To ensure that The University of Alabama can help students achieve research, classwork and career goals, all prospective students must meet with the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Andrew Goodliffe (, prior to starting an application for the Interdisciplinary Studies, PhD. The Associate Dean will help prospective students identify a home department, advisor and advisory committee members (a prerequisite for admission).

To be eligible for consideration, prospective candidates must meet the following criteria:

  1. A completed master’s degree (at the time of admission) or its equivalent from an accredited university.
  2. GPA of 3.3 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) or equivalent. If the GPA is less than a 3.3, there must be other areas of strength that demonstrate excellence.

Note: The Interdisciplinary Studies, PhD program is not available to students who have been unsuccessful in previous graduate work.

Admission Requirements

Applicants will submit an application to the Graduate School. Application materials will include:

  1. Transcripts showing a completed master’s degree (at the time of admission) or equivalent from an accredited university. GPA of 3.3 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) or equivalent.
  2. The email addresses of three recommenders.
  3. A CV/resume.
  4. Statement of purpose. The statement of purpose is where you will discuss your professional/academic preparation, your reason for choosing The University of Alabama, your research goals and your intended future career path.
  5. Language scores (for non-native English speakers).

In addition, the Interdisciplinary Studies, PhD program requires the following as part of the application:

  1. Interdisciplinary Studies, PhD, Committee Agreement Form: This should be in consultation with the Associate Dean of the Graduate School. Applicants will identify five faculty members for the advisory committee. All committee members must be members of the Graduate Faculty at The University of Alabama. The applicant’s Advisory Committee chair is expected to have competence in the proposed major area(s) of study and has the time and willingness to devote to being an academic mentor for the student throughout the PhD program. The committee chair and at least one additional committee member will have experience in directing and supervising doctoral-level research.
  2. Advisor Signature Form: One of the faculty members on the committee will serve as the student’s advisor/chair. It is preferred that the advisor/chair be selected from a department that offers doctoral degrees.
  3. Home Department Request Form: The home department or program will include the Interdisciplinary Studies, PhD student in the intellectual-social life of the unit, e.g., department mailing lists, colloquia, social functions, etc. The home department may also consider an Interdisciplinary Studies, PhD student for Graduate Teaching Assistant and Graduate Research Assistant appointments, and for office space.
  4. Proposed Course Schedule Form: In consultation with the advisory committee and advisor/chair, the prospective Interdisciplinary Studies, PhD student will create a preliminary plan of study.
  5. A one to two-page statement of proposed research outlining the intended focus and significance of the research to the integrated fields of study and the applicant’s professional goals.
  6. Written explanation (submitted by student’s advisor/chair) explaining how the comprehensive examination requirement will be fulfilled.