The Individual Interdisciplinary PhD allows for faculty and students to work across departments and across disciplines by developing an individualized program of study to meet the demands of inter-disciplinary research.  

The Individual Interdisciplinary PhD provides a program which meets the call to action for a group of broadly prepared PhD students with multi-disciplinary backgrounds and the technical, professional, and personal skills essential to addressing the varied career demands of the future.

The IIP has a different application process as prospective applicants must first meet with the Dean of the Graduate School with a prepared pre-proposal document and receive approval to proceed with the development of a comprehensive proposal.  It is strongly advised that prior to meeting with the Dean that the applicant secure approval from at least two or more heads of the relevant academic departments (one must be doctoral granting). 

If you are considering the IIP, please read the program website to understand the application process.  

Application Deadline

Formal application to the IIP will need to be submitted by March 8th (for consideration into Fall term only).

Formal applications should only occur after the pre-proposal and full-proposal phases. Once you formally apply, some of your materials from your full-proposal will be used for your formal application, however official test scores/documents may still need to be supplied.  An application for IIP may include the following materials:

  • Completion of at least 20 credit hours of graded graduate coursework; this may include a completed master's degree.
  • A minimum cumulative graduate grade point average of 3.50 (out of 4.00 scale).
  • Official Graduate Records Exam (GRE) scores.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae.
  • Official Transcripts.
  • The comprehensive, updated* proposal which includes support documents from faculty (potential research advisors, participating department heads, potential committee members). The supporting documents will serve as your letters of recommendation while your updated proposal will serve as your personal statement for your formal application.
*Updated proposal is one in which the IIP Advisory Committee may have made recommendations for amendments to the proposal prior to applying. 

Required Tests

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for consideration of admission to the Individual Interdisciplinary PhD program. These scores must be received directly from ETS. For Montana State University, the Institution code is 4488. For international applicants, a test for English proficiency is required. 

International Applicants

Please see our International application process page for information on applying as an international applicant.