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Master of Arts Interdisciplinary Studies

Get a master’s degree that allows you to study across arts, humanities, and social sciences. Choose your own learning path according to your interests—we offer 12 focus areas, including an independent study track.

  • What you need to know from the application to completion

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Program details

The Master of Arts – Interdisciplinary Studies (MA-IS) is a 33-credit online graduate program. You must complete at least 18 credits through Athabasca University.

The MA-IS program has 2 core courses and requires at least 1 focus area. You must complete 4 courses in your focus area and 4 elective courses before starting your final project or capstone course.

Your courses will be a combination of paced (scheduled start and end dates and assignment deadlines) and individualized study (monthly available start times and finish any time within a 6-month time frame).

You can choose to complete your final project in a grouped study capstone course or through an individualized-study project.

You can finish this program in as little as 2 years of full-time study or work at your own pace to complete your requirements within 6 years. The expected normal completion time is 3–4 years.

Please review the program learning outcomes here.

Focus areas

Adult Education

The courses in this focus area will allow you to examine the breadth and depth of adult education as a field of practice.

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Canada, the North, and the Globe

This focus area addresses issues having to do with 'the North' as a unique socio-political and natural region of our planet. It covers Canada as well as tensions specific to it within the global context.

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Community Studies

The Community Studies focus area explores issues of social justice and social change as they relate to community-based organizing, community economic development, education, and social movements.

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Cultural Studies

The Cultural Studies focus area explores the links between the arts and other human activities in complex societies.

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Educational Studies

The Educational Studies focus area provides a critical, integrated understanding of the relationships between instructors, students, educational organization(s), and society.

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Equity Studies

This focus area explores inequalities between and among humans that are based on socially produced categories of geography, religion, race, gender, disability, age, class, and sexuality.

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Global Change

This focus area is an interdisciplinary exploration of claims and realities of economic, political, social, ecological, and cultural aspects of globalization. This focus area pays particular attention to the production and reproduction of inequities.

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Heritage and Social History

This focus area studies social traditions, institutions, and historical patterns with an emphasis (but not an exclusive focus) on Canadian history and heritage.

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Independent Track

The independent track is reserved for highly motivated students who have demonstrated excellence in their previous studies. This track requires permission from the director in the Master of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies program.

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Literary Studies

The Literary Studies focus area encourages an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to the study of literature.

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Work, Organization, and Leadership

This focus area draws from social sciences, labour studies, gender studies, cultural studies, and the humanities to examine contemporary developments in the world of work, organizations, and leadership.

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Writing and New Media

This focus area explores the ways in which the new media of publication and communication (the Internet, the World Wide Web) provide new forms and genres of writing and communication.

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Course schedule