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The Purpose of Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary Studies helps us to value the world by integrating aspects of the three schools, arts and letters, natural science, and social science. By doing this, the curriculum helps us to understand why we view ourselves and our surroundings the way that we do. It encourages us to communicate better with those around us. A interdisciplinary education gives a greater appreciation for the literature, music, and visual arts that society offers us. It helps us to comprehend the complex social and political programs of the contemporary world and facilitates our ability to make use of today's rapidly evolving technology.

An Individualized Program of Study

The Master of Interdisciplinary Studies program is designed to allow students flexibility to fashion a course of study that blends their interests, talents and experience. Students, under guidance of their faculty advisor, may choose graduate courses and seminars in a variety of disciplines within the schools of arts and letters and the sciences. The program culminates with a thesis or alternative project that will grow out of the information and methodologies acquired throughout the course work. In order to complete a thesis a student must carry out an extensive amount of research and analysis on an interdisciplinary topic with assistance of a faculty committee. Three thesis options are available: traditional, creative, and applied.

Program Mission

Students who have completed the MIS program will demonstrate:

  • understanding of the methods of intellectual inquiry in multiple disciplines
  • development of broader knowledge base with sufficient depth
  • improved ability to critically analyze information
  • ability to synthesize knowledge to examine complex issues
  • capacity to apply learning to make informed decisions
  • ability to communicate effectively

Feed Your Mind

If you're a student looking to reach beyond a bachelor's degree, a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies could be the challenge you desire. This interdisciplinary liberal arts program offers students a greater appreciation for the humanities and the sciences. In addition, graduates of the MIS program understand the reciprocal relationship between the complex social and political structures of the contemporary world and humanity.

With a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies students can pursue careers in a variety of fields. Alumni of this program are qualified to work in education, social services, and law. Graduates may also decide to continue their education in a Ph.D. program. The options are infinite when you pursue a Masters degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.

For regular admission, students must have completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale. Exceptions can be made at the discretion of the Director and the Advisory Committee.

Application deadlines

Applications are accepted anytime, but deadlines exist for starting in a particular semester.

Fall August 10
Spring January 2
Summer I & II April 15

Application Requirements

Applications to Interdisciplinary studies programs (either MIS or Graduate Certificate) are submitted via this on-line process: MIS Online Application

All of the material listed below will be submitted via this link; we list them here for your information:

1. Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

Note: other graduate admissions tests will also be accepted (e.g., GMAT, LSAT)

Note: a voucher for reduction in fees for the GRE is available. Check with the Financial Aid office for further info and qualifications.

2. Three letters of recommendation.

The on-line application process will request mail and e-mail addresses of your references and it will automatically send them an email requesting a recommendation. It is in your best interest to (a) warn your references that the e-mail will be coming and (b) ask people to write letters who can speak to your ability to succeed in a graduate program. Former professors make better references than relatives or friends.

3. You will be asked to upload a statement of personal and educational objectives:
  • Why do you wish to study in the Master in Interdisciplinary Studies program?
  • What your objectives are in so doing?
  • Indicate major and minor areas of interest for your coursework in the MIS program.
  • What strengths and weaknesses do you bring to this kind of graduate study?
4. All undergraduate transcripts--complete and official.

You will be asked to list all previous schools attended, but it is your responsibility to contact the schools for official transcripts. Note that you do not need to request any IU system transcripts; the MIS office can access IU transcripts.

5. Application fee: $35.

In order to complete the on-line submission process you will have to make electronic payment of the application fee via IU PayPlus.

6. Conversation with the MIS Director.

Once the complete application has been received, the MIS director will contact you to schedule a conversation, either in-person or by telephone, at your convenience.


University Police, University Center North, Room UC 027 (812) 941-2400 In compliance with the federal Campus Security Act, IU Southeast produces a pamphlet containing information on campus safety and security that includes crime statistics information. The pamphlet is available upon request from the University Police or the University Police Website.

Two Graduate Options:

Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies: 34 credit hours

Fully accredited master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies that includes foundational coursework, electives, and a graduate thesis project.

The Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies allows students to design their own course of graduate study. For those students who prefer more guidance in their selection of a course of study, concentrations within the program are available. Note that students are not required to select one of these concentrations; they are optional.

Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Studies: 16 credit hours

Graduate certificate that includes foundational coursework in interdisciplinary studies and relevant electives; allows students to demonstrate their capacity for graduate work or to pursue graduate coursework.


LBST D502: Social Sciences Seminar (3 cr.)
China in American Eyes & Minds - Shen
6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. M
Summer Session Two

A study of US-China relations through the prism of cultural perceptions by the Americans of the Chinese. Perceptions are not policy; American perceptions are not American policy toward China. Perceptions could feed public opinion, affecting policy. Perceptions reflect an understanding or misunderstanding of another culture and its people. The course examines perceptions and investigates how and why these perceptions were formed and how and why they have persisted.

LBST D601: Graduate Project Proposal Seminar (3 cr.)
6 – 7:30pm T
May 13 – August 5

Working as a group and independently, students will research and develop a thesis proposal. Students will complete the literature review, develop their methodology, identify their thesis committee, and develop knowledge of the relevant research ethics. At the end of the semester students will be prepared to submit their thesis proposal to their thesis committee.


LBST D501: Humanities Seminar  (3 cr.)
Discursive Space – Babb
6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. T

This course will examine the relationship between space, whether physical, digital, imagined, or remembered, and the ways human interactions shape and are shaped by space through rhetoric. The study of space is fundamentally interdisciplinary are of inquiry, informed by scholarship in cultural and human geography, sociology, philosophy, literary studies, communication studies, gender studies, the fine arts, and rhetoric and composition. The study of space enhances our understanding of the role of space in the production and consumption of texts, whether written, spoken, visual, or digital.

LBST D502: Social Sciences Seminar (3 cr.)
Women and Global Society – Hare
5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. R

This course examines the status of women throughout the world, focusing on developing countries. The purpose of the course is to provide an international examination of conditions for women, covering topics including: economic power, political and legal power, violence against women, reproductive health, women’s work and labor issues, environmental sustainability, religion, social movements, and the effects of globalization on women.

LBST D503: Natural Sciences Seminar (3 cr.)
The Philosophy and Science of Yoga – Manwani 
4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. MW

The goal of the course is to understand yoga and to use it as an enhancement of mental and physical health. The course surveys the ancient philosophy behind yogic practices and scientific data concerning the benefits on the mind and body. Physical practice of yoga will be involved.

LBST D510: Intro to Grad Liberal Studies (4 cr.)
6 p.m. – 7:50 p.m. MW

The course provides a comprehensive introduction to graduate liberal studies, as well as preparing students to participate successfully in all facets of the MIS program. The course will examine principles of intellectual inquiry in the three fields represented in the MIS program: Arts & Letters, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. These methods will be applied to the Common Experience topic for the year.

Thesis Project Responsibilities

The thesis work that MIS students undertake is designed to be interdisciplinary in nature. As a result, the conduct and product of their research may be unfamiliar to faculty from a "uni-disciplinary" background. This document outlines the responsibilities of all parties.

Additional Thesis Documents


Indiana Residents pay the standard graduate tuition for courses they take. IU Southeast and the University of Louisville signed a reciprocity agreement allowing students from Jefferson, Oldham, and Bullitt Counties to enroll in the MIS program and pay in-state tuition rates.

Financial Assistance

Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid about the availability of loans and scholarships.

Phone : (812) 941-2246



The MIS program distributes $4000 in scholarship funding to new first-year students in the MIS program who demonstrate academic merit. The funds are typically used to fund 3 to 4 scholarships.  To be eligible, students must submit a complete application to the MIS program by July 15. Applicants will be notified within one month if they have been awarded a scholarship for graduate study.

What can I do with an MIS degree?

We like to say that the Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies is good for nothing – instead, it’s good for everything. What we mean is that the MIS degree is not designed to prepare you for a specific career; it’s designed to exercise and develop your mind so you are prepared for a variety of career opportunities.

Albert Einstein said, “Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.”

The point is that many routine and even complex tasks are being outsourced to computers today, but the MIS degree is designed to foster exactly the kind of talents that people have and computers do not. Today’s successful workers need to be innovative, creative, and broad-minded thinkers who are capable of:

  • Flexibility of mind
  • Confidence in their abilities
  • Innovative methods
  • Ability to approach problems/issues from multiple perspectives with creativity

The world changes quickly and most people make many career changes during their working lives. The MIS degree allows you to enrich your personal and professional life by developing your love of learning as a survival skill in a world of constant change.

The MIS degree allows you to design your own interdisciplinary master’s degree: it gives you the opportunity to develop mastery of a self-defined discipline. In other words, instead of following lockstep in a discipline of someone else’s choosing, you get the opportunity to design your own degree and chose to develop the right knowledge base and skill set for what you want to do next.

Getting an MIS degree at IU Southeast has helped numerous students achieve advancement in their careers or develop new careers.