ITDS 

 

Guidelines for the Masters of Arts &

Masters of Sciences in ITDS

Description of the ITDS MA/MS and Guidelines

Application for MA/MS in ITDS

Checklist for Applcation for MA/MS in ITDS

Description

The Master's Degree program in Interdisciplinary Studies (ITDS) is designed for graduate students whose particular interests, background, or professional objectives are not served by a traditional Master's degree program. The purpose of the Interdisciplinary Studies program is to make available to students who meet the program's prerequisites the opportunity to design, with faculty approval, a flexible interdisciplinary graduate curriculum. Admission to ITDS is limited to students whose individualized programs can be organized around a topic or a cross-disciplinary inquiry that is original and involves course work in more than one department. Interested students should contact the Coordinator of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies, who initiates the screening and application process.

 

A course of study in Interdisciplinary Studies is not intended to bypass normal graduation requirements and may not be used to duplicate formally structured programs at SSU or other institutions within the service area. The reason for this restriction is that the Interdisciplinary Studies program should be reserved for students whose special interests cross disciplinary lines and find appropriate faculty expertise at Sonoma State University.

 

PREREQUISITES TO ACCEPTANCE INTO PROGRAM

 

1.Passage of the Written English Proficiency requirement.

[The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Aptitude Test scores are not required, but may be submitted in support of the application.]

2.A grade point average of at least 3.0 for the last 60 units of college work attempted.

 

CRITERIA FOR ITDS MASTER'S PROGRAM

For a course of study to be considered appropriate for the ITDS Program, it must meet the following criteria:

1. It must consist of 30 to 32 units of course work in two or more disciplines. A minimum of 15 units must be in graduate level courses.

2. It must be truly interdisciplinary; it may not be an individually fashioned degree in any single existing discipline.

3. It must be integrated: the course work must support your program's topic, and the topic must define the content of your course work.

4. SSU must have faculty expertise in the disciplines that constitute your program.

5. SSU must offer the majority of courses in your program.

6. You should be able to complete your program within the time limits for Master's programs specified in the University Catalog.

The guidelines that appear on the following pages have been developed to assure that these criteria are met and to assist you through the regulations and procedures that pertain to the ITDS program. You should be thoroughly acquainted with these regulations and procedures and with the expectations of those who approve applicant proposals.

 

 

REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES IN BRIEF

In order to be accepted into the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, you must take the following steps:

Step 1. Consult with the ITDS Coordinator to determine the feasibility of implementing your program.

Step 2. Apply to the University for admission to Graduate School. (The ITDS Code is 49993.) If your application is accepted, you will be admitted to the University in conditionally classified graduate status.

Step 3. Begin to take courses.

Step 4. Once you have begun your course work, form and consult with an Academic Advisory Committee.

Step 5. Complete an application to the ITDS program.

Step 6. Submit the application for review. If the application is approved, you will be admitted to the ITDS program in fully classified status.

Step 7. Prior to beginning your Thesis (ITDS 599A), fill out an Advancement to Candidacy form complete with all required signatures and submit to the Graduate Studies Office. You should have completed the WEPT (Written English Proficiency Test) by this time.

Step 8. At the beginning of the semester that you plan to graduate (check current Schedule of Classes for the exact date), complete an Application for Award of Degree form to Admissions and Records.

Step 9. When all course work including the thesis have been completed, submit a Completion of Requirements form to the Graduate Studies Office.

 

 

REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES IN FULL

STEP 1. CONSULT WITH THE ITDS COORDINATOR

1. Before you can apply to the ITDS Program, you must first be admitted to Sonoma State University Graduate School as a Conditionally Classified Graduate in ITDS. This requires the approval of the ITDS Coordinator. Your first step, therefore, is to meet with the ITDS Coordinator to explore your ideas for a course of study. At this meeting, the Coordinator will discuss with you the feasibility of carrying out your program at SSU and explain the procedure for applying to the ITDS Program.

 

2. Very early in the advising process, it must be determined if SSU has the courses necessary to fashion a program in the subject you wish to pursue. By your second meeting with the Coordinator, therefore, you should have familiarized yourself with the current SSU Catalog and compiled a list of courses that could constitute a coherent course of study.

 

Helpful hints

 

3. Some persons have a clear idea of the subject they wish to study or the career path they intend to follow and for which they seek preparation. For such persons, the initial meeting with the ITDS Coordinator serves primarily to determine the appropriateness of ITDS for their subject and the availability of faculty expertise and relevant courses at SSU. Other persons&emdash;and most are in this category&emdash;need assistance in defining their subject or some other aspect of their program. If you are such a person, the following comments may be helpful.

 

4. There are four aspects to every program. Meetings with the Coordinator and faculty advisors will be much more productive if you have already given some thought to each of these aspects. They are A) the subject or topic of the program, B) your goals for the program: what you want to learn as a result of undertaking this program, or what you want the program to prepare you to do, C) the course work, and D) the final project.

 

A. The topic of your program must be interdisciplinary; it must not duplicate programs that already exist as single disciplines. As examples, Biology, Kinesiology, Psychology, Business Administration, and Public Administration exist as independent departments at SSU and each has its own graduate program. You may not build an ITDS program in just one of these departments. Courses from two or more of these or other departments, however, may be combined to form a Master's program in ITDS. The title of each program, therefore, is unique. Examples of topics appropriate to the ITDS program may be found on page 14 of these Guidelines.

 

B. You may know that you want to do something, but you're not sure what. You want a change of direction, but don't know which direction to face. I have found the following questions helpful in assisting some applicants to define what they want to do:

 

Why are you interested in this program: to enhance your current abilities and career status, purely out of interest in a particular subject, to help you to move in a different direction in life, or for some other reason?

 

What are you good at?

What skills do you already have?

What have you already done that you have enjoyed?

 

If you could do or be anything you want, what would it be?

Do you want to run your own business or would you work under someone else's direction?

Do you want to work in the private sector or in some level of government?

Do you know of persons who are doing the kind of work that you would like to be doing? If you do, have you talked with these persons to discover the steps they took to get where they are, what job opportunities there are, etc.

Does public service or helping others to better their lives in some way appeal to you?

Does teaching interest you?

What kind of physical environment do you see yourself working in: your home, the out-of-doors, in an office, in an institutional setting?

 

How much time do you have to complete your program?

Can you take daytime classes or are you limited to evening and weekend classes?

 

Is money an important consideration, either to finance your education or to keep you going after you have finished your degree?

 

If you have answers to any of these questions, be sure to mention them in your meetings with the ITDS Coordinator and with advisors.

 

C. The course work and the final project are generally the last aspects of a program to become clear. The course work and the topic must be intimately related: the courses must directly support every aspect of the topic of your program, and, conversely, the topic must present in condensed form the gist of your course work. In preparation for your first meetings with the ITDS Coordinator, acquire a copy of the most recent SSU catalog. Read it from front to back. Prepare a list of the courses you think are appropriate to your topic or which interest you and bring the list to the meeting for discussion.

 

D. The only thing some prospective ITDS majors are certain of initially is their final project. One person may want to devise a curriculum for teaching critical thinking, write a novel, prepare a biography of a noted relative, or write and direct a play. Another may seek to document the life work of a famous anthropologist or study the effect of changes in Medicare on the elderly. Persons with such a clear initial concept of their final project are the exception, however. More typically, the focus of the final project emerges from the course work in consultation with advisors, and particularly with the Chair of your advisory committee. Whatever the project is, it must draw on and synthesize your course work. For examples of final projects, see p. 14 of these Guidelines.

 

 

STEP 2. APPLY TO THE UNIVERSITY

 

5. If your proposed subject is appropriate for the ITDS Program and can be ac-complished at Sonoma State University, your next step will be to apply for admission to the University. This step is separate from and precedent to applying to the ITDS Program.

 

6. The period for applying to SSU for the Fall Semester of a given year begins in November of the preceding year and continues through the following January. The period for applying for the Spring semester of a given year is August through October of the preceding year. N.B.: When applying to the University for admission to Graduate School, enter the Name of Major as ITDS and the Major Code as 49993.

 

7. Once Admissions and Records has received and evaluated all of the documents required for your admission to the University, they will be forwarded to the ITDS Coordinator for approval. Approval will be granted only if the initial consultations described above have taken place and the Coordinator has determined that you have a viable program to propose. If approval is granted, you will be admitted to the University in Conditionally Classified Graduate status; full Classified Graduate status is granted only after you have successfully completed the process of applying to the ITDS program and have passed the WEPT (see Prerequisites to Application, above).

 

8. YOUR FILE. Upon receipt of your completed application for admission to the University, the ITDS Coordinator will establish a file that will contain, in addition to the application, a copy of all documents, such as memos, letters, petitions, and grade reports, that are related to your program.

 

 

STEP 3. BEGIN COURSE WORK

9. PLANNING YOUR FIRST SEMESTER'S COURSE WORK. As soon as you have received notice that you have been admitted to the University, you should meet with the Coordinator to plan your first semester's course work and to discuss potential members for your Academic Advisory Committee. You cannot officially form a Committee and apply to the ITDS Program until you have begun taking classes. Because registration and enrollment in classes takes place by phone before the semester begins, it is wise to plan your first semester's course schedule and prepare for the various steps involved in creating a Master's program in ITDS well in advance.

 

 

STEP 4. CONSULT WITH ACADEMIC ADVISORS

10. YOUR ACADEMIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE. Once you have begun your course work, you must find three faculty members from at least two of the disciplines found on your course list who will agree to form an Academic Advisory Committee (hereafter: your Committee) for your program of study. Your Committee has three main functions:

 

A. to recommend courses appropriate to your program;

B. to advise you on any other matters pertaining to your program, such as University regulations or the career or academic potential for such a program;

C. to function as your Final Project committee.

Once you have formed your Committee, it is your responsibility to plan with its members a coherent, original, and feasible course of study.

 

11. OFF-CAMPUS ADVISOR. It is possible for an advisor other than the Chair to be from off campus, as for instance on the faculty of a near-by University or from business. Any such potential committee member must submit a letter stating a willingness to be on your committee and a curriculum vitae or other documentation indicating how his or her background or training is relevant and necessary to your course of study.

 

12. THE CHAIRPERSON OF YOUR COMMITTEE. One of the members of your Committee must agree to be its Chair. In addition to the responsibilities mentioned above, the Chair has several special duties:

 

A. to advise you on your course of study as a whole;

B. to advise you in the writing of your proposal and application;

C. once your proposal is accepted, to act as your regular advisor concerning your course of study and all other graduation requirements.

D. to supervise and assist you with your Final Project.

 

13. Your Committee Chair must be a full-time, tenured or tenure-track member of the SSU faculty. You should ascertain from a potential Chair whether he or she will be available during the period in which you will be working on your Master's degree. If your Chair plans to be away for part of this time, as for instance on a Sabbatical, you should plan with your Chair well in advance for someone to take his or her place, or consider another faculty member to fill this important role.

 

14. CONSULTATION OF THE ITDS COORDINATOR WITH YOUR COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON. Early in your application process, the ITDS Coordinator will contact the Chair of your Committee to discuss the latter's responsibilities and answer any questions he or she might have concerning ITDS procedures.

 

15. ADDITIONAL ADVISORS: GRADUATE COORDINATORS. In addition to consulting with the members of your Committee, you must also consult with the Graduate Coordinator of each Department in which you take graduate courses. The purpose of this requirement is to assure that you receive advice from those who are most informed concerning the graduate programs from which you have selected courses. It is particularly important that you receive correct advice concerning the most appropriate Research Methods course for you to take. A list of current Graduate Coordinators may be obtained from the ITDS office.

 

16. ADDITIONAL ADVISOR: CHAIR OF THE CHAIR. The last person to be consulted is the Chair of the Department of which the Chair of your Advisory Committee is a member. The reason for this is to inform the Department Chair of the participation of a Department member as the Chair of an ITDS student's Advisory Committee and to obtain his or her approval for such participation, with its attendant responsibilities and demands on time.

 

 

STEP 5. COMPLETE AN APPLICATION

 

17. THE APPLICATION. In consultation with the ITDS Coordinator and your Committee, you must complete an application. The requirements for the application appear below in these guidelines. When you complete your application, you must submit it in duplicate to the ITDS Coordinator by an application deadline.

 

STEP 6. SUBMIT APPLICATION FOR REVIEW

 

18. APPLICATION DEADLINES. There are three deadlines each semester for filing an application to the ITDS Program. Each semester's deadlines are posted on the bulletin board outside the office of the Coordinator. Because each application is reviewed by the ITDS Committee and may go through several revisions, you are urged to submit the application by the earlier deadlines and should allow a full semester for the complete application and review process to take place. Because the writing of the application requires great thought and considerable consultation, you should begin the application at least three weeks before the intended filing deadline.

 

19. THE REVIEW PROCESS. Filing an application with the ITDS Coordinator does not assure your acceptance in a Master's program in Interdisciplinary Studies. Each proposal must be reviewed by the ITDS Committee. After your program is reviewed, the ITDS Coordinator will inform you of the Committee's evaluation. The Committee may recommend approval or conditional approval of your application, it may request that you rework and resubmit your application, or it may reject the application. An application approved by the ITDS Committee must then be approved by the Associate Vice President of Academic Programs and Graduate Studies (AVPAP). If the application is approved at both levels of review, you will be registered by the Graduate Studies office as a graduate in fully classified status.

 

20. On rare occasions, the ITDS Committee or the AVPAP may seek the advice of the Graduate Studies Subcommittee on a particular proposal. On such occasions, the proposal will be forwarded to the Subcommittee, which will render its evaluation of the proposal.

 

21. ATTENDING THE REVIEW. The Chair of your Committee may attend the Committee meetings at which your application is reviewed. Information regarding the date, time and place of the ITDS Committee meetings can be obtained from the ITDS Office.

 

 

STEPS 7-9. THE FORM TRAIL

22. You are responsible for submitting three forms: The Advancement to Candidacy form, the Application for Award of Degree form, and the Completion of Requirements form. Each is submitted at a different stage in your progress toward completion of your Master's Degree. All are available on floppy disk from the Graduate Studies Office in Stevenson 2010 and from the ITDS Coordinator.

 

23. Step 7. The Advancement to Candidacy form must be submitted prior to your enrolling in the first semester of your Final Project (in the case of most ITDS students, ITDS 599A; see §24, below). On this form, you describe your Final Project and obtain a variety of signatures including those of your Advisory Committee Members and the ITDS Coordinator. In order not to delay your enrolling in ITDS 599A, complete this form the semester before you intend to enroll in the class. Enrollment in the course will be blocked until this form is completed. Submit the form to the Graduate Studies Office.

 

24. Step 8. Submit the Application for Award of Degree at the beginning of the semester in which you intend to graduate. Submit the form to Admissions and Records.

 

25. Step 9. The Completion of Requirements form is due when all of your course work has been completed and the Final Project evaluated. It lists the course work that constituted your Master's Program and must include signatures verifying that your Final Project has been submitted and has been found acceptable. Submit the form to the Graduate Studies Office.

 

 

OTHER REGULATIONS

 

26. MAKING CHANGES IN YOUR PROGRAM. Once your application is approved, any changes in curriculum or advisor must be approved by the ITDS Coordinator and the Chair of your Committee. If the changes substantially alter the focus of your program, they must also be approved by the ITDS Committee. You must submit a letter of explanation for the changes to the ITDS Coordinator for inclusion in your file.

 

27. THE FINAL PROJECT. All ITDS Master's students must undertake a Final Project. For your options concerning this project, see p. 9, below. Six units are allotted to the project (ITDS 599AB). Before you begin the actual writing, obtain a copy of the Thesis Guidelines and consult with the Chair of your Committee concerning the most appropriate writing style for your project. For the length of time allowed for the completion of Final Projects, see ¶27, below.

 

28. DEFENSE OF THE FINAL PROJECT. You are required to defend your final project before your Committee. The defense is public and must take place after you have filed your Application for Award of Degree form but before you submit the Com-pletion of Requirements form.

 

TIME CONSTRAINTS.

29. A. Seven-year limit for Master's Degree. The California Administrative Code, Title 5, and University regulations stipulate that a Master's degree shall be accomplished in seven years (14 semesters) beginning with the first semester in which course work was taken. Ways to validate outdated course work are explained on the Validation of Courses Exceeding the Seven Year Limit form.

 

30. B. Two-year limit for the Final Project. Beginning with and including the semester in which you enroll in ITDS 599A, you have two years in which to complete your Final Project. For an extension of this time limit, you must receive prior authorization by the AVPAP. Students who exceed the two-year limit without prior authorization will be required to re-register at SSU and re-enroll in the Final Project.

 

31. CONTINUOUS ENROLLMENT. Beginning Fall, 1998, graduate students who have completed their course work or who have begun work on their thesis or other final project must be in continuous enrollment until the final project has been completed and approved. You can enroll either through the regular SSU registration as a half-time student and pay half-time fees (in this way maintaining financial aid eligibility and full use of university resources) or enroll through Extended Education and pay a continuation fee of $250 per semester (hereby maintaining place in your academic program and library privileges). The course designed for both options is ITDS 578. See page 15 of these guidelines for a complete statement of the policy.

 

32. GRADE REQUIREMENTS. You must maintain a B (3.0) minimum GPA in your course work for your Master's degree. No course for which a final grade below C (2.0) is assigned may be used to satisfy a requirement for your degree.

 

33. ACADEMIC ADVISING. At the end of each semester, you should be advised by the Chair of your Committee concerning your schedule for the following semester and your status with regard to other graduate requirements. The ITDS Coordinator is also available for advising.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

The candidate for this degree must comply with the normal regulations governing graduate study at Sonoma State University as described in the SSU catalog. Requirements for a Master's program in Interdisciplinary Studies are as follows:

 

I. COURSE REQUIREMENTS

 

A. General requirements

1. A Master's program in Interdisciplinary Studies consists of a minimum of 30 semester units to a maximum of 32 semester units. These units must be taken in two or more disciplines.

2. A minimum of 21 units must be completed in residence.

3. A minimum of 15 units of resident credit must be taken in graduate level courses (500 and above). The remaining units may include Upper Division courses (300-499). No 100 or 200 level courses may be included.

 

4. To assure the University that you have had adequate and appropriate interaction with other graduate students and that the institution granting your degree has offered an appropriate proportion of the graduate courses taken, at least two of the graduate level courses must be in seminar rather than individualized study format. These courses are the following:

a. A research methods course and

b. An additional graduate-level seminar.

 

5. A Final Project is required. Research for the Final Project is undertaken in two 3-unit courses, 599A (3 units) and 599B (3 units). These courses must be taken sequentially. No more than 6 units shall be allowed for a Final Project.

 

6. Note: When Sonoma State University does not offer all of the courses needed to form an academically sound program of study, it may be possible for you to take the course or courses necessary for you to complete your program through cross regis-tration at UC Berkeley and/or through visitor status or concurrent enrollment at another CSU campus.

 

B. Additional requirements

1. Your application must include a list of the courses that constitute your program, the unit value of each course, and the semester in which each is to be taken. It is your responsibility to check with individual departments regarding the availability and scheduling of all courses on your list, as well as their prerequisites.

2. At least 20 units must be graded (A-F); the remainder (up to 1/3 of the total number of units of your program) may be taken in a non-traditional grading mode. (In order to receive a Credit (CR.) grade in a graduate level class, you must earn the equivalent of B- or better.)

3. It is best to submit your proposal no later than the second semester of course work. By this time you should have become familiar with faculty who are expert in your fields of study and who are willing to be members of your advisory committee.

4. If you have been out of school for some years, or if there is a question about your preparedness to undertake graduate level work, the ITDS Committee may ask that you take a prerequisite course or two to prove your ability to undertake graduate academic work.

5. You must maintain a B (3.0) GPA each semester of graduate work. If your GPA falls below 3.0 for a single semester, you will be placed on probation. A GPA of less than 3.0 for two consecutive semesters will result in automatic disqualification.

 

Summary of unit and course requirements

30-32 unit range for Master's Degree program in ITDS

21-23 unit minimum of resident credit

9-unit maximum of non-resident, including transfer, credit

 

The 21-23-unit residence requirement includes the following :

15-unit minimum of graduate (500) level courses, including

6-8 units for a research methods course & an additional graduate seminar

6 units for the final project

 

The 30-32 unit range for the degree is to be distributed as follows:

15-unit minimum of graduate (500) level courses

15-17 additional units of graduate and upper division course work

20-unit minimum of graded work

A 3.0 GPA each semester of graduate work

 

C. Signatures. Your application must include the signatures of the following persons (see Application for the signature sheets):

 

1. Each member of your Academic Advisory Committee.

 

2. The Graduate Coordinator of each Department in which you take a graduate course.

 

3. The Department Chair of the Chair of your Academic Advisory Committee.

 

4. The ITDS Coordinator.

 

If your proposal is approved by the ITDS Committee, the ITDS Coordinator will forward it to the AVPAP for final review.

 

D. Course restrictions.

 

1. Only 6 of the 21 in-residence units may be numbered Special Studies 495 and/or Special Studies 595. A Special Studies form for each project must be submitted with the application.

 

2. No more than 9 units of non-resident (e.g., extension and/or transfer) credit may be included in your program.

 

3. Courses taught by another student or a course that you teach without direct faculty supervision may not be included in the 30-32 units.

 

4. A course for which you are a student assistant and that you teach under direct faculty supervision may be included in the 30-32 units.

 

5. You may include in your course of study upper division and graduate level courses taken prior to receipt of the BA or BS under the following conditions only:

 

a. They were taken during your final undergraduate semester;

 

b. The courses were not required for graduation; and

 

c. You filed a petition to apply the courses in question to graduate studies at the same time you filed the application for award of the degree.

 

 

II. WRITTEN ESSAY

 

The application must be accompanied by a written essay. The major portion of this essay will cover the same topics addressed in §4 of the Guidelines: the subject and title of your program, your goals for the program, a description and justification of the courses on your course list, and the final project.

 

NOTE: Be sure that your proposal fulfills the following criteria:

 

1. The course work you have chosen should support your stated goals for the program? If you intend to teach a given subject at a JC, for esample, your list of courses should include courses in both the subject and from the Department of Education?

 

2. Your course work should support each aspect of the title of your program? For instance, if the title of your program is Health, the Elderly, and Public Policy, your course list should probably include courses from the disciplines of Kinesiology, Gerontology, and Public Administration.

 

3. The course work should be of a substance, coherence, and breadth equivalent to those of a Master's program in a single subject?

 

4. The final project should be a logical outcome of the course work? (See C6 below.)

 

Keep the above questions in mind when composing your essay.

 

A. Subject and Goals. Your program must have a focus that goes beyond that of a single discipline. The title of your program must express this interdisciplinary focus. Begin your essay with a statement of the subject of your program. You may choose to precede this statement with a description of your background or a particular social, economic, or historical condition relevant to your proposal, then go on to state the program's topic and its general features.

 

In addition to describing the program's topic, you should also state your goals or ambitions for the program: what you want to learn or what you want the course work to prepare you to do. By the end of this initial portion of the essay, you should have stated the subject of the program, described your hopes and expectations of it, and provided any relevant background information, including a description of the interests, experience and training that have prepared you to undertake the program

 

B. Courses. The courses you have chosen will be judged by their relevance to the subject of your program and your stated goals. Also keep in mind that an interdisciplinary course of study requires the same standards of coherence, substance, and breadth found in an established Master's Degree program in a single subject in a Liberal Arts Institution. Describe the courses in your course list from the standpoints of what they contribute to the study of the subject of your program and how they meet the standards stated above.

 

In describing your courses, you may group them according to field or subject area, or you may present them individually. List and explain any supplementary courses that are not included in the 30-32 units of required courses.

 

C. Final Project.

 

1. Topic of the Final Project. The topic of the Final Project must be an obvious outcome of your stated goals and course work; it must bring together the various aspects of your course of study. It must also be limited enough to accomplish within the given time and unit constraints.

 

2. Type of Final Project. The final project may consist of a thesis, a creative project, a curriculum project, or an investigative or research project. For definitions of these terms, consult the Guidelines for Master's Theses and Projects, available in the ITDS Coordinator's Office and the Graduate Studies Office.

 

3. Description of Final Project. Include a description of the proposed Final Project, including the specific hypothesis to be tested or goal of a creative project. When appropriate, describe the theoretical framework, method-ologies, and type of data to be used. Consider also the significance of the field chosen for the thesis.

 

4. Resources and Facilities. Include a list of resources and facilities to be used and individuals to be consulted in preparation of the thesis or project. These could include libraries, research or museum facilities, collections, data banks, consultants on and off campus, agencies, etc. List the departments, institutions or other affiliations for persons to be consulted.

 

5. Bibliography. Provide a bibliography to be used in preparation for the thesis, investigative or research project or, when appropriate, the creative project. The bibliography should include basic background sources in relevant areas and must include current research. The bibliography shall be extensive and thorough. It should include references to both books and journal articles. The bibliographic style should be appropriate to the discipline.

 

6. Relationship of Course Work to the Final Project. Your course work should support your program as a whole, rather than just the Final Project. It is relatively broad in its scope and provides information, concepts and skills in the fields of study that constitute your program. It is in your Final Project that you apply what you have learned in your course work to a specific but narrowly defined aspect of the broader field covered by your program. It allows for a full exploration or practical demonstration of the tools you have acquired. The following examples illustrate the difference between the program as a whole and the Final Project:

 

Program Title

Final Project

Archaeology and Folklore

Medieval Literature and Irish Prehistory: Cultural Transition and Transmission

Intersections: Philosophy and Poetry in the 20th Century

Heidegger's Conception of the Thing in the Poetry of George Oppen

Living arrangements for the Elderly: The Impact of Residential Care

The Meaning of Home: A Human Services Model Addressing Transitions in Living Arrangements

Socio-cultural Aspects of Communication

Social and Cultural Factors Influencing Communicative Proficiency of Culturally Diverse Students in US College Classrooms

Women in International Politics

Gender as a Discrete Variable in International Politics: Women and their Destinies in UN Policy

Environmental Sciences Education

Education Programs for Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers

Mexican Aesthetics

Artistic Manifestations of Mother Earth: Coatlicue

Perspectives in Culture and Cultural Change

Tlingit Response to Euro-American Religious Proselytism

Imaging Science and Technology

Biased Moire Fringe Contour Methods

Western Mysticism and the History of Consciousness

Comparing Medieval and 20th Century Mysticism

Philosophies of Education and the Teaching of Critical Thinking

The Effect of Varying Philosophies of Education on the Teaching of Critical Thinking

International Development Studies

Economic Development of the Middle East

 

7. Collecting Data from Human Subjects. If your Final Project involves the collecting of data from human subjects, you must familiarize yourself with the regulations concerning human subjects and submit a form indicating details concerning venue, method of collection, etc. Approval for the collecting of such data must be given in writing before you begin collection. Data collected before written authorization is obtained may not be used. For more information, contact the Graduate Studies Office.

 

D. Justification of your program in ITDS. The justification of your program should cover the following points:

 

1. The appropriateness of ITDS, as opposed to a single discipline, for the course of study you have chosen.

 

2. The specific academic reasons why the proposed program of study cannot be pursued through an existing Master's program at SSU or other service area university. It is your responsibility to consult the catalogs of SSU and other service area universities to determine if there are such programs.

 

E. Additional Resources. List the names and departments of appropriate faculty members, in addition to the members of your Committee, who are available for consultation. (You are urged to consult with such faculty members during the planning of the program of study.) Also list the names of any persons outside of campus who are expert in your program area and are available for consultation.

 

F. HELP. If you would like assistance in the writing of your application or your thesis, two resources are available to you:

 

1. The SSU Writing Center on the first floor of Ruben Salazar Library

 

2. Thesis writing workshops. At least one workshop is offered each semester. For dates, contact the Graduate Studies Office in Stevenson 2010 (664-2237).

 

 

III. FORMAT OF THE PROPOSAL

 

A. The title of your program should not exceed 65 characters, including spaces and punctuation marks. (The reason for this limitation is that 65 is the number of characters that will fit on a diploma.)

 

B. Your written essay should not exceed five double-spaced, typewritten pages. The five-page limit applies only to the written essay; it does not include the bibliography, letters of recommendation, Special Studies and Internship forms, transcripts, or other documents.

 

C. The pages of your written essay and bibliography must be numbered.

 

 

CONTINUOUS ENROLLMENT POLICY

Beginning Fall 1998, all graduate students who have completed their course work or who have begun to work on their thesis or other final project must be enrolled each semester until they have completed their degree. The continuous enrollment policy applies to all students regardless of their catalog year. This policy serves to ensure the following:

 

1. Continuous enrollment preserves your right to meet degree requirements for an elected catalog year;

 

2. Continuous enrollment allows you to receive the advice and supervision of faculty or to use university facilities such as the health center, library or computer labs; and

 

3. Continuous enrollment facilitates your completion of your degree in a timely fashion.

 

The University has developed the following mechanisms for you to follow in order to maintain continuous enrollment until completion of your graduate program:

 

A. Those who wish to maintain eligibility for financial aid and to utilize the full resources of the university must maintain regular half-time enrollment and pay half-time fees. If you choose this option, you must sign up for ITDS 578 - Project Continuation. Permission of the ITDS coordinator is required.

 

B. Those who do not seek the full services of the University may maintain continuous enrollment by enrolling in ITDS 578 through Extended Education ($250.00 charge). This will allow you to receive library privileges. Permission of the ITDS coordinator is required.

 

C. With the written support of your graduate advisors, those who, due to extraordinary circumstances, cannot continue work on your programs may seek special consideration by petitioning the Graduate Studies Office for a leave of absence for a defined period of time not to exceed two years. This petition process does not extend the seven-year limitation on course work applied to your degree.

 

Finally, if you fail to enroll without taking an official leave of absence, you will be considered to have withdrawn from the University and your degree program. Should you decide to return, you will be required to apply for readmission and, as a condition of readmission, shall be assessed $250 for every regular semester of the period during which you were absent from the University.

 

Please contact me at (707) 664-2762/2468 if you have any questions regarding this policy or contact the Graduate Studies Office, Stevenson 2010, 664-2237 for further clarification.

 

Revised December, 1998