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 PhD in Integrative Studies. This program 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 and can be better met by an individualized curriculum and research plan that cuts across fields.

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.

Students must apply and be accepted into the PhD in Integrative Studies through The Graduate School.  Because of the rigor associated with the program, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 to be admitted and maintain that GPA to remain in good standing. In most cases students should apply to the program within the first two years of their graduate studies.  Students who apply should be on track to complete all requirements for the degree in their current program if they are not admitted to the Integrative Studies PhD.

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 PhD in Integrative Studies will pursue individualized coursework that prepares them for research in an approved coherent and integrated educational and research program.  This must include 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, as well as 15 credits of GRAD 6950 or GRAD 6960. The coursework must be clearly related to the educational objectives of the program and must include at least 6 credits of graduate-level coursework from at least two different departments. Students must also pass a general exam for their integrated program, and write and successfully defend a dissertation related to the chosen area of study.

To be considered for admission to the PhD in Integrative Studies, applicants must complete a formal application through The Graduate School.  In addition, they must submit and present a proposal that includes a detailed and comprehensive rationale and plan for their program (see details below).  The proposal will be reviewed by the Executive Committee of The Graduate School, which serves as the admissions body for the Integrative Studies PhD.  The Executive Committee will expect to see a proposal documenting an especially rigorous body of coursework and an especially innovative research idea before granting admission.


Students interested in the applying for admission to the Integrative Studies PhD should prepare an application proposal that includes the following:

    • Title. A descriptive title for the proposed degree program (for example, PhD in Religion, Globalization and Culture).
    • List of AdvisorsA list of at least three 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 members of the advisory committee.
    • Timeline.  A proposed timeline from admission through graduation.
    • 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.
    • Current UConn Transcript.
    • Plan of Study. A plan of study for the degree (approved by all members of the advisory committee) that meets the program requirements specified above. The proposal should also include an explanation of how the coursework provides Ph.D.-level training that is sufficient to establish mastery for the proposed area of study.
    • General Exam.  A description of the format and content of the Ph.D. general examination.
    • Research Proposal.  A description (typically no more than 5 pages) of the proposed dissertation research, including the broad questions to be investigated and the methods that will be used to investigate them. This should identify how the proposed research will contribute to the scholarly literature and advance knowledge, including how bringing together insights from different fields is an essential part of that contribution/advancement.  It should be written in a manner that will allow the Executive Committee of The Graduate School to judge whether the proposed research is consistent with the aims of the program and will likely lead to successful completion of a dissertation that advances the research frontier and the state of knowledge in the proposed area of study.
    • Dissertation format.  If your dissertation or any other final product of your degree program is (or includes components that are) outside of traditional print parameters, including multimodal or digital scholarship formats, please include a description of the format(s) and plans to assure sustainable archival access to all final products.

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 presented to and reviewed by the Executive Committee.

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 and generally requires a minimum GPA of 3.5. 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