Interdisciplinary Studies

The Master's and PhD degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies (IDST) provide a unique opportunity for motivated graduate students to pursue individualized and innovative interdisciplinary research outside the traditional boundaries of discipline specific graduate programs.

IDST prepares candidates for careers that require creative thinking beyond disciplinary boundaries and innovative responses to the complex social, economic, scientific, and intellectual problems of the 21st century.

The Master's and PhD degrees may be completed on a part-time or full-time basis.

The Program

The IDST program is research-based; students must have a supervisor in place before being accepted.  Our program enables graduate students to bring together theoretical perspectives and knowledge from different disciplines to create new knowledge and a broader understanding of a specific problem, issue or topic.

A student's course of study is individually designed to meet his/her needs and research interests and is carried out under the direction and guidance of a research Supervisor and Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee comprised of two or more committee members who provide expertise in the relevant disciplinary areas.

Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (M IDST)

A course of study for the M IDST degree includes:

Coursework:

Relevant courses are selected from those offered by IDST and in the graduate programs and faculties across the university. Coursework normally includes six graduate courses, two of which may be independent study/directed reading courses with a maximum of two courses taken at another university.

A Research Proposal:

The proposal outlines the research question, relevant literature, methodology, and research design of the proposed study. An oral presentation of the proposal is also required. The Supervisor and Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee must approve the proposal and oral examination, and Ethics approval (if appropriate) must be obtained before the research can proceed.

A Master's Thesis:

The thesis incorporates all of the elements of the research proposal outlined above plus the documentation and analysis of a student's actual research project. The presentation of the thesis and subsequent oral examination must meet all of the requirements as outlined in the UNB Calendar, 22 A.

PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD IDST)

A course of study for the PhD IDST degree includes:Coursework:Relevant courses are selected from those offered by IDST and in graduate programs and faculties across the university. Coursework normally includes five graduate courses, two of which may be independent study/directed reading courses and two courses may be taken at another university.A Research Proposal:The proposal outlines the research question, relevant literature, methodology, and research design of the proposed study. An oral presentation of the proposal is also required. The Supervisor and the Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee must approve the proposal and oral examination, and Ethics approval (if appropriate) must be obtained before the research can proceed.Comprehensive Examinations:The comprehensive examinations are intended to ensure students are prepared in at lease two substantive relevant areas prior to engaging in doctorial research.A Doctoral Dissertation:The doctoral dissertation involves all of the elements of the proposal outlined above plus the documentation and analysis of the candidate's research project. The dissertation and subsequent oral examination must meet all of the requirements and regulations as outlined in the UNB Calendar 21 (A).

Application Process

Admission Requirements:

  • Master's in Interdisciplinary Studies: Normally, successful completion of an honours undergraduate degree (or equivalent) with cumulative GPA of at least 3.3, or an average of A- or equivalent in the last two years of study.
  • PhD Interdisciplinary Studies: Normally, successful completion of a Master's degree with thesis with an average of at least A- or equivalent.
  • Students must have a supervisor in place before being accepted into the program.

Application Deadlines:

  • For funding consideration students are to apply by May 31st for September admission, and by October 31st for January admission.

How to Apply:

  1. Contact  Dr. Mary McKenna, Assistant Dean of Interdisciplinary Programs to discuss your research interests, possible thesis supervisor and committee members, and potential course of study.

  2. Contact potential thesis supervisor and committee members to discuss your research interests and determine their willingness to work with you on your research topic, and inform Dr. Eyre of the outcome of your meetings.

  3. If there is evidence of a compatibility of research interests between you and specific faculty members, and the School of Graduate Studies is satisfied that there is faculty support for your proposed research and course of study, you will be encouraged to complete an Application to the School of Graduate Studies.

  4. Apply on-line

Application Package must include:

  • A statement of why you wish to pursue a Master's or PhD degree;

  • A preliminary five-page outline, with working bibliography attached, of your specific research interests;

  • A paragraph explaining why your proposed research fits within Interdisciplinary Studies;

  • A paragraph outlining the different disciplines (two or more) that you will bring to your research to help address your research problem;

  • A letter from the proposed supervisor indicating that he or she is willing to supervise your research and why she or he feels that you are well prepared to undertake this interdisciplinary research topic;

  • Three additional academic references, which should indicate your suitability for graduate work and, if possible, why you are particularly qualified to conduct research across several disciplines;

  • A sample of a sustained piece of writing, for example, an essay (15-20 pages) from a university course (Master's applicants), or sections from a Master's thesis (PhD applicants), to show that you are an accomplished academic writer;

  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work taken at any post-secondary institution attended; and

  • If your first language is not English and you have not previously studied at an English-speaking university, official evidence of a TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based) or 100 (Internet-based test), TWE of 5.5, or IELTS score of 7, is required.

  • (Optional) Resume of work experiences, publication record, volunteer work applicable to your research program.

Submit completed application package to the School of Graduate Studies. For more information please contact Janet Amirault (Admissions Secretary for IDST)