The Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) program in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences encourages students' freedom and creativity while maintaining the University's commitment to excellence. Founded in 1982, Interdisciplinary Studies recognizes the demand for high quality, non-traditional graduate programs that transcend disciplinary boundaries. The MAIS program addresses issues that face the world today.
Over the years, interdisciplinary "concentrations" have been added to provide students with greater curricular structure and faculty support. Because they are multidisciplinary in nature, the established concentrations still allow students considerable freedom to tailor their degrees to their own interests and professional goals. Every MAIS student completes the degree with a Capstone Experience that synthesizes their course work into an original research project or thesis. At present, the Interdisciplinary Studies program consists of twelve established concentrations plus the Individualized Studies concentration, which still enables students to design their own curriculum.
Innovation is not just a core component of the MAIS student experience; it is also built into the design of the program itself. Interdisciplinary Studies is unique among Mason graduate programs because it offers faculty a way to pilot new Master's degrees as concentrations, thereby staying on the cutting edge of academia. For example, the M.A.s in Anthropology and Communication were once MAIS concentrations. As a result, the Interdsciplinary Studies program continues to grow. Three concentrations have been added in the last three years, and more may come online in 2016-17. Growth and change are constants in the Interdisciplinary Studies program, but our embrace of excellence, freedom, and creativity is timeless.