Southern Utah University’s online Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (MIS) degree is ranked third nationally by Best College Reviews. SUU’s MIS degree launched in January 2018 and currently serves more than 40 students, with 15 possible programs of academic study. The degree can be completed entirely online, or via a hybrid format.
According to Dr. Cynthia Kimball Davis, chair of Integrative & Engaged Studies Department, and chair of the MIS degree, “Our MIS degree is just a year and a half old, yet this distinction is a testimony to the success of our program and the folks that have put countless research, time and energy into building it. Thus, this ranking does not surprise me.”
The original designer of the program, Dr. Steve Meredith, Asst. to the President for Institutional Planning and Effectiveness at SUU said that he became interested in the program after speaking with a wide range of people that were looking to upgrade their academic credential, but whose needs didn’t comfortably fit into one of the other graduate programs at the university.
“People’s jobs and lives require such a diverse range of skills, that I began to imagine a program that could combine learning from a variety of disciplines into one degree program,” said Meredith. “After asking around, it became obvious that there was strong interest in such a degree from both students and prospective employers.”
Students in the MIS program complete a required 9-credit core block of courses, including introduction to interdisciplinary studies, research design, and a choice to complete either a project, internship, or thesis as their degree capstone requirement. Students also choose two learning blocks of study, each composed of 9-credits. Possible blocks include: Arts Administration, Aviation, Business Administration, Brain-based learning, Corporate Online Training, Cybersecurity & Information Assurance, Deming Learning, Education, Leadership Studies, Library Media, Music Technology, Online Teaching, Professional Communication, Public Administration, Special Education, and TESOL, with more to come. To complete this 30-credit degree, all students are required to take a 3-credit leadership course.
To apply to SUU’s MIS degree program, applicants should have a 3.0 GPA. If a perspective student’s GPA is under 3.0, SUU still encourages them to apply because the program can admit on a provisional basis. Other admission criteria include submitting official transcripts from a regionally-accredited university, a resume or CV, and a statement of purpose that explains the following: why they have chosen the MIS degree, what learning blocks they’ve chosen to study (in addition to the required CORE learning block), how they hope to be successful with the degree, their preliminary idea for a thesis, project, or internship, and how they plan to use their degree professionally once they’ve graduated.
“Another unique selling point of this degree is that anyone who began graduate courses at another university, or even under another graduate program at SUU, may be able to transfer them in as one learning block and be a third of the way done with this 30-credit degree,” says Dr. Davis.
“This recognition of the SUU MIS degree is a testament to the quality of the program,” says Dr. Patrick Clarke, dean of the School of Integrative and Engaged Learning. “Students have a great deal of flexibility to make their own choices and can expect not only a challenging, but satisfying learning experience.”
For more information, contact Cynthia Kimball Davis, Department Chair at (435) 586-7850
Story and Photography Courtesy of: SUU Marketing Communication