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Individualized Master of Arts

Individualized Master of Arts

The low-residency MA in Individualized Studies Program (IMA) is a four-semester (48 credit) interdisciplinary liberal studies degree integrating personal vision and voice with radical thinking and engaged practice. Credit is granted upon fulfillment of the degree criteria, including successful completion of the final product. The IMA Program is for students interested in pursuing a question, project, or career interest that is interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary, and personally compelling. The emphasis is on helping each student find and hone a focus of inquiry that brings together deep interests with relevant theory and actual practice. The holistic approach of the degree means that professional goals — whether for eventual doctoral study, a particular career path, a tangible product (like a publication or business plan), or particular skills (like workshop facilitation or land use planning) — can be fully integrated into the degree plan.


An intensive residency week begins the work of the semester in a noncompetitive atmosphere. Workshops, peer groups, seminars, mini-courses, individual conferences, readings, and celebrations inspire and facilitate the focus of the semester’s work and the creation of a study plan. While most of the program’s students bring together their own unique, individual combination of topics for study, some choose to work on defined areas of concentration, as described in the following sections.


All students graduating with an Individualized MA degree, regardless of concentration, will have undertaken an interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary area of study and successfully accomplished the following:

  • Identified and mastered the confluence
    of traditions and disciplines central to their specific study;

  • Placed their learning in an appropriate historical, cultural, and personal context;

  • Explored and reflected upon their values, biases, and social, cultural, spiritual, and ideological roots as they pertain to the area of study;

  • Engaged with the world in a way that deepens their understanding of their area of study, through a personal, social, spiritual, or other practice appropriate to the individual;

  • Completed a final product that demonstrates their mastery of the traditions and disciplines pertinent to their study, and creatively integrated and demonstrated their learning, personal growth, and engaged practice.