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Interdisciplinary Studies


Degrees Offered: Ph.D., M.A., M.Sc.


Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this program, a list of faculty is not available. Members of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in other programs are eligible to serve as supervisors of students in the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program, based on the student's chosen area of research.

Program Overview

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies encourages the realignment of traditional disciplines into new patterns, and crossing departmental and faculty boundaries to foster the development of new areas of research.1

Interdepartmental and inter-faculty groupings are usually able to guide students in setting up disciplinary programs. Where no established degree program exists, a student may request admission into a special individual interdisciplinary program administered by a supervisory committee representing the various disciplines involved.

In the program as it now exists, the prospective student has to bring together three or four qualified faculty from different departments or units. Because there are no constraints on which fields are brought together, there are virtually no two students in the same subfield.

Research topics in this program have included, for example:

  • Nisga'a Architecture and Landscapes: Ecological Wisdom and Community-led Design (involving the Schools/Departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Forest Ecology, Environmental Studies, Ethnobotany, and Nisga'a House of Wisdom)
  • Matters of Life and Death in the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery: Decision Making for the Not Yet Competent (involving the Departments of Pediatrics, Comparative Religion, Medical Anthropology, and Bioethics)
  • Red Rhetorics: Politics, Polemics and the Marx-Machine (involving the Departments of English, Germanic Studies, and Philosophy)
  • Multicultural Practices of Canadian Immigrant Youth: 'A Work in Progress' (involving the Departments of Educational Studies, English, and Anthropology)

Interdisciplinary Studies, in collaboration with the Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre, offers a specialization in Human-Computer Interaction.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the Ph.D. degree program normally possess a master's degree, with clear evidence of research ability or potential.

Program Requirements

Students are strongly advised to form their Supervisory Committees by the end of their second term of enrolment in the degree. The Committee must be approved by the fourth term of study. Annual progress reports are required from the Supervisory Committee and from the student. Comprehensive exams are mandatory for Ph.D. programs. In order to advance to candidacy, students must also defend a dissertation prospectus. The major requirement for the Ph.D. is completion of a research dissertation meeting the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requirements.

Full details of the application process and program information are available from the Program.

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the M.A. degree program normally possess a bachelor's degree, and must meet the general admission requirements for master's degree programs set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Program Requirements

Coursework is decided in consultation between the student and their Supervisory Committee. Course enrolment requires formal approval. 30 credits of coursework are required to complete the M.A. degree, including a master's thesis. There is no oral examination required for the master's thesis.

Full details of the application process and program information are available from the Program.

Master of Science

Same as for the M.A.

Contact Information

Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program
270, 2357 Main Mall
H. R. MacMillan Building
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604.822.0954
Fax: 604.822.0470
Enid Ho, Senior Administrator
Michelle Zapiola, Administrative Assistant

1 This program is located within the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

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