Ad Hoc Interdisciplinary Program Guidelines


Some interdisciplinary academic programs at The University of Texas are authorized to give advanced degrees, e.g., American Studies, Foreign Language Education, and Latin American Studies. In addition to these established programs, the Graduate Dean may approve a proposal to construct an ad hoc interdisciplinary program that does not fit into an existing degree plan and that involves several departments or schools. If you believe your research plans will be best served by an interdisciplinary program, follow the procedures outlined below.

Even though you intend to pursue an ad hoc interdisciplinary program, you must be admitted to an existing doctoral program. You will work with the graduate adviser and the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) of your home department, and your degree will be designated a Ph.D. in that program. At the time of graduation, your transcript will reflect both the receipt of the doctorate and a notation that you completed an ad hoc interdisciplinary program of work in specified fields/areas.


(1) Consult with your graduate adviser about the desirability of an interdisciplinary program and about which faculty members may be asked to form an ad hoc committee.

(2) The graduate adviser, in conjunction with the proposed chair of this committee, should call a meeting of the ad hoc committee or consult with the members in writing about your program of work, your dissertation topic, and any qualifying exams you must take or additional requirements you are expected to fulfill.

(3) When all the members of the committee, your graduate adviser, and your GSC chair have agreed to your proposal, the graduate adviser will send the Application for Ad Hoc Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program (pdf) to the Graduate School for approval. This form must include (1) a brief statement of your proposed interdisciplinary dissertation topic, (2) a statement from the faculty member who will supervise your work explaining why an interdisciplinary doctoral program is desirable, and (3) a statement from the graduate adviser describing requirements you must meet before being admitted to candidacy.

(4) Note: Approval of the Application for Ad Hoc Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program does not constitute approval of your Application for Candidacy.

(5) After you have passed all required examinations as specified by your home department and your ad hoc committee, the ad hoc committee will be dissolved and your graduate adviser will submit an Application for Candidacy using the usual forms and procedures. Frequently the Application for Candidacy will duplicate the ad hoc program application with respect to the proposed committee members and the proposed Program of Work.

(6) As with all doctoral degrees, supervision of your dissertation will be in the hands of the dissertation committee, who will administer the final oral. Upon satisfactory completion of the dissertation and the final oral, the Graduate Studies Committee of your home department must certify that all requirements have been met for the degree and recommend the award of the Ph.D.

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