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Interdisciplinarity can be a goal of your unit, but it can also be a practice used to achieve another goal or purpose.


Use curriculum review and revision to foster interdisciplinarity


Audiology: The program’s requirement of a data-based Doctoral Research Project is relatively unique and enhances the students’ appreciation of the scientific basis of the profession. In addition, the program focuses on providing the students with a wide variety of on-campus and off-campus clinical experiences that provides clinical education across the scope of practice in audiology. The program has developed associations with affiliates in many clinical practice sites who mentor the students in a wide range of clinical protocols. The result is graduates who are well-rounded and capable of providing independent audiological services in all types of clinical environments. 


Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: Multi-disciplinary research is increasingly important, particularly in chemical engineering. We highly value students with undergraduate training in disciplines other than chemical engineering such as chemistry, bioengineering, materials science, biophysics, etc. Again, our course requirements are designed to provide the necessary flexibility for non-chemical engineers entering the program, and the qualifying exam has been structured to test both core competency in our discipline as well as a broader set of topics.


Curriculum & Instruction: We have two major grants (from NSF and NIH) in the area of STEM that provide research opportunities and funding for students to engage in cross‐disciplinary projects. Graduate students and faculty from several departments are conducting cutting‐edge research, developing curricular materials, and doing outreach into the scientific and education communities.   These efforts are having a major impact on schools and academic disciplines.


East Asian Languages and Cultures: One aspect of our program that distinguishes us significantly from other doctoral programs around the country is our unique emphasis on attention to the skills necessary for area studies while placing that attention within a cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural framework. Our students develop critical analytical skills that they appropriate to their larger consideration of their object of study.  


Informatics: We managed to get an innovative and unusual program set up and approved even though it is highly interdisciplinary and does not reside in a single host department. And we did it in just two and a half years. We would be willingly to share our experience with any unit seeking to create new and unusual degree programs. 


Linguistics: The doctoral program prepares graduate students to succeed in a rapidly changing discipline by pursuing ongoing training in computing and statistical methods for linguistics research, and by seeking opportunities for inter-disciplinary collaboration and exchange. In recent years many UIUC graduates have been hired in tenure-track positions because of their technical expertise and/or experience with interdisciplinary research collaboration. 


Labor & Employment Relations: We encourage students to participate in research projects with more than one faculty member to learn about different styles and disciplinary norms that make up our field (e.g., psychology, economics, and sociology). 


Music: Our stress on interdisciplinarity both within spheres of musical inquiry and across humanities, social sciences and technology are central to our students' successes.  


Program in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology: The interdisciplinary nature of our program facilitates communication among different fields. All student committees contain members from at least two departments; many contain members from multiple colleges. These opportunities expose students throughout their graduate career to a number of different research and teaching philosophies, research topics and techniques, as well as job placement opportunities.


Speech and Hearing Science: We embrace the university’s interdisciplinary attitude toward learning and we encourage our students to take advantage of all opportunities that are available. We foster collaborative research and study. Many problems should be tackled from a multidisciplinary framework and our students are able to bring in researchers from other disciplines on campus for contribution to the science of communication and communication disorders. A list of examples of faculty departments other than Speech and Hearing Science include, but are not limited to, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, psychology, special education, and linguistics.    


Theatre: Theatre history is an inherently interdisciplinary field, and the doctoral program in Theatre at UIUC has benefited greatly from the involvement of faculty and students from across the campus. Because of such interdisciplinary nature, the program has maintained its curricular flexibility in order to maximize the student’s ability to shape his or her own research interest. While our program looks small when taken out of the interdisciplinary context, we have always had strong connections to other arts and humanities programs. Students are encouraged to take courses outside of the department and to work with affiliate faculty on their exams and dissertations.