdisciplinary Studies program are available in Disability Studies, New Media, Women’s Studies, Maine Studies, and Peace and Reconciliation Studies. The Maine Studies and Peace Studies concentrations may be completed via distance education with careful planning and close advising from the coordinators of the concentrations. For students completing the program entirely by distance education, a substitute for one core seminar(IDS 500) may be included on the program of study if the student does not have access to a videoconferencing site.

Further information on the Interdisciplinary Studies program is available from the Graduate School. (http://www.umaine.edu/graduate/)

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