Minimum Prerequisites for Program Admission 

As early as possible, the prospective Interdisciplinary Studies candidate should identify a mentor—a tenured or tenure-track faculty member—and have that mentor sign a Faculty Commitment Form and agree to serve on the student’s program committee. After meeting with the Interdisciplinary Studies Director, the student should apply to the Graduate School on Cal State Apply. Once admitted to the Graduate School, the student may then apply to the MA/MS Interdisciplinary Studies degree program by completing a program proposal.

Successful students usually meet all of the following criteria, and must submit the appropriate materials to gain entry into the MA/MS Interdisciplinary Studies Program:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • A minimum of 15 upper-division and/or post-baccalaureate semester units in the primary field(s) of the proposed program
  • A minimum grade point average of 2.5 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted
  • Participation in a program orientation with the Interdisciplinary Studies Director
  • A signed commitment form from at least one tenured or tenure-track faculty member
  • A program proposal and defense in accordance with published deadlines

Contact the Department of Anthropology and Geography/Environmental Resources for information regarding the Interdisciplinary Studies M.S.: Geospatial Analysis of Human-Environmental Change Concentration 

To Apply to the Interdisciplinary Studies MA/MS Program, the student must…

  • Attend an orientation meeting with the Interdisciplinary Studies Director.
  • Select a program committee chair and, in consultation with the chair, choose two additional faculty members to constitute the committee. The committee should include tenured or tenure-track faculty from at least two different disciplines represented in the program’s coursework.
  • Submit a Faculty Commitment Form signed by at least one faculty member before applying to the Graduate School.
  • Apply to the Graduate School through Cal State Apply (the application should include 1-2 letters of recommendation and a brief Statement of Purpose)
  • Complete the “MA/MS Interdisciplinary Studies Program Proposal” and “Program Proposal Preparation Checklist.”
  • Get approval from all committee members regarding the Program Proposal prior to submission to the Interdisciplinary Studies Program.
  • Comply with the technical requirements for Interdisciplinary Studies; the Interdisciplinary Studies Director reserves the right to return the proposal to the student for revision and resubmission.
  • Attend the review of the program proposal conducted by the University MA/MS Interdisciplinary Studies Committee. The student and the student’s committee chair may present information and address questions posed by committee members. The admission decision will be communicated in writing to the student’s committee chair, typically in the week following the review; the student should get results the following week.
  • Receive approval for the program proposal from the student’s committee, the department chairperson of the student’s committee chair, the MA/MS Interdisciplinary Studies Committee, and the Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program; when the Director of Interdisciplinary Studies gives written approval, the student will move to Classified Standing in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program.
  • Ensure that any changes to the approved program receive approval from the student’s committee chair, in consultation with the committee members, and the Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program.
  • Meet all other university procedures and requirements for the completion of a graduate degree, including the thesis/project (for more information, consult the University Catalog or contact the Graduate School).

Application Timelines

The review process outlined above may take a full semester; the program proposal requires thoughtful writing and frequent consultation with the thesis committee and may be subject to revision based on recommendations from the University Interdisciplinary Studies committee.

No more than nine (9) units of completed course work prior to admission to the program may be included in the program. Completed course work includes transfer units, units taken at Stanislaus State in a prior semester, and current units in progress (incomplete grades are considered works in progress).

Updated: August 30, 2023