Customize Your Master’s Degree to Your Career

Posted: October 23, 2023 | Author: Madelyn Bushman | Read Time: 5 minutes

Suu's first MIS graduates with the Animal Services emphasis pose with a dog on graduation day.

The Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (MIS) allows students to create an individualized master’s degree tailored to their unique needs. The MIS is designed for flexibility, allowing students to select courses from their choice of three distinct areas of study that match their personal passions and career objectives. 

The MIS allows students to create a master’s degree that will help them stand out. If you are a student pursuing a unique career path combining different areas of interest, or craving adaptability, or is an entrepreneur, then the MIS degree program might be right for you. And this master’s degree will be well worth it!

How is the MIS program structured? 

SUU’s MIS degree program is structured for working adults and is ranked third in the nation by Best College Reviews.  It’s 100% online, which means students study according to their schedules and never need to step foot on campus (but we hope you will join us for your graduation ceremony).  

There are six start dates each year, so grad students can start at their convenience.  The program includes accelerated 7-week courses and traditional 14-week courses.  The accelerated courses allow students to focus on fewer subjects at one time; enrolling in two 7-week courses is considered full-time enrollment.

The MIS degree requires 30 credit hours that are comprised of courses from up to 3 learning blocks (subject areas).  This flexibility enables students to tailor their master’s degrees to suit their interests and career aspirations, and is an ideal option for people whose unusual careers that do not have an existing, defined master’s program.  The program concludes with a capstone that is either a thesis, a project, or an internship.

Yes, the MIS can be completed in as few as 12 months when students enroll in a full-time schedule and attend three consecutive semesters (fall, spring, and summer).

Learning Blocks

There are 19 learning blocks that students choose courses from in order to create a tailored degree that will help them stand out. 

The learning blocks include:

    • Arts Administration: develop the skills needed to help the arts thrive with civic, business, state, and federal agencies and learn what it means to be a leader in an arts organization.
    • Business Administration: advance your leadership skills, plus learn how to approach and solve business problems.
    • Contemporary Animal Services Leadership (CASL): learn how to fundraise, manage, and lead in an animal services organization.
    • Cybersecurity & Information Assurance: gain an understanding of the foundation of information security. 
    • Education: gain a deep understanding of what it means to be creative in education, how to meet the needs of the culturally diverse school populations, and how to apply technology in education. 
    • General Studies: designed for those transferring in an academic discipline that SUU’s MIS degree does not include. 
    • Global Health: learn about current health issues across the globe and medicine from an evolutionary, contemporary, and anthropological perspective. 
    • Human Values: learn about which ideas best exemplify the human condition and the values which help to define it, gain a foundational understanding of leadership, and study the theoretical and practical framework for public administration. 
    • Leadership Studies: discover what it means to be a leader and develop your personal leadership style. 
    • Music Technology: develop a deep understanding of the technology and hardware behind audio recording, notation, and music promotion. 
    • National Parks & Public Lands: gain an understanding of National Park history, the importance of archeological stewardship, and the interdisciplinary management of parks and public lands. 
    • Non-Profit Management: learn how to manage, fundraise, and grant write for a non-profit. 
    • Online Teaching & Course Design: learn the guiding principles behind online course development, design, and assessment. 
    • Public Administration: learn the fundamentals of administrative law, public sector economics, and public human resource management. 
    • School Library: develop key skills needed for library media teachers. 
    • Social Media & Public Relations: learn how to strategically use major social media platforms and how to communicate in a crisis. 
    • Special Education: develop an understanding on how to create and manage learning environments, the curricular needs of students with mild/moderate disabilities, and transition planning for a continuum of students with mild/moderate disabilities. 
    • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: develop an understanding of the field of Teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and the study of linguistics.
    • Writing & Rhetoric: learn the craft, tools, and techniques of fiction and poetry, while developing a poetic and fiction voice through writing, reading, and studying. Understand the history, theory, and practice of rhetoric with a focus on argumentation, writing instruction, and writing for publication.

MIS Example - Animal Services Leadership with Best Friends

Southern Utah University and Best Friends Animal Society have teamed up to enhance the Contemporary Animal Services Leadership (CASL) curriculum for students looking to specialize in animal services at the graduate level. 

Best Friends operates the nation’s largest sanctuary for homeless animals and provides adoption, spay/neuter services, and educational programs. They are a leading animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters in the coming years.

The animal services industry needs passionate leaders who can not only run their organizations more efficiently, but also can be more effective advocates in their respective communities and rally support for their cause.

With the CASL emphasis for the MIS degree, students will have the opportunity to learn how to manage animal-related nonprofits by taking classes in:

  • Animal Services
  • Business
  • Non-profit Management
  • Grant Writing
  • Social Media Management
  • Crisis Communication
  • and other topics

This customized curriculum will allow them to gain a deeper understanding of relevant issues, to develop skills to strengthen the financial health of their organization, to influence community support, and to help their cause thrive.

The MIS program is a great choice for any student looking to tailor their education to their career. This program allows students to build their resume with job-specific skills, boost their career marketability to get the jobs, and improve the chances for earning a higher salary. 

What’s even better?  The MIS program has tuition assistance options available, including scholarships. 

Learn more about the MIS program and apply today.

Tags: College of Humanities and Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Programs

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