Interdisciplinary Programs

Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies (M.A., M.S., Ph.D.)

  • What is an Interdisciplinary Degree?
    • An Interdisciplinary Degree is a customized degree program that combines course work from two or more disciplines.
  • Is it for me?
    • If you have well-defined research interests that bridge two or more disciplines, yes.
    • If you want to simply avoid one or more of the program or course requirements in an existing degree or major, then no. In other words, you can't take all of the courses for one degree except for the one or two you don't like and call it an interdisciplinary degree. In fact, your proposed program must differ significantly from an existing UAF graduate degree program (i.e. no more than one half of your program credits can be pulled from a single existing graduate degree program.)
  • Who is responsible for designing my program, ensuring that it conforms to rigorous academic standards, and organizing a committee of faculty members to serve as advisors?
    • In short, you are responsible for these items. That said, Shelly would love to help you with the finer points of the process. You can contact her at:

      Shelly Baumann, Interdisciplinary Program Director
      202 Eielson Building

  • Does UAF have the resources and faculty expertise to support my program?
    • This does, of course, depend on the direction of your interests. If we do not have an existing bachelor's, master's or PhD programs in the fields that you are interested in, then it is unlikely that we have faculty available to support it. For example, we do not have a Philosophy program at the Bachelor's, Master's or PhD level. As such, there are no regular faculty on contract to support any research in that direction. Conversely, we do offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in Education and Justice so an Interdisciplinary degree with an education and justice focus could be supported.

Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary degrees are also available for undergraduate students who are interested in obtaining an Associate's or Bachelor's degree. Click here to learn more!

Getting Started

Step 1) Review course descriptions. Make a list of courses at the 400-level or 600-level that you are interested in. Using the following guidelines, determine which courses you wish to apply to your degree, taking careful note of how often the course is offered (e.g. every fall, fall and spring, every other fall, as demand warrants, etc). You may also consider reviewing class offerings through UAA or UAS to see if any of them are applicable to your degree (No more than 50% of your coursework can be transferred in from the UA system).

  • Interdisciplinary Master's
    • Minimum of 30 credits for an Interdisciplinary Master's from two or more disciplines, of which 21 must be at the 600-level (including a max of 12 credits of F699 or a max of 6 credits of F698 depending on whether you are pursuing a thesis or project).
  • Interdisciplinary PhD
    • Minimum of 36 credits, of which 18 must be F699 credits and the remainder must be coursework from more than one discipline.

Step 2) Review the websites of the departments who offer the classes you are interested in to find faculty who can help you determine the viability of your research direction and/or serve on your committee. You can find a list of schools/colleges and their websites here. You can also find faculty bios and research interests in this Experts Guide.

Step 3) Review the Admissions process and required paperwork for an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree.