The Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program allows well-qualified graduate students the opportunity to pursue study in multidisciplinary areas of inquiry where expert faculty are available to guide doctoral research.
For such a program to be feasible, there must be at least one member of the Graduate Faculty who is a specialist in the area of the student’s interest, and three additional Graduate Faculty members (in at least two departments) who are prepared to supervise the proposed research. The fifth member of the committee is usually an outside scholar. The chairperson and the majority of advisory committee members must have experience in supervision and direction of graduate students and have a strong record of research and scholarly activity.
- A master’s degree (or equivalent) in a discipline related to the proposed area of study.
- Submission of a detailed program of study and a prospectus discussing the proposed research focus. The student’s program of study must identify and be endorsed by the UM Graduate Faculty who have agreed to supervise the coursework and the dissertation.
- All other materials required by the Graduate School for students applying to doctoral programs.
While this program is usually individually planned, it is not a program that is conducted independently of the UM campus. The majority of coursework is taken through The University of Maine and, except for the admission procedures, the policies and regulations governing the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. are the same as those for other Ph.D. programs.
Graduate assistantships for this program are usually limited to advisors’ current grants or to competitive selection for a University Graduate Research Assistantship. In some instances, departments have funded teaching assistantships for Interdisciplinary Ph.D. students.
Before submitting the application, arrangements must be made to meet with a representative of the Graduate School to explore Ph.D. goals and to assess the University’s capabilities to offer graduate coursework in the student’s proposed area. Guidelines for completing the admission process will also be reviewed.
Application materials include a description of the applicant’s goals and objectives, program of study, research prospectus, vitae of the proposed advisory committee, and supporting academic credentials (e.g. transcripts, letters of recommendation, test scores). Guidelines describing the application process in detail are available from the Graduate School.
Some interdisciplinary faculty groups at the University of Maine have established formal concentrations within the Interdisciplinary program. Those (e.g. Communication, Functional Genomics; Ocean Engineering, Marine Technology, and Mass Communication) are noted elsewhere in this catalog. In these interdisciplinary concentrations, application is made directly to the program coordinator.