Are you a college graduate seeking an advanced certificate you can tailor to your own personal or professional needs?

Our graduate certificate in interdisciplinary studies delivers a unique mix of substance and flexibility to help you attain your goals. And it places you within easy reach of a master’s degree, to help you advance at a time when synergies among varied skillsets is in high demand.

Certificate Requirements

All of the requirements for the graduate certificate are also requirements for the master’s degree. Students who choose to continue would need to complete an additional M.I.S. seminar, 9 additional elective credit hours, and 6 credit hours of work on a thesis project. In total, completing the Master of Interdisciplinary Studies would require an additional 18 credit hours.

Required Courses

The graduate certificate in interdisciplinary studies is a 16-credit-hour program involving seminars and readings, with both required courses and electives.

Required courses (10 credit hours)
Dept./Course # Title Credit Hours
IDIS-D 510 Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies 4
MIS Seminars (6 credit hours)*
Dept./Course # Title Credit Hours
IDIS-D 501 Humanities Seminar 3
IDIS-D 502 Social Sciences Seminar 3
IDIS-D 503 Natural Sciences Seminar 3

*Students are required to take a minimum of six (6) hours of graduate seminars. You must take at least one (1) seminar in two different area: arts and letters, natural sciences or social sciences. Typically this would mean that you would take a three (3) hour seminar in two areas.

However, we sometimes offer mini seminars (1 credit in one area). In that case, students must take three or more hours in another area to reach a minimum total of six (6) credit hours or more.

If you take more than six hours of seminar, the hours above six will count as electives. All seminars are interdisciplinary. The numbers indicate the division of the instructor and hence the area of emphasis in the course. Instructors do not assume that all students taking their seminars have extensive backgrounds in their discipline.

Electives (6 credit hours)
Dept./Course # Title Credit Hours
300- or 400- level course** 3
IDIS-D 511 Humanities elective 3
IDIS-D 512 Social Sciences elective 3
IDIS-D 513 Natural Sciences elective 3
IDIS-D 594 Readings 3

*To complete the graduate certificate, students will choose 6 credit hours of elective courses in a single field of study. You may choose from among courses offered by the Schools of Arts and Letters, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences as well as from those offered by the professional schools: Business, Education, and Nursing. Students may elect to take additional seminars beyond the six (6) hours required above. Any additional hours of seminar beyond six (6) can count as electives.

**You may also elect to take a 300- or 400-level undergraduate level course as a M.I.S. graduate course if you follow these steps:

  1. You must ask permission of the instructor to take the course for graduate credit at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester.
  2. Negotiate with the instructor on what additional work you will do to earn graduate credit for the course.
  3. Submit an Application for Graduate Credit, signed by both you and the instructor.
  4. When the application has been approved by the MIS Director, the MIS office will assign a section number to the graduate interdisciplinary studies course (D511, D512, D513). If you register using the undergraduate number, it will not count toward your degree.
  5. Do not register for the undergraduate course to save a place in class. The graduate course is listed separately.

Students may take the D594 Readings course to focus on a topic or combination of topics that is not available via M.I.S. seminars or 300/400 level courses. Students must submit an application to take D594 to the M.I.S. Director. The application form details the methods to be used to meet the Graduate Competencies for Elective Courses and must be signed by both the instructor and the student.

Admission Process

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.

Session Deadline


August 10


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.


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Advising in the M.I.S. graduate certificate program takes place both during the admissions process, when the director schedules an initial conversation with the applicant upon receipt of the complete application, and continuously over the course of the program, as individual degree pathways evolve.

For more information, contact Dr. Deborah Finkel, director of the M.I.S. program.

Photo of Deborah Finkel

Deborah Finkel Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology

Crestview Hall 019
Phone: (812) 941-2668

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