The Master’s in Integrated Sciences program is a focused interdisciplinary plan of study in which students take courses from two or three disciplines, identify a mentor, and complete a Master’s thesis or project. The signature aspect of the program is that the capstone experience must truly integrate the interdisciplinary content into a unified program of research.
Students in the MIS graduate program have the opportunity to take courses from a variety of areas in mathematics, the natural and physical sciences (biology, chemistry, geology, physics), and computer science in a program designed for professional growth in their area of interest. These areas are further explored through a required project or thesis that includes independent research into their particular area of interest.
In the MIS program, you’ll develop a large suite of transferable skills across multiple disciplines. Through coursework, advising and your own research, you will build a versatile skill set. This includes research methods, laboratory and field techniques, critical thinking and problem solving, and numeric and statistical techniques.
Students inducted into our MIS program have backgrounds in the traditional fields of Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Physical Geology.
The MIS degree is designed for students who plan to pursue scientific knowledge in fields that do not fit traditional categories or those who seek competency in multiple scientific disciplines. Thus, it is a natural choice for those with dual undergraduate degrees.
Perhaps the best indication of student success is direct feedback from our graduates. The following feedback has been provided by two of our recent graduates whom sent the Program Director, Dr. Martin Huber, the following comments regarding their progress after graduation:
Some great things happened for me that I would like to share with you and if you like with the department. I started applying for jobs in late October anticipating my graduation and I got a job with UCLA Center for Public Health in November. They chose me over candidates that came from elite Universities like UC Berkeley and UCLA that had way higher GPAs, however; they lacked two things. One, I had publications and presentations at conferences and more importantly, two, I had multi-disciplinary degree. Because of MIS program, I had two skills that usually had required them to staff two different people to perform the tasks. While my official title is Statistician, I am also known here as the “GIS Guy.” So thank you for the opportunity to participate in the program. I think that for applied minded people such as myself, it represents a great opportunity for progress in degrees.
-Akbar (Mathematics, GIS)
I applied to the MIS program for two main reasons. The first was that I was starting to look at physics PhD programs and thought that the MIS would help me transition from the biophysics focus of my undergrad to more of a pure/applied physics focus while also gaining the research experience needed for admittance to a top tier institution. The second, and probably more significant, motivation was that I had a very particular research idea that I wanted to pursue in nano-manufacturing. This kind of research is always integrated, so it made sense to find a program where my curriculum would reflect that - rather than a curriculum dictated by a traditional discipline. As an added bonus, taking courses in a variety of departments has led to my getting to know a wider range of faculty - and accordingly greater access to resources.
-William F. (Mathematics, Physics)