How to apply

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 M.A. and M.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 Ph.D.
    • 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.

Step 3: 

Review the admissions process and required paperwork below for all interdisciplinary studies degree.

To be eligible, applicants must have:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • GRE scores for anyone with an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0. Please note, the GRE requirement for the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters will be waived. 
  • TOEFL = 80 (Internet-based exam), 213 (electronic exam) or 550 (paper exam) is required if an applicant is not a citizen of the U.S. and requires an F-1 visa.  The IELTS may be substituted in some cases. Minimum score is 6.5.

Interdisciplinary M.A. and M.S. admissions procedure (revised July 26, 2021):

Completing this application will require you to work closely with your proposed chair and at least one other committee member. The Interdisciplinary Council, composed of faculty experienced in interdisciplinary studies, will review your application. The Council will recommend acceptance, revision, or denial. The Director of the Graduate School will make the final decision.

Students applying to an Interdisciplinary Master's must submit the following:

  1. An application for admission via the Admissions Portal by March 1st for fall and October 1st for spring.
  2. Two letters of reference that address the academic qualifications for the degree program to which you are applying. Reference letters must be dated not earlier than one year prior to the date of application to the INDS program.
  3. Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended,
  4. Current C.V. or resume,
  5. A proposed Graduate Study Plan (GSP) The courses proposed in the GSP must reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the degree, with at least two distinct disciplines. Your GSP must be signed by your proposed committee chair and one other committee member, and the department head and dean of your proposed committee chair.
  6. A current curriculum vitae of the proposed committee chair.
  7. Letter of endorsement from your proposed committee chair.
  8. A statement of academic goals of two to four pages (double spaced, one inch margins) addressing the following:
    • Introduce yourself, your academic interests, and motivations for pursuing an INDS Masters, and the disciplines from which you would like to draw.
    • Summarize your relevant experience (e.g., undergraduate, graduate, professional career) that has prepared you for the INDS Masters Program.
    • Summarize the major points from your research prospectus and Graduate Study Plan and explain how the fields you are drawing from, the coursework you envision, and the composition of your proposed committee aligns with your research goals. Additionally, please explain why your interdisciplinary program does not fit into an existing UAF Master’s program.
    • Provide any additional comments that you would like the review committee to consider. For example, mention academic strengths  or weaknesses (e.g., low  GPA or GRE scores) in your application. To ensure that no information is lost, please include your name at the top of each subsequent page.
  9. Submit a concise research prospectus (in addition to the Statement of Academic Goals). Write a research prospectus of no more than 1,000 words that includes the following information:
    • Tentative title of the research study: Create a draft title for your thesis/project. This does not have to be your final title.
    • Goals:  Describe the goals and/or specific aims of your proposed project. What is the problem that your project will address?
    • Rationale and significance: Why is this research important and who will be affected by the new knowledge that will be produced once this research is completed? Identify the gap in knowledge that your research is intended to fill by supplying evidence from the literature. (Note: We do not expect an exhaustive literature review, but we do want to see evidence of familiarity with relevant literature.)
    • Research questions and hypotheses (if applicable): What specific research questions do you hope to answer?
    • Interdisciplinary nature of the proposed research: How is this research interdisciplinary? What disciplines do you expect to contribute to the research?
    • Literature cited: Include previous work cited in item #3 or elsewhere in the essay.
  10.  GRE scores if your undergraduate GPA is under a 3.0.

Writing tips: 
The Council will look for self-direction, potential as a graduate student and a rational, feasible, interdisciplinary academic program.

  • Use concise language, a positive tone, and an active rather than passive voice.
  • Provide concrete examples to illustrate your strengths
  • Address any weaknesses in your academic performance, and how you overcame them.
  • Strive for a focused essay with a strong start. Everything you write should demonstrate your potential as a graduate student and show a well-conceived academic program.
  • Review your document for spelling and grammar errors. Everyone makes mistakes, but making them in an application is a red flag for reviewers.

To be eligible, applicant's must have:

  • A master's degree from an accredited institution is required.
  • The GRE is required for ALL Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program applicants, regardless of GPA. Most students admitted to the interdisciplinary graduate degree program receive GRE scores above the 50th percentile. Please note, the GRE requirement for the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters will be waived. 
  • TOEFL = 80 (Internet-based exam), 213 (electronic exam) or 550 (paper exam) is required if an applicant is not a citizen of the U.S. and requires an F-1 visa.  the IELTS may be substituted in some cases. Minimum score is 6.5.

Interdisciplinary Ph.D. admissions procedure:

Completing an application will require you to work closely with the chair of your planned graduate advisory committee and at least one other committee member. 

Review and subsequent recommendation to accept an application is made by the Interdisciplinary Council, composed of faculty experienced in interdisciplinary studies.  The Council may also ask for revision of your application or it can reject it. This replaces the discipline-based application process, where a department committee makes the recommendation.

With all Ph.D. applications, confirmation of a recommendation to admit is needed from the home department chair, the relevant dean, and the director of the Graduate School and Interdisciplinary Programs.

Before applying, please download and review the following items:

Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Application Checklist and instructions, which provides the information on how to apply and how and where to submit the required supplemental materials (shown in Parts A-E below):

  1. Statement of Academic Goals
  2. Research Prospectus
  3. Proposed Graduate Study Plan (GSP)
  4. Letters of Endorsement from faculty housed in two different departments (see below) .
  5. All materials must be uploaded through the Admissions Portal.  Official transcripts and GRE/TOEFL scores must be sent to UAF directly.  Further details are available on the aforementioned Ph.D. Application Checklist.


Your application and associated materials are due in full at the Graduate School by:

  • March 1 for fall admission
  • October 1 for spring admission


Any questions?

Please contact Shelly Baumann, Assistant Director at or call 907-474-7319.