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12 13 Catalog

12 13 Catalog

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MASTER OF ARTS IN INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES

This unique degree allows students advanced study in multiple disciplines and the
chance to see the interconnectedness of those disciplines In addition to the Graduate
Division Admission requirements, students are asked to complete program specific
admission requirements A minimum of 36 hours is required for the Master of Arts
in Interdisciplinary Studies (M A I S ) program Students are required to select two or
three fields of study It is recommended that at least 18 hours are completed in one
of the fields of study For a field of study to be listed on a student’s transcript as a
concentration, at least nine credit hours must be completed in that field
At this time, the credit-hour distributions that students tend to select are:
Two fields: 18 hrs Field 1 18 hrs Field 2
27 hrs Field 1 9 hrs Field 2
Three Fields: 18 hrs Field 1 9 hrs Field 2, 9 hrs Field 3
Students obtaining a second Master's Degree must complete the minimum require-
ment of 30 credit hours earned from WNMU with a recommendation of 15 credit
hours in the first field of study At this time, the credit-hour distributions that students
tend to select are:

Two fields: 18 hrs Field 1 12 hrs Field 2
15 hrs Field 1 15 hrs Field 2
When completing the M A I S program as a first masters with 36 hours, six credit
hours may be transferred in accordance with standards outlined by the Graduate
Division When completing the M A I S program as a second or additional masters
degree, six hours are automatically waived and no transfer hours are needed
This degree can be completed through face-to-face courses, online courses, or a
combination of both formats Participating departments, offering fields of study within
the M A I S program, are listed below Please note that the availability of a given field
of study varies across campus locations, including for students studying at a distance If
you are a fully online student, consult the WNMU Online Programs web resources for
available concentrations (not all programs are available online, but the list continues
to grow)
It is important that students communicate with the appropriate advisor in each field
of study prior to taking courses in order to plan their course of study and satisfy
program specific admission requirements Any specified course pre-requisites should
be discussed with the field advisor and/or course instructor The M A I S program
may or may not prepare the student for licensure or certification in the chosen fields

graduate degree requirements /

449

As part of admission into the M.A.I.S. Program, students are required to
complete the following:
Letter of Intent

A Letter of Intent is required of all students seeking admission into the Master of
Arts Interdisciplinary Studies program This Letter of Intent should be submitted at
the time of application (and no later than the end of the student's "conditional admit"
term) and should be sent electronically to interdisciplinary@wnmu edu This letter
of intent should address the following issues in a 5-page (minimum), typed essay
(Microsoft word or pdf format preferred):
1 Student Contact Information, including name, mailing address, phone and e-mail;
2 Summary of previous educational (all post-secondary training) and professional
experiences If previous graduate training, it must be describe clearly Please
note, the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies can provide the student with
information and assistance if they are intending to transfer graduate credits to
the M A I S program;
3 Description of how the interdisciplinary degree program would suite the students
educational goals In this section, please clearly state what fields of study (2-3)
you will be pursuing Be clear in describing how BOTH this program and these
fields of study will help further your personal and professional goals;
4 Articulate some clear learning objectives for the degree and your fields of study;
5 What special abilities, personal qualities and life experiences do you bring to the
program that you would like to mention here?
Once received, this letter of intent will be shared with faculty in the student's identified
areas of study The letter of intent will be reviewed and assessed for completeness by
both representatives of Interdisciplinary Studies and those program areas The student
will receive feedback and their admission status will be updated accordingly

Mid-Point Self-Reflection Essay

This Mid-Point Self-Reflection Essay should be submitted once the student has
completed approximately 15 hours and should be sent electronically to interdisci-
plinary@wnmu edu If not completed when the student has 21 completed graduate
hours, a hold may be placed on the student's account This essay should address the
following issues in a 5-page (minimum), typed document (Microsoft word or pdf
format preferred):

1 Student Contact Information, including name, mailing address, phone number
and e-mail, summary of courses taken in the M A I S Program to date, organized
by field of study (this may include courses taken that the student has elected to
no longer include as part of their degree program - must be indicated);
2 Reflection on how the student's fields of study are connecting for them person-
ally, in an interdisciplinary manner, with illustration of such connections using
several of the courses they have taken up to this point;

/ graduate degree requirements

450

3 A list of courses they intend to take in order to complete the M A I S program,
again organized by the field of study Some students may find it very useful
to complete a blank degree plan as part of this exercise Those degree plans
are provided to students as part of the intake process Note: no signatures are
required at this time, but the student must sign the document;
4 The student must describe their interest in the interdisciplinary degree program
and how its suits their educational, professional, and personal goals Note: this
is something the student articulates as part of their entrance requirement The
student should revisit what they wrote at the time and address how their goals
have remained the same or changed since that time
This mid-point, self-reflection essay will be assessed on a completed, meets request as
outlined/not completed basis by the Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies, in consultation
with programmatic faculty

Exit Requirement:

As part of the M A I S program, the student is required to complete an exit exam,
project, or thesis in each of their areas of concentration Typically, these are free-
standing exit exams that serve only the specific field of study about which they are
testing In addition to these requirements for each field of study, the Department
of Interdisciplinary Studies requires that the student complete an Interdisciplinary
Exit Essay, addressing the connections between the 2 or 3 fields of study This
Interdisciplinary Exit Essay will require a 8-10 page typed paper including a summary
and reflection on the items listed below This exit must be completed in the semester
in which the student intends to graduate, or within one year of completing all of the
requirements of the degree, and should be e-mailed to interdisciplinary@wnmu edu
This project will be assessed on a completed, meets request as outlined/not completed
basis by the Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies, in consultation with programmatic
faculty
Each of the following must be addressed:
1 Student Contact Information, including name, mailing address, phone number
and e-mail;
2 Summary of courses taken to complete the M A I S Program, organized by field
of study (each course listed should appear on the graduation degree plan and the
student must include a completed degree plan as an appendix to this document)
Each course taken should be listed with a brief description of what is addressed;
3 Reflection on how the student's fields of study are connecting for them person-
ally, in an interdisciplinary manner, with illustration of such connections using
several of the courses they have taken The student is asked to include several
artifacts from the work they completed as part of this program The student
should include papers or projects that they completed as part of their degree that
were formed from their multiple disciplines The student might write a short
piece about how their course selection in one discipline was affected by their
learning and growth in the other disciplines(s)? While their exit requirements in

graduate degree requirements /

451

their fields of study may have tended to focus exclusively on those disciplines, the
student will use this opportunity to make connections between those disciplines
How might their learning in one area have really impacted their learning in the
other ares(s)?
4 Reflection on how the interdisciplinary degree program met their educational,
professional, and personal goals Note: this is something the student articulated
as part of their entrance requirement and mid-point requirements The student
might want to revisit what they wrote at those times and address how their goals
have remained the same or changed since then;
5 Description of the student's short and long term goals for the future, as they relate
to the completion of this M A I S program What are the personal, professional
and educational intentions for the future? How did this degree serve the student
in working toward those goals?
More information can be obtained about the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
from Jennifer Coleman, Ph D , Department Chair, at 575-538-6257 or colemanj1@
wnmu edu All general inquiries should be addressed to our M A I S student support
personnel at interdisciplinary@wnmu edu or by phone at 575-538-6650

Departments/Schools Offering Graduate Level Coursework

Allied Health, School of
Behavioral Sciences, Department of
Business Administration & Economics, School of
Chicana/o & Hemispheric Studies, Department of
Education, School of
Expressive Arts, Department of
Humanities, Department of
Mathematics & Computer Science, Department of
Natural Sciences, Department of
Social Sciences, Department of
Social Work, School of

Program Specific Admission and Graduation Requirements

Business Administration & Economics, School of

The School of Business Administration and Economics offers curriculum support for the
M A I S program in the fields of Business Administration and Management This school
has no additional admission requirements beyond those of the WNMU Graduate Division

Chicano/Chicana & Hemispheric Studies, Department of

This department has no additional admission requirements beyond those of the WNMU
Graduate Division

/ graduate degree requirements

452

Criminal Justice & Chemical Dependency, Department of

This department has no additional admission requirements beyond those of the WNMU
Graduate Division
A two hour written comprehensive exam is required for a student who is completing
nine hours of Criminal Justice coursework; a four hour exam is required for a student
who is completing 18 hours of Criminal Justice coursework The exam question(s) will
integrate concepts from across the spectrum of courses taken by the student
The comprehensive exam must be completed no later than one semester following
the completion of coursework The student must notify his/her academic advisor
by the end of the eighth week in the semester that he/she intends to complete the
comprehensive exam If the student doesn’t reside in the Silver City area, the student
is responsible for identifying a proctor and obtaining approval of the proctor from the
student’s academic advisor This must be completed by the end of the eighth week in
the semester If the student takes the comprehensive exam in the summer, notifica-
tion to the advisor, and selection and approval of a proctor (if applicable) must be
completed by the beginning of the summer session The exam should be administered
no later than four weeks prior to the end of the semester
Comprehensive exams are graded on a pass/fail basis The grader will provide written
feedback if the student fails the exam A student is allowed to re-take the exam once
New examination question(s) will be written and the test will be re-administered within
four weeks of notification to the student that he/she failed the first attempt
A student taking an 18 hour emphasis in Criminal Justice may choose a thesis option
Three credit hours of thesis may be counted towards the 18 hours of Criminal
Justice coursework Procedures for selecting a thesis topic and a thesis committee are
contained in the “Thesis Option” section of the catalog

Education, School of

The School of Education requires a specific program application process for admission
into any School of Education field of study All application materials (specified below)
must be submitted as one complete packet to the School of Education advisor(s) This
application packet is reviewed by the Advanced Programs Committee of the School
of Education After the committee reviews the application, the student is notified of
acceptance or denial into the desired field(s) of study within the School of Education
Upon acceptance, the student works with her or his advisor in the designated field(s)
of study to create a degree plan to be filed with the Registrar’s Office It is recom-
mended that the application process be completed and the student obtain acceptance
before beginning graduate courses within the School of Education Both the applica-
tion process and the degree plan must be completed by the end of the first semester
of graduate work

graduate degree requirements /

453

The Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies Program Application for the School of
Education includes the following:
• Data and Tracking Form, completed, form provided
• Criminal Record Disclosure Form, completed and signed, form provided
• Three letters of recommendation, using forms provided
• Writing sample of 2-3 pages, Topic: “Why I want a Master of Arts in
Interdisciplinary Studies degree in the fields of _______________________ ”

• Current Résumé
• Teacher Licensure Number Form (if applicable), completed and signed, form

provided
• Additional program specific admissions forms, as required
• (Note: Any field experience course will have additional requirements)
Application packets (including appropriate forms) are available from the School of
Education

Expressive Arts, Department of

The Expressive Arts Department offers curriculum support for the M A I S program
in the field of Art For graduate admission in Art, students must submit a portfolio of
accomplished artwork (20 images on CD/DVD), an autobiography, and a statement
of goals and art philosophy In addition, admission to the visual arts graduate program
requires a BA/BS or BFA degree in Art Students may petition for an exception to
this requirement Applications for the Art field of study in the M A I S program are
available from the Expressive Arts Department Each graduate Art student, once
admitted, must select an advisor in his or her area of studio concentration Students
admitted into the M A I S program are eligible to apply for the Graduate Assistantship
in the McCray Gallery

Humanities, Department of

This department has no additional admission requirements beyond those of the
WNMU Graduate Division

Comprehensive Final Exam in English (there is not a thesis option at this time)

The number of comprehensive questions to be answered depends upon the number
of credits taken in English
10 or more credits, the student will write on two questions
9 credits, the student will write on one question
The answers submitted will be substantial: 1,500-2,000 words each Answers will be
graded on a fail, pass, or high pass scale The English faculty will determine what steps
will be taken in the event an answer fails Students will develop their committees and
confer with their advisors about exams within the first two weeks of the semester in
which they will graduate

/ graduate degree requirements

454

Exit Requirement in Writing

The exit requirement for the writing discipline is a portfolio of the student's best work,
50 - 100 double-spaced pages, accompanied by a reflective essay that discusses the
students' achievements and goals in writing This essay should be substantive, about
1,500 - 2,000 words, and specific - address aspects of craft the student has learned in
their classes, ways the students learned to talk about writing with other writers, writing
projects they planned to complete or begin, the relationship they now have to writing
and what the student has learned as an editor and colleague in the M A I S Program,
with a discussion on how best to critique and discuss the work of other writers and
The student must use Standard English, appropriate terminology learned in their
classes, and highlight concepts that are new to the student The portfolio must be sent
to the student's advisor with their Student ID by the mid-semester of the semester in
which they are graduating See the online Writing Newsletter for the most up to date
instructions

Mathematics & Computer Science, Department of

This department has no additional admission requirements beyond those of the
WNMU Graduate Division

Natural Sciences, Department of

The Natural Sciences department offers curriculum support to students who are
interested in focusing on Biology within the M A I S program in Biology or a closely
related field, or a B A /B S degree in another field and sufficient preparatory course-
work in biological sciences as determined by the program advisor Students will select
a member of the full-time Biology faculty who will agree to serve as their advisor for
the Biology field of study Prior to enrolling in graduate coursework, graduate students
must secure a degree plan signed by their advisor A minimum of 18 credit hours in
Biology is recommended

Social Sciences, Department of

This department has no additional admission requirements beyond those of the
WNMU Graduate Division

Social Work, Department of

This department has no additional admission requirements beyond those of the
WNMU Graduate Division

graduate degree requirements /

455

Graduate Certificates

This unique program allows students to earn a Graduate Certificate in a specific
content area In addition to the Graduate Division Admission requirements, students
are asked to complete program specific admission requirements A Graduate
Certificate in a specific content area is available when a student has earned 18 hours
In most states, it appears that 18 hours at the graduate level qualifies people as
"content area experts" and are considered "qualified" to teach at the lower-division
college level These certificates allow students to document completion of 18 hours
within a field when done outside of or in addition to a separate master's degree
The following Concentration Areas are available for a Graduate Certificate:
Art
Biology
Chemical Dependency
Criminal Justice
History
Kinesiology
Political Science
Psychology
While these graduate certificates are not interdisciplinary programs, all students
pursuing these will be supported through the Interdisciplinary Studies Program
Office Students entering these certificate programs will be asked to briefly articulate
their goals and purpose for this work for program evaluation purposes

/ graduate course descriptions

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