The Interdisciplinary Ph.D. (IPhD) 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 doctoral students and have a strong record of research and scholarly activity. Students will not be able to gain admission to the IPhD program unless they can demonstrate evidence of an interdisciplinary research focus and a suitable dissertation advisory committee to the IPhD policy and admissions committee.
General Eligibility and Admission Criteria
- 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 may be individually planned, it is not a program that is conducted independently of the UM campus, nor by distance education. 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 Graduate School assistantship or fellowship, see Financial Information section of this catalog. 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 office to explore academic and professional goals and to assess the University’s capabilities to offer graduate coursework in the student’s proposed area. The IPhD admission guidelines, https://umaine.edu/graduate/resource/interdisciplinary-phd-guidelines/ will also be reviewed at this meeting.
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). Application deadlines are November 1 for spring admission and April 1 for summer or fall admission.
Some interdisciplinary faculty groups at the University of Maine have established formal concentrations within the Interdisciplinary program. Those are noted elsewhere in this catalog. In these interdisciplinary concentrations, applications are reviewed by the program admissions committees after receipt by the Graduate School.