silhouettes of different graduate disciplines

The Individual Interdisciplinary Program (IIP) doctoral degree is an option which prepares students to address challenges that are problem-oriented rather than discipline or technique-oriented.  The success of the IIP program relies heavily upon the students' initiative and self-discipline and the commitment of the student’s doctoral committee. This begins even before being admitted, as an appliant to the IIP must prepare a Full Proposal which becomes their application to the program (see the information on the right side bar for how this is accomplished).

The IIP is not intended to be an online degree or be a replacement program for those who can receive the doctoral degree in well-established program. Rather, students who are interested will have a research idea in mind and will flush the idea with a faculty who would evenutually want to serve as their committee members and chair.

Once your application is received by the Graduate School, it will be reviewed by the IIP Advisory Committee which may take 4 to 6 weeks. I admitted into the IIP, the Advisory Committee along with theDean, may make recommendations for updates to your proposal. In addition, they will conduct an annual review of your progress in the program. 

All basic policy, rules and requirements pertaining to any Doctor of Philosophy degrees at MSU apply to the IIP. 

Additional Information

If you are not currently an MSU student

As the IIP is a program that requires identifying faculty advisors within the various disciplines, it is suggested that any applicant interested in the IIP who is not an MSU student apply and attend MSU as a non-degree seeking graduate student.  This will allow you to become more familiar with the faculty within the departments and develop the necessary proposal.

See Applying as a non-degree  

See Gaining residency

See Transferring credits


Financial Assistance

Graduate research (GRA) or teaching (GTA) assistantships may be available through your participating departments. The Graduate School does not participate in the decision process of who receives a GTA or GRA. Being accepted for admission does not mean that a research or teaching assistantship is automatically awarded. If an assistantship is awarded, it will be stated in the acceptance letter or a separate offer for an assistantship will come directly from the participating department(s).

See Graduate Appointments

See Financial Aid