Students who are interested in studies that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries are offered a unique degree that offers flexibility, creativity, and collaboration. Today's students are faced with an increasing demand for interdisciplinary approaches to research, education, and workforce skills and may be interested in the Interdisciplinary studies master's programs in either Science or Arts. The degree is housed in the UAA Graduate School and combines coursework in two or more disciplines/programs and may involve one or more academic college.
The Interdisciplinary Studies (INDS) Master's degree makes it possible for graduate students interested in combining disciplines to create a program to suite their needs when no existing graduate program does. The program of study for each student will be designed by the student and faculty mentors.
This degree supports learner-centered, discovery-driven, and the globally engaged mission of UAA by meeting individual student needs, promoting academic collaboration across the university, and producing scholars with a wide approach to solving problems.
Steps for Applying to the Interdisciplinary Degree Program:
- A prospective student must first contact the Graduate School before beginning the INDS application process to ensure eligibility, viability of their proposed plan of study, and to discuss their educational goals.
- The student submits a UAA Graduate Application for Admission (as an interdisciplinary studies major: MS or MA) with the appropriate fee to the Office of Admissions. This application will be reviewed by the Graduate School for determination of acceptance to graduate study, contingent on items 3-8 below.
- The student must submit at least two letters of recommendation that address the academic qualifications of the applicant to complete graduate level work.
- The student must also submit with their application a current resume or curriculum vita.
- The student invites a UAA faculty member to chair their graduate studies committee and to serve as the student’s graduate advisor. The student must be "homed" in an existing graduate degree program and the chair shall normally be a full-time faculty member from that graduate degree program. The chair must agree to serve and must be approved by the Graduate School dean or designee. Faculty members may be co-chairs if they are from non-graduate programs.
- 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 or more credits. The committee members must agree to serve and be approved by the Graduate School dean or designee. Faculty from non-graduate programs may participate as co-chairs or committee members.
- The student develops an interdisciplinary graduate studies plan (GSP) specifying the degree (MA/MS) and designates a concentration or emphasis. In developing the GSP, 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 the GSP all General University Requirements for Graduate Degrees and any college requirements applicable.
- The student presents the proposed GSP along with the master’s thesis or research project to the committee and chair for preliminary review and approval. If the committee and chair support the GSP and proposed research, it will be forwarded to the Graduate School dean or designee for approval in consultation with the affected graduate programs.