Multidisciplinary Doctoral Option

After having been formally and unconditionally admitted into an existing Ph.D. degree program and initiating doctoral studies, the classified students may decide to petition for transfer into the multidisciplinary doctoral option.

Because the availability of academic resources to support a multidisciplinary program must be critically investigated and reviewed, and the associate dean or center director reserves final approval of this option.

To begin the transfer process, students prepare a draft of a proposal that describes the multidisciplinary program envisioned. The title of the multidisciplinary program must be distinctly different from the departments and major fields of doctoral study at Saint Louis University. In particular, the draft must contain the rationale for the transfer, the full complement of applicable, post-baccalaureate academic work proposed, i.e. work already completed as well as the work yet to be taken, and the general area of dissertation research.

With the proposal draft in hand, students proceed to select a minimum five members of the graduate faculty to serve as a committee that, in effect, becomes the department or major field. To serve on the committee or not is the invited faculty member’s option. A proposed chairperson of the committee is designated. At least one, and preferably a minimum of two, members of the committee must have authorization to direct doctoral dissertations (i.e. Mentor Status).

A formal petition to transfer into the option, signed individually by all of the proposed committee members, must be submitted to the associate dean(s) and/or center director(s) and the associate provost for academic affairs. The petition with appropriate supporting documentation from the student’s academic file is then transmitted to the proposed committee chairperson for evaluation of the student’s preparedness for and potential for academic success in the envisioned program. By this time the proposal draft should have been critiqued by the committee and subsequently revised to reflect their evaluative comments.

If the recommendation from the proposed committee chairperson for approval of the transfer is positive, the petition (including the proposal) is reviewed by the Graduate Academic Affair Committee (GAAC). The associate provost for academic affairs is the liaison to GAAC on behalf of students, who should meet with the liaison at least once before GAAC considers the petition and proposal. The entire course of study will be reviewed for approval by the associate provost for academic affairs. GAAC may annually review each multidisciplinary doctoral program and the progress therein, and make recommendations to the associate provost for academic affairs.

In addition to coursework, the program must include written and oral preliminary degree examinations to be administered by the committee in accordance with graduate education policy and regulations. Research-tool requirements are to be set as appropriate. The rules and regulations for advancement to candidacy also must be followed by students pursuing this doctoral option.