The MA in interdisciplinary studies is for students who seek a master's degree that integrates knowledge from several disciplines. It addresses the rapidly evolving demand for unique graduate study by promoting advanced scholarship that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. Students can pursue one of the following structured interdisciplinary concentrations and also have the opportunity to design an individualized concentration to meet the special needs of their careers.

The MAIS in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Energy and Sustainability is a Green Leaf program

Admissions

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to the MA in Interdisciplinary Studies, see Application Requirements and Deadlines.

Applicants must show a capacity for original thought in cross-disciplinary research. There may be additional skills required of students applying to specific concentrations. Students will be admitted to the Individualized Studies concentration only if the applicant identifies a Mason Faculty member appropriate for the intended course of study who is willing to serve as the student’s advisor.

Policies

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Credit Restrictions

Courses applied to the degree are subject to the following restrictions:

  • a maximum of 6 credits may be earned through independent study or directed readings and research courses
  • a maximum of 6 credits may be taken through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area
  • a maximum of 15 credits may be transfer credits
  • a maximum of 6 of the transfer credits may be from other accredited institutions

Transfer credits include credits taken before first enrolling as an admitted degree-seeking student (at another institution, in another Mason graduate program, or in Mason nondegree status) or credits taken at another institution after admission to the degree program through study abroad or study elsewhere (which requires prior written approval of the director and the dean). Additional information may be found in Academic Policies.

Banner Code: LA-MAIS-ISIN

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 36

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Students pursuing this degree must successfully complete 36 credits of graduate coursework in one of the concentrations which follow. Students must submit a curriculum worksheet that has been approved by their concentration head and the director. All students complete their work in the program with a project or thesis.

Concentration in Computational Social Science (CSS)

Computational social science (CSS) is a relatively new interdisciplinary science in which social science questions are investigated with modern computational tools. Computational social scientists investigate complex social phenomena such as economic markets, traffic control, and political systems by simulating the interactions of the many actors in such systems on computers. They hope to gain insights which will lead to better management of the behavior of the larger social systems, i.e., prevention of market crashes, smoothed traffic flow, or maintenance of political stability. The intractability of many social problems calls for the new approaches provided by computational social science.

CSS is a highly interdisciplinary field that requires teams to plan and complete projects, be they undertaken by government, industry, or non-profit entities. Project managers of such teams, overseeing all elements of project design and execution, tend to hold PhDs. The MAIS concentration will train students to be members of these project teams, able to meaningfully contribute to background research and to project design, execution, and communication.

Prior background should include a bachelor’s degree in one of the social sciences, in computer science, in engineering, or in a relevant discipline, as well as undergraduate courses in these and related areas. Bachelor’s degrees in other areas are also eligible, but the student may be required to take additional courses in social science, mathematics, or computer science as prerequisites to admission.

Required Course of Proseminar

MAIS 796MAIS ProSeminar1
Total Credits1

Core Courses

Required Courses 1
CSS 600Introduction to Computational Social Science3
CSS 605Object-Oriented Modeling in Social Science3
CSS 610Agent-based Modeling and Simulation3
Electives 2
Select three electives from the following:9
Origins of Social Complexity
Complexity Theory in the Social Sciences
Spatial Agent-Based Models of Human-Environment Interactions
Social Network Analysis
Topics in Computational Social Science
Total Credits18
1

The required CSS courses provide an understanding of the conceptual, technical, and practical foundations of computational social science.

2

The electives provide an understanding of the technical foundations and current work in at least two subfields of computational social science.

Research Course

The research course provides students with exposure to the most current ongoing research in the field and allows them to further develop their computational research expertise.

Select one from the following:3
Directed Reading and Research
Research Colloquium in Computational Social Science
Colloquium in Computational Social Science
Total Credits3

Electives

The electives allow students to acquire a substantive specialization as well as additional training in social and computational science. Because of the broad spectrum of social science phenomena, methodologies, and student backgrounds, there is a large pool of potential courses. Electives may include any Mason master's-level course in computational social science, social science, computer science, statistics, or other quantitative methods such as data visualization, information technology, and geographic information science. Electives should be selected in conjunction with and approval of the student's advisor and the Director of CSS Graduate Studies. If the student does not have prior coursework in multivariate statistical analysis, the electives should include at least one such course relevant for the student's chosen specialization.

Students who elect to complete a 4-credit project or thesis take 9 elective credits. Students who complete a 1-credit project take 12 elective credits.

Proposal

MAIS 797Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal1
Total Credits1

Project or Thesis

Nine to twelve credits of electives9-12
Select one from the following:1-4
Interdisciplinary Studies Project (minimum of 1 credit)
Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 4 credits)
Total Credits13

Concentration in Energy and Sustainability (EAS)

This concentration is designed for students interested in careers in energy and sustainability-related positions in the public, private, or non-profit sectors, including law, national and international policy, media, government, and business. As one of the University's Green Leaf academic programs, the concentration in energy and sustainability focuses on finding ways to meet present needs for energy and material goods without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. A sustainability education lies at the intersection of environmental science, engineering, economics, business, public policy, social justice, and many other areas. Energy required to fuel all of these endeavors is a crucial component of sustainability.

Required Course of Interdisciplinary Studies Proseminar

MAIS 796MAIS ProSeminar1
Total Credits1

Core Courses in Energy and Sustainability

Required Courses
EVPP 533Energy Policy3
GGS 507Sustainable Development3
Natural Science Course
PHYS 581Topics in Renewable Energy3
or GEOL 521 Geology of Energy Resources
Total Credits9

Energy, Sustainability or Environmental Policy

Students choose from the following courses or other relevant courses chosen in consultation with an advisor.

Select two courses from the following:6
National Security Technology and Policy
Special Topics in Economics (when the topic involves environmental or sustainability policy)
Selected Topics in Environmental Science (when the topic involves energy or sustainability policy; take 3 credits)
Corporate Environmental Management and Policy
Environmental Policy
Economics of Human/Environment Interactions
Topics in Public Policy (when the topic involves environmental or sustainability issues)
Total Credits6

Humanities or Social Science Approaches to Sustainability and Environmental Issues

Students choose from the following courses or other relevant courses chosen in consultation with an advisor.

Select two courses from the following:6
Climate Change and Sustainability Communication Campaigns
Problems in American History (when the topic involves environmental or sustainability issues)
Special Topics in Economics (when the topic involves environmental or sustainability policy)
Contemporary Issues in Social Justice Human Rights
International Environmental Politics
Environmental Ethics
Religion and the Natural Environment
Total Credits6

Planning, Modeling, or Management

Students choose from the following courses or other relevant courses chosen in consultation with an advisor.

Select one from the following:3-4
Infrastructure Modeling
Ecosystem Analysis and Modeling
Directed Studies in Environmental Science and Public Policy (take 3 credits)
Total Credits3-4

Natural Science

Students choose from the following courses or other relevant courses chosen in consultation with an advisor.

Select one from the following:3
Scientific Basis of Climate Change
Fundamentals of Ecology
Applied Ecology and Ecosystem Management
Total Credits3

Electives

Students who wish to take MAIS 798 Interdisciplinary Studies Project for their capstone research experience will take one course (3 credits) of electives from courses listed below or other relevant course chosen in consultation with an advisor. Students who wish to take MAIS 799 Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis will not take an elective course.

Select 0-3 credits from the following:0-3
National Security Technology and Policy
Infrastructure Modeling
Scientific Basis of Climate Change
Climate Change and Sustainability Communication Campaigns
Special Topics in Economics (when the topic involves environmental or sustainability policy)
Selected Topics in Environmental Science (when the topic involves energy or sustainability policy; take 3 credits)
Fundamentals of Ecology
Corporate Environmental Management and Policy
Environmental Policy
Ecosystem Analysis and Modeling
Applied Ecology and Ecosystem Management
Directed Studies in Environmental Science and Public Policy (take 3 credits)
Geology of Energy Resources
Economics of Human/Environment Interactions
Problems in American History (when the topic involves environmental or sustainability issues)
Contemporary Issues in Social Justice Human Rights
International Environmental Politics
Environmental Ethics
Topics in Renewable Energy
Topics in Public Policy (when the topic involves environmental or sustainability issues)
Religion and the Natural Environment
Total Credits0-3

Research Methods Course

Students choose one of the following courses or other relevant courses in consultation with an advisor.

Select one course from the following:3
Numerical Methods for Bioinformatics
Qualitative Research Methods for Environmental Scientists
Ecosystem Analysis and Modeling
Multivariate Data Analysis for Ecology and Environmental Science
Computational Methods in Engineering and Statistics
Topics in Public Policy
Methods and Logic of Social Inquiry
Total Credits3

Proposal

MAIS 797Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal1
Total Credits1

Project or Thesis

Students who wish to do a project in lieu of a thesis will take 1 credit of MAIS 798 Interdisciplinary Studies Project and an additional 3 credit elective course from the courses listed under the electives requirement. Students who choose to write a thesis will take 4 credits of MAIS 799 Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis and no additional electives.

Zero to three credits of electives0-3
Select one from the following:1-4
Interdisciplinary Studies Project (minimum of 1 credit)
Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 4 credits)
Total Credits4

Concentration in Folklore Studies (FLKS)

This concentration explores the processes of tradition that move through multiple expressive forms, such as folktales, folk beliefs, folk medicine, folk art, folksong, and literature. A discipline based on ethnographic fieldwork, folklore offers students a chance to work in communities and collect living traditional materials that are critical to human identity and values. Interdisciplinary by nature, folklore thrives on local particularities and compelling global connections. Internships in the many Washington, D.C., metropolitan area folklore organizations are central to students’ experiences. This course of study prepares students for careers in cultural agencies, governmental organizations, teaching institutions, and advanced study in the humanities.

Students pursuing this concentration must complete at least 6 credits of courses from outside the English Department.

Required Course of Proseminar

MAIS 796MAIS ProSeminar1
Total Credits1

Core Courses

Special Topics in Folklore
Select 9 credits from the following: 19
Topics in Folk Narrative
Topics in Folklore Studies
Advanced Topics in Folklore Studies
Directed Reading and Research (take 3 credits)
Pathways in Folklore Scholarship
ENGH 681Advanced Topics in Folklore Studies (when topic is Pathways to Folklore Scholarship)3
Internship in Folklore
Three credits of3
Internship in Folklore
Research Methodology Course
Select 3 credits from the following:3
Research in English Studies
The Study and Writing of History
Qualitative Research Methods
Total Credits18
1

Courses may be repeated.

Specialization

Students choose an area of specialization which must be approved by a faculty advisor. Specialization topics include public folklore (museums, archives, arts and humanities councils, and nonprofit organizations); folklore (ethnicity and immigration); folklore and literature; folklore and the teaching of writing and literature; folklore and history; and folklore and conflict resolution. Students can also opt for open specialization, with courses chosen in consultation with advisor. Possibilities include folklore and editing, applied storytelling, folklore and mythology, folklore and art history, folklore and gender studies, and folklore and communication.

Electives

Electives require the prior written approval of a faculty advisor. Student who elect to do a 1 credit project take 6 elective credits. Students who do a 4 credit thesis take 3 elective credits.

Select one to two electives3-6
Total Credits3-6

Proposal

MAIS 797Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal1
Total Credits1

Project or Thesis

Select one from the following:1-4
Interdisciplinary Studies Project (take 1 credit)
Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 4 credits)
Total Credits1-4

Concentration in Higher Education (HEDU)

This concentration prepares individuals for administrative and leadership positions in colleges and universities, associations, and government agencies whose activities affect higher education. Within the concentration, students may choose to emphasize administration or student affairs.

Required Course of Proseminar

MAIS 796MAIS ProSeminar1
Total Credits1

Core Courses

HE 621Higher Education in the United States3
or HE 601 The Community College
Select three additional core courses from relevant courses in consultation with an advisor9
Total Credits12

Research Methodology

Select one course of research methodology courses3
Total Credits3

Specialization

HE 722Organization and Administration in Higher Education3
or HE 644 Student Services in Higher Education
Total Credits3

Electives

Select three to four electives in consultation with advisor. 19-12
Total Credits9-12
1

The number of elective credits will vary depending on the number of project credits.

Practicum

HE 685Practicum3
Total Credits3

Proposal

MAIS 797Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal1
Total Credits1

Project or Thesis

Select one from the following:1-4
Interdisciplinary Studies Project (minimum of 1 credit)
Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 4 credits)
Total Credits1-4

Concentration in Neuroethics (NETH)

The MAIS concentration in neuroethics is a joint program of the interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program and the Department of Philosophy. It offers students a unique opportunity to study key ethical issues arising from advances in neuroscience research and technologies. The degree is sutiable for students interested in doctoral work in neuroscience, cognitive science, clinical bioethics, or the study of law. It also can serve as an entry point for employment into government or private sector industries of ethic and policy related brain science issues.

The degree is intended for students interested in doctoral work in neuroscience, cognitive science, or bioethics. It also can help students who will work on medical and scientific research projects in government or the private sector.

Admission to the Neuroethics Program is open to students with an undergraduate degree in many fields. Applicants should demonstrate proficiency in at least two of the following academic areas as evidenced by 18 or more credits of undergraduate or graduate coursework.

  • Biology

  • Bioengineering

  • Chemistry

  • Ethics/Philosophy

  • Medical Education

  • Neuroscience

  • Psychology

Students in the MAIS program in neuroethics must complete 32 course credits consisting of a proseminar, five core courses and six electives that match the educational objectives of the student. In addition, students are required to write a thesis or complete a two-semester project, for a total of 36 credits.

Required Course of Proseminar

MAIS 796MAIS ProSeminar1
Total Credits1

Core Courses in Ethics and Neuroscience

PHIL 640History of Ethical Theory3
PHIL 642Biomedical Ethics3
NEUR 602Cellular Neuroscience3
NEUR 612Neuroethics3
NEUR 709Neuroscience Seminars1
Total Credits13

Electives

Students may choose to specialize in cognitive neuroethics or public neuroethics. All students are encouraged to plan their coursework in consultation with the neuroethics concentration head.

Specialization in Cognitive Neuroethics
Select 18 credits from the courses below or other relevant course chosen in consultation with an advisor.18
Human Genetics
Health Communication
Chemistry and the Brain
Molecular Neuropharmacology
Introduction to Neuroimaging
Research Methods
Cognitive Neuroscience
Introduction to Neurobiology
Mammalian Neurobiology
Psychometric Methods
Total Credits18
Specialization in Public Neuroethics
Select 18 credits from the courses below or other relevant course chosen in consultation with an advisor.18
Health Communication
Science Communication
Science and the Public
Philosophical Foundation of Neuroscience
Molecular Neuropharmacology
Environmental Ethics
Research Ethics
Special Topics in Contemporary Philosophy (when the topic is related to neuroethics)
Advanced Seminar in Philosophy (when the topic is related to neuroethics)
Current Issues in Cognitive Science
Introduction to Neurobiology
Cognitive Neuroscience
Cognitive Bases of Behavior
Biological Bases of Human Behavior
Total Credits18

Proposal

MAIS 797Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal1
Total Credits1

Project or Thesis

Students cap their study by writing a master's thesis or completing a two-semester project in an area of neuroethics. The project may involve student observation and involvement in scientific research, clinical work, or policy setting.

Select one from the following:3
Interdisciplinary Studies Project (take 3 credits)
Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 3 credits)
Total Credits3

Concentration in Religion, Culture, and Values (RCV)

The concentration in religion, culture, and values is particularly relevant for students who are interested in careers in law, national and international government, print and media journalism, library sciences, archives and museums, public and social service, teaching, advanced graduate studies, and religious communities and institutions. The Washington, DC metropolitan area is rich in the presence of many major religious traditions and their places of worship.

The core courses introduce students to the study of religion as a unique and rigorous intellectual discipline. Students learn to evaluate a variety of perspectives on religion and gain a clear understanding of the dimension of the sacred in all aspects of human life including those commonly designated "secular". Students discover how religious perceptions of the sacred respond to an evolving world and relate to and influence cultures, institutions, and values.

Students also examine the effects of historical crises and the forces of change on religions including contemporary religious pluralism and inter-religious dialogue. Students gain a deeper knowledge of specific traditions and a more profound understanding of values and worldviews from the viewpoint of cultural diversity and religious pluralism.

Required Course of Proseminar

MAIS 796MAIS ProSeminar1
Total Credits1

Core Courses

Select two courses from the following:6
Approaches to the Study of Religion
Sacred as Secular in Modern Spirituality
World Religions in Conflict and Dialogue
World Religions in Transition and Transformation
Total Credits6

Religious Studies

Select two or three courses from the following:6-9
Special Topics in Religious Studies (may be repeated for credit)
Ethical Perspectives of World Religions
Religion and the Natural Environment
Sacred Language, Scripture, and Culture
Total Credits6-9

Research Methodology

HIST 610The Study and Writing of History3
or SOCI 634 Qualitative Research Methods
Total Credits3

Specialization

Specialization in Religion, Culture, and Communication

Students take the course below and one or two other relevant courses chosen in consultation with an advisor.

COMM 605Intercultural Communication3
Total Credits3
Specialization in Religious Traditions and Conflict Analysis and Resolution
CONF 695Selected Topics (if appropriate)3
CONF 702Peace Studies3
CONF 722Conflict and Religion3
Total Credits9
Specialization in Religion, Culture, and Ethics
RELI 633Ethical Perspectives of World Religions3
PHIL 640History of Ethical Theory3
PHIL 643Environmental Ethics3
Total Credits9
Specialization in Religion, Values, and International Politics
GOVT 540International Relations3
GOVT 741Advanced Seminar in International Politics (if appropriate)3
Total Credits6

Electives

Students choose electives in consultation with their advisor, bearing in mind their specialization, project, or thesis topic. Any of the courses under the specializations listed above or courses from other disciplines listed below may be used as electives.

Select one to four courses from the following:3-12
Anthropology and the Human Condition: Seminar I
Ritual and Power in Social Life
Independent Study in Sociocultural Anthropology
Intercultural Communication
Selected Topics
Peace Studies
Conflict and Religion
Introduction to Culturally Linguistically Diverse Learners
Topics in Folklore Studies
International Relations
Advanced Seminar in International Politics
Approaches to Modern World History
Movements and Issues in the History of Political Philosophy
History of Ethical Theory
Environmental Ethics
Sociology of Culture
Women and Global Issues
Total Credits3-12

Proposal

MAIS 797Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal1
Total Credits1

Project or Thesis

Select one from the following:1-4
Interdisciplinary Studies Project
Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 4 credits)
Total Credits1-4

Concentration in Social Entrepreneurship (SOCE)

The concentration in social entrepreneurship will equip students with the subject matter expertise, strategic knowledge, technical support, and social networks needed to create, operate, develop, and accelerate startups; bring ideas to scale; and improve an existing program's effectiveness. These future leaders will learn about sustainability, ethical leadership, strategic management, and working effectively within complex networks made up of divergent groups of stakeholders. All students will complete a capstone research project and an experiential learning requirement that deliver practical knowledge and real-world experience. This degree is suitable for students seeking careers in government, business, or the non-profit sector.

Required Course of Proseminar

MAIS 796MAIS ProSeminar1
Total Credits1

Core Courses

Social Entrepreneurship and Leadership
Three credits of3
Experiential Learning (when topic is Foundations of Social Innovation)
Three credits of3
Experiential Learning (when topic is Leading Social Change)
Business
Select one course from the following:3
Analysis of Financial Decisions
Special Topics in Graduate School of Business (when topic is Introduction to Entrepreneurship)
Entrepreneurship
Total Credits9

Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Competencies in Social Entrepreneurship

Students take three courses from the list of competencies below to complement the skills they have already acquired through formal education and professional experience, or other courses to enhance their skills, including oral and written communication, that are chosen in consultation with an advisor.

Environmental and Public Policy
EVPP 638Corporate Environmental Management and Policy3
PUBP 761Social Entrepreneurship and Public Policy3
PUBP 784Entrepreneurship, Economics, and Public Policy3
Total Credits9
Finance and Accounting
GBUS 540Analysis of Financial Decisions3
PUAD 655Philanthropy and Fund Raising3
PUAD 664Nonprofit Financial Management3
Total Credits9
Business and Project Management
Select 9 credits from the following:9
Special Topics in Graduate School of Business (when topic is Introduction to Entrepreneurship)
Entrepreneurship
Project Management
Managing Growth of Small Businesses
Turning Ideas into Successful Companies
Introduction to Management of Nonprofits
Social Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Enterprise
Nonprofit Law, Governance, and Ethics
Total Credits9
Leadership and Well-Being
INTS 595Experiential Learning (when topic is Mindfulness and Leadership)1-3
INTS 595Experiential Learning (when the topic is Leadership and Positive Organizations)1-3
Total Credits2-6

Subject Matter Expertise

Students must develop expertise in the social problem they seek to address through entrepreneurship. Possible areas of focus include global and/or local poverty, homelessness, human trafficking, conflict resolution, women's rights, racial inequality, educational and health-care access, climate change, environmental sustainability, and human rights, among other possible topics.

Students take:

INTS 540Contemporary Issues in Social Justice Human Rights3
6 credits of courses related to the student's chosen subject matter area of expertise, chosen in consultation with an advisor.6
Total Credits9

Experiential Learning Requirement

Students will seek out and/or create an opportunity for experiential learning that aligns with a social mission. Experiential learning opportunities can include internships, service-learning, consulting projects, and field studies or research (including overseas). Because the intention is to develop and apply newly acquired skills, students may not use work done previously or their current employment to fulfill this requirement. All experiential learning projects must be approved by the social entrepreneurship concentration head the semester before registering for the course. Students may register for an individualized section of INTS 595 Experiential Learning or another graduate-level internship or practicum course to fulfill this requirement. Students must complete the experiential learning component before registering for MAIS 798 Interdisciplinary Studies Project or MAIS 799 Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis.

Proposal

MAIS 797Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal1
Total Credits1

Project or Thesis

Select one from the following:4
Interdisciplinary Studies Project (take 4 credits)
Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 4 credits)
Total Credits4

Concentration in Social Justice and Human Rights (SJHR)

The social justice and human rights concentration is designed to cultivate a deep theoretical understanding of the social, political, cultural, historical, and economic implications of a wide array of social injustices and human rights issues. Students are engaged in the applied process of imagining and actualizing holistic and complex strategies for creating and sustaining a more equitable, just, and humane world.

Required Course of Proseminar

MAIS 796MAIS ProSeminar1
Total Credits1

Core Courses

Foundational Course
INTS 540Contemporary Issues in Social Justice Human Rights3
Ecological Justice Course
Select one course from the following:3
Principles of Environmental Conflict Resolution
Environmental Ethics
Environment and Society
Total Credits6

Emphasis Courses

Select 9 credits of courses with an emphasis on a specific social justice or human rights issue or context or a specific region, chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor 19
Total Credits9
1

Examples of issue emphases include racial justice, human trafficking, or children's rights. Context emphases examples include the education, corporate, or government sector. Regional emphases examples include the Middle East, Latin America, or Southeast Asia.

Electives

Select 12 electives from the following, chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor 112
Theories of Conflict and Conflict Resolution
Selected Topics
Peace Studies
War, Violence, and Conflict Resolution
Ethnic and Cultural Factors in Conflict Resolution
Conflict and Religion
Conflict and Gender
Human Rights Theory and Practice in Comparative Perspective
Collective Action, Social Movements, and Globalization
Peace Building
World Religions, Violence, and Conflict Resolution
Diversity in Higher Education
Introduction to Culturally Linguistically Diverse Learners
Social Justice and Equity in International Education
Seminar in Multicultural Education
Restorative Justice
Ethics and Human Rights in International Affairs
Environmental Policy
Advocacy and Lobbying
International Migration and Public Policy
Human Smuggling and Trafficking
Gender and Social Structure
Racial and Ethnic Relations: American and Selected Global Perspectives
Micro Sociology: Inequality and Everyday Life
Special Topics (when topic is Narratives of Human Rights: Violations Against Women and Girls; Gender, Sexuality, and Human Rights; or Gender, Sexuality, and Disability)
Feminist Theories across the Disciplines
Women and Global Issues
Total Credits12
1

At least 6 of these credits must focus on a social justice or human rights issue, context, or region unrelated to the student's chosen emphasis.

Research Methods Course

HE 610Research Designs in Higher Education3
or WMST 610 Feminist Approaches to Social Research

Proposal

MAIS 797Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal1
Total Credits1

Project or Thesis

Select one from the following:4
Interdisciplinary Studies Project
Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis
Total Credits4

Concentration in War and the Military in Society (WMS)

Recent events have demonstrated the degree to which military issues affect social groups, global politics, and the world economy. Understanding the ways in which armies are raised and funded, the reasons troops serve, the conditions military personnel and civilians endure during wartime, and the multifaceted and evolving ways in which nations conceive of the military apparatus has direct bearing on future policy decisions.

The concentration in war and the military in society emphasizes scholarship that examines issues of international security and conflict in the past, present, and future. It equips students with the skills to understand the interconnected nature of those elements and to examine critically the ways in which they have changed and continue to change over time.

Required Course of Proseminar

MAIS 796MAIS ProSeminar1
Total Credits1

Core Courses

Select two courses from the following:6
Culture, Power, and Conflict
Advanced Topics in Global Health Security (take 3 credits; when topic is U.S. military intervention since Vietnam)
International Security
Select two courses from the following:6
Problems in American History (when topic is The American Civil War)
Problems in Military History
The Vietnam War
Total Credits12

Electives

Students choose electives in consultation with an advisor, bearing in mind their specialization and proposed topic for their project or thesis. Students interested in the intellectual consideration of the military, war, and society should choose courses in anthropology, history, religious studies, and sociology. Students interested in practical applications of the study of the military, war, and society to contemporary security issues should choose courses in biodefense, geography, and government. Students may take additional courses from the core requirements as electives with permission from their advisor, but their coursework overall must include at least six credits in two or more disciplines.

Students who choose to do a project complete seven electives (21 credits); those who choose a thesis complete six electives (18 credits).

Select seven or six electives from the following:18-21
Biodefense Strategy
Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons Policy and Security
Selected Topics in Geography (when topic is Military Geography or insurgency)
Problems in European History (when topic is the Fall of the Roman Empire)
War and Remembrance
Grand Strategy
Ethics and the Use of Force
World Religions in Conflict and Dialogue
Special Topics (when topic is Women and Nationalism)
Total Credits18-21

Proposal

MAIS 797Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal1
Total Credits1

Project or Thesis

Select one from the following:1-4
Interdisciplinary Studies Project (minimum of 1 credit)
Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 4 credits)
Total Credits1-4

Concentration in Women and Gender Studies (WGST)

The concentration in women and gender studies promotes advanced scholarship that transcends traditional boundaries. Students combine required coursework in women and gender studies with courses in a discipline of interest such as history, literature, sociology, anthropology, health, education, philosophy, social work, conflict analysis and resolution, or the arts. The program accommodates both full-time and part-time students.

Of the coursework required for this concentration as described below, at least 24 credits must be in courses related to the study of women and gender and 12 credits in courses in a field focus. All courses related to the study of women and gender must be approved by the head of the concentration in women and gender studies. Students must earn a grade of B or higher in the core courses.

Students interested in pursuing a dual master's program linking the MAIS degree and a master's degree in another discipline should discuss their interest with the graduate program directors of both programs and review the university policies regarding Individualized Dual Master's Degree Programs. Students approved to pursue dual master's study linking the MAIS degree with a concentration in women and gender studies and the MA philosophy degree will complete WMST 630 Feminist Theories across the Disciplines/PHIL 658 Feminist Theory and 3 additional credits of WMST courses to apply to the philosophy degree as elective credit. Six credits of approved PHIL credits will apply to the MAIS degree as elective credit.

Required Course of Proseminar

MAIS 796MAIS ProSeminar1
Total Credits1

Core Courses

WMST 630Feminist Theories across the Disciplines3
WMST 640Women and Global Issues3
WMST 610Feminist Approaches to Social Research3
Total Credits9

Field Focus

Students complete 12 credits in one field (not limited to a single discipline) chosen and developed in consultation with a faculty advisor, including 9 credits in a course that addresses the study of women and gender.12
Total Credits12

Electives

Students must take at least 6 credits in courses that address the study of women and gender and that are not part of the field focus. Three of these credits must be in a WMST designated course.9-12
Feminist Research Practice (not required but highly recommended)
Total Credits9-12

Proposal

MAIS 797Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal1
Total Credits1

Project or Thesis

Select one from the following:1-4
Interdisciplinary Studies Project (minimum 1 credit)
Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 4 credits)
Total Credits1-4

Individualized Concentration (IND)

This concentration is for students who wish to design a graduate program to meet the special needs of their careers and life plans. Students usually choose this option because traditional graduate programs do not meet their specific goals. Students, with help from their faculty advisor, design a unique program of study that includes courses from several academic departments.

Students have access to most graduate courses offered by Mason but must meet all course prerequisites.  Each student must submit a curriculum worksheet approved by the student's advisor and director during the first semester enrolled. Any subsequent amendments must have the approval of the student's advisor and the director.

Required Course of Proseminar

MAIS 796MAIS ProSeminar1
Total Credits1

Disciplinary Focus

Select a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 18 credits in one discipline12-18
Total Credits12-18

Complementary Disciplines

Students take 9-18 courses in complementary disciplines. These require the approval of faculty advisor and MAIS director.9-18
Total Credits9-18

Research Methods

Students take a research methods course approved by faculty advisor and MAIS director.3
Total Credits3

Proposal

MAIS 797Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal1
Total Credits1

Project or Thesis

Select one from the following:1-4
Interdisciplinary Studies Project (minimum of 1 credit)
Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 4 credits)
Total Credits1-4

Bachelor's Degree (selected)/Interdisciplinary Studies, Accelerated MAIS (Religion, Culture, and Values Concentration)

Overview

Highly-qualified undergraduates in selected majors (see below) may apply to the accelerated master's degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in religion, culture, and values. If accepted, and depending on their undergraduate major, students will be able to earn a bachelor's degree in their chosen major and a master's in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in religion, culture, and values after satisfactory completion of 150 credits, sometimes within five years. See AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees.

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Selected Majors

If the student has not majored in religious studies, it is preferred, though not required, that the student have a minor in religious studies.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in the Admissions. For information specific to the accelerated MAIS, see Application Requirements and Deadlines.

Accelerated Option Requirements

While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students complete two graduate courses as indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program Application with a minimum grade of 3.00 in each course. Once admitted to the accelerated master's pathway, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 in all coursework. Upon completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated in the application, they submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form and are admitted to graduate status.

Select two from the following:6
Approaches to the Study of Religion
Sacred as Secular in Modern Spirituality
World Religions in Conflict and Dialogue
Ethical Perspectives of World Religions
World Religions in Transition and Transformation
Religion and the Natural Environment
Sacred Language, Scripture, and Culture
Total Credits6

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. Students must begin their master's program the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree.

Reserve Graduate Credit

Students may take up to 6 additional graduate credits as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree. To apply these credits to the master's degree, students should use the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.

Select 6 credits from the following:6
Approaches to the Study of Religion
Sacred as Secular in Modern Spirituality
World Religions in Conflict and Dialogue
Ethical Perspectives of World Religions
World Religions in Transition and Transformation
Religion and the Natural Environment
Sacred Language, Scripture, and Culture
Total Credits6

The ability to take courses, including ones not listed above, for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the department. Permission is normally granted only to qualified Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation. See AP.1.4.4 Graduate Course Enrollment by Undergraduates.

Bachelor's Degree (selected)/Interdisciplinary Studies, Accelerated MAIS (Social Justice and Human Rights Concentration)

Overview

Highly-qualified undergraduates in select majors (listed below) may apply to the accelerated master's degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in social justice and human rights. If accepted, and depending on their undergraduate major, students will be able to earn an undergraduate degree in their chosen major and a master's in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in social justice and human rights after satisfactory completion of 150 credits, sometimes within five years.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Selected Majors

Anthropology, Environmental and Sustainability Studies, Sociology, English, History, Philosophy, Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Psychology, Government and International Politics, Integrative Studies, and Communication.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to the accelerated MAIS, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the departmental web site.

Accelerated Option Requirements

While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students complete INTS 540 Contemporary Issues in Social Justice Human Rights and one course chosen from the list of electives for the MAIS concentration in social justice and human rights as indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program Application with a minimum grade of 3.00 in each course. Once admitted to the accelerated master's pathway, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 in all course work. Upon completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated in the application, they submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form and are admitted to graduate status.

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. Students must begin their master's program the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree.

Reserve Graduate Credit

Students may take up to 6 additional graduate credits as reserve graduate credit (chosen from the list of electives for the MAIS concentration in social justice and human rights). These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree. The ability to take courses for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the program. Permission to take a graduate course for reserve graduate credit is normally granted only to Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation. See AP.1.4.4 Graduate Course Enrollment by Undergraduates.

Select up to 6 credits from the list of electives for the MAIS concentration in social justice and human rights6
Total Credits6

Bachelor's Degree (selected)/Interdisciplinary Studies, Accelerated MAIS (Women and Gender Studies Concentration)

Overview

Highly-qualified undergraduates in select majors may apply to the accelerated master's degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in women and gender studies. If accepted, and depending on their undergraduate major, students will be able to earn a bachelor's degree in their chosen major and a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in women and gender studies after satisfactory completion of 150 credits, sometime within five years.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Selected Majors

AnthropologySociologyEnglishHistoryPhilosophyConflict Analysis and ResolutionPsychologyGovernment and International Politics, and Communication.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to the accelerated MAIS, see http://mais.gmu.edu/programs/la-mais-isin/application on the departmental web site.

Accelerated Option Requirements

While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students complete two graduate courses as indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program Application with a minimum grade of 3.00 in each course. Once admitted to the accelerated master's pathway, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 in all course work. Upon completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated in the application, they submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form and are admitted to graduate status.

Select two from the following:6
Special Topics
Feminist Approaches to Social Research
Feminist Theories across the Disciplines
Women and Global Issues
Total Credits6

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. Students must begin their master's program the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree.

Reserve Graduate Credit

Students may take up to 6 additional graduate credits as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree. To apply these credits to the master's degree, students should use the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.

Select 6 credits from the following:6
Special Topics
Feminist Approaches to Social Research
Feminist Theories across the Disciplines
Women and Global Issues
Total Credits6

The ability to take courses, including ones not listed above, for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the department. Permission is normally granted only to qualified Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation. See AP.1.4.4 Graduate Course Enrollment by Undergraduates.

Bachelor's Degree (any)/Interdisciplinary Studies, Accelerated MAIS (Energy and Sustainability Concentration)

Overview

Highly-qualified undergraduates in any major may apply to the accelerated master's degree in interdisciplinary studies. If accepted, and depending on their undergraduate major, students will be able to earn a bachelor's degree in their chosen major and a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in energy and sustainability after satisfactory completion of 150 credits, sometimes within five years. For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to this program, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the departmental website.

Accelerated Option Requirements

While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students complete two graduate courses indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program Application with a minimum grade of 3.00 in each course. Once admitted to the accelerated master's pathway, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 in all coursework. Upon completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated in the application, they submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form and are admitted to graduate status.

Select two from the following:6
Special Topics in Economics
Fundamentals of Materials Science
Environmental Ethics
Topics in Renewable Energy
Methods and Logic of Social Inquiry
Total Credits6

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. Students must begin their master's program the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree.

Recommended Majors

Chemistry, economics, mathematics, physics, and relevant concentrations in the Bachelor of Individualized Study (BIS) degree.

Reserve Graduate Credit

Students may take up to 6 additional graduate credits as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree. To apply these credits to the master's degree, students should use the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.

Select 6 credits from the following:6
Special Topics in Economics
Fundamentals of Materials Science
Environmental Ethics
Topics in Renewable Energy
Methods and Logic of Social Inquiry
Total Credits6

The ability to take courses, including ones not listed above, for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the department. Permission is normally granted only to qualified Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation. See AP.1.4.4 Graduate Course Enrollment by Undergraduates for more information.

Bachelor's Degree (any)/Interdisciplinary Studies, Accelerated MAIS (Folklore Studies Concentration)

Overview

Highly-qualified undergraduates in any major may apply to the accelerated master's degree in interdisciplinary studies. If accepted, and depending on their undergraduate major, students will be able to earn a bachelor's degree in their chosen major and a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in folklore studies after satisfactory completion of 150 credits, sometimes within five years. For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees.

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to this program, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the departmental website.

Accelerated Option Requirements

While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students complete six credits of ENGH 590 Topics in Folk Narrative and/or ENGH 591 Topics in Folklore Studies with a minimum grade of 3.00 in each course. Once admitted to the accelerated master's pathway, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 in all coursework. Upon completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated in the application, they submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form and are admitted to graduate status.

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. Students must begin their master's program the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree.

Reserve Graduate Credit

Students may take up to 6 additional graduate credits as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree. To apply these credits to the master's degree, students should use the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.

Select 6 credits from the following:6
Topics in Folk Narrative
Topics in Folklore Studies
Advanced Topics in Folklore Studies
The Study and Writing of History
Qualitative Research Methods
Total Credits6

The ability to take courses, including ones not listed above, for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the department. Permission is normally granted only to qualified Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation. See AP.1.4.4 Graduate Course Enrollment by Undergraduates for more information.