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2017-2018 Graduate Bulletin

Interdisciplinary Program in Social Science

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

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Director: Robert E. Crew, Jr., Office of the Dean, College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

Note: The information in this chapter is for reference purposes only for currently-enrolled students. This program is no longer accepting applicants.

The Interdisciplinary Program in Social Science (ISS) offers a course of study that leads to the master of arts (MA) or master of science (MS) and provides a broad background in the social sciences for students who find the curriculum of a single discipline too confining for their individual interests. In addition, the program may be used to develop specific preparation in a number of interdisciplinary fields, including: 1) teaching of social science in the junior college and in the public schools; 2) organization of community and urban change; and 3) budget/policy analysis. Courses are selected from those offered by the participating departments of Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Sociology, and Urban and Regional Planning, and the Reubin O’D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy.


Admission to the program is limited to students who have a score of 1000 on the aptitude test of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average (GPA). Students admitted to the program must also have a minimum of thirty-six semester hours of undergraduate coursework in the social sciences. Candidates for the MA must meet the University’s requirements of foreign language proficiency and must have six hours of graduate study in an arts field (history courses fulfill this requirement).

Candidates for the master’s degree in the ISS program must complete thirty-two semester hours of coursework. This coursework may be distributed so as to receive a broad exposure to the perspectives of the social sciences or so as to receive interdisciplinary instruction in one of several fields of concentration, as identified above.

For those pursuing the first alternative, twelve to eighteen hours must be taken in one field of social science (the major field) and not less than six hours must be taken in each of two additional social science fields (the minor fields).

For those seeking one of the concentrations identified above, a specific combination of courses must be taken. These courses must be identified in consultation with the student’s major professor and spelled out in a degree plan agreed to by that person, the program director, and the student’s committee.

Each student in the master’s program will have a supervisory committee consisting of three faculty members. For those students pursuing the most general course of study, the chair of the committee, or major professor, comes from the department of the major field; the other two members come from the two minor field departments. For those students pursuing a concentration, the chair may be selected for knowledge of the particular field and may come from any department. The two remaining members, also selected for their knowledge of the particular field of concentration, must come from two other departments. The committee is responsible for setting and administering the student’s comprehensive examination, and, with the advice of the relevant department, may specify courses in each social science field for students selecting that field as an area of major or minor concentration. The comprehensive examination consists of a written test of three to six hours duration which may involve questions broader than the content of particular courses. The committee at its discretion may also require an oral examination.

Definition of Prefixes

CPS—Comparative Policy Studies (Multinational)

HSC—Health Sciences

ISS—Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

PHC—Public Health Concentration

Graduate Courses

CPS 5424. Research Seminar in Comparative Managerial and Organizational Policies (3). Comparative analysis of the political and administrative organization and their implications.

CPS 5906r. Directed Individual Study (3). (S/U grade only). May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours.

CPS 5911r. Supervised Research (1–5). (S/U grade only). A maximum of three hours may apply to the master’s degree. May be repeated for a maximum of five semester hours.

HSC 5930r. Special Topics in Social Science (1–3). Interdisciplinary special topics of current interest or utilizing special competencies of faculty. Content varies from semester to semester. May be repeated with the permission of the Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Social Sciences.

ISS 5125. Introduction to Economics for Executives (3). This course focuses on tools of economic analysis and concepts such as incentives, efficiency, tradeoffs, uncertainty, and inputs into production. It utilizes case studies to illustrate how economic concepts are used by executives to improve managerial performance and how economic thinking contributes to the resolution of problems they face.

ISS 5326. Marketing in the Public and Nonprofit Sector (1–3). This course provides information about the value of a marketing orientation to public and non-profit organizations.

ISS 5386. Information and Communication Management (3). This course examines major management issues in government/nonprofit information technology, including the following: differences in public/nonprofit sectors and private sector; issues surrounding organizational structure for information service delivery; MIS planning and standard setting methods; personnel/staffing issues; procurement; and security and privacy.

ISS 5905r. Directed Individual Study (3). May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours.

ISS 5951r. Problem Analysis Project (3). This course identifies courses and analyzes significant issue of policy or management related to a student’s current or future interest. In the first semester, in collaboration with the instructor, the student identifies an appropriate topic and designs the research. In the second semester, the research is carried out and analysis is done. May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours.

ISS 5971r. Thesis (3–6). (S/U grade only). A minimum of six semester hours credit is required.

ISS 8966r. Master’s Comprehensive Examination (0). (P/F grade only.)

ISS 8976r. Master’s Thesis Defense (0). (P/F grade only.)

PHC 5001. Public Health Epidemiology (3). This course is designed to introduce the student to basic concepts of applied epidemiology and to learn critical evaluation of peer-review literature. The course combines theory and practical knowledge of how epidemiology is practiced in the field.

PHC 5912. Public Health Capstone Course (3). Prerequisite: Student must be a Masters Public Health major. This course introduces public health concepts as well as public health professional practice. Students examine the origins and development of the modern public health system and the relationship of public health to the overall health system. Students learn about the essential dimensions, critical issues, and contributions of public health. This course also acts as a Capstone course and includes a test the last week of the course to test knowledge of public health concepts and practice.

PHC 5945. Internship (3). (S/U grade only). This internship places students, under faculty supervision, in employment situations related to their academic interest; research related to a problem or issue facing the sponsor of the internship.


see Teacher Education


see Educational Leadership and Policy Studies