Apr 21, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Interdisciplinary Studies Program

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Program Director: Elizabeth Freeburg, Ph.D.
Program Advisor: Brittany E. Wagner, M.B.A.


Graduate School 
Slagle Hall 304 
414 East Clark Street 
Vermillion, SD 57069 
Phone: 605-658-6173 


Master of Arts  

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree at the University of South Dakota is designed to allow flexibility in program design and course selection for students who have identified special interests or career goals not met by other degree programs.

One of the unique elements of the degree is that students design their own programs of study in tandem with their advisor by choosing coursework from differing academic disciplines to create a coherent theme to meet individual educational and professional goals. Students seeking admission to the program must explain in a statement of purpose how their program of study will specifically meet their personal and professional goals.


  1. Completed Graduate Application form found at: https://www.usd.edu/graduate-school/apply-now and a non-refundable application fee of $35.
  2. Official transcript(s) verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit (in English or with translation) must accompany an application. Official transcript of all academic work at the undergraduate and graduate levels are required for international students. The USD Graduate School and/or academic units retain the right to require credential evaluations from organizations, such as Educational Credential Evaluators/World Education Services (ECE/WES), for a student if such an evaluation is deemed necessary.
  3. Baccalaureate degree must be from an institution with full regional accreditation for that degree. A minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.7 on conferred degree and/or graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, based on a 4.0 scale, on all graduate coursework is required for full admission. Each graduate program may admit students on provisional status per University policy.
  4. Applicants with degrees from countries other than the United States who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited American college or university or from an accredited institution in the following English-speaking countries: United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Canada (Excluding Quebec), Australia, and New Zealand are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score. For all other applicants, a minimum score of 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT) or 550 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), a minimum IELTS score of 6.0, or a minimum PTE score of 53 is required for graduate admission. 
  5. Applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose or goal statement.  Statement of purpose should reflect the areas the applicants want to study, which USD graduate disciplines the coursework can be taken from, and why their programs of study will specifically meet their personal and professional goals.

Additional Program Admission Requirements:

  1. Three (3) professional letters of recommendation are required.

Subject to faculty approval, those who do not meet all of the above criteria may be admitted on a provisional basis.

Application Deadline

  • Two weeks before the start of the semester
    • Fall, Spring and Summer starts


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