Individualized Master of Arts

Part of the Goddard Graduate Institute, the Individualized Master of Arts 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 Individualized Master of Arts 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.

Speak to an admissions counselor at 800.906.8312 or email


Students pursuing the Master of Arts may choose to fulfill the requirements of the following predefined areas of concentration: Consciousness Studies, Embodiment Studies, and Transformative Language Arts.

Concentrations predefine inter- and trans-disciplinary areas of study through a core set of readings and resources, learning areas and key concepts, and specify the way in which students must complete an identity statement and engage with the community through practicum, internship, fieldwork, or engaged practice. Concentrations within the program are highly individualized, guided by a unique study plan, developed by each student, to address learning needs and professional goals.

The Faculty

The faculty in the Goddard Graduate Institute have longstanding presence in the college and bring to their work a host of professional skills and disciplinary areas. Fields of expertise include consciousness studies, expressive arts therapy, ecopsychology, cultural studies, gender studies, poetry, literature, psychology, natural history, sustainability, social innovation, organizational and community development, social justice, neuroscience, medical anthropology, religious studies, theater, and Ayurvedic medicine, among other areas. Much of the work and interests of the faculty is in keeping with the college’s activist and social justice mission. The Faculty also have a range of international experience both in terms of work and research conducted in other areas of the world and in terms of their own lived experiences. Read more about the Graduate Institute faculty.

Work of the Program

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 intended to address degree criteria as well as each student’s academic goals.


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 integrates and demonstrates their learning, personal growth, and engaged practice.

Admission Criteria

Goddard offers students the ability to chart their own paths and develop, or further develop, the habits and skills of life-long learning.

An application for admission to a graduate program may be questioned or rejected because of:

  • Curricular Limits: The proposed study appears to require expertise not available at Goddard.
  • Critical Inquiry: The proposed study appears to consist in research or other activities designed to proselytize for a theory or point of view important to the applicant, rather than a scholarly study of that and other theories or points of view.
  • Readiness: The student has not earned a baccalaureate degree or its international equivalent or application materials otherwise indicate the student is not ready for a graduate-level, writing-intensive independent program of study.

See complete application instructions.

36-credit Accelerated Degree Option

Goddard College offers a 36-credit, accelerated study option to students who are interested in deepening their studies in a current practice and who have already conducted much of the exploratory work of a first semester student. Students should have a clear sense of where they would like to focus their studies and a developed idea of the final product they would like to complete.

We encourage you to review the 36-Credit Accelerated Study Option page as you prepare your application.