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The Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies

The Interdisciplinary Studies program provides students with an opportunity to design unique courses of study leading to the MA or MS degree. Students normally select the program because their individual interests dictate that core courses be drawn from two or three academic areas rather than from a single discipline. If academic or professional goals are not adequately accommodated by University programs in existing disciplines, the Interdisciplinary Studies program may meet the need by allowing specialization in the chosen field.

Career Outlook

Since Interdisciplinary Studies programs are uniquely structured to suit individual needs, the objectives of specific programs vary considerably. The majority of students who select this program have definite occupational goals in mind at the outset. However, others pursue areas of interest which have little or no direct application to their professional lives.

While it is not possible to predict future employment opportunities for Interdisciplinary Studies graduates, this program provides a vehicle for meeting the needs of students with unusual, creative, and interdisciplinary professional or academic goals.

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies:

Mathematics Education K-8

Science Teaching*

Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies:

Simulation Science/Computer Simulation*

*Admissions to these programs has been suspended indefinitely.

Other programs may be individually developed with approval. Consult the Office of Graduate Studies for specific information.

Course Requirements for the Master's Degree: 30 units

Continuous enrollment is required. A maximum of 9 semester units of transfer and/or CSU Chico Open University course work may be applied toward the degree.

Graduate Time Limit:

All requirements for the degree are to be completed within seven years of the end of the semester of enrollment in the oldest course applied toward the degree. See Master's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.

Prerequisites for Admission to Conditionally Classified Status:

1. Satisfactory grade point average as specified in Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Admission Requirements in the University Catalog.

2. Approval by the department and the Office of Graduate Studies.

3. An acceptable baccalaureate from an accredited institution, or an equivalent approved by Graduate Studies.

4. Formation of the graduate advisory committee.

5. Development of an approved program, including a Justification Statement and description of the culminating activity, in consultation with the graduate coordinator and the graduate advisory committee.

Prerequisites for Admission to Classified Status:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

1. The completion of all prerequisites for courses included in the approved program.

2. A minimum Miller Analogies Test raw score of 50, or a minimum combined Graduate Record Examination test score of 900, or an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 for the last 60 units and 3.0 for any postbaccalaureate work.

3. The completion of the following discipline-specific requirements if pursuing a degree involving coursework in the areas of anthropology, art, business/management, computer engineering, computer science, economics, engineering, English, health and community services, history, or psychology.

Anthropology

Students using 12 or more units of anthropology in their program must:

a) Complete the Graduate Record Examination prior to admission to classified status, with a combined score of 900 on the verbal and quantitative portions.

b) Pass a 1- to 3-part candidacy exam administered by the Department of Anthropology. This exam, depending on the student's program plan, will contain at least one of the anthropology candidacy exams and possibly all three, as is judged suitable by the student's advisory committee. Upon successful completion of the required competency exam(s), the student may be advanced to candidacy.

Art

Students using 6 or more units of art coursework in their program, or including "Art" in the title or content of the thesis, must have the prior approval of the Department of Art and Art History.

Business/Management

Students using 9 units or more of 600-level business coursework in their program must satisfy the same entrance requirements established for MBA applicants. These include a score no lower than the 50th percentile on the Graduate Management Admission Test or Graduate Record Examination

Computers/Computing

Students using the term "computers" or "computing" as part of an Interdisciplinary Studies degree title must:

a) Complete at least 12 units of 400/500/600-level computer science and/or computer engineering courses, each with a grade of B- or better, as part of their graduate work at CSU, Chico.

b) Include at least one computer science or computer engineering faculty member on the graduate advisory committee.

c) Have the program approved by the chair (or designee) of the Department of Computer Science.

Computer Engineering

Students using the term "computer engineering" as part of an Interdisciplinary Studies degree title must:

a) Include a minimum of 12 units of computer engineering courses in the program.

b) Have the program approved by the chair (or designee) of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Computer Science

Students using the term "computer science" as part of an Interdisciplinary Studies degree title must:

a) Complete the following undergraduate computer science courses, each with a grade of C or better:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: CSCI 211 with a grade of C- or higher, CSCI 217 or MATH 217 recommended.
This course focuses on object-oriented methodologies in designing and implementing a variety of data structures and algorithms. Coverage includes recursion, trees, search structures, hashing, heaps, sorting algorithms, and graph algorithms. Data structure and algorithm combinations will be studied and analyzed along with their relative merits using both mathematical and empirical measurements. The course includes a number of large programming assignments focusing on object-oriented software engineering and algorithm development. Students will be required to design, implement, test, and analyze their programs in at least one object-oriented language. 3 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. (002325)
Prerequisites: Grade of C- or better in CSCI 311.
Operating system fundamentals, including history, process and thread management, concurrency with semaphores and monitors, deadlocks, storage management, file systems, I/O, and distributed systems. 3 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (002328)
Prerequisites: CSCI 311 for CSCI/CINS/APCG majors or EECE 337 for Engineering majors; ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) all with a grade of C- or higher.
An overview of software engineering principles and practice. Topics include: traditional software engineering methodologies, agile software engineering methodologies, requirements engineering, software design, risk analysis, quality assurance, testing, group dynamics, communication, and project planning/management. Students work in groups to design and implement a semester long software project. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (002310)
Prerequisites: CSCI 217 or MATH 217, CSCI 221 or EECE 337.
Study of computing architecture and how the structure of various hardware and software modules affects the ultimate performance of the total system. Topics include qualitative and quantitative analysis of bandwidths, response times, error detection and recovery, interrupts, and system throughput; distributed systems and coprocessors; vector and parallel architectures. 3 hours discussion. (002104)

b) Complete at least one-half of the degree program in computer science coursework.

c) Include at least one computer science faculty member on the graduate advisory committee.

d) Have the program approved by the chair (or designee) of the Department of Computer Science.

Economics

Students using 9 units or more of economics coursework in the program may be required to:

a) Complete the Graduate Record Examination with a combined score of at least 1000 on the verbal and quantitative portions; or

b) Achieve a score of at least 600 on the Graduate Record Examination subject test in economics; or

c) Complete the requirements for entrance into the MBA program at CSU, Chico.

In addition, students wishing to use the word “economics” in the degree title must have the specific approval of the Department of Economics. Students wishing to obtain such approval should petition the economics department chair before their programs are designed.

Engineering

Students using the term “engineering” as part of the degree title must:

a) Include a minimum of 12 units of engineering coursework in the program.

b) Have the program approved by the engineering graduate coordinator and the chair of the appropriate engineering department.

c) Have a member of the engineering faculty serve on the graduate advisory committee.

English

Students planning to include 6 or more units of English coursework in an Interdisciplinary Studies degree program may be required to:

a) Submit a formal research paper, documented according to the latest MLA standards, to the graduate coordinator in English. This paper must come to the graduate coordinator via the instructor who assigned it, together with a written statement of the instructor's opinion of the paper's authenticity. This requirement must be met prior to advancement to classified status.

b) Complete the verbal portion of the GRE General Test with a minimum score of 500. This requirement must be met prior to advancement to candidacy.

Health and Community Services

Students using the term "health" or "wellness" as part of an Interdisciplinary Studies degree title must have the program approved by the chair of the Department of Health and Community Services.

History

Students using 6 or more units of 600-level history coursework in their program, or wishing to use the term "history" in the title of the thesis or degree, must have approval of the graduate coordinator in the Department of History.

Psychology

Students using 6 or more units of psychology coursework, or wishing to use the terms "psychology" or "counseling" in the title of the thesis or degree, must have approval of the Department of Psychology.

Advancement to Candidacy:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

1. Classified graduate standing and completion at the University of at least 9 units of the proposed program.

Requirements for the MA Degree in Interdisciplinary\ Studies:

Completion of all requirements as established by the graduate advisory committee and Graduate Studies, to include:

1. Completion of an approved program consisting of 30 units of 400/500/600-level courses:

a) A comprehensive core of units in the chosen disciplines.

b) At least 18 of the units required for the degree in stand-alone 600-level courses (those not cross-listed with 400/500-level courses).

c) Not more than 9 semester units combined of transfer and CSU, Chico Open University credit (correspondence courses and University of California Extension coursework are not acceptable).

d) Not more than 15 units taken before admission to classified status.

e) Not more than a total of 10 units of Independent Study (697), Comprehensive Examination (696), and Master's Study (699) combined; not more than 3 units of Comprehensive Examination (696) or 6 units of Master's Study (699).

2. Completion and final approval of a thesis, project, comprehensive examination, or other culminating activity as specified by the graduate advisory committee.

3. Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive final examination (written or oral) in the field of study.

4. Approval by the graduate advisory committee and the Graduate Council on behalf of the faculty of the University.

All requirements listed above are to be completed within seven years of the end of the semester of enrollment in the oldest course applied towards the degree.

Graduate Requirement in Writing Proficiency:

Writing proficiency is a graduation requirement.

Interdisciplinary Studies students will demonstrate their writing proficiency by designating a suitable course in their approved program. Consult the graduate coordinator for further information.

Graduate Grading Requirements:

All courses in the major (with the exceptions of Independent Study - 697, Comprehensive Examination - 696, Master's Project - 699P, and Master's Thesis - 699T) must be taken for a letter grade, except those courses specified by the department as ABC/No Credit (400/500-level courses), AB/No Credit (600-level courses), or Credit/No Credit grading only. A maximum of 10 units combined of ABC/No Credit, AB/No Credit, and Credit/No Credit grades may be used on the approved program (including 697, 696, 699P, 699T and courses outside the major). While grading standards are determined by individual programs and instructors, it is also the policy of the University that unsatisfactory grades may be given when work fails to reflect achievement of the high standards, including high writing standards, expected of students pursuing graduate study.

Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average in each of the following three categories: all course work taken at any accredited institution subsequent to admission to the master's program; all course work taken at CSU, Chico subsequent to admission to the program; and all courses on the approved master's degree program.

Graduate Advising Requirement:

Once the program plan is developed and approved, advising is recommended but not mandatory each semester for Interdisciplinary Studies students. For further information, consult the graduate coordinator.

Catalog Cycle:12