Multidisciplinary Studies, Master of Science (M.S.) Degree

             American/International School Educators

              2013—2014 School Year



Thank you for your interest in graduate study through SUNY, Buffalo State.  SUNY, Buffalo State is the largest college in the State University of New York (SUNY) system and is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and by the Board of Regents, State University of New York. SUNY, a statewide system of 64 campuses, is the largest, most diverse multi-campus university in the United States.


The Master of Science degree in Multidisciplinary Studies is one of the 62 graduate programs offered by SUNY, Buffalo State. The program is designed for individuals with unique professional and educational objectives not readily met by traditional master’s degree programs. Numerous national as well as international educators enroll in this degree program.


The Office of International Graduate Programs for Educators is responsible for the Master of Science (M.S.) program in Multidisciplinary Studies as well as professional development for educators working at American/International Schools.  The degree program is hosted by American/International Schools for cohorts (groups) of education professionals.  The entire program requires ten (10) courses that can be delivered at the school site, electronically, or through a combined approach of on-site/on-line instruction depending on the course as well as the needs of the cohort.


Appropriate staff (e.g. School Head, Curriculum Coordinator, Teachers) from the host school will collaborate with our staff to select courses that will be offered for the degree program. The collaborative approach of course selection facilitates the design of a program that aligns with the school’s professional development initiatives and the faculty’s specific needs while adhering to the guidelines established for the degree. Selected courses usually apply across grade levels and curricula providing for the diverse needs of overseas educators.


The degree requires 30 semester credit hours. At least 15 credit hours must be 600- and/or 700-level courses. All students are required to complete an Action Research course (three credits hours) and a culminating Master’s Project (three credit hours). Students are allowed to transfer a maximum of 15 graduate level credit hours from another accredited institution into this program.  Several students have used this option to take coursework in a particular content area (e.g. science, math, reading) or specialty, such as early childhood education or counseling. Others take the opportunity to transfer courses previously taken at other colleges or universities.


Examples of courses offered include Instructional Strategies for More Effective Teaching, Principles of Curriculum Design, Creative Problem Solving, and Instructional Technologies. We also offer workshop courses that emphasize process and implementation of theory if there is an identified need of the cohort. For example, we have offered “Differentiation of Instruction”, “Problem-based Learning and Talent Development” and “Teaching Self-regulation: Management in the Responsive Classroom”.


Regional association conferences and workshops offered for credit by Buffalo State through AASSA, AISA, CEESA, EARCOS, ECIS, MAIS, NESA, and the Tri Association provide another opportunity to complete graduate coursework for the degree. Students are allowed to include up to six (6) of the required 30 graduate credit hours through a combination of conference and/or workshop courses.


Courses offered through the Teachers’ Training Center (TTC), Principals’ Training Center (PTC), the Academy for International School Heads (AISH) and AP International also can be used as part of the degree program.


Professors familiar with the unique needs of overseas educators teach our courses. Some of our instructors are educators currently working overseas who have the credentials to become Buffalo State adjunct faculty. In that way, we have been able to utilize the talent within your own school community as well as other experts who may be consulting or providing professional development in your region.


Every school has diverse needs for scheduling courses. Some schools choose to offer the degree over a period of two years, while others opt for a longer period of time. Host schools decide on what will work best for their cohort. Most frequently, we offer our courses using a compressed period of time with lots of success and very happy students who have busy schedules. For example, when school is in session, we may offer a course on the two weekend days, after school during the week and finish the following weekend. Some prefer all day on two consecutive weekends and only two nights after school. If the professor is actually working in your school or living in the region, the course might be offered over the school semester. We have other groups who prefer to take two courses during a summer or winter break. Sometimes we are able to have one professor come and stay to teach two courses.


Final projects for courses are NOT due on the last day of the class. At the very least, students have an additional two weeks to complete coursework. We can be flexible to meet your needs, especially if you need to host educators from other schools to make this easier on your group financially.


The awarding of the Master of Science Degree does not provide Certification or Licensure. United States colleges/universities do not “grant” certification or licensure. Certification or Licensure is obtained through State Education Departments. Many of the courses offered through this program may be applicable towards certification. However, individual State Education Departments determine what course(s) could be applicable toward the certification requirements for that particular state.  For more information, the following website is linked to state certification offices:


Our staff is dedicated to helping you and we look forward to working with you. Please let us know at any time if you have questions or concerns, and we will be sure to respond promptly.


Carolyn Brunner, Director                                           716-878-6832


Grace Vogt, Admissions                                             716-878-6832


Leah Loveless, Finance and PD                                 716-878-3643


William F. Irene, Candidacy/Plans of Study                   716-878-3643


Cathy Molenda, Course registration/Graduation                   716-878-3811


Brandon Kawa, Plans of Study/Finance                        716-878-3643




International Graduate
Programs for Educators

Twin Rise South Wing 430C
Buffalo State College
1300 Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14222
#(716) 878-6832