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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Cross–Disciplinary Studies Program Requirements

The MS program in Cross–disciplinary Studies permits students to combine courses from two academic areas, and is designed for the highly motivated, self–directed student whose personal, educational, and/or career goals require an educational experience that might not be provided by a graduate program with a single area of emphasis. One primary academic discipline provides two–thirds of the classes, with courses from a second academic area constituting the remaining one–third of the program. A student may complete 30 credit thesis program or 34 credit alternate plan paper (APP) or, if applicable, another 34 credit capstone project program.

Because every admitted student will have a unique individualized academic program, it is essential that strict program requirements and policies be enforced. Please read the follow program requirements prior to starting the application process.

Application Considerations

  1. Applicants to the interdisciplinary studies program are expected to complete the Minnesota State University (MSU) graduate application form, submit the required application fee, and complete a program Plan of Study. Applicants to the program must have earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university, or the overseas equivalent. International students must submit the additional documents required for international applicants. All application documents and graduate policies are available on the web pages of the College of Graduate Study and Research.
  2. Applicants must have earned an undergraduate grade point average of at least a 3.0.
  3. Applicants must provide all of the application credentials required to apply to the primary discipline's graduate degree program. For example, if the primary academic discipline requires the GRE for consideration for admission to the graduate degree program, then the interdisciplinary studies applicant would also be expected to submit GRE results. Requirements for MSU's graduate degree programs are posted on the web pages of the College of Graduate Studies and Research.
  4. Each applicant must provide a statement of at least 300 words that informs the admissions committee of the applicant's personal and professional goals, and that also addresses why an existing graduate program offered by MSU does not meet these goals.
  5. The applicant must provide a brief synopsis of how each suggested course included in the Plan of Study will assist him/her in achieving the goals mentioned in the required essay. Course descriptions are available in the Graduate Bulletin on the College of Graduate Studies and Research web pages.
  6. Provisional admission to the program is not permitted. All undergraduate deficiencies must be completed prior to being admitted to the graduate program.
  7. The application must be approved by Graduate Coordinators of each of the selected academic departments and by the College of Graduate Studies and Research. If one member of this group does not endorse the application, the applicant will be notified and alternatives will be suggested.

Program Considerations

  1. Fifty percent of the coursework in each of the selected academic disciplines (excluding thesis, APP, or other capstone project credits) must be completed at the 600 level.
  2. A research methods course must be completed as part of the degree program. Students must select a research methods course offered by their primary academic area.
  3. No more than three credits of independent study may be used to complete the program.
  4. The admitted student's initial advisor will be assigned by the Graduate Coordinator of the primary academic area. The student's committee shall be composed of two graduate faculty members from the primary academic program, and one member from the secondary program. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the student's advisor. The Plan of Study submitted as part of the application will be considered the official plan of study unless changes are approved by all committee members.
  5. Students must complete the graduate degree capstone experience requirements of the primary academic program. The capstone experiences must include concepts and research gleaned from both of the student's selected academic disciplines.
  6. All graduate students should be familiar with the current policies of the College of Graduate Studies and Research. These policies, including the six year time limit to complete the degree, are available in the Graduate Bulletin, located on the web pages of the College.
  7. Students completing a thesis are expected to complete at least thirty appropriate credits. Students who do not write a thesis must complete at least thirty–four approved credits.

Checklist of Required Application Documents