The Interdisciplinary Studies Masters Program

The Interdisciplinary Studies Master’s program is intended to encourage studies of an interdisciplinary nature. It provides students with an opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary, independent, innovative and individualized research that does not fit into traditional disciplinary categories.

Each student works with scholars in fields related to a chosen research topic. A wide range of interdisciplinary topics may be proposed for study, including combinations of any program in any of our ten faculties that might embrace the fine arts, the sciences, the social sciences, humanities, law, education, engineering, health, environmental studies, business etc.

Successful application to the program depends on such factors as the viability of the topic proposed and the availability of supervisors and resources. The program, while intentionally remaining small, attracts high-quality students with a wide range of scholarly interests and perspectives.

York University’s Graduate Program in Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) is unique not only among the programs hosted by the university’s Faculty of Graduate Studies, but also among graduate programs offered by other universities in Ontario. Though modest in size, Interdisciplinary Studies is one of York’s oldest and most successful graduate programs. Listen here to an Introductory Video about our cool program. And yes, we're biased!

Through this innovative program, graduate students are able to name and develop their own unique area of inquiry, and choose three disciplines from which to explore their research question and secure a co-supervisor. Students normally take a course in each of their three disciplines, with their fourth course being a practicum, a research methodology course, a directed reading or another option collaboratively chosen with their supervisory team. Known for its rigor, Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate students write an approx. 120 page scholarly thesis with the option of a creative component that culminates in a full oral defence, with an external examiner, an inside arms-length examiner and one examiner from their supervisory team.

IS enjoys a national and international reputation. It attracts applicants with a wide range of academic and non-academic vocational and/or professional backgrounds from across Canada, as well as from the United States and overseas. IS students are self-motivated, well organized, innovative and independent, working at the cutting-edge of scholarly and and/or creative research. Many IS graduates go on to study at the doctoral level in a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs, while other graduates proceed or return to successful careers in a variety of non-academic vocations and professional fields.

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