Interdisciplinary Programs

Interdisciplinary Studies

 Interdisciplinary Studies (INDS) is a program available to UAF students at the undergraduate level: within the Associate of Applied Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Technology degree options, and at the graduate level: Master's and Doctoral programs. The interdisciplinary program provides flexibility to students with well-defined goals who do not fit into one of the established majors offered by the university.

Information is available for the undergraduate INDS program section. For advising and additional information, contact:

Laura Bender, Interdisciplinary Program Director
202 Eielson Building
(907) 474-7716

Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary Degrees (M.A., M.S. or Ph.D.) Students who are interested in creating their own Master’s or Doctorate degree program by combining course work in more than one discipline have the responsibility to design the program, organize a committee of faculty members to serve as advisors and make sure that it conforms to rigorous academic standards.

The proposed program must differ significantly from and may not substitute for an existing UAF graduate degree program. The student may select no more that one half of his/her program credits from one existing graduate degree program.

Procedures for developing an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree are listed here.

For more information contact: The Graduate School at 907.474.7716 or

Peer group forming for Interdisciplinary PhD students whose focus is Social Ecological Systems

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The Interdisciplinary Program (INDS) of the UAF Graduate School and the Alaska Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) are forming a new peer group (cohort) of INDS PhD students whose focus is Social Ecological Systems (SES).   The group will provide an academic “home” for mutual support and exchange of ideas through biweekly seminars and other activities. EPSCoR will provide support for general enrichment of the group by bringing in guest speakers, holding workshops, and providing travel grants to relevant meetings. Students will experience working within a well-connected team, as is now required for many SES research projects.

In order to keep the EPSCoR peer group small and focused, an application process to select its members will be announced here later this fall. First-year INDS PhD students and fall 2013 applicants to INDS PhD are eligible to apply. Candidates will be considered after they are accepted into the INDS PhD program. The term of EPSCoR support is January 2014 to June 2017. EPSCoR funding will not be used for individual student tuition and fees, nor will membership in the peer group confer any preference for travel grants or dissertation completion fellowships from the Graduate School.

The emerging importance of the SES perspective comes with recognition that social scientists must consider natural drivers in the environment and that much of the importance of physical science research is the impact of natural phenomena on people. Thus, the intent is to improve bridges between social and physical sciences. The SES perspective is critical to addressing Alaska and Arctic issues such as the sustainability of communities in the face of natural hazard threats and climate change, the broader impacts of resource extraction, and use of community-based observer networks for environmental understanding.

For prospective students preparing an INDS PhD application now and who feel their interests lie within the SES area, please note that EPSCoR is sponsoring a workshop series on designing an SES PhD program ( ). Participation in the workshops is not a prerequisite for later application to join the EPSCoR peer group. Prospective students with interests in SES research may also wish to investigate the Resilience and Adaptation Program (RAP; ) and Marine Ecosystem Sustainability  in the Arctic and Subarctic (MESAS; ), both developed under NSF’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program (IGERT), and the Natural Resources and Sustainability Ph.D. program ( ) offered by UAF’s School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences (SNRAS) and School of Management (SoM).

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