Ohio University

Individual Interdisciplinary Program

The Individual Interdisciplinary Program (IIP) is housed in the Graduate College and is designed as a home for those M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. students whose academic and research interests might be best served by an interdisciplinary graduate degree. The ideal prospective student is an individual with demonstrated ability and intellectual maturity. Admission to the Graduate College as an IIP student demands, in part, that the applicant identify a minimum of two (2) emphasis areas, each in a different department, school, or program. At least one of the departments, schools, or programs must offer a graduate degree at the degree level sought (i.e., master’s level for a master’s student, doctoral level for a Ph.D. student). The other department, school, or program involved in the student’s IIP must, at the very least, offer graduate level coursework and ideally should be a graduate degree granting program.

Contact: Dr. Kamile Geist, IIP Graduate Director

Doctor of Philosophy

Ph.D. students must complete at least 90 semester credits beyond the bachelor’s degree, including at least four (4) courses (12 credit hours) in each emphasis area. At least 2 of these courses (6 credits) must provide depth of knowledge in the field and at least two of these courses (6 credit hours) must provide breadth of knowledge. In addition, the student must complete a final project (dissertation, performance, etc.) acceptable to the Guidance Committee. The graduate chairs in the respective emphasis areas/disciplines will determine which courses provide depth of knowledge and which provide breadth of knowledge.

Guidance Committee

Each student will have a Guidance Committee composed of members of his/her participating departments, schools, or programs. This committee must be constituted by the end of the student’s first term in the program. The committee must have at least three faculty members from at least two different emphasis areas/disciplines, and will be responsible for preparing the program requirements, regularly reviewing the student’s progress, administering comprehensive examinations (if relevant), and directing the final project or dissertation.

Any faculty member at Ohio University with a doctorate or comparable terminal degree (e.g., M.F.A.) may participate on and/or chair an IIP Guidance Committee. The procedural rules for degree completion from the primary academic support unit will apply to the IIP student, e.g., number of outside representatives, etc. The unit’s requirements for content (e.g., required courses) do not apply as these are determined by the IIP course of study.

Application Eligibility

Applicants for the Ph.D. degree must have earned an advanced or professional degree from an accredited institution of higher education and achieved at least a 3.25 graduate GPA or its equivalent.

Master of Arts / Master of Science Degree Program

Master’s students must complete at least 36 semester credits beyond the bachelor’s degree, including four (4) courses (12 credit hours) in each emphasis area. At least two of these courses (6 credit hours) must provide depth of knowledge in the field and at least two of these courses (6 credit hours) must provide breadth of knowledge. In addition, the student must complete a final project (thesis, performance, etc.) acceptable to the student’s Guidance Committee. The procedural rules for degree completion from the student’s primary academic support unit will determine whether there is a non-thesis option (e.g., comprehensive examination option) for completing the master’s degree. The graduate chairs in the respective emphasis areas/disciplines will determine which courses provide depth of knowledge and which provide breadth of knowledge.

Guidance Committee

Each student will have a Guidance Committee composed of members of his/her participating departments, schools, or programs. This committee must be constituted by the end of the student’s first term in the program. The committee must have at least three faculty members from at least two different emphasis areas/disciplines, and will be responsible for preparing the program requirements, regularly reviewing the student’s progress, and administering comprehensive examinations and/or directing the Master’s thesis or final project.

Any faculty member at Ohio University with a doctorate or comparable terminal degree (e.g., M.F.A.) may participate on and/or chair an IIP Guidance Committee. The procedural rules for degree completion from the primary academic support unit will apply to the IIP student, e.g., number of outside representatives, the existence of a non-thesis option at the Master's level, etc. The unit’s requirements for content (e.g., required courses) do not apply as these are determined by the IIP course of study. 

Application Eligibility

Applicants for the M.A. or M.S. degree must have an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education and have achieved at least a 3.0 undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) or its equivalent.

Application Information

Prospective students are advised to meet with the IIP Program Director, Kamile Geist geistk@ohio.edu before submitting an application.

Application Materials

  1. Transcripts of all previous academic work
  2. A three-to-five page project proposal that includes
    1. Tentative fields of study/areas of emphasis, including proposed courses
    2. Prospective guidance committee members
    3. A statement of goals, and
    4. An explanation of why none of the related existing degrees meet the student’s educational and professional objectives.
  3. Letters of Recommendation
    1. At least three (3) letters of recommendation on academic preparation
    2. A letter of support provided by each of the Graduate Directors of the cooperating programs/departments/schools that will constitute the primary fields of study. The director should endorse the proposed courses in the degree proposal.
    3. A letter of support from each prospective Guidance Committee Member. These letters commit the faculty members to be the initial advisors of record for the applicant.
  4. Official test scores such as GRE, GMAT, or MAT. Non-native speakers of English must also submit official English Proficiency scores.

Additionally, prospective students should consult the website of the departments, schools, or programs that will serve as their emphasis areas and provide any additional materials (e.g., writing sample, additional letters of recommendation) required by those departments, schools, or programs.

Each application is considered soon after it is complete.

If you are a full-time OHIO administrator or faculty member please see the Graduate Catalog for policies regarding Conflict of Interest.

Students admitted to an IIP degree cannot concurrently pursue any additional graduate or undergraduate degree.

Application Deadlines

Semester Application Form Deadline Supporting Materials Deadline*
Fall (begins late August) April 1 April 15
Spring (begins mid-January) November 1 November 15

*International students who require an I-9 or DS-2019 are advised to submit all materials no later than January 30 for fall and September 30 for spring.

This program does not admit for summer semester.

Financial Support

If an applicant intends to seek possible financial support from one or more of his/her cooperating academic disciplines, we strongly encourage that materials be submitted by the cooperating discipline's funding priority deadlines. Consult the discipline's website for information. 

Current IIP Students

Good Standing

M.A. and M.S. students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to continue in the program. Masters students should complete their coursework by the end of their second year of full-time study or by the end of their third year of part-time study. Master's students must present the results of a research project and/or creative activity at an academic or professional conference prior to the end of their third year, if a full-time student, or fourth year, if a part-time student. If completing the degree by taking a comprehensive examination, the examination must be completed by the end of the semester following the completion of coursework. The student’s Guidance Committee will determine credit hours required for the thesis or final project in conjunction with the requirements of the primary academic support unit.

Ph.D. students must maintain a minimum 3.25 GPA to continue in the program. Ph.D. students should complete their coursework by the end of their third year of full-time study in the program or by the end of their fifth year of part-time study in the program, and their comprehensive examinations, if required by their participating programs, by the end of the semester following completion of coursework. Full-time Ph.D. students must present the results of their research or creative activities at an academic or professional conference by the end of their third year in the program, and should submit the results of their research or creative activities for peer review and publication to an appropriate journal or publishing house by the end of their fourth year in the program. For part-time Ph.D. students, these dates will be adjusted to align with their progress on course completion. The Guidance Committee will determine credit hours required for the dissertation in conjunction with the requirements of the primary academic support units.

IIP Program Handbook (coming soon)