Integrative Studies PhD


Occasionally, a current UConn PhD student may seek to pursue a novel course of study and research that cannot be captured within an existing field of study but rather integrates elements from two or more fields of study. The Graduate School offers such students the opportunity to earn a Ph.D. in Integrative Studies.

The individualized PhD in Integrative Studies is intended for highly motivated students who are already enrolled in a PhD program at the University of Connecticut but find that their research interests do not fit within their current or another existing field of study.  Such students can apply for admission to the Integrative Studies PhD program, which will allow them to design an individualized curriculum and research plan that matches their interests.

Students in the program are supervised by co-major advisors representing at least two different graduate fields of study. Students who complete the individualized PhD in Integrative Studies will be conversant with major concepts and approaches in fields relevant to their research.

Quick Facts

Who can apply? Students currently enrolled in another UConn PhD program
Starting Terms Fall, Spring, or Summer
Deadlines for Final Submission of Completed Application March 25 (for fall or summer admission) and October 25 (for spring admission)
Administering Unit The Executive Committee of The Graduate School


Students who are interested in possibly pursuing a PhD in Integrative Studies (or who want more information about the program) should contact the Dean of The Graduate School ( or the Associate Dean of The Graduate School ( to discuss their interest.

Program Requirements

Students enrolling in the individualized PhD in Integrative Studies will pursue individualized coursework that prepares them for research in an approved coherent and integrated educational and research program.  Students must apply and be accepted into the program through The Graduate School.  Because of the rigor associated with the individualized PhD in Integrative Studies, students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 to remain in good standing.


To be considered for admission to the individualized PhD in Integrative Studies, applicants must provide a detailed and comprehensive rationale for their
program by submitting a proposal that includes:

  • List of Advisors. A list of graduate faculty members who have agreed to serve as members of the student’s advisory committee for the degree program, including at least two graduate faculty members from different fields of study who have agreed to serve as co-major advisors.
  • Letters of Support. Letters supporting the proposed degree program from the graduate faculty members identified as co-major advisors.
  • Plan of Study. A plan of study for the degree approved by all members of the advisory committee that includes a minimum of 21 credits of graduate-level coursework (for students holding a master’s degree) or a minimum of 36 credits of graduate-level coursework (for students not holding a master’s degree) and 15 credits of GRAD 6950 or GRAD 6960. The coursework must be clearly related to the educational objectives of the degree program and must include at least 6 credits of graduate-level coursework from at least two different departments.
  • Memorandum of Understanding. A memorandum of understanding among the faculty and departments involved in the student’s individualized program outlining commitments for stipend/tuition support and for office/laboratory/studio space and materials for the duration of the degree program.
  • Program Proposal
    • A title for the proposed degree program.
    • A description of the format and content of the Ph.D. general examination.
    • A proposed timeline from admission through graduation.
    • An outline of the proposed dissertation research, including the broad questions to be investigated and the methods that will be used to investigate them.
    • A description of the dissertation or other final product of the degree program, including plans to assure permanent archival access to final products that are not included in the PhD dissertation.

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the Associate Dean of The Graduate School ( when preparing their proposals.  The Graduate School will advise students during the process of proposal preparation to help ensure that the proposal is complete and will be competitive when submitted to The Executive Committee through the formal application process (described below).

Application Process

Applicants must currently be enrolled in a PhD program at the University of Connecticut in order to be considered for this program.

Admission to the individualized PhD in Integrative Studies is highly selective. In reviewing applications for admission, the Executive Committee of The Graduate School will expect to see a proposal documenting an especially rigorous body of coursework and an especially innovative research idea before granting admission.  Applicants may be asked to present their proposal to the Executive Committee and answer questions about it.

Online Application Submission of the online application
Application Fee Waived (per Graduate School policy)
Test Scores (GRE or Tests of English) Waived
Letters of Recommendation Not Required (included as part of proposal)
Essays & Documents Proposal (see detailed description above)
Transcripts See Graduate School Admissions Requirements