Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Interdepartmental Graduate Specializations


Graduate Specialization in Environmental Policy

The Graduate Specialization in Environmental Policy, which is administered by the College of Social Science, provides students with foundational skills and knowledge in environmental law, economics and policy and an opportunity to gain substantive expertise in the fundamental aspects of environmental policy.

The graduate specialization is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in master’s or doctoral degree programs at Michigan State University.  With the approval of department and college that administer the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the specialization may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the master’s or doctoral degree.

Students who plan to complete the requirements for the graduate specialization must consult the graduate advisor for the specialization in the College of Social Science.

Requirements for the Graduate Specialization in Environmental Policy

Complete a total of 9 credits from the following:

  1. Both of the following courses:
    AEC    829    The Economics of Environmental Resources  (3)
    PPL    807    Public Policy  (3)
  2. Complete 3 credits of additional course work that focus on policy that meets the interests of the student. The course must be approved by the student’s academic advisor for the specialization.
  3. Completion of an examination consisting of a paper on the environmental policy aspects of a problem selected by the student and approved by the advisor for the specialization.

 


Graduate Specialization in Environmental Science and Policy (this program is in moratorium effective Fall 2018 through Fall 2019)

The Graduate Specialization in Environmental Science and Policy, which is administered by the College of Social Science, is available as an elective to students enrolled in doctoral degree programs in departments and programs emphasizing environmental science or policy. The goal of the specialization is to provide doctoral students with opportunities to develop cross-disciplinary literacy, learn to integrate information from diverse disciplines, and conduct analyses of environmental issues in ways that support better decision-making about environmental issues.  The specialization encourages students to develop analytical skills that span both disciplines and spatial and temporal scales and equips them to communicate across disciplines. It prepares students to engage in research, teaching and service focused on complex environmental problems and to develop and disseminate sound analyses to improve environmental decision-making.

Students who are interested in this specialization must contact an advisor for the Graduate Specialization in Environmental Science and Policy in the Environmental Science and Policy Program. To be admitted to the specialization, a student must also be admitted to a doctoral program at Michigan State University.

With the approval of the department and college that administer the student’s degree program, courses that are used to satisfy the requirements for the specialization may also be used to satisfy the requirements for a doctoral degree.

Requirements for the Graduate Specialization in Environmental Science and Policy

Complete all the following courses (9 to12 credits):

  1. ESP    801    Physical, Chemical and Biological Processes of the Environment  (3)
  2. A 3-credit 800-900 level natural science/engineering course from a list of approved courses available on the Environmental Science and Policy program Web site.
  3. A 3-credit 800-900 level social science/policy course from a list of approved courses available on the Environmental Science and Policy program Web site.
  4. Capstone Experience. One of the following:
    1. ESP    804    Environmental Applications and Analysis  (3)
    2. Participate in an internship, approved in advance by the advisor for the program.
    3. Write a white paper, approved in advance by the advisor for the program.
  5. Attend monthly student seminars as directed by the advisor for the program.

Students may apply to waive either the natural science or social science/policy course requirement if they demonstrate competence. Students should contact the advisor for the program to apply for a waiver.


Graduate Specialization in Global Urban Studies

The Graduate Specialization in Global Urban Studies, which is administered by the College of Social Science, offers interdisciplinary doctoral-level study, integrated with programs offered by disciplinary departments and is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in doctoral degree programs at Michigan State University.

The Graduate Specialization in Global Urban Studies addresses political, spatial, cultural, and economic processes and issues in urban areas across the United States and the world, as well as the global processes that impact and unite urban areas. Course work includes foci on urban areas in the United States and abroad; urban areas in comparative context regionally, nationally and internationally; and how the forces of globalization change urban areas.

With the approval of the department and college that administers the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the specialization may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the doctoral degree.

Requirements for the Graduate Specialization in Global Urban Studies

               
1. Both of the following courses (6 credits):  
  SSC 800 The World System of Cities 3
  SSC 886 Global Urban Research Practicum 3
2. Complete two of the following courses. Each course must be from a different sphere. Students may select other courses from other departments or disciplines with the approval of the specialization advisor. (6 or 7 credits)  
  Political Sphere          
  PLS 808 Issues in Urban Policy and Services 3
  PLS 822 Urban Government and Politics 3
  Spatial Sphere          
  GEO 413 Urban Geography 3
  GEO 453 Metropolitan Environments: Urban Form and Land Use 3
  UP 823 Urban Land Management 4
  Social/Cultural Sphere
 
  ANP 815 Transnational Processes and Identities (D) 3
  HST 410 History of Western Urbanization 3
  SOC 838 Comparative Urban Theory 3
  Economic Sphere
   
  AEC 991 Advanced Topics in Agricultural Economics 3
  EC 840 International Trade: Theory and Commercial Policy 3

 


Interdepartmental Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood

The Interdepartmental Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood is available as an elective for students who are enrolled in master’s and doctoral degree programs in the departments of Anthropology,  Audiology and Speech Sciences; Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education; Family and Child Ecology; Food Science and Human Nutrition; Kinesiology; Psychology;  and Sociology, in the Educational Specialist degree program in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education; in the Master of Social Work degree programs in the School of Social Work; in the Master of Science in Nursing degree program in the College of Nursing; and in the graduate–professional degree programs in the College of Human Medicine and the College of Osteopathic Medicine. The College of Social Science administers the specialization in collaboration with the School of Social Work,  the cooperating units, an executive committee, and an advisory committee comprised of faculty members from each participating unit.

The quality of life during the first five years of human development provides the foundation upon which all subsequent development is built. As a result of advances in biomedical technology, social–cultural conditions, and legislation, increasing attention is being directed toward the optimal development of infants and their families.

The specialization is designed to prepare practitioners to meet the challenges of service delivery for very young children and their families and is based on the philosophy that a interdisciplinary educational program is the best educational experience for professionals who will work with infants, very young children, and their families. The specialization is also designed to provide a knowledge base that will facilitate the work of graduates who pursue careers in agencies, institutions, and government organizations that offer services to very young children, as well as those who pursue careers in teaching and research relevant to the needs of infants, very young children, and their families.

The Interdepartmental Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood will: 

  1. Provide an opportunity for graduate students to obtain a comprehensive and contemporary academic experience in the field of infancy and early childhood development. 
  2. Help graduate students with an interest in working with very young children to become aware of their professional obligations and responsibilities. 
  3. Develop an intellectual environment that will foster the growth of research and teaching in the area of human infancy and early childhood development, as well as sensitize students to clinical, educational, and social policy issues related to early human development. 
  4. Increase public awareness of the critical importance of the early years of human development.

A student who is enrolled in a master’s, educational specialist, doctoral, or graduate–professional degree program in one of the 12 participating academic units and who wishes to complete the requirements for an Interdepartmental Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood should send their application to the director of the specialization. Qualified applicants must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.0. Once accepted into the specialization, students must identify a faculty member from their own discipline who is able to oversee their study in infancy and early childhood development, and to chair their guidance committee. Students are encouraged to actively solicit input from at least one faculty member from a discipline other than their home department, who will serve as a representative on the student’s guidance committee.

Students should work closely with their advisors within their academic units to develop meaningful experiences that are directly related to infancy and early childhood development studies. Credits that are used to meet the requirements for the specialization may also be counted toward the requirements for the student’s degree program at the discretion of the academic unit in which the student is enrolled.

Students who are pursuing the Interdepartmental Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood are required to attend monthly seminars with members of the specialization faculty, staff, and other students in the program.

Requirements for the Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood

Students must complete a minimum of 12 credits for the Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood. The student’s program of study must be approved by the student’s guidance committee. The student must:

  1. Master competencies through a variety of experiences including completion of a portfolio that demonstrates mastery of infancy and early childhood foundations. and a final oral or written examination across the following areas: theory, practice, policy, and research.
  2. Complete 12 credits of course work including:
    1. Master’s students. A minimum of 4 credits of the Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood seminar. Students should enroll in an 890 Independent Study through their home department. If an 890 course is not available, students may enroll for SW 890 Independent Study.
    2. Doctoral students.  A minimum of 6 credits of the Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood seminar. Students should enroll in an 890 Independent Study through their home department. If an 890 course is not available, students may enroll for SW 890 Independent Study.
    3. All students are required to complete an additional 6 to 8 credits of course work from two disciplines outside of their home unit. Students may choose courses from the following:
                     
        Anthropology          
        ANP 423 Psychological Anthropology 3
        ANP 470 Food, Hunger, and Society 3
        Audiology and Speech Sciences  
        ASC 823E Assessment of Child Language Disorders 3
        ASC 823F Language Intervention: Early Stages 3
        ASC 823G Language Intervention: Later Stages 3
        ASC 991 Special Topics in Communication Sciences and Disorders 3
        ASC 992 Seminar in Communication Sciences and Disorders 3
        Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education  
        CEP 801 Psychological Development: Learner Differences  
                  And Commonalities 3
        CEP 903 Cognitive Development Across the Lifespan 3
        CEP 904 Social-Emotional Development across the Lifespan 3
        Family and Child Ecology
       
        FCE 411 Developmental Study of a Child 2
        FCE 811 Child Development: Ecological Perspectives 3
        FCE 814 Parenthood and Parent Education 3
        FCE 821 Early Childhood Education: Curricular Approaches 3
        FCE 822 Assessment of the Young Child 3
        FCE 823 Infant Programs and Practices 3
        FCE 825 Families with Special Needs Children:  
                An Ecological Perspective 3
        FCE 838 Early Literacy Development 3
        FCE 845 Foundations of Family Study 3
        FCE 895 Families in Poverty 3
        FCE 896 Child Development Across Cultures 3
        FCE 898 Play in Human Development 3
        Human Nutrition and Foods
       
        HNF 453 Nutrition and Human Development 3
        HNF 840 Human Nutrition and Chronic Diseases 3
        Kinesiology          
        KIN 860 Growth and Motor Behavior 3
        KIN 890 Independent Study in Kinesiology 3
        KIN 893 Internship in Kinesiology 3
        KIN 894 Field Experience in Kinesiology 3
        KIN 990 Independent Study in Kinesiology 3
        Pediatrics and Human Development  
        PHD 523 Genetics for Medical Practice 1
        Psychology          
        PSY 424 Child and Family Psychopathology 3
        PSY 829 Child and Family Assessment 4
        PSY 950 Advanced Child and Family Interventions 3
        PSY 992 Seminar in Psychology 3
        Sociology          
        SOC 475 Sociology of Health Care Systems 3
        SOC 476 Social Psychology of Health 3
        Social Work          
        SW 811 Social Work Perspectives in Human Development 3
        SW 822A Social Welfare Policy and Services: Children, Youth, and Families 3
        SW 873 Social Work in Educational Settings 3
        SW 874 Assessment and Testing in School Social Work 3
        SW 875 School Social Work Intervention: Children with Special Needs 3
        SW 891 Special Topics in Graduate Social Work 3

 


Graduate Specialization in International Development

The Graduate Specialization in International Development are available as electives for students who are enrolled in master’s and doctoral degree programs at Michigan State University.  The College of Social Science administers the specialization.  The graduate academic advisor for international development, located in the college, coordinates the specialization on behalf of the Dean.

The Specialization in International Development is  designed to:

  1. Provide an opportunity for graduate students to obtain a comprehensive and contemporary academic experience in the field of international development studies.
  2. Sensitize graduate students with an interest in development studies to their professional obligations and responsibilities.
  3. Develop an intellectual environment that will foster the growth of research and teaching in the area of development studies.

The graduate academic advisor for international development in the College of Social Science is responsible for establishing a guidance committee for the specialization for each student. With the approval of the graduate academic advisor for international development in the College of Social Science, a guidance committee that has responsibility for overseeing a student’s master’s or doctoral degree program will normally oversee the student’s program of study for the specialization. At least one member of the committee must be a member of the international development core faculty who will serve as the student’s academic advisor for the specialization.

Students who elect the specialization may be required to study the foreign language most relevant to their educational and career objectives, to acquire practical experience in development work, and to complete courses in addition to the courses that are used to satisfy the requirements for the specialization.

Although separate graduate specializations in international development have been established for master’s and doctoral students, a given student may receive certification of completion of  either the specialization for master’s students or the specialization for doctoral students, but not for both of the specializations.

With the approval of the department or school and college that administer the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the requirements for the specialization may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the degree.

Requirements for the Graduate Specialization in International Development

The student must complete a concentration within international development such as gender and health, gender and work, rural development, environment and development, development administration, nongovernmental organizations in development, or politics of development. Any course that was used to satisfy the requirements for the undergraduate Specialization in International Development may not be used to satisfy the requirements for the Graduate Specialization in International Development. The student’s program of study must be approved by the student’s guidance committee for the specialization and must meet the requirements specified below:

Master’s Student: The student must complete 12 credits as outlined below. At least half of the credits must come from outside the student's
major.

  1. Complete two of the Core Courses listed below. Only one of the courses may be at the 400 level.  (6)
  2. Complete at least two additional courses, of at least 3 credits each, which are relevant to the student’s concentration within international development  (6)

Doctoral Student: The student must complete 18 credits as outlined below:

  1. Complete two of the Core Courses listed below. Only one of the courses
     may be at the 400 level  (6)
  2. Complete at least four additional courses, of at least 3 credits each, which are relevant to the student’s concentration within international development  (12)
  3. Pass a written comprehensive examination on the student’s concentration within international development. With the approval of the department or school and college that administer the student’s degree program, this examination may be incorporated into the comprehensive examinations that are required for the degree.

Core Courses: 
AEC        861    Agriculture in Economic Development  (3)
ANP        867    Archaeological Theory  (3)
EC          410    Issues in the Economics of Developing Countries  (3)
GEO       454    Spatial Aspects of Regional Development  (3)
PLS        853    Political Economy of Development Policy  (3)
RD          826    International Development and Sustainability  (3)
SOC       832    International Inequality and Development  (3)
WS         403    Women and Change in Developing Countries  (3)

 


Interdepartmental Graduate Specialization in Cognitive Science

The Interdepartmental Graduate Specialization in Cognitive Science are available for students who are enrolled in master’s and doctoral degree programs in Audiology and Speech Sciences; Computer Science; Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior; Geography; Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages; Neuroscience; Philosophy; Physics and Astronomy; Physiology; Psychiatry; Psychology; Telecommunication; and Zoology.  The College of Social Science administers the specialization.

One of the most important remaining mysteries in science is the nature of mind, whether mind be embodied in the neurons of the brain or in the silicon stuff of computer chips in an artificial brain-like system.   Cognitive Science explores how biological systems process information to produce thought and adaptive behavior and whether artificial systems can be endowed with the same capabilities.  The scientific study of the nature of mind requires a concerted effort by investigators from many different theoretical perspectives, empirical traditions, and academic disciplines. The program will make available  to students an interdisciplinary field that encompasses approaches to solving the problems of understanding the mind from a number of sharply different directions.  Students will learn about, and engage in,  research on these problems under more than one disciplinary umbrella.  The specialization is supervised by the Cognitive Science Graduate Affairs Committee.

Students seeking admission to the specialization must contact the Director of the Cognitive Science Program.  To be admitted, a student must have completed a bachelor’s degree with a grade-point average of at least 3.0 and have been admitted to a master’s or doctoral program in one of the participating departments.  Students should submit a cover letter and a personal statement describing  their interest in cognitive science  and their objectives in seeking admission.  Additional documentation may be requested.

Requirements for the Specialization in Cognitive Science

The Specialization in Cognitive Science is offered at both the master’s and the doctoral level.  No student may receive certification at both levels.  During the first year of the master’s or doctoral program, the student and the major professor select a guidance committee to assist in planning  both the student’s degree program and specialization.  At least one member of a master’s student’s guidance committee and two members of a doctoral student’s guidance committee shall be members of the Cognitive Science faculty, with one of the latter from a discipline outside the student’s major department.

Credits that are used to meet the requirements of the specialization may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the student’s major at the discretion of the department or college.  Courses that are used to satisfy the requirements for the specialization must be approved by the student’s guidance committee and should demonstrate competence in at least two areas of cognitive science.

Master’s Students must:

  1. Complete 18 credits of course work as specified below.
  2. Participate in a research project outside their major department, either by completing one semester of  work in a laboratory project or by enrolling in an independent study course involving collaborative work with a member of the cognitive science faculty.
    Plan A students will also complete a thesis reflecting the integration of the student’s discipline and Cognitive Science.

Doctoral Students must:

  1. Complete 18 credits or course work as specified below.
  2. Participate in a research project outside their major department, either by completing one semester of  work in a laboratory project or by enrolling in an independent study course involving collaborative work with a member of the cognitive science faculty.
  3. Complete a dissertation that reflects the integration of the student’s discipline and Cognitive Science.
                   
    Required Core Courses  
    PSY 863 Seminar in Cognitive Science 1
    At least 16 additional credits in courses relevant to Cognitive Science.  
    At least 6 of these credits, chosen from the following, must be in courses  
    outside the student’s major.        
    ASC 813 Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology of Speech, Language, and Hearing 3
    ASC 823A Acquired Language Disorders 3
    ASC 914A Speech Production and Perception I 4
    ASC 914B Speech Production and Perception II 4
    CSE 802 Pattern Recognition and Analysis 4
    CSE 803 Computer Vision     3
    CSE 841 Artificial Intelligence 3
    CSE 845 Knowledge-Based Systems 4
    CSE 847 Machine Learning     3
    CSE 848 Evolutionary Computation 3
    CSE 885 Artificial Neural Networks 3
    CSE 941 Selected Topics in Artificial Intelligence 3
    LIN 824 Phonological Theory I 3
    LIN 834 Syntactic Theory I
    3
    LIN 837 Advanced Studies in Semantics and Pragmatics 3
    LIN 850 Advanced Studies in Child Language Acquisition 3
    PHL 860 Seminar in Metaphysics and Epistemology 3
    PHL 880 Seminar in Philosophy of Science 3
    PSY 801 Sensation and Perception 3
    PSY 802 Basic Cognitive Processes 3
    PSY 803 Higher Order Cognitive Processes 3
    PSY 814 Psycholinguistics     3
    PSY 851 Neuropsychology     4
    ZOL 822 Topics in Ethology and Behavioral Ecology 3
    Other course may be substituted with prior approval of the Cognitive Science Graduate Affairs Committee.