Purposes of Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Program

The degree Master of Science or Master of Arts with a major in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) is available to graduate students who wish to have a more diversified program of advanced study than  generally permitted for students who specialize in a single subject. The program is open to any qualified graduate student, but is most useful to those who wish to improve their subject matter competence in more than one discipline.

Those who elect to pursue the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Program are allowed to take courses in three different graduate subject matter areas, each subject contributing a minimum of nine (9) semester credits toward the 35 graduate credits required for the degree. Courses which may be used for credit toward this degree are selected from those listed in the Iowa State University Catalog.

Both thesis and non-thesis options are available.  In the thesis option, the student, with the guidance of a major professor, develops and reports in writing a research study. In the non-thesis option, a creative component is required in which the student demonstrates independent creativity such as a written report of laboratory, field, or library research, a project in fine arts, or some other original contribution. A minimum of three (3) and maximum of five (5) credits in either IGS 599 (Creative Component) or IGS 699 (Thesis Research) may be counted toward the total 35 semester credits.

The student, in consultation with his/her Program of Study Committee, will decide on the choice of option (i.e., thesis or non-thesis). The Program of Study Committee also aids the student in planning and approving a program of study and selecting appropriate courses.

A student majoring in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies may participate in any one of the following areas of specialization:

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Program, students are expected to demonstrate that they can relate in a significant way at least two of the three chosen areas of study. This is usually done in the written work for the thesis research or creative component. In their final oral examination, students also are expected to be able to discuss the relationship among the three areas of study.