Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I get an M.I.S. degree?
Interdisciplinary Studies, the basis of an interdisciplinary education, involves the study of the world around us and the choices we face as we live in it. An interdisciplinary education helps us understand who we are, what we are and where we are. It encourages us to communicate better with those around us.
What are M.I.S. students like?
At Indiana University Southeast, and other schools, M.I.S. students have diverse backgrounds and interests. Many are recent college graduates who simply miss the classroom and intellectual stimulation of a university environment. Some are teachers taking this program in addition to or in place of a Master of Science in Education. Some M.I.S. programs attract significant numbers of doctors, lawyers and other professionals whose careers are very narrowly focused. They enjoy opportunities to read, write and think in areas outside their professional expertise; others simply wish to have training and experience in graduate research. Finally, some businesses will pay to have their employees earn an M.I.S. degree because they understand that students who finish this degree will be able to read more perceptively, write more clearly, think more creatively, and thus be better, more productive employees. Presently, M.I.S. students at IU Southeast range in age from 23 to 65. Occupations vary from social worker to mid-level business manager and machinist to attorney.
How long can I take to finish the degree?
Most M.I.S. students progress through the program on a part-time basis, taking just one or two classes per semester. Although it is possible to finish the program in as little as three semesters, we anticipate most students will take from three to five years to earn their degrees. Per graduate school policy, course work may not be counted if it has been completed more than five years prior to awarding the degree. In order to maintain active student status, if a student does not complete D602 Graduate Project within the semester after he or she has registered, for a total of 3 hours, he or she must register for 1 hour of D602 each semester until the project is completed.
How much work outside of class do M.I.S. courses require?
In a recent survey, M.I.S. students reported that they spend on average 8 hours per week working on each M.I.S. course, in addition to classroom time. The amount of time spent on a course varies from student to student, but in general educators recommend that students plan to devote 3 hours outside of class for each credit hour in class.
What are the grade requirements?
M.I.S. students are expected to maintain a GPA of 3.00 or better throughout their participation in the program. Credit toward the M.I.S. degree is given only in courses for which students have earned a B or better. Should your GPA fall below 3.00 at any time, you will be asked to meet with the Director of the M.I.S. program and/or the M.I.S. program advisory council to discuss any problems you are having in the program. Students whose GPA falls below 3.00 may be placed on academic probation until they bring their GPA back to the 3.00 level.
Is there an orientation to the M.I.S. program?
All students admitted to the M.I.S. program are required to attend orientation at the beginning of their admission. Orientation is held in August and December of each year. Students will be introduced to the M.I.S. program, the program staff, requirements and faculty.
Can I transfer graduate credit hours?
A maximum of 6 graduate hours of course work, earned at an accredited institution, may be applied toward the M.I.S. degree at IU Southeast, subject to the approval of the director and the advisory council. Any transfer course credit cannot be over five years old when the M.I.S. degree is completed. However, the M.I.S. program cannot accept credit based on life experience, job skills or other non-academic accomplishments.
What happens if I get an incomplete?
When an incomplete is given, students have up to 12 months to complete the balance of the course. The grade of 'I' will be changed to an 'F' after 12 months.
What if I dropped out of the M.I.S. program without completing the degree - can I come back and finish?
We like to encourage students to complete their degree program if at all possible. This page provides various scenarios, so you can match your situation to the examples and see what the possibilities are. The first step is to restarting your M.I.S. program is to contact the M.I.S. director.
M.I.S. Policy for Students Returning after Stop-Out
Approved December 2008
If most of the coursework for the degree is complete (at most 1 course to take, separate from thesis credits), regardless of whether the coursework was completed, then
- Develop a one-year completion plan
- If the coursework is more than 5 years old, then the thesis committee will review each course in the light of the proposed thesis to determine if the coursework is out of date and should be repeated to bring the student up to speed.
- If a one-year completion plan is not feasible, then the student will be encouraged to start over.
Students who took "some" courses more than 5 years ago will be asked to start over.
One year deadline, with committee input
- Student has completed all coursework and started the thesis, but has reached the end of 5 years without finishing.
- Student has completed all coursework, but now has reached the end of 5 years without starting the thesis.
- Student with all coursework complete, only thesis remains, but one course is older than 5 years, and the clock is ticking (every semester that the thesis is delayed means more courses fall out of the 5-year time span).
Determine whether coursework is out of date, develop contract for completion
- Student with all course work complete, only thesis remains, but all coursework is 7-10 years old. How do we encourage this student to finish the degree while also ensuring the integrity of the degree?
- Student with most of the coursework complete, 1 elective and thesis remain, but all coursework is older than 5 years.
Student must restart program
- Student who took a few liberal studies courses more than 5 years ago.
Contact M.I.S. Director
How do I apply for graduation?
It is each students' responsibility to apply for graduation when nearing completion of the M.I.S. program. Applications must be filed in the M.I.S. office by:
- February 15 for May graduation
- February 15 for August graduation
- November 4 for December graduation
This allows the M.I.S. program staff to verify academic records and ensure graduation requirements have been met.
Forms are available in the M.I.S. office.
What are the Three Arts and Sciences Schools?
There are six schools on the IU Southeast campus: Three are professional schools and three are arts and sciences schools. The arts and sciences schools are Arts & Letters, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. The School of Arts & Letters is located in Knobview Hall. Departments in this school include: communication studies, English, fine arts, music, modern languages, philosophy, and theatre. The main office for the School of Natural Sciences is located in the Life Sciences building, although professors can also be found in the Physical Sciences building. Departments in Natural Sciences include: biology, chemistry, computer science, geosciences, informatics, mathematics, and physics. Finally, the School of Social Sciences is located in Crestview Hall. Departments include: criminal justice, history, international studies, journalism, political science, psychology, sociology, and women & gender studies.
In general, what is a master's thesis like?
Given the interdisciplinary nature of the M.I.S. program, it is hard to describe a typical thesis project, because each project is as individual as the student who completes it. It's a very general map; depending on the nature of your project, you may have more chapters or different content, but it gives you an idea of what you should be considering.