The interdisciplinary studies graduate programs (Master of Arts, Master of Science and PhD) are designed for highly motivated students whose career or educational goals do not fit into one of The University of Alabama’s existing programs, but are a good match for UA’s broad-ranging fields of expertise.
As outlined in a 2019 report by Burning Glass Technologies, “high-paying jobs of the future are more complex, multi-disciplinary, and… require a wide set of skills from different fields.” The report demonstrates that such jobs are growing at twice the rate of the overall job market, and appear across the full spectrum of professions.
There is no such thing as a typical student for an interdisciplinary graduate program. Students vary widely in both age and interests. They may pursue their interdisciplinary graduate degree just after graduation, or when considering career changes or advancement at a later stage. Students may pursue these degrees on either a full-time or part-time basis. The Interdisciplinary Studies PhD program is an on-campus program; the Interdisciplinary Studies master’s can be pursued either online or on campus, depending on the subject area and availability of courses.
Applicants who propose to combine two or more academic disciplines should outline their goals and rationales in a statement of purpose, submitted with the application. Applicants should ensure that they demonstrate coherence among the different disciplines, in terms of the individual’s overall personal and professional goals, as well as outlining how those disciplines will be blended in the final thesis, project or dissertation.
The goal of this MA/MS is to train bachelor’s degree recipients in new and emerging areas that lie at the intersection of two or more disciplines. A student can tailor the program to their professional goals and interests.
The goal of the PhD is to meet the needs of highly motivated students whose goals for research and classwork cross the boundaries of our traditional department-based PhD programs.