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Interdisciplinary Studies

Master of Arts
Online Program

Overview of Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Design your own curriculum, pick the courses you like from the online courses offered at Niagara University and complete your master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) at your own pace, based on your own academic and career interests.

MAIS program has recently been approved to be offered fully online as well as the in-class format.

Now even more flexible to fit your needs, interests, and schedule!

Design your own curriculum, pick the courses you like from the online courses offered at Niagara University and complete your master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at your own pace, based on your own academic and career interests.


  • 11 courses (33 credits) to complete the master’s
  • Pick six electives out of the entire course offerings at Niagara University
  • Opportunity to study one-on-one with professors on your area of interest
  • Conduct Internship in your field of interest and earn 3 credits
  • Complete the degree with a Capstone project
  • Transfer as many as 4 courses (12 credits)


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Areas of Focus

Check out our two areas of focus!

Disaster/Emergency Management and National Security

The purpose of this interdisciplinary program is to enable and empower a new generation of leader practitioners focused on: Disaster and Emergency Management and National Security. The candidates’ core competencies will include leadership, decision making, and policy development.

This program proceeds from what is transparently a clear and critical need in the face of 21st century challenges.  The gap between current knowledge and practices in these fields and effective responses as witnessed by the widespread failures associated with disasters and crises (e.g. COVID 19 pandemic) at the global, national, and institutional levels.

This focus’ intent is to meet these failures with graduates who will be defined by their pursuit of effective development of real and future situational awareness, employment of timely intelligence practices, analysis of current and emerging trends and threats, and planning and preparation for the management of these trends and threats.  Their responses will be based on the application of evergreen best practice plans effectively exercised in multi-agency response environments by way of graduates who will be trained in both field knowledge and in real world preparatory environments.

Social Justice

Challenges in social justice and equality are all around us. From racism to women’s equality, economic inequalities to failing schools, multiple levels of social injustice persistently plague our communities. There are systemic cultural and economic disparities that are deeply rooted in historical, political, and economic practices. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of current issues of social justice with all its dimensions requires an interdisciplinary and analytical study of these issues.

Framed in its mission, Niagara University has a strong commitment to addressing issues of social justice. This commitment leads to a variety of opportunities to study social justice through on-campus and online programs. MAIS-Social Justice is an excellent opportunity to engage all that NU offers towards a graduate degree focused on social justice.

MAIS-Social Justice, fully online or in-class, enables students to approach issues of social justice from a variety of disciplinary and academic perspectives. The interdisciplinary graduate program offers students to study social justice through its historical, political, religious, economic, and philosophical dimensions.

Students in this program will have the opportunity to engage in social justice issues such as

  • race and ethnicity
  • religion and social thought
  • diversity in the workplace
  • sociology of poverty
  • representations of women in media and culture
  • diversity in the classroom with English language learners or students with special needs
  • cultural and social change
  • black rights movements
  • social justice activism
  • criminal justice management and sentencing
  • environmental law and its evolution

Why Interdisciplinary Studies at NU?


NU offers over 60 scholarships, awards, and campus employment opportunities for well-qualified, matriculated graduate students in one of our graduate degree programs.


A unique feature of the MAIS program is the two-semester capstone project, IDS 600 and IDS 601. Students identify a research problem and design and test potential solutions.


Interdisciplinary Studies program has recently been approved to be offered fully online as well as the in-class format.

Application Requirements

A master's degree was always a goal of mine. After receiving a bachelor's degree in history it was my desire to continue my education with a focus on the history of my country of birth, Guyana, South America. Finding a program which suited my learning interests was a challenging task due to my specific area of concentration. I needed a program which allowed me the freedom to dictate what I wanted to learn and how I hoped to do so. As a full-time student, with a full-time job, flexibility was a key. With the Masters of Interdisciplinary program, I was able to fulfill every need.

While the program follows Niagara University's tradition of small classes, opportunities for independent study, and excellent student-to-professor communication, it offers a unique approach to earning your dream degree. The program allows students to construct their own curriculum based on their specific interests while allowing access to all academic departments available at Niagara. With the two-step program of core-courses that guide and instruct the students, as well as, programs that are created to fit the student's interest, the masters in interdisciplinary studies program is the ideal program for a student whose interest does not fall within the conventional degrees that are available.

It was perfect for me because I was able to create independent study courses that covered the topic I was interested in and receive my degree in just a little over a year. I would recommend this program to every student because it presents them with the opportunity to earn a degree in the subject of their own choosing with the luxury of flexibility and choices. Thanks to the program, I now have a strong background in the history of Guyana, can continue my academic endeavors to earn a doctoral degree, and work towards completing a historical account on Guyana with knowledge, confidence, and certainty.

Philicia Beckles

Interdisciplinary Studies
Faculty & Staff


Dr. Shannon Risk

Dr. Shannon Risk
Program Chair

Dr. Mustafa



Phone: 716.286.8195