Interdisciplinary Concentration (MIS)

A concentration in the Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (MIS) Program at Georgia State University should contribute to the university goal of providing distinctive graduate education. The specific purpose of the MIS program is to address emerging, interdisciplinary areas of study by offering a limited number of new MIS concentrations at the graduate level, with an emphasis on responding to the evolving workforce needs of the city, state and region. The MIS will not be offered as a generic degree or individualized for individual students. Instead, Georgia State will offer a limited number of specific concentrations within the MIS degree, with each concentration emerging from regional and global industry needs or from one of the university’s major strategic undertakings. In particular, MIS concentrations should target workforce demand by producing job-ready graduates with advanced comprehensive understandings, multidimensional views, and practical skills.

On a practical level, the MIS program will enhance flexibility in graduate programming, test new curricula, and explore new pedagogical models at Georgia State. To meet the interdisciplinary goals of this master’s program, each concentration must be a collaborative effort by more than one department or unit at the university, and the collaborative teams should not already offer an interdisciplinary program together at the graduate level. In most cases, collaborative teams should identify a sponsoring (lead) unit for program administration, along with collaborative unit(s). Each participating entity should be acknowledged by the university for credit hours and administrative efforts contributing to the concentration, e.g. by multiple-counting of credit hours and degrees conferred to each student in an interdisciplinary concentration.

Generally, each concentration should consist of 30-45 credit hours, including an initial proseminar or similar course that helps to unify the disciplines of the program, as well as a capstone project that provides professional readiness or transition into a subsequent program via an internship, practicum, or course-based experience. Ultimately, MIS concentrations deemed successful based on benchmarks proposed by the collaborative teams may lead to establishment of independent programs.

Proposal Format

Proposals for MIS concentrations should include the information requested below.

Cover Page

  1. Concentration Title
  2. Sponsoring colleges(s)/department(s)/institute(s)/center(s)/unit(s)
  3. Collaborating department(s)/institute(s)/center(s)/unit(s)
  4. Contact name, email and telephone number of primary faculty member responsible for communication about the MIS concentration
  5. Contact name, email and telephone number of each liaison faculty member responsible for communication about the MIS concentration in each collaborating unit
  6. Date of proposal submission
  7. Proposed implementation term

Concentration Overview

  1. Please provide an overview of this concentration proposal, e.g. including brief description of the concentration content, curriculum, target students, roles of contributing units, and modes of delivery.
  2. Mission Statement
  3. Learning Outcomes
  4. Benchmarks of success of the concentration

Evidence of Need and Interest in the MIS Concentration

  1. Please justify the need for the concentration, based on need in the professional field for this novel combination of departments or units, as well as need on our campus for this program of study. Describe the workforce needs in Georgia or beyond that can be met by graduates with this MIS concentration, and/or the advanced degree programs for which these graduates will be highly competitive. Include information on why the academic preparation for this degree cannot be accomplished within an established academic unit or program at this university or other institutions in the University System of Georgia, and how the new combination of departments or units will better facilitate learning in this new area of interest.
  2. Provide evidence of student interest in the concentration curriculum among GSU students or similar populations at other institutions or in relevant professional positions.
  3. Project the number of students who will apply and target numbers for admissions, along with a basis for the projections.

Plans for Concentration Administration

  1. Summarize program admission requirements.
  2. Outline the complete program curriculum (including catalog copy) with an emphasis on feasibility with respect to course availability and courses meeting expected enrollment (i.e., courses making).
    • All pre-requisites and course sequences required for any course in the curriculum.
    • Predicted course availability information for each course in the program curriculum.
      • for each established course – how often the course has been offered and how many sections (and seats) during the past academic year.
      • for each new course – which department will be responsible for course development and approval; projected availability during the next academic year, with number of sections (and seats); draft syllabus and catalog description.
    • Sample schedule of courses that would allow students to graduate in 30-45 credit hours, including any anticipated pre-requisite courses.
    • Use a table to map the learning outcomes onto the curriculum requirements, i.e. align learning outcomes with the courses that best enable students to demonstrate each outcome.
  3. Specify how the recommended proseminar or other introductory course will unify the disciplines involved in the concentration. If students in the proposed concentration will join in a proseminar with other MIS concentrations, provide documentation of approval and/or logistics of collaboration (e.g. letter of support from existing proseminar instructor and department/unit leader).
  4. Specify how the recommended capstone project will prepare students effectively to join the workforce or proceed to other degree programs. If capitalizing on an existing internship, practicum, capstone, or similar course or project, provide specific evidence that the existing offering will use appropriate interdisciplinary content and approach. For all capstone options, detail the final products and how they will be reviewed by a faculty member (e.g. sample grading rubrics). If the program requires internships or similar experiences, explain the process for identifying opportunities, securing approval from Legal Affairs and Risk Management, and for placing specific students.
  5. Prepare an administrative leadership plan.
    • Proposed administration of the program, including primary academic leader(s) for concentration, i.e. faculty member(s) primarily responsible for academic support.
    • Strategies for ensuring adequate communication among collaborating units, especially if leadership is to be shared equally among sponsoring and collaborative units.
    • Proposed advisement process for students, e.g. which units will provide faculty advisors and which units will manage formal student complaints, etc.
    • Additional resource requirements (if any), budget implications (personnel costs, library acquisitions, computing/equipment costs), and information regarding sources.
    • Any offices, departments, committees, and individuals consulted during the development of the concentration proposal.
  6. Summarize anticipated impact on other programs, departments or colleges.
  7. Provide a signature page, including signoff on proposal by sponsoring and collaborating directors, department chairs, and deans committing necessary resources, faculty, and courses to ensure success of the interdisciplinary concentration.

Approval Process for the MIS Concentration Proposal

  1. Proposals should be considered and approved by the sponsoring academic colleges/department(s)/units. Units should pay particular attention to feasibility of course offerings (availability/sequencing & adequate enrollment).
  2. Proposals require the approval of the sponsoring dean(s) of the college(s) involved in the interdisciplinary program offering. (See signature page above.)
  3. The dean(s) will send approved proposals to the vice provost and to the chair of the University Senate Committee on Academic Programs (CAP). The vice provost will review for compliance with Georgia Board of Regents (BOR) policies and will ask the associate provost for institutional effectiveness to do the same for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requirements. Depending on the nature of the proposed program, the vice provost may ask others to review the proposal as well.
  4. CAP will review the MIS concentration proposal and vote on its approval.
  5. The chair of CAP will prepare written recommendation for concentration approval and notify the vice provost and the associate provost for graduate programs of the recommendation.
  6. The provost, on behalf of the university president, will make the final decision on approval of the new MIS concentration.