Individual Interdisciplinary Programs

The University of Dayton offers individual interdisciplinary graduate programs designed by the student in cooperation with an advisor and representatives from the selected programs. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree with a general cumulative point average of 2.8 or above, and submit a formal written request for an individually designed interdisciplinary program to her/his faculty advisor and graduate committee.

The interdisciplinary program does not take the place of an established graduate program. Rather, it is a specific program drawn from several disciplines to meet a special need, frequently for job-related requirements. It must produce interrelated applications of specific disciplines and skills at the graduate level. For instance, a clinical dietitian employed in a hospital may seek graduate level expertise in counseling and education for patients with chemical dependencies and for teaching interns. Such a student finds that a Master of Science in the interdisciplinary program serves the special needs for a broader knowledge base encompassing physiology, communication, and counseling. Or, to take an instance in the humanities, a student may seek graduate level expertise in historical preservation. Such a student seeks more general learning and professional expertise, and finds that a Master of Arts in the interdisciplinary program serves special needs in history, art, and public administration. 

The degree will be either a Master of Arts or a Master of Science. The program should involve several disciplines and be directed by one faculty member from each discipline. The three faculty members constitute the advisory committee. The final program will be drawn up and approved by the advisory committee. Copies will be sent to the chair of the departments involved.

A program of study must be at least 30 semester hours: 15 may be divided between directed study and a thesis, but must be related to the interdisciplinary areas; and 6 semester credit hours of electives in more distantly related areas may also be chosen.

The formal request for an individual interdisciplinary program must include:

  1. A general description of the proposed course of study and the reasons for choosing such an interdisciplinary program, rather than one offered in a single department.
  2. The courses (at least 30 semester hours) which will be taken and the department involved in the overall work.
  3. If a project or thesis is desired, a clear statement of the specific nature of the topic, the research intended, and the purpose of the project or thesis.