Philicia Beckles

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.

Stanfill Marcus Stanfill

I am writing to express my thanks for your time and effort in helping me complete my M.A. degree at Niagara University. The master's program in interdisciplinary studies (MAIS) at NU gave me the support and environment to choose the classes and direction of my studies that fired my imagination and that I could take from the classroom and use in the office.

As an executive director of a nonprofit refugee advocacy organization, there are not many academic majors with courses that meets my needs. By working with my advisors and professors, I was able to assemble classes in strategic business planning, grant management, and human resources that I use almost every day to make decisions. It has made me a better administrator, leader, and authority on work I engage in.

For anyone who is motivated, self-directed, and wants to take charge of their own education, the NU MAIS program can help you form a base of knowledge to build a strong career.

Shanleigh Corrallo

The MAIS program is a comprehensive and customizable program that allows each graduate student to choose cross-disciplinary courses that more directly pertain to their academic and career aspirations. My graduate focus was on black urban history and sociology, two fields that typically do not integrate in standard programs. Although I contemplated getting my master’s degree in history and sociology, I ultimately decided that the interdisciplinary program better suited my unique academic interests. The program was the perfect fit for me because it allowed me to take criminology and history courses, as well as specialized independent studies with Professors from different departments. The individualized independent studies that were offered in conjunction with the different department courses that were offered provided me with a rich foundation to write my master’s thesis.

In addition to the benefits of customizable courses, the MAIS at Niagara provides students with top-notch resources. Faculty members in each department are experts in their field of study, yet they are personable and invested in each student’s success. The flexibility of the program lends itself to a diverse student body with different interests, specialties and career levels. This enhances the overall experience, and further broadens each individual’s understanding of their own research paths. The MAIS program allows students to explore their academic passions, and provides the resources that are essential to substantiating those passions and interests into a career.

A wide range of individuals at different career and academic levels can benefit from this program. For those who desire to move up in their career or change their career path, the MAIS program provides a strong foundation to demonstrate expertise in the chosen position. For those who desire to continue their education to the Ph.D. level, studying in the MAIS program exposes students to the reading, writing and research demands that are required for this path. Personally, I have chosen to continue my education and to work toward my Ph.D. in African American history. The MAIS program has prepared me for the research and writing intensity that accompanies this decision, and has been essential at my current success.

Joan Patrick

The MAIS program allows one the flexibility to choose courses that address a specific topic or a particular interest. Having the freedom to self-design a course that includes not only the traditional classroom experience, but also internships and independent studies, is a vital aspect of the program that gives one the capability of acquiring needed information from a variety of disciplines.

I was able to obtain background information from courses in business, criminal justice, history, writing, fundraising and grant writing -- all of which provided valuable knowledge for working with a community organization. All of the courses chosen contributed information needed for writing the capstone project, as well, which examined the issue of saving historic landmarks that are repurposed as the home of arts organizations, that have the potential of becoming the center of community revitalization, through the arts.

I would highly recommend the MAIS program for anyone who may have a specific interest or theme that would best be addressed by creating a self-designed course of study that allows one the ability to obtain knowledge from a variety of disciplinary approaches.