Individualized Master of Arts(IMA) in Interdisciplinary Studies and Social Sciences

AUM IMA-SocialScience

The Individualized Master of Arts (IMA) in Interdisciplinary Studies and Social Science provides students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and habits of mind to become agents for change and to advance their careers in a variety of fields.

Because students in the interdisciplinary studies and social sciences specialize in their uniquely-chosen areas, areas of focus vary. The following focuses and topics are supplied as non-prescriptive examples.

Focus in Applied Psychology

Examples:

  • Eco-Psychology
  • Psychology and Spirituality
  • Contemplative Psychology
  • Integrative Studies in Psychology

Focus in Conflict Studies or Peace Studies

Examples:

  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution
  • Peace Studies; Restorative Justice

Focus in Health and Human Development

Examples:

  • Community Development
  • Organizational Development
  • Healthcare Consumer Advocacy

Focus in Integral Studies

Example:

  • Integral Knowledge Systems

Focus in Systems and Organizations

Examples:

  • Organizational Leadership
  • Management Studies

Focus in Education Studies

Example:

  • Adult Education

 Focus in Rural Community Development

 Students have the freedom to construct individualized interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary concentrations  which makes the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies and Social Sciences unique. The varied professional backgrounds of our students enrich and expand the educational experience within the Master of Arts in the Interdisciplinary Studies and Social Sciences.

A Master of Arts in the Interdisciplinary Studies and Social Sciences degree from Antioch University Midwest provides graduates with the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills to enhance their career and foster intellectual innovation and social action.  The IMA concentration in Interdisciplinary Studies and Social Sciences is a low-residency program.

The following is a listing of the course curriculum for successful completion of the I.M.A. in Social Sciences

Program Degree Requirements (12 courses = 36 credits)

Phase I

First Residency

Foundational Courses (6 courses, 18 cr)

COM-5500 Critical Thinking in Professional & Academic Writing 3 cr

IMA 5150 Foundations of the Field, Part I 3 cr

IMA 5250 Foundations of the Field, Part II 3 cr

RSH 5100 Research Methods 3 cr

IMA 5750 Individualized Curriculum Design 3 cr

SYS 5850 Systems Thinking for a Complex World 3 cr

Phase II

Second Residency – Offered each Spring & Fall

Individualized Courses (5 courses, 15 cr)

SSC-6100 Elective Individualized Course I 3 cr

SSC-6200 Elective Individualized Course II 3 cr

SSC-6300 Elective Individualized Course III 3 cr

SSC-6400 Elective Individualized Course IV 3 cr

SSC-6500 Elective Individualized Course V 3 cr

Phase III Capstone Experience:  Choose one

IMA-6950 Integrative Professional Seminar 3 cr

IMA-6960 Autoethnography, Social Responsibility and Right Livelihood

IMA-6970 Transdisciplinary Writing

OR

SSC-6910 Social Science Thesis A 3 cr  AND

SSC-6920 Social Science Thesis B 3 cr

Note:  If Thesis is chosen, students take only 4 Elective Individualized Courses

COM 5500 Critical Thinking in Professional & Academic Writing
Professional and academic success requires the effective use of writing to reach shared understanding of situations, develop and communicate a coherent line of reasoning and assessment of options, arrive at sound individual and collective judgments, and achieve intended results with readers and collaborators. Successful written communications originate from critical thinking processes that incorporate clarity of purpose, accuracy, and sound analysis with awareness of audience and context. This course develops and strengthens these core abilities to think critically and write effectively. Students practice the reasoning, composition, and collaboration skills that are basic to these abilities, including library research, editing, formatting, and engaging in substantive reflection and dialogue on key issues.

IMA 5150 Foundations of the Field, Part I
Part I of Foundations in the Field provides an overview of academic disciplines, their relationship to students’ areas of interest, and the concept and practice of interdisciplinarity. Students research, analyze, compare, and contrast a range of potential fields of study with the goal of clarifying and describing their primary fields of study. Conducting a series of interviews with academics and practitioners allows students to ground their learning in multiple perspectives and real life contexts. Reflections on how their educational and professional goals can be achieved through their course of study are also an integral part of this course.
IMA 5250 Foundations of the Field, Part II
Building on Part I, students continue to triangulate knowledge of their chosen fields of study based on data gleaned from the literature and continued engagement with subject matter experts. They continue to test and refine their assumptions about fields of study and intended professions and to expand their professional network. At the end of the course students will have assembled a resource portfolio that contains an overview of the relevant literature, a review of ethical standards, a summary of relevant conferences and publications, and plans for individualized courses to be designed, including potential instructors and mentors.
IMA 5750 Individual Curriculum Design
In this course students develop proficiency in the principles and practices of curriculum and syllabus design. They learn to distinguish among standard components of graduate level curricula, the role of foundations, elective, and research courses, and develop several course syllabi. They expand their growing academic network in the process of nominating their mentor and identifying potential course instructors.
RSH 5100 Research Methods
This course introduces qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches to research in an interdisciplinary context. It examines methodological assumptions of those approaches and fundamental issues in designing a research study. Students think critically about how to use various methods to investigate information and phenomena of interest to create new knowledge for professional and academic purposes. Students identify a manageable research question that is consistent with their educational and professional goals, design a small project to answer the question, collect, analyze and interpret data, and present their research findings.
SYS 5850 Systems Thinking for a Complex World
This course guides students to adopt the systems lens to understand complex dynamic patterns as they pursue their chosen fields of study and practice. Students learn about and reflect on their own and others’ mental models as well as systems archetypes, and identify how these shape actions and practices. Particular attention is given to the influences of dualism, reductionism, and holism. Students apply insights gained during the course to the analysis of real life contexts pertinent to their areas of study.
SSC 6100 Elective Individualized Course I
In each individualized course, the student will focus on practices, issues, and texts relevant to the course of study. This might include study of history of the field, theories, practices, contemporary issues, and future developments. Guided by the academic advisor, external mentor and instructor the student will study different aspects of knowledge in his/her field.
SSC 6200 Elective Individualized Course II
In each individualized course, the student will focus on practices, issues, and texts relevant to the course of study. This might include study of history of the field, theories, practices, contemporary issues, and future developments. Guided by the academic advisor, external mentor and instructor the student will study different aspects of knowledge in his/her field.
SSC 6300 Elective Individualized Course III
In each individualized course, the student will focus on practices, issues, and texts relevant to the course of study. This might include study of history of the field, theories, practices, contemporary issues, and future developments. Guided by the academic advisor, external mentor and instructor the student will study different aspects of knowledge in his/her field.
SSC 6400 Elective Individualized Course IV
In each individualized course, the student will focus on practices, issues, and texts relevant to the course of study. This might include study of history of the field, theories, practices, contemporary issues, and future developments. Guided by the academic advisor, external mentor and instructor the student will study different aspects of knowledge in his/her field.
SSC 6500 Elective Individualized Course V
In each individualized course, the student will focus on practices, issues, and texts relevant to the course of study. This might include study of history of the field, theories, practices, contemporary issues, and future developments. Guided by the academic advisor, external mentor and instructor the student will study different aspects of knowledge in his/her field.
SSC-6910 Thesis A
This course is the first of two courses through which students complete a master’s thesis in Interdisciplinary Studies & Social Sciences. The thesis is the culminating and integrating effort for Masters’ students. It involves the original investigation of a problem of limited scope and contributes to the body of knowledge in the student’s field. Through the thesis process, students become more expert in a focused field of inquiry. Students produce a written product that documents a synthesis of the appropriate literature in the field, the methodology used, their research findings, and an analysis and discussion of those findings.
SSC-6920 Thesis B
This course is the second of two courses through which students complete a master’s thesis in Interdisciplinary Studies & Social Sciences. The thesis is the culminating and integrating effort for Masters’ students. It involves the original investigation of a problem of limited scope and contributes to the body of knowledge in the student’s field. Through the thesis process, students become more expert in a focused field of inquiry. Students produce a written product that documents a synthesis of the appropriate literature in the field, the methodology used, their research findings, and an analysis and discussion of those findings.
IMA-6950 Professional Seminar
This capstone professional seminar is designed to promote the integration of the core curriculum and practicum experience of the Individualized Master’s of Arts degree. Active participation in the course helps students prepare for the transition to a professional position following completion of the degree. In this course, students will 1) assess their skill development up to this point; 2) write a professional narrative that explores interests and motivations, and 3) design a tentative plan for launching and/or developing a professional career.
IMA-6960 Autoethnography, Social Responsibility and Right Livelihood
In this capstone course students will demonstrate their advanced skill for academic writing and research using the approach of reflective autoethnography. Students will have the opportunity to make some profound scholarly connections among their academic, professional, and personal experiences, and to engage questions such as: how do I make meaningful contributions to the common good through my life’s work? How do I design my work life in such a way that it is consistent with my values and goals, i.e., create right livelihood?  Through the assignments that support their production of a substantive autoethnography, students will have the unique opportunity to integrate much of what they have learned throughout their graduate program.  Upon reflection, research, and analysis, they will be able to show that they have developed a good understanding of how they can best leverage their graduate education as change agents in the working world and beyond.
IMA-6970 Transdisciplinary Writing
This course explores the practice of non-fiction writing as an active and inter-active engagement with the dynamic entities of culture, environment, and self. Traditionally, scholarly and creative non-fiction writing have been treated as separate genres, each with distinct methodologies premised largely on ideas of ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ viewing and interpretation. More recently, we’ve had to admit that ‘culture’ and the environments we live in are never fixed truths to be studied but, rather, created through the individual narratives we construct of them. In many ways, the written text forces us to be selective, thoughtful, and responsible for the ‘truths’ we represent, whether we approach writing as scholarship, as creative expression, as confession, or combinations thereof. Taking examples from newer trends in contemporary scholarship and narrative non-fiction, and through our in-depth practice of ‘field’ writing, we will explore how scholarly, ethnographic, reflective, and creative perspectives inform our inquiries about meaningful relationships in our own lives and in the eco-social worlds we live in. We’ll explore conventions and innovations across genres and learn some effective ways of cross-pollinating research, observations, driving questions, and personal experience in the crafted essay.

Chair: Susanne Fest, Ph.D.

ima-susanne-festDr. Susanne Fest is the Social Science Concentration Chair for the IMA Program at Antioch University Midwest. She has designed and taught graduate courses in Qualitative Research, Human Development, Cultural Psychology, Ecopsychology, Academic Writing and Curriculum Design, among others. She enjoys the individualized mentoring process, which is at the heart of the IMA program.

Dr. Fest obtained her doctorate in Human Resource Development from Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee. Before coming to AUM, she held appointments as Research Associate with the Institute for Community Research in Hartford, CT, and the Yale Child Study Center, New Haven.  Dr. Fest holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and has worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist and consultant in a variety of academic, private and non-profit organizations. She has presented her research at national and international conferences. For the last several years, Dr. Fest has become interested in ecopyschology, sustainability and living mindfully. In 2009, she took up residency on Whidbey Island in the Pacific Northwest, and has become involved in curriculum design initiatives that look at the connection between contemplative practices and sustainability. She is engaged in a variety of writing projects related to the topics above. 

Guy Burneko, Ph.D.

guy burnekoDr. Burneko is a teacher, writer, and thinker especially interested in transdisciplinary intercultural interpretation and what he calls the Global Noetic Repertoire of nondual or nonreductive insights, as these seem sustaining and meaningful for future consciousness and suited for sustainable natural and ecohumane systems.

This interest emerges in the Institute for Contemporary Ancient Learning he is creating and is expressed in his recent book, By the Torch of Chaos and Doubt: Consciousness, Culture,Poiesis and Religion in the Opening Global Millennium and in more recent writing in the Journal of Chinese Philosophy and elsewhere. Other interests include hermeneutic ontology, analytical psychology, ecology and religion (and Thomas Berry), social justice and theory of self-organizing systems. 

Lorraine Fish, Ph.D.

ima-lorraine-fishDr. Fish received an interdisciplinary PhD from the Union Institute & University in 2006.Her area of specialization was ecopsychology and addiction and her dissertation title was: Nature, Culture and Abnormal Appetites: An Ecopsychological Assessment of Addiction. Lorraine graduated from Antioch University Seattle with an MA in Psychology (area of concentration in ecopsychology) and BA in the Liberal Arts (area of concentration counseling and ecopsychology).

As well as teaching at Antioch University Midwest, Lorraine also teaches at Naropa University. She has also taught courses at Antioch University Seattle, Seattle Central Community College, Bastyr University, and Northland College. 

Beloo Mehra, Ph.D.

ima-belooBeloo received her Ph.D. in Education in 1998 from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Till June 2007 she worked as an Associate Professor in the Individualized Masters of Arts program at Antioch University Midwest, Yellow Springs, Ohio. There, in addition to teaching courses in curriculum design, academic writing, qualitative and feminist research, she also spearheaded and directed the development of Integral Knowledge Systems, an innovative academic space with Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga framework as its starting point. Before moving to the US, she worked as a high school Economics teacher and school administrator in Delhi, India for 5 years, and also served as a volunteer for the National Literacy Mission. In August 2007, Dr. Mehra joined Sri Aurobindo Center for Advanced Research (SACAR) at Pondicherry, India as faculty and in-charge of academic programs. There she teaches courses in Foundations of Indian Culture, Integral Education, and Integral Social Thought of Sri Aurobindo. She also edits the quarterly journal, New Race. She has published many articles and scholarly papers and has presented at several conferences and seminars.

The Integral Knowledge Systems (IKS) is a concentration designed for students who value integrating mind, heart and spirit within their course of study. The concentration is a collaborative effort with the faculty from The Sri Aurobindo Center for Advanced Research in Pondicherry, India.

 

Integral Knowledge Systems emphasizes and reflects Antioch’s cherished values of lifelong learning, rigorous inquiry, personal and social transformation through knowledge and respect for cultural and global diversity.

Courses *

  • Integral Yoga Psychology
  • Integral Education
  • Self-Awareness and Transformation
  • Integral Social Transformation
  • Applied Integral Psychology: East and West
  • Spirituality for Helping Professions
  • Meditation: Theory & Techniques
  • Spiritual Traditions of India
  • Transpersonal Inquiry

 

* All courses are taught as independent studies or online.