The Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (M.I.S.) degree program provides an opportunity for the highly motivated student to pursue a unique course of study that combines graduate course work in a learner-centered approach to graduate education. The student is an active participant in proposing a curriculum that supports an individualized and scholastically rigorous academic goal in a clearly defined, multidisciplinary program. To expand the program’s range of options and interdisciplinary perspectives, the program allows for cooperative ventures with other approved colleges and universities.

Program goals

  1. To provide the highly motivated graduate student with the opportunity to develop and complete an individualized and learner-centered course of study that combines graduate course work in multiple academic disciplines in order to meet a unique scholarly goal
  2. To provide skills required for a wide range of positions or for further advanced study
  3. To provide for the student’s mastery and synthesis of course content in the academic focus areas, culminating in the design, implementation, interpretation and communication of the results of a capstone research project related to the scholarly goal of the student’s interdisciplinary course of study

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students must demonstrate general knowledge and synthesis of two or more academic focus areas combined in an approved interdisciplinary course of study with relevant electives, research methodology and independent study through mastery of individual course work and the synthesis of that course work into a final research project.
  2. Students must demonstrate oral and written communication skills to convey effectively the assimilated, synthesized knowledge gained from their interdisciplinary study.
  3. Students must demonstrate the ability to design and conduct an independent research project or study that exhibits skills of synthesis, analysis and critical thinking, that is directly related to the purpose of the unique scholarly goal identified as part of the admissions process and that is reflected in the academic focus areas in the approved course of study.
  4. Students must demonstrate the achievement of an appropriate level of competence in the ability to design and develop the research protocol and to evaluate and present the outcomes.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.