Interdisciplinary Component: PhD Program

interdisciplinaryIOUF – CICRCL’s Interdisciplinary component Ph.D. Program serves Learners seeking interdisciplinary study in their doctoral program. Examining the tensions and relations between disciplines helps Learners reorder or redefine existing knowledge constructs and discover new meanings and relationships between facts, theories, and methods. IOUF – CICRCL believes that interdisciplinary study advances the frontiers of knowledge, and supports Learners in engaging in new modes of inquiry, while also building upon the foundation of those long established.

It is important to note that while the Ph.D. Program encourages interdisciplinary inquiry into problems, it does not discourage specialization in a particular discipline. Rather, we ask that the Learners’ discipline be brought into conversation with others in fruitful ways. Research topics may be specific as long as they are placed within broader intellectual, social, and political contexts.

Learners with highly specialized goals and research projects in any one discipline may enrich their findings within a framework that has examined interfaces with other disciplines, whether contiguous or encompassing. Interdisciplinary inquiry is a way of seeing, thinking, conversing about, and imagining how issues and problems cut across relevant fields.

The basic criteria for recognizing an area of learning as a discipline are threefold:

  1. A recognizable cluster of problems, concerns, and issues that define and limit content;
  2. Accepted methodological and epistemological models that have explored and examined the content;
  3. A cumulative history of critical discourse that the discipline consistently examines and builds upon.

Study within a discipline, however diverse and wide-ranging, does not constitute interdisciplinary inquiry. Learners will be expected to reach beyond the sub-disciplines or interdisciplinary aspects of questions in order to engage in authentic interdisciplinary learning.

A explanation of how the program satisfies interdisciplinary inquiry requirement can be found in the Learners’ Handbook and shall be described in the Learning Agreement. Learners are expected to address the interdisciplinary nature of their program in this document and again in the Program Summary. The Project Demonstrating Excellence (PDE) may be within one discipline so long as it emerges from an interdisciplinary perspective and is set within the context of original disciplines.

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