Students pursuing this degree must successfully complete 36 credits of graduate course work in one of the concentrations below. Students must submit a curriculum worksheet that has been approved by their faculty adviser and the director.
Courses applied to the degree are subject to the following restrictions: a maximum of 6 credits may be earned through independent study or directed readings and research courses; a maximum of 6 credits may be taken through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area; a maximum of 15 credits may be transfer credits; a maximum of 6 of the transfer credits may be from other accredited institutions.
Transfer credits include credits taken before first enrolling as an admitted degree-seeking student (at another institution, in another Mason graduate program, or in Mason nondegree status) or credits taken at another institution after admission to the degree program through study abroad or study elsewhere (which requires prior written approval of the director and the dean). Additional information may be found in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.
All students complete their work in the program with a project or thesis. Students are required to take MAIS 796 - MAIS ProSeminar (1 credit), MAIS 797 - Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal (1 credit), and either MAIS 798 - Interdisciplinary Studies Project (1-4 credits) or MAIS 799 - Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (3-4 credits). Students electing to complete the concentration in community college teaching with a thesis will complete 38 credits.
The concentration in religion, culture, and values is particularly relevant for students who are interested in careers in law, national and international government, print and media journalism, library sciences, archives and museums, public and social service, teaching, advanced graduate studies, and religious communities and institutions. The Washington, DC metropolitan area is rich in the presence of many major religious traditions and their places of worship.
The core courses introduce students to the study of religion as a unique and rigorous intellectual discipline. Students learn to evaluate a variety of perspectives on religion and gain a clear understanding of the dimension of the sacred in all aspects of human life including those commonly designated "secular". Students discover how religious perceptions of the sacred respond to an evolving world and relate to and influence cultures, institutions, and values.
Students also examine the effects of historical crises and the forces of change on religions including contemporary religious pluralism and inter-religious dialogue. Students gain a deeper knowledge of specific traditions and a more profound understanding of values and worldviews from the viewpoint of cultural diversity and religious pluralism.
RELI 591 - Special Topics in Religious Studies (may be repeated for credit)
Students take the course below and one or two other relevant courses chosen in consultation with an advisor.
CONF 695 - Selected Topics (if appropriate)
GOVT 741 - Advanced Seminar in International Politics (if appropriate)
Students choose electives in consultation with their advisor, bearing in mind their specialization, project, or thesis topic. Any of the courses under the specializations listed above or courses from other disciplines listed below may be used as electives.
MAIS 799 - Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 4 credits)
Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.