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    Jun 25, 2024  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Interactive and Virtual Digital Communication, MA

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Interdisciplinary Studies master’s degrees

The interdisciplinary studies program offers students a high degree of flexibility in designing a program of study that cuts across disciplinary boundaries. Applicants to the master’s program can pursue one of two approaches — either a self-styled plan or a recognized concentration. Under a self-styled plan, students design a program to address a particular intellectual interest or study a multidisciplinary issue that combines existing courses from any graduate area of the university. Applicants should contact the Graduate School to discuss their intention to seek a self-styled plan. A recognized concentration provides more structure in the courses taken and is built around a defined interdisciplinary theme. For either approach, the degree awarded upon completion of the program is a Master of Arts or Master of Science with a major in interdisciplinary studies.

General requirements

In the self-styled approach, either the Master of Science or the Master of Arts degree program must include no fewer than three separate fields of study with at least 6 hours in each field. No more than 18 hours (including thesis and special problems) may be taken under any one course prefix or subject field. A faculty advisory committee, representative of each of the disciplines of the student’s program, will be formed to help the student develop the degree plan and supervise progress.

Knowledge of at least one foreign language or tool subject acceptable to the Toulouse Graduate School is required for the Master of Arts degree, but not for the Master of Science.

Students may choose the non-thesis option and complete at least 30 semester hours for a Master of Arts or Master of Science. The thesis option requires 24 semester hours plus 6 hours of thesis, for a total of 30 hours.

For any non-thesis degree, the student will either successfully complete a capstone seminar, submit a portfolio of work designed in concert with the advisory committee, or develop a project in concert with the committee.

Admission requirements

Applicants for admission to the degree in interdisciplinary studies must submit the following:

  1. A completed Graduate School application form.
  2. Complete transcripts from all colleges attended.
  3. A non-refundable application fee.
  4. Scores on the Personal Potential Index or the verbal, quantitative and writing sections of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or results from another standardized test such as the GMAT.
  5. A current resume or curriculum vitae.
  6. Two letters of recommendation.

After students are accepted into the program, but before they can begin taking classes, they will work with an academic advisor in the Toulouse Graduate School, the director of a concentration (if applicable) and the faculty advisory committee to develop a plan of study for the interdisciplinary program that includes the following:

  1. goals for the program of study;
  2. anticipated learning outcomes (i.e., what the student expects to have learned by the end of the program);
  3. defined assessment methods for the learning outcomes designed in consultation with the program advisor and director or the faculty advisory committee; and
  4. a degree plan worksheet approved by the Toulouse Graduate School and the faculty representatives from each of the disciplines from which the student will take classes.

Applicants seeking admission to the recognized concentrations should consult with the concentration’s director for concentration specific admission requirements.

University Courses (UCRS)

University courses are interdisciplinary in nature and are available to students working toward the master’s degree with the interdisciplinary major.


Students pursuing the master’s in interdisciplinary studies additionally may request admission to one of the available concentration programs.

Concentration in interactive and virtual digital communications

During this period of dynamic change in traditional print and broadcast media, it is absolutely essential that anyone interested in pursuing a career in media have a fundamental grasp of how the Internet, social media and technology are changing the way we gather, report, write and distribute news and information.

This 30-hour interdisciplinary studies master’s concentration provides students written, visual and technical competencies required to successfully communicate in the modern online and information-oriented environments.

Program objectives

  • Provide a solid foundation on the current trends in communicating news and information in today’s world.
  • Provide a theoretical and practical framework to assess how interactive and digital media, e.g. web sites, blogs, social media, mobile media, is impacting current business models for media and most companies today.
  • Help students understand how to best use technology and digital media to better reach news and existing readers, viewers, consumers and customers.
  • Update knowledge and skills related to digital media to take on a more active role in business and industry.


The following are the courses recommended for both the Master of Arts and Master of Science interdisciplinary degrees with a focus on interactive and virtual digital communications in the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism and the departments of learning technologies and library and information sciences in the College of Information.

Department of Learning Technologies requirements

Computer education and cognitive systems courses:

Other course work

Students intending to graduate with a thesis must reserve 6 of the required 30 hours of credit for thesis studies. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available for completion of the degree. Students will develop a degree plan with the aid and approval of the program coordinator, the concentration director and a three-member faculty advisory committed composed of representatives from their three primary areas of study. This committee will also serve to evaluate the thesis, portfolio or project. Knowledge of at least one foreign language or a tool subject acceptable to the Toulouse Graduate School is required for the Master of Arts degree.

For further information about interactive and virtual digital communications at UNT, please contact the graduate advisor in the Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism via e-mail (; in the General Academic Building, Room 207; or by phone at 940-565-4564.

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