Outline of Procedures for Approval of Graduate Programs In Interdisciplinary Studies (Master's and Doctorate)
Effective January 31, 2000

  1. Fulfill admissions prerequisite
    The student interested in a graduate program in interdisciplinary studies should already be admitted to an existing graduate program prior to seeking approval of an interdisciplinary studies program. Students will not be directly admitted to the Graduate College as a student in the Interdisciplinary Studies program.
  2. Form preliminary advisory committee
    The student will seek the support of a preliminary advisory committee to offer counsel and advice in forming an interdisciplinary graduate program. This advisory committee should contain at least three graduate faculty members from the University of Iowa. In the case of a doctorate program, the committee will consist of at least five members of the graduate faculty, and will form the nucleus of the five-person committee required for the comprehensive examinations that will be taken as part of the overall Plan of Study. The chairperson of the advisory committee should be identified and must agree to serve in this capacity.
  3. Develop initial plan of study
    The student and the advisory committee will then develop an initial plan of study. This should include a one or two page description of the proposed field of study. In addition, the advisory committee will submit a report containing a list of courses to be taken by the student, together with an evaluation as to which courses already completed by the student are appropriate for the program.
  4. Create study plan for comprehensive exams
    Students in the doctoral program and the advisory committee will then develop a plan of study for the Ph.D. comprehensive examinations. The plan must specify what material is to be tested, which faculty are to be responsible for the examination, and the specific nature of the examination (e.g. which parts are to be written and which are to be oral? How long are the individual parts? How many questions per part, etc?).
  5. Develop research and thesis/dissertation proposal
    Finally after consultation with the advisory committee, the student will then develop a proposal for his/her research and the thesis or dissertation. This proposal should be approximately 2-3 single-spaced typewritten pages and will be approved in writing by the advisory committee before submission to the Graduate College.
  6. Obtain sponsorship for proposed program
    Following completion of the steps listed above, the student must obtain "sponsorship" of the proposed program, either by an appropriate department or the Graduate College. The materials (i.e. course listings, comprehensive examination specifications, and research proposal) are presented to the department or the Graduate College, along with a request to act as the sponsor. (In the case of an existing department or program, this unit must be authorized to offer programs leading to the appropriate graduate degree, as listed in the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College). The department may approve the proposed program, or it may require that changes be made as a condition of sponsorship. The department may also decline to act as the sponsor, in which case another department may be approached. In the case that the Graduate College is requested to serve as the sponsor, the Graduate College will assign a three-person ad hoc committee, consisting of members the Graduate Council, to serve as the reviewers of the proposed program. The Graduate College Dean may require that a member of this subcommittee serve as an ex officio (non-voting) member of the student's advisory committee.
  7. Gain approval from Graduate Dean
    After approval by the sponsoring department/program or the ad hoc committee of the Graduate Council, the proposal is formally presented to the Graduate Dean, who may approve the proposal as presented, require that certain changes be made as a condition of approval, or reject the proposal. The decision of the Graduate Dean is final.
  8. Use appropriate interdisciplinary degree code
    After official approval in writing by the Graduate Dean, the student becomes an interdisciplinary studies student. The department major code number is then changed to either 125 (the Ph.D. interdisciplinary code) or to 155 (the Master's interdisciplinary code).