Office of the Vice President for Research

Graduate College relaunches Individual Interdisciplinary Program 

June 11, 2012

The Ohio University Graduate College has relaunched the long-running Individual Interdisciplinary Program (IIP) for master’s and doctoral degree students. The college is accepting applications for the first cohort of students, who will begin fall semester, through July 1.

The program provides an opportunity for interdisciplinary graduate study with a focus outside of other existing degree programs at the university. Historically the IIP has been used as a means for professional development by Ohio University employees as well as an intellectual home for domestic and international graduate students seeking an interdisciplinary education. Students who complete master’s or doctoral degrees through the IIP have the option to pursue a wide range of career paths within and outside academia.

Each student will work closely with at least three individual scholars who comprise the guidance committee, a key feature of the program. The IIP draws on the expertise of faculty from a wide variety of academic disciplines and provides students with opportunities to integrate the breadth and depth of knowledge and methods of inquiry that their mentors represent. The IIP allows faculty members with appropriate terminal degrees in non-master’s and non-doctoral granting units to work with graduate students at both levels of instruction. In addition, the program is intended to foster interdisciplinary intellectual activity, collaboration and submission of grant applications by faculty.

From its inception in Fall Quarter 1978 to the end of Fall Quarter 2007, the Graduate College awarded more than 100 master’s degrees and more than 40 PhDs through the IIP. The Graduate College suspended admissions in 2008, and worked with the Graduate Council to reexamine and refocus the structure of the program. Going forward, the IIP will be administered by a graduate committee chaired by a graduate director who reports to the dean of the Graduate College.

Claudia Hale, professor and former director of the School of Communication Studies, has been appointed the graduate director of the IIP.  Other individuals appointed to the IIP graduate committee are Greg Foley of the Patton College of Education; Lesli Johnson of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs; Jody Lamb of the College of Fine Arts; Emilia Marks and  Brian McCarthy of the College of Arts and Sciences; and John McCarthy of the College of Health Sciences and Professions.

An important new component of the program is the IIP Seminar, established to provide students with critical professional tools, an intellectual community and a unique identity at Ohio University. The seminar will cover issues such as interdisciplinary research methods, grant writing, ethics and publishing.

Prospective students must apply for fall semester enrollment by July 1. Full admissions requirements and program details are available online at the Graduate College website: