2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    Apr 21, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Interdisciplinary Studies MS, Nonthesis Track

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College: Graduate Studies Degree: MS
Department: Interdisciplinary Studies Option: Nonthesis
Program Websites: https://www.graduate.ucf.edu/IDS/
Graduate Program Handbook

Track Description

The Nonthesis Track in the Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies program allows students the flexibility to develop an individually tailored plan of study using courses traditionally associated with MS degrees. This track can combine a variety of concentrations and culminates in a capstone experience. The precision program is designed to help students prepare for applied, non-research oriented careers.

The Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies is an excellent program for a number of endeavors appropriate for the twenty-first century. By combining the knowledge from two disciplines, supported by cross-disciplinary electives, students are able to precisely define their own area of expertise. This unique option is ideal for students who have varied interests that can be connected by a common theme or goal.


The Nonthesis Track in the Interdisciplinary Studies MS program requires 33 credit hours, including 9 credit hours of required courses and 24 credit hours of electives. The elective courses focus on the student’s chosen concentrations and culminate in a capstone experience of a project, internship, or comprehensive examination. The choice of capstone experience depends on the student’s individual needs and goals.

Total Credit Hours Required: 33 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

Course work must be selected so that at least 50 percent of credit hours in the program is taken at the 6000 level. Students must earn course grades of “B” or higher to gain credit toward the master’s degree.

Required Courses: 9 Credit Hours

Restricted Elective Courses: 24 Credit Hours

Students take a minimum of 24 credit hours of electives, including two concentrations of 9 credit hours each of restricted electives and 6 credit hours of unrestricted electives. The additional electives can be from either concentration or additional areas that support the capstone project or intended use of the degree. Students who choose one of the pre-approved concentrations such as Diversity and Inclusion or Project Management can choose courses from those course listings on our website. Those students do not need to list 2 concentrations.

Course and concentration selections are done in consultation with and with approval from the program director or academic coordinator.

Restricted Elective Courses: 18 Credit Hours

  • Three courses in the first concentration 9 Credit Hours
  • Three courses in the second concentration 9 Credit Hours

Unrestricted Electives: 6 Credit Hours

  • Two additional elective courses 6 Credit Hours


Students choose to complete a project, an internship, or a written comprehensive examination as their capstone experience.

The capstone project should reflect a combination of the two concentrations in the degree by finding an applied policy area, special topic, or issue that crosses both areas. Some examples of project types include: writing a grant proposal for an agency, program evaluation, and recommendations, or a “best practices” literature review in a particular area. Students must choose three advisers for the project—one from each concentration area and one from a complementary discipline. The project will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis.

The written examination will entail the selection of an exam committee of three faculty that will formulate questions to address both concentration areas. The student will have 48 hours to complete the take-home exam and it should be completed in their final semester of enrollment. The exam will be graded on a pass/fail basis. If the student does not pass both questions with a 70% or higher, the student will have two additional chances to retake the exam with new questions. The exam can be taken only once per semester.

Independent Learning

The program is designed to provide numerous independent learning opportunities. The required methods course introduces students to research methodology that they will apply to independent research/capstone work. IDS 6308  acquaints students with interdisciplinarity through the use of student-driven analyses, discussions, and presentations. IDS 6351  engages students in verbal and written discussions, analyses and critiques of work they create and from the published literature.

Additionally, the completion of the capstone experience will require independent learning that will be evaluated by the faculty in the specified disciplines.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions  section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Personal statement addressing the following three items: (a.) Description of the two intended concentrations, (b.) What problems or issues are addressed by combining these concentrations, and (c.) What contribution(s) can the interdisciplinary combination make to society, a field of study, etc.
  • Résumé.
  • Three letters of recommendation (prefer academic references).
  • Proposed program of study identifying the two concentrations and potential courses the student would take if admitted.
  • Applicants applying to this program who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.

Applicants should note the minimal requirements for admission to the program, although meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on evaluation of the applicant’s abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program and faculty expertise to the applicant’s career/academic goals, and the applicant’s potential for completing the degree.

Application Deadlines

Nonthesis *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15 Jun 1 Nov 1  
International Applicants Jan 15 Jan 15 Jul 1  
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information  section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.

Contact Info

Graduate Program

Elizabeth Smock EdD
Telephone: 407-823-2853
MH 230

Graduate Admissions

Anthony Tufano
Telephone: 407-823-2766
Millican Hall 230
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address

UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL 32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

Graduate Fellowships

Grad Fellowships
Telephone: 407-823-0127

Graduate Financial Aid

UCF Student Financial Assistance
Millican Hall 120
Telephone: 407-823-2827
Appointment Line: 407-823-5285
Fax: 407-823-5241

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