Individualized Master of Arts(IMA) in the Social Sciences

AUM IMA-SocialScience

The Individualized Master of Arts (IMA) in 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.

Students may focus their studies in the following broad areas:

  • Human, Organizational and Community Development
    • Health and Wellness
    • Personal and Professional Coaching
  • Applied Psychology
    • Eco Psychology
    • Psychology and Spirituality
    • Contemplative Psychology
    • Integrative Studies in Psychology
    • Personal and professional Coaching
  • Integral Knowledge Systems
    • Integral Social Transformation
    • Consciousness Studies
  •   Education
  •   Management/Organizational Leadership
  •  Sustainability

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

A Master of Arts in the 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 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 – Offered each August and January

Foundational Courses (6 courses, 18 cr)

COM-5420 Academic Writing and Research 3 cr

SSC-5530 Foundations of the Field 3 cr

SSC-5660 Transformative Learning 3 cr

SSC-5780 Theories and Research in the Field 3 cr

SSC-5840 Systems Thinking in a Changing World 3 cr

RSH-5720 Ways of Knowing—Systematic Inquiry 3 cr

Phase II

Second Residency – Offered each August and Januar

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

SSC-6950 Professional Seminar 3 cr

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 5420 Academic Writing & Research

In this course, students will practice academic writing and research using the method of reflective autoethnography. Students will relate their professional and personal experiences to relevant scholarship, their own values, personal and professional development, and social responsibility. Through assigned readings and writing exercises students reflect on the personal meanings of past and present roles in family, organizations, community, and other relevant settings, place their experiences of self in the context of culture, connect this story within the context of significant and relevant scholarship and finally draw lessons that inform their socially responsible future professional practice. The final paper will be APA formatted and is expected to build upon the student’s professional experience and current learning.

RSH 5720 Ways of Knowing: Systemic Inquiry

In this trans-disciplinary course students will investigate the different genres of research and the various issues in designing research studies. They will become familiar with the ontological, epistemological and methodological assumptions within both qualitative and quantitative paradigms. Emphasis will be given to qualitative and transpersonal methodologies, with an aim to help them select an appropriate methodology for their particular application project. Students will also conduct practical fieldwork with the goal of understanding some of the real-world challenges that are presented to researchers.

SSC 5530 Foundations of the Field

In this course, students will develop an understanding of the foundations in their primary fields of study and their trans-disciplinary nature: historical trajectories, paradigmatic shifts, past and current developments in theory and practice, and important ethical and contemporary issues. They will become familiar with who is who in their fields, significant publications and journals, and begin to develop an academic and professional network by attending conferences or conducting interviews with academics and practitioners.

SSC 5660 Transformative Learning

In this course, students learn about theories of personal, organizational and social transformation, and will be given opportunities for designing projects to put their chosen theories into practice. In the process, students will develop the capability for inquiry into personal, interpersonal and systemic learning. They will learn about the benefits of reflection for focused inquiry and the benefits of contemplative practices for open, spacious, creative awareness. We will also address the shadow sides of self-directed learning (such as procrastination, loneliness, insecurity) and explore strategies to transcend them.

SSC 5780 Theories & Research in the Field

In this course student will conduct research on how to design a self-directed graduate program. They will learn about the important foundational theories that undergird their field, develop an individualized reflective statement on educational and professional goals for their self-designed program, and learn about the principles of curriculum and syllabus design. Students will develop an understanding of the relationship between learning outcomes, activities and ways to evaluate learning. Standard components of graduate degree programs, such as foundational courses, theory courses, electives, research, and capstone courses, are covered. Students will also develop a plan for expanding their academic network of resources in their fields of study.

SSC 5840 Systems Thinking-Changing World

Develop conceptual frameworks and integrative and analytic skills for understanding complex, dynamic patterns in human and natural systems. Students gain an understanding of the relationships between world views (and mental models) and actions (including thoughts, behaviors, policies, social structures, etc.). Particular attention will be given to the influences of dualism, reductionism and wholism.

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 Social Science Thesis A

This course is the first of two courses through which students complete a master’s thesis in 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 Philosophy Thesis B

This course is the second of two courses through which students complete a master’s thesis in 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 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.

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.