College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Interdisciplinary Self-Designed Program > Graduate Programs > Interdisciplinary Self-Designed Program (MA/MS)

Interdisciplinary Self-Designed Program

Interdisciplinary Self-Designed Program
Interdisciplinary Self-Designed Program

Customize your master’s degree

Our interdisciplinary studies master’s degree programs emphasize liberal studies education and enhance your intellectual skills. You’ll design your own program, which will allow you to study multiple academic disciplines, including traditional humanities, social sciences, education, business, Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media.

We offer the following master’s degree options within the Interdisciplinary Self-Designed Program:

  • Interdisciplinary Studies (MA)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies (MS)
  • Liberal Studies (MA)

Courses are offered on weekday evenings at the Lincoln Park Campus. The program can be completed in two years.

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Which program should I enroll in?

The Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) program is for you if:

  • you’re interested in combining areas of professional expertise or preparation with the traditional liberal arts.
  • you’re a working professional seeking to augment your current work experience with new skills.
  • you have a specific professional skill set in mind that you’re hoping to gain for your anticipated profession or professional move.
  • you’re seeking a course plan without a required core or thesis.

Interdisciplinary Studies: MA vs. MS

  • If the majority of courses you take for the master’s in interdisciplinary studies are drawn from programs that award the Master of Arts degree, then you will earn the MA.
  • If the majority of courses you take are drawn from programs that award a Master of Science degree, then you will earn the MS.

(If the number is equal, you can choose the MA or the MS)

The MA in Liberal Studies (MALS) program is for you if:

  • you’re interested in combining two or more areas in the liberal arts.
  • you’re interested in fulfilling a personal desire to better understand history, culture and the ideas of the world.
  • your job requires a greater breadth of cultural knowledge.
  • you’d like to conclude your education with a capstone project, which can be like a traditional master’s thesis or combine your personal and academic interests.

Your living laboratory

You’ll study and engage with Chicago both in and out of your classroom. Take advantage of research and service-learning opportunities in a vibrant urban environment. And leverage DePaul’s connections with corporations large and small, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and cultural institutions that call Chicago home.

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Admission Requirements

Submit an online application, official transcripts and letters of recommendation. MALS applicants will submit an essay. IDS applicants will submit a statement of purpose and proposed list of courses. An interview may also be required.

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Required Courses

You’ll take 48 to 52 quarter hours depending on your concentration and completion option.

IDS MA RequirementsIDS MS RequirementsMALS Requirements


of Interdisciplinary Self Designed Program graduates were employed, continuing their education or pursuing other goals within six months of graduation.

Customize your education with leading faculty

Spend your time learning and working alongside a diverse group of faculty including David Gitomer, PhD, who is an associate professor and director of the interdisciplinary self-designed program. He previously studied with pandits in India and conducted manuscript research throughout South Asia, which has helped him to become a specialist in the religions and literatures of pre-modern South Asia. Dr. Gitomer is one of the many examples of knowledgeable faculty you’ll have the opportunity to learn from at DePaul.

“I have an insatiable desire to learn and explore interesting topics. This program allowed me to task my intellect—to nourish and to feed it. The MALS program gave me the tools I need to deftly handle any challenges and obstacles. The interdisciplinary courses taught me to see every issue from multiple perspectives. And I think this sets me apart from my technically trained peers.”

Hakki (MA ’16)

Security Specialist, Chicago Police Department

Alumni Network

You’ll join a diverse network of 180,000 DePaul University alumni working in Chicago and around the world, giving you opportunities to connect with fellow graduates at companies and organizations like Allstate, Tribune Media, KPMG and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Scholarships & Aid

The Interdisciplinary Self-Designed Programs award a limited number of partial tuition awards for graduate students. Learn more about scholarships and financial aid opportunities available to you.

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Contact Information

For more information about applying, contact The Office of Graduate Admission at (773) 325-7315 or

Take the next step

We’ll send you information about the degree, admission requirements and upcoming info sessions. Let’s get started.

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