Individualized Studies
Contact Information
Address: 401 Cohodas Hall
Phone: 906-227-2300
Fax: 906-227-2315
Professor: Brian Cherry
Individualized Studies at NMU

The master’s degree program in individualized studies is designed to 1) accommodate students with needs that are not met by existing programs, 2) recognize that current employment opportunities as well as future ones may not be structured around existing departments or degree programs, 3) provide flexibility and innovation, 4) recognize the needs of people who have been out of school for longer periods of time and have special occupational or vocational situations and 5) assist students who want to change their field of study from that of their baccalaureate degree.

Individualized programs must be based in departments that currently offer master’s degree programs.

The general regulations governing graduate education at NMU will apply to this program (e.g., transfer credit policies, time limitation requirements, grade point average for graduation, and credit requirements). Students are admitted to the graduate school as a “non-degree”-seeking student until an approved plan of study is on file.

The student must satisfy the prerequisites for all courses in the plan of study.

The plan of study must be approved by the department advisory committee, the department head representing the major discipline and the Graduate Programs Committee before the plan may be initiated. No more than eight semester credit hours, taken before the plan of study has been approved, will be accepted in the program.

Program Requirements
  1. The proposed master’s degree must equal at least 32 semester hours excluding any deficiency credits.
  2. The departments must be willing to participate in the proposed degree program.
  3. One of the designated graduate faculty advisers in a primary department must be named as the program adviser.
  4. Secondary disciplines (departments/divisions) are defined as those disciplines in which eight semester hours of course work are proposed at the master’s level. Secondary disciplines must approve the course work as part of the program.
  5. If the graduate faculty advisers determine that a student has any deficiencies in his/her background, the proposal must list the course work necessary to alleviate those deficiencies. Prerequisite deficiency course work must be completed before courses listed in the plan of study are taken.
  6. The graduate faculty adviser from the “home” department will establish an advisory committee. This committee will consist of a minimum of three faculty members, including the graduate faculty adviser. This committee will oversee the development of the student’s individualized plan of study. The home department head will process the plan of study in the same manner that other graduate plans are processed. The plan of study form for MIS degree is available online, under the “Students” link to the Graduate Education home page.
  7. The student, in cooperation with his/her advisory committee, must develop a written proposal containing the following:
    • A statement of the special need, interest, or employment opportunity that identifies the major reason for pursuing the proposed program of study;
    • A set of specific educational goals that are related to the special need, interest or employment opportunity previously identified;
    • Statements indicating the direct relationship between each specific goal and each course included in the program of study; and
    • A statement summarizing the reason why existing degree programs do not meet the specific goals identified.
    This written proposal must accompany the proposed plan of study when the plan is submitted to the Graduate Programs Committee.
  8. The student must complete a graduate project which may be (1) a thesis, (2) a graduate research project report, portfolio or exhibit or (3) two file papers. Total credits for the project can range from 4-8 credits.
  9. The individualized plan of study will be sent to both the Office of Graduate Education and the Graduate Program Committee for consideration by three members of the graduate faculty who are not members of the student’s advisory committee. The decision of the graduate programs committee to accept or reject the plan, or request modifications, will be reported to the student’s advisory committee.
  10. All programs are subject to approval by the Assistant Provost of Graduate Education.
  11. All changes to the original plan of study must be approved by the student’s departmental advisory committee and the graduate program committee prior to implementation.
Master of Individualized Studies Program