Right now you may be working on your undergraduate degree, or looking to begin one, and not necessarily thinking about what you’re going to do when you have that well-deserved sheepskin in your mitts. Rather than simply jumping into the role of working wageslave, or perhaps while you’re doing that, why not consider adding a second piece of sheepskin to the first, and working on one of AU’s own Masters degrees?

AU provides a number of Masters programs (, but one of the more interesting – and one of the newest – is the Master of Arts, Integrated Studies. The MAIS (, like all other AU courses, is offered through individualized distance study and grouped study, and is a 33-credit interdisciplinary program that allows a student to either choose a set theme already organized by the directors of the program, or to design their own stream of studies.

Course choices cover a wide variety of disciplines from anthropology, to governance, to English literature and language studies, to psychology and beyond. The MAIS also allows for prior learning assessment, so you can use previous work or education experience towards your degree credits. Only 18 of your 33 credits must be completed through Athabasca University itself, which leaves you free – with permission – to take applicable courses from other institutions. If you’re not sure it’s for you, you’re free to take MAIS courses even as an undergrad, to see if the program is something you’ll be interested in pursuing later on. Any MAIS courses you take as an undergrad can be applied to the degree should you enrol in it later, but entry into the courses is on a first come first served basis, and entry preference is given to MAIS students.

The MAIS homepage also provides some resources ( that would be useful for the current undergrad, such as documentation on how to run a successful computer moderated conference. I know that many of the 400 level courses at AU ask you to run conferences as part of your course requirements. The program even has its own newsletter, A-MAIS-ING (, which is an excellent way to get acquainted with the staff and students involved in the MAIS, and also a good place to look for information relevant to program students.

If you’re looking to further your education, and, like me, favour a mixed bag of courses to titillate varied interests, the Master of Arts – Integrated Studies degree might be the one for you.

MAIS homepage:

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