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Multidisciplinary Studies M.A., M.S.

About the Program

The Multidisciplinary studies program is designed for individuals with unique professional and educational objectives not readily met by traditional master’s degree programs. Through advisement and within certain guidelines students design their own program by selecting graduate courses from academic departments at the college or from other accredited institutions.

There are two tracks available: individualized and public relations management.

Upon satisfactory completion of an approved course of student, either a master of arts or a master of science degree is awarded, depending on the scope and content of the program.

Visit graduateschool.buffalostate.edu/multidisciplinary-studies for more information.

Download Multidisciplinary Studies program assessment plan.

About the Graduate School Department

204 Cleveland Hall
1300 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-5601
Fax: (716) 878-5630
http://graduateschool.buffalostate.edu/

Admission Requirements

1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (4.0 scale).

2. A two- to three-page statement of intent (essay) that includes the following: (a) educational and professional objectives; (b) an explanation of the reasons for interest in a nontraditional study format; and (c) a detailed outline of the proposed plan of study, including specific courses.

3. An interview with the program coordinator who will contact the student for an appointment after the completed application is received.

4. Identification and consent of a principal adviser Principal Adviser Consent form (PDF) (see Advisement section above). (Those students who need assistance identifying a principal adviser should contact the program coordinator in the Graduate School office.)

In addition, all applicants should review the Admission to a Graduate Program section in the Graduate Catalog.

Program Requirements

Individualized Track
Kimberly J. Jackson, Program Coordinator
The Graduate School
Cleveland Hall 204, (716) 878-5601

Through advisement and within certain guidelines, this track allows students to design their own programs by selecting graduate courses from any department at the college or from other accredited institutions.

Total = 30 credit hours

Public Relations Track
Deborah A. Silverman, Principal Adviser
Communication Department
Bishop Hall 225, (716) 878-3606

This track is designed for public relations practitioners in the western New York area or those who wish to find their way into that career. The program will assist students in obtaining coursework in public relations, in combination with a related field such as business, creative studies, or leadership. The track identifies the series of appropriate courses, those currently being offered to those professionals seeking advanced educational opportunities.

Public Relations, M.S.
Core courses (9 credit hours, all courses 3 credits)
COM 610: Strategic Public Relations
COM 620: Public Relations Management
COM 630: Applications of Public Relations
Students also take 21 credits of electives (7 courses), selected through advisement and based on student interest and career goals. Six of these 21 credits (2 courses) in electives may be additional COM courses, including COM 519: Communication for Leaders and Managers, and COM 590: Independent Study.

Master’s Project (3 credit hours)

Total = 30 credit hours

Program Requirements (All Tracks)

1. Completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours, comprising at least 15 hours of 600- and 700-level courses, including the master’s thesis or master’s project.

2. A maximum of 18 credit hours may be taken in a discipline that offers a master’s degree when the student does a master’s thesis (6 credits). A maximum of 15 credit hours may be taken in a discipline that offers a master’s degree when the student does a master’s project (3 credits).

3. A maximum of 18 credit hours may be taken in a discipline that does not offer a master’s degree.

4. A maximum of 15 credit hours may be taken at another accredited institution. This coursework must conform to the limitations stated in 2 and 3 (above) and must have the prior approval of the principal adviser.

5. Only grades of B or better will be accepted as transfer credit. An official transcript showing transfer credit must be submitted to the Graduate School.

6. Coursework (including transfer credit) must be completed within the six-year period immediately preceding the date of completion of the program.

7. A maximum of 6 credit hours of independent study may be included in the program.

8. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale).

9. Master of arts candidates must complete a thesis approved by the principal adviser and a second reader. Individual principal advisers may impose further requirements on candidates based on practices and policies of their home department (third reader or oral defense, for example). These must be specified in writing at the outset of the degree program.

10. Master of science candidates must complete a) a research methods course and b) a supervised project approved by the principal adviser. Individual principal advisers may impose further requirements on candidates based on practices and policies of their home department (second reader or oral defense, for example). These must be specified in writing at the outset of the degree program.

11. An application for admission to candidacy, approved by the student’s principal adviser, must be submitted to the Graduate School before the completion of 12 credit hours at Buffalo State.

Advisement (All Tracks)
After completing the statement of intent and meeting with the program coordinator, students identify a principal adviser. The principal adviser reviews the statement of intent and eventually approves a plan of study and agrees to serve as thesis/project adviser. A detailed plan of study, including specific courses, may be required. When a principal adviser has been secured, the Principal Adviser Consent form (PDF) must be completed. The principal adviser also enumerates any additional requirements the student must complete before being permitted to advance to candidacy, including but not limited to requiring that the student identify a second adviser to support the course of study and read the eventual thesis or project. The principal adviser is charged with working closely with the student throughout the plan of the study and with service as a point of contact with the Graduate School to support and advise the student. It is the student's responsibility to initiate and maintain contact and ongoing communication with the principal adviser.

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