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Program Overview

Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior program offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of human nature and complexity and the problems of contemporary society. The goal of the program is to provide a deeper understanding of human experience and the world we live in and to broaden students’ perspectives and understanding of human behavior as they apply to students’ current professional and civic roles. This program can provide existing career enhancement, as well as a stimulating path for life-long learners. The master’s degree program is open to qualified applicants to the graduate school. For admission information, see graduate admission and program specific application requirements.

Entrance Requirements

Complete and submit the graduate school application at

Request one copy of official transcripts from each institution of higher education attended. Transcripts should be sent directly to the graduate school.

Personal Statement
Submit a written statement (500 words or less) of experience, education and future goals. The quality of the personal statement’s content and structure carries considerable weight in determining admission to this program.

Grade Point Average
A minimum of 2.75 GPA is required for admission to the graduate school and to the Master of Arts in interdisciplinary studies in human behavior program. No GRE is required.

Program Options

Two routes to the Master of Arts degree in the interdisciplinary studies in human behavior are available. They are either:

  • 30 credits plus a comprehensive written examination
  • 36 credits that include a master’s thesis (by permission only, see below)

Course Requirements

Refer to the Hood College catalog for course titles and descriptions.

Completion of six interdisciplinary studies in human behavior credits. Students elect any two of the following interdisciplinary studies in human behavior courses:

ECON 551* MATH 500 * PSCI 500* or PSCI 505* SOC 523*

Completion of 12 psychology credits. Students take the following four psychology courses:

PSY 500 PSY 501 PSY 505 PSY 531

Completion of 12 elective credits. Students elect any four of the following elective courses:

GERO 554 PSY 511 PSY 595* THAN 525*
GERO 555 PSY 534 THAN 520 THAN 527
GERO 556 PSY 575* THAN 521 THAN 528
GERO 599 PSY 575R* THAN 523 THAN 529
PSY 508* PSY 590* THAN 524  

Certificate Opportunities

Students who choose THAN 521, THAN 523, THAN 528 and THAN 529 as their four elective courses may earn a Certificate in Thanatology in addition to the master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in human behavior.

Note: Course substitutions are not permitted. A student may be exempted from these requirements by petition to the appropriate department. The petition must be in writing and, if approved, written evidence of the exemption must be forwarded to the graduate school by the program director. The exemption is made a part of the student’s record. When a course is formally exempted, another course must be taken. Exemption does not constitute credit.

A Comprehensive Examination or Master’s Thesis

  • Comprehensive exam: Students take a comprehensive examination of five completed courses: at least three psychology courses and any two other courses (except starred courses). Students must pass at least four of the five course examinations.
  • Master’s thesis: Students may choose to write a thesis, which would require an additional six credits above the 30-credit course requirement. Students with strong statistics and research methodology backgrounds must obtain faculty permission to pursue this option.

Graduates of the Program

Graduates of the versatile Master of Arts in interdisciplinary studies in human behavior program have worked in a wide range of areas, including:

  • Schools/universities
  • Community health centers
  • Alternative health practices
  • Occupational therapy centers
  • Government
  • Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Community service organizations
  • Ministry
  • Juvenile justice system
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Community organizing
  • Public policy research
  • Conflict resolution/mediation
  • Restorative justice
  • International group facilitation
  • International relief
  • Political and social activism
  • Media
  • Human resources