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About Multidisciplinary Studies

Design your own interdisciplinary master’s program based on your specific academic interests and career goals.

Buffalo State’s Multidisciplinary Studies degree offers a non-traditional approach for students with unique educational and professional pursuits. The program is open to those holding undergraduate degrees from an array of disciplines.

Through careful advisement, close interaction with our exceptional faculty, and integration with different fields of study, students thoroughly explore a topic, question, or problem that aligns with their professional goals.

Graduates are equipped with knowledge and skills in areas including data analytics, problem-solving, communication, leadership, research, and more in preparation for leadership roles in today's competitive job market.

Degree Information

Multidisciplinary Studies, M.A. (one track)

Individualized Track: For individuals who seek to combine distinctive fields of study or academic interests.

Students conduct research to redefine problems outside of the normal boundaries with a goal to reach solutions based on a new understanding of complex situations.

The capstone requirement for this option is the completion of a master's thesis.

Multidisciplinary Studies, Individualized Track, M.A.

Multidisciplinary Studies, M.S. (three tracks)

Individualized Track: For individuals who seek to combine distinctive fields of study or academic interests. Students conduct research to redefine problems outside of the normal boundaries with a goal to reach solutions based on a new understanding of complex situations.

Individualized Track courses offered on campus. Select courses may be offered 100-percent online. 

Data Science & Analytics Track: For business, industry, health, government, education, and other professionals seeking career advancement, or college graduates from any field, who want to master practical, essential skills in data science and analytics.

Nutrition Track: For graduates and practitioners in the area of nutrition education and dietetics to enhance and update their knowledge and skills in the field.

Nutrition Track courses are offered 100-percent online.

Multidisciplinary Studies, Individualized Track, M.S.

“The struggles I faced during my journey to achieve my master's degree were tough. Studying multiple disciplines and performing well in them allowed me to break barriers with ease. A multidisciplinary studies student is an individual who has no limits.”

- Victor Baird, independent music artist Individualized Track

“I was ardently looking for a program to strengthen my professional skills as well as provide academic rigor. The program has unlocked my academic potential to enable me to further pursue my career.”

- Win Man Thant, impact manager Individualized Track

"I chose to pursue my master's in multidisciplinary studies in the hopes of expanding my understanding of providing culturally competent care to patients from diverse cultural backgrounds."

- Olivia Campbell Nutrition Track

"The multidisciplinary program offers a needed option for students that may not fit the old mold of education."

- Arthur Hackett Individualized Track

Program Highlights

Customized

A customized degree that includes individualized innovative learning that meets students’ academic and career objectives.

Hands-On

Through applied learning, students develop a deep understanding and experience subject matter while applying skills, theories, models, and points of view.

Flexible Format

The program offers a flexible curriculum and variable course format which includes select online (100%), traditional classroom, and hybrid formats for full-time or part-time study.

Committed Faculty

Our renowned faculty provide unique expertise and research interests and are committed to student success.

Professional Opportunities

Techniques for personal development and professional advancement through innovative course work, research and internship opportunities.

Admissions 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. Identification and consent of a principal adviser.

    Principal Adviser Consent (PDF)

    Students who need assistance identifying a principal adviser should contact the program coordinator in the Graduate Studies office.
     
  4. After the completed application is received the student will be contacted to set up an appointment for an interview with the program coordinator.

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

  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: educational and professional goals, relevant background experience, and reasons for interest in the Multidisciplinary Studies, Data Science and Analytics Track Program.
     
  3. Signed principal adviser consent form. Students in the DSA track will be advised by Dr. Joaquin Carbonara.

    Principal Adviser Consent (PDF)
     
  4. After the completed application is received the student will be contacted to set up an appointment for an interview with the program coordinator.

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

  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 educational and professional goals, relevant background experience, and reasons for interest in the Multidisciplinary Studies, Nutrition Track Program.
     
  3. Signed principal adviser consent form. Students in the nutrition track will be advised by Dr. Carol DeNysschen.

    Principal Adviser Consent (PDF)
     
  4. After the completed application is received the student will be contacted to set up an appointment for an interview with the program coordinator.

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

Program Requirements

  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.
     
  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).
     
  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) meet the requirements of the Transfer Credit policy, and 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 Studies Office.
     
  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 on the completed Principal Adviser Consent Form.
     
  10. A Degree Candidacy Application Form, approved by the student’s principal, secondary, and tertiary (if required) must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office before the completion of 12 credit hours at Buffalo State.
     
  11. Students completing degree requirements each spring semester are requested to submit designated assignments/artifacts in Taskstream by the close of the semester for the Multidisciplinary Studies Program Assessment.
  1. Completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours, comprising at least 15 hours of 600- and 700-level courses, including the master’s project.
     
  2. 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), meet the requirements of the Transfer Credit policy, and 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 Studies Office.
     
  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 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 on the completed Principal Adviser Consent Form.
     
  10. A Degree Candidacy Application Form, approved by the student’s principal, secondary (if required), and tertiary (if required) must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office before the completion of 12 credit hours at Buffalo State.
     
  11. Students completing degree requirements each spring semester are requested to submit designated assignments/artifacts in Taskstream by the close of the semester for the Multidisciplinary Studies Program Assessment.

Curriculum Guidelines

The first step for students to design a curriculum is to select graduate course work from a variety of academic areas at Buffalo State which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Creative Studies
  • Criminal Justice
  • Data Analytics
  • Design
  • Earth Sciences
  • Engineering Technology
  • English
  • Economics and Finance
  • Fine Arts
  • Geography and Planning
  • Great Lakes Ecosystem Science
  • Health, Nutrition, and Dietetics
  • Higher Education and Student Administration
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Social and Psychological Foundations
  • Sociology

Note: Only graduate coursework may be included in the Multidisciplinary Studies master’s program.

Select a specific content area for which your main course work and cumulating experience (Master’s Project) will reside.

  • Once content courses have been determined, the student must seek out a graduate faculty member (with graduate faculty status designation).
     
  • A copy of the Statement of Intent and the Principal Adviser Consent Form must be provided to the identified faculty member.
     
  • Students who need assistance identifying a principal adviser should contact the program coordinator in the Graduate Studies Office.

In addition to content coursework, elective courses must be included the curriculum.

Elective courses may vary and should complement the student’s educational and professional objectives.

Elective course options can be found in the course description section of the Graduate Catalog.

The Multidisciplinary Studies program allows up to 15 credit hours of transfer work based upon the approval of the principal adviser and advisory committee (if required). 

There is no automatic transfer of graduate credits in the multidisciplinary studies program.

Transfer credit requests should be presented for consideration at the time the student applies for admission to the college or as soon as the coursework is completed.

Students must submit sealed official transcripts from the institution where the course(s) was completed to the Graduate Studies Office. 

Transfer Credit Policy

I’Jaz Eberhardt

I’Jaz Eberhardt, 2020

Multimedia Journalist/Video Producer at Spectrum News

“My decision to enroll in the multidisciplinary studies program was fueled by my goal of becoming a data journalist.

I knew that I would need to develop new skills to have the range required for telling meaningful stories with quantitative foundations...

Having the freedom to build my education around my passion has made me more well-rounded, both personally and professionally.”

Guidance

When to Apply

  • The multidisciplinary studies program has rolling admissions. 
  • It is recommended applicants apply early (months before the start of classes) to ensure time to complete application material and best course selection. 
  • Application should be received two weeks before the start of each semester (spring, summer, fall)

Interview

  • After a completed application is submitted, you will be contacted by the Graduate Studies Office to set-up your interview with the program coordinator.  
  • After the interview, an admission decision will be made.
  • This is the final step in the application process.

Upon acceptance to the program, students work closely with their principal adviser. 

Advisement Topics

  • course selection for degree candidacy
  • research interests
  • alternate methods of earning credit
  • support through the thesis/project process.  

NOTE: A secondary adviser is required for all master of arts students. It is the student’s responsibility to contact their principal adviser for regular advisement meetings.

  • Clear any holds on your account and be in good standing prior to your registration window
  • Check your registration time ticket in Banner for your registration window dates  
  • Register as early as possible. Classes fill quickly! 
  • Course listings for all terms can be found on the Registrar's Office website.

Assessment

The Multidisciplinary Studies program is committed to fostering the academic achievement and personal development of its students. The program conducts its annual program assessment each spring.

Students completing degree requirements in the spring semester are required to submit designated assignments/artifacts in Taskstream by the close of the semester. This information is used to:

  • monitor program effectiveness
  • recognize educational trends and opportunities
  • develop a sound, factual basis for academic planning

Assignments/Artifacts to Submit

  1. Oral (audio/visual recording) and visual (PowerPoint) presentation
  2. Final copy of the master’s project/thesis
  3. Reflection paper of student’s experiences in the program.

Students graduating in the spring semester will be contacted by the program coordinator for directions and guidance.

Additional information on the assessment process, Taskstream, and other important resources for students and faculty can be found in the Multidisciplinary Studies Organization Blackboard site.  

The program coordinator oversees the assessment process.

Student Learning Outcomes for Multidisciplinary Studies (M.A., M.S.) Program
Outcome Mapping
SLO 1
Demonstrate effective and appropriate communication skills through coherent and well-organized written presentations.
Buffalo State College Institutional Learning Outcomes:
Cultural Fluency, Ethical Reasoning, Scholarship and Creative Activity, Urban Engagement
SLO 2
Demonstrate effective and appropriate communication skills through coherent and well-organized oral and visual presentations.
Buffalo State College Institutional Learning Outcomes:
Cultural Fluency, Ethical Reasoning, Scholarship and Creative Activity, Urban Engagement
SLO 3
Demonstrate the ability to creatively use information, concepts, analytical
approaches, and critical thinking skills in one or more disciplines. Competency in making connections that will synthesize and transfer learning to new and complex situations.
Buffalo State College Institutional Learning Outcomes:
Scholarship and Creative Activity
SLO 4
Ethically identify, access, critically evaluate, and apply information throughout collections of work.
Buffalo State College Institutional Learning Outcomes:
Ethical Reasoning
SLO 5
Demonstrate a basic knowledge of design, methodology, and measurement
strategies that addresses a problem in the field.
Buffalo State College Institutional Learning Outcomes:
Cultural Fluency, Ethical Reasoning, Scholarship and Creative Activity, Urban Engagement
SLO 6
Demonstrate analytical skills through self-reflection to assess individual performances or collections of work. Show evidence of personal, professional, and civic engagement/development.
Buffalo State College Institutional Learning Outcomes:
Cultural Fluency, Ethical Reasoning, Scholarship and Creative Activity, Urban Engagement

 

Assessment Plan: Multidisciplinary Studies Program (M.A., M.S.)

Student Learning
Objective (SLO)

Courses
Resulting in Outcomes/Goals
Activities
Resulting in
Outcomes/Goals
Measures, Criteria,
Rubrics of Student Achievement of
Goals/Objectives
Timetable
1. Students will demonstrate effective and appropriate communication skills through coherent and well-organized written presentations.

M.S. - Project 690

M.A. - Thesis 695/795    

Final submission of project and/or thesis. Analysis by principal adviser or project instructor, and multidisciplinary studies assessment team representative(s). Perform at Developing (3) or Proficient (4) levels based on Taskstream/ Written Communication rubric. Annually, Spring Semester 
2. Students will demonstrate effective and appropriate communication skills through coherent and well-organized oral and visual presentations.

M.S. - Project 690

M.A. - Thesis 695/795

Oral (audio) and visual (Power Point) presentations to be uploaded to Taskstream. Analysis by principal adviser or project instructor, and multidisciplinary studies assessment team representative(s).
Perform at Developing (3) or Proficient (4) levels based on Taskstream/
Oral Communication rubric.
Annually, Spring Semester
3. Students will demonstrate the ability to creatively use information, concepts, analytical approaches, and critical thinking skills in one or more disciplines. Competency in making connections that will synthesize and transfer learning to new and complex situations.

M.S. - Project 690

M.A. - Thesis 695/795

Final submission of project and/or thesis. Analysis by principal adviser or project instructor, and multidisciplinary studies assessment team representative(s).
Perform at Developing (3) or Proficient (4) levels based on Taskstream/
Critical Thinking rubric.
Annually, Spring Semester
4. Students will ethically identify, access, critically evaluate, and apply information throughout collections of work.

M.S. - Project 690

M.A. - Thesis 695/795

Final submission of project and/or thesis. Analysis by principal adviser or project instructor, and multidisciplinary studies assessment team representative(s).
Perform at Developing (3) or Proficient (4) levels based on Taskstream/ Ethical Reasoning rubric.
Annually, Spring Semester
5. Students will demonstrate a basic knowledge of research design, methodology, and measurement strategies that addresses a problem in the field.

M.S. - Project 690

M.A. - Thesis 695/795

Final submission of project and/or thesis. Analysis by principal adviser or project instructor, and multidisciplinary studies assessment team representative(s).
Perform at Developing (3) or Proficient (4) levels based on Taskstream/ Integrative Learning rubric.
Annually, Spring Semester
6. Students will demonstrate analytical skills through self-reflection to access individual performances of collections of work. Show evidence of personal, professional, and civic engagement/ development. N/A Reflection Paper requirement submitted at the final semester of the student’s program. Analysis by principal adviser or project instructor, and multidisciplinary studies assessment team representative(s).
Perform at Developing (3) or Proficient (4) levels based on Taskstream/ Integrative Learning rubric.     
Annually, Spring Semester

 

TaskStream is a cloud-based assessment management system which is used by students and faculty for assessment purposes.  

Students must submit/post their work via TaskStream which allows faculty and other reviewers to evaluate student’s work.

TaskStream Sign In