Interdisciplinary Studies Degree - Graduate

Interdisciplinary Studies Master's Degree

Interdisciplinary Studies (INDS) is a program available to UAA students at the undergraduate and graduate level. The Interdisciplinary program provides flexibility to students with well-defined goals that do not fit into one of the established graduate majors offered by UAA.  Students who are interested in creating their own Master's degree program by combining course work in more than one discipline have the responsibility to design the program, organize a committee of faculty members to serve as advisers and make sure that it conforms to rigorous academic standards. The proposed program must differ significantly from and may not substitute for an existing UAA graduate degree program. The student may select no more than one half of his/her program credits from one existing graduate degree program. For advising on this degree option, please contact the Graduate School.


Procedures for developing an Interdisciplinary Studies Master's Degree:

A student who has received a Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution and, whose credentials indicate the ability to pursue graduate work, may develop an Interdisciplinary Studies major. The proposed program must differ significantly from and, may not substitute for, an existing UAA graduate degree program. The student may select no more than one half of the program credits from one existing graduate degree program, and courses must come from two or more disciplines (i.e., subjects). In addition to the University Requirements for Graduate Degrees, students must comply with the following procedures:

  1. The student submits a University of Alaska Anchorage Graduate Application for Admission (Interdisciplinary Studies Major) with the appropriate fee to the Office of Admissions. The application will be reviewed by the Graduate School for determination of acceptance to graduate study.
  2. The student invites a faculty member to chair their graduate studies committee and to serve as the student's graduate adviser. The chair shall normally be a full-time faculty member. The chair must agree to serve and must be approved by the Graduate School Dean or designee.
  3. The student proposes a graduate studies committee of at least three faculty members (including the chair) from the appropriate academic disciplines. The committee members and chair must represent all concentration areas of 9 credits or more. The committee members must agree to serve and be approved by the Graduate School Dean or designee.
  4. The student develops a proposed interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Plan specifying the degree (MA/MS) and title or concentration. In developing this proposal, the student should review all graduate degree policies and procedures. To receive an Interdisciplinary Studies Master's Degree from UAA, the student must incorporate into his or her proposal all University Requirements for Graduate Degrees and any school or college requirements applicable. Of the minimum 30 credits required for the master's degree, a minimum of 21 credits must be drawn from existing 600-level courses. Additional coursework, including remedial courses that are not on the Graduate Studies Plan (GSP), may be required by the committee. The graduate committee may also require a master's thesis or research project.
  5. The student presents the proposed Graduate Studies Plan (GSP) to the committee and chair for preliminary review and approval. If the committee and chair support the Graduate Studies Plan (GSP), it will be forwarded to the Graduate School Dean or designee for approval in consultation with affected graduate programs.
  6. Students work with their advisers and graduate committees to ensure that satisfactory progress is made toward completing degree requirements. Students are expected to be continuously registered throughout their graduate program (see Continuous Registration).
  7. The student must complete all requirements established in the official Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Plan, and must pass a written and/or oral comprehensive examination, an evaluation of independent scholarship, and/or a project or thesis defense or similar final evaluation as established by the program. The examination, evaluation or defense must be approved by all graduate committee members as passing the requirement and by the dean of the Graduate School or designee. All theses and projects must have final approval by the dean or designee of the Graduate School.
  8. When an oral comprehensive examination, evaluation of independent scholarship, or project or thesis defense is required, the student may select an outside reviewer approved by the dean or designee of the Graduate School to participate and ensure that the evaluation, examination or defense is fair and appropriate. Typically the outside reviewer is a faculty member from another department in the university or another qualified individual in the area in which the student is seeking a degree.
  9. During the semester of the project or thesis defense or similar final evaluation, the student must apply for graduation in a timely fashion. The diploma will indicate that it is an interdisciplinary degree, as well as the applicable subjects/concentration.
  10. All theses and projects must meet formatting requirements as established by the Graduate School.