Individual Interdisciplinary Studies, Ph.D.
The Faculty of Graduate Studies provides the special opportunity to students, with a proven track record, of registering in an Individual Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS) program1. Such a program combines substantial aspects of the existing programs of at least two, but no more than four departments/units into a unique program, which lies outside of established department/unit boundaries. Since the Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program places additional demands and responsibilities upon the applicant to assemble an advisory committee, to formulate a research proposal in advance of admission and, to negotiate a program of study with their advisory committee, the eligibility requirements are more stringent than those for discipline based graduate programs.
The regulations presented below and all general regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies apply to Individual Interdisciplinary Studies programs. Each department/unit currently offering a discipline-based graduate level program is eligible to offer an Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program2 in which the subject area of that department/unit is the major focus3 of the Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program4. The department/unit is thus considered the "home" department/unit of the Individual Interdisciplinary Studies student5. (Note: the department/unit should be contacted ahead of time to ensure their participation in the Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program).
The "home" department/unit Head (or designate) will ensure that the student and the advisor receive information regarding scholarship, relevant Faculty procedures, and the like (i.e., information that would normally be distributed to department/unit Heads and/or Chairs of graduate programs).
It is anticipated that substantial grounding will be in the major focus area; if not, then justification must be given for consideration.
Where the word department/unit appears, the word Faculty or Institute is to be assumed where appropriate.
A department /unit’s eligibility to offer an Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program is limited to the level of the degree currently being offered by the department/unit. For example, if only a Master’s level program is offered by the department/unit, that department/unit is eligible to be the “home” department/unit for students in a Master’s level Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program, only. Although this particular department/unit may participate as a supporting department/unit in a Ph.D. level Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program, it is not eligible to be the “home” department/unit of a Ph.D. Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program student. A Faculty member in a department/unit without a graduate program at the level he/she wishes to supervise an Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program student may do so providing that the Faculty member is a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and holds an appointment in the “home" department/unit. Note: the supervisor may need to be appointed as an adjunct to the “home” department/unit.
"Major Focus" refers to the subject area/discipline of a department/unit in which the credit hours of instruction to be taken are more than or equal to those to be taken in any other participating department/unit. In a two-department/unit combination, assuming a 15 credit hour program, 9 credit hours of course work would be taken in the major focus area, with a minimum of 6 credit hours to be at the 7000 level.
The intent of an Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program is to bring together existing discipline-based programs in such a way as to form a unique program tailored to an individual research project and/or study aim that cannot otherwise be accommodated by existing discipline-based programs. Master’s programs are used to construct a Master’s level Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program and the Ph.D. programs are the building blocks for a Ph.D. level Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program. While there is some flexibility in the actual programs used to construct an Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program, it is imperative that a Master’s level Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program contain mostly existing Master’s level programs, and Ph.D. programs must make up the majority if not all the component programs in a Ph.D. level Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program.
The "home" department/unit counts this student as part of their complement for statistics purposes and would indicate them as "Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program" students.
In addition to the minimum program requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies that are found in the Graduate Studies Regulations Section of this Calendar, please consult the Faculty of Graduate Studies website for Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program supplemental regulations.
All Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program Doctoral students must complete 12 credit hours of coursework at the 7000 level and successfully complete the Ph.D. Candidacy Exam as well as a Doctoral Thesis.
All students must complete the GRAD 7500. See 2.5 Mandatory Academic Integrity Course. Students newly admitted to a graduate program must successfully complete this course within the first term of registration, unless the course has been completed previously without more than one term span between degrees.
All students must complete the GRAD 7300. See 2.6 Mandatory Research Integrity Online Course. Students must successfully complete this course within the first year of study or prior to applying to any ethics boards which are appropriate to the student’s research.
Expected Time to Graduate: 4 years. See 5.5 Time Limits.
Applicants for admission to the Doctoral degree in Individual Interdisciplinary Studies must possess a research-based Master's degree in a discipline relevant to their proposed field of study. All applicants for admission to graduate programs in Individual Interdisciplinary Studies must have a 3.50 grade point average (G.P.A.) or equivalent in their last two years of full time University study (60 credit hours). In addition, they must have completed at least six credit hours of coursework at the 3000 level or above outside the major department/unit with a minimum G.P.A. of 3.50 in these courses, or be able to demonstrate a prior commitment to interdisciplinary education to the satisfaction of the admission committee.
Students must complete and submit their online application with supporting documentation (if applicable) by the date indicated in the following table:
|Fall||September||January 15||January 15|
Individual departments/units may have specific requirements above and beyond those of the Faculty of Graduate Studies; students should consult department/unit supplemental regulations for these specific regulations on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website at: