Welcome to the Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs at The University of Montana

The University of Montana promotes interdisciplinary thinking at two levels, the Master’s of Interdisciplinary Studies (M.I.S.) and the Individualized Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program (I.I.P.). These degrees offer the opportunity for students to tailor their educational journeys to fit their personal and professional interests. The degrees are managed and awarded by the Graduate School.

News and Events

IIP students and Blakey Spring 2014

Congratulations to John Wagner for successfully finishing his MIS!

Congratulations to Vernon Grant, Robert Gow and Janet Sedgley for their successful IIP dissertation defenses!

Student Meet and Greet luncheon will be February 6th 2015 at the NAC 211 from 12pm to 1pm.

Faculty Meet and Greet luncheon will be February 20th at the NAC 211 from 12pm to 1pm.

Seminar GS 594 will meet Fridays from 12:10pm to 1pm at LA 244.

End of semester Potluck will be Thursday May 7th at the NAC from 12pm to 1pm.

Please download and review the IGP Handbook.

Current Graduate Students in the M.I.S. and I.I.P. programs

Once a semester, students have an opportunity to meet with other students in their program and the Director. T

hese “Meet and Greet” opportunities are scheduled for the second Friday of the semester. Please check your official university email at the beginning of the semester for more information.


Once a semester, the Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs will host an informal gathering for Faculty serving on M.I.S. and I.I.P. committees. This provides networking opportunity as well as an opportunity to talk with the Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs personnel. The meetings are scheduled for the fourth Friday of the semester.


Dr. Raquel Arouca attended IIP student Vernon Grant's dissertation defense November 30 2014. Vernon's defense was very successful. Congratulations Vernon.

Dean Sandy Ross and Dr. Raquel Arouca attended IIP student Robert Gow's dissertation defense on January 21 2015. Robert's defense was both interesting and informative, and he passed his defense. Congratulations Robert.

Featured Students

Congratulations to Adriana Degani, Audrey Elias, Montana Hodges and Laurie Slovarp for their oral presentations and poster presentation at the 14th Annual Graduate Student Research Conference on April 18 2015.

Congratulations to Audrey Elias, Adriana Degani, and Montana Hodges! These I.I.P. students had poster presentations at the 13th Annual Graduate Student Research Conference on April 12, 2014.

Congratulations to Jessica Gregory, an I.I.P. student, for publishing her article "Iron-doped apatite nanoparticles for improvement of phage therapy," in Journal of Vaccum Science & Technology B: Mic (Vol.32, Issue 6).

Featured Alumnus

Joseph A. Garcia graduated in July 2008 with his M.I.S. Here is what he has to say about the degree:

"The year I graduated was the beginning of the recession, so employment has been a major concern for everyone since.  Having multiple areas of expertise has allowed me to stay employed within my field and continue to pursue career goals in both the private and public sectors.  I am currently a Park Ranger with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where I use both my science and art skills to accomplish my work tasks. Without an Interdisplinary Degree I would not have been able to have my skills and knowledge utilized fully, and may have not been able to achieve a degree.  As a kid with learning disabilities I never thought I had any talent or intelligence but the MIS degree gave me the opportunity to work around my disabilities and prove myself wrong.  Professor Stanley was instrumental in my introduction to science and scientific illustration; with his guidance I learned to read rocks as if they were books, see fossils as if the creature was there alive before me.  I was no longer the guy who would never be able to spell correctly, I was the guy who could illustrate time, and teach others about the earth." 

You can see Joseph's illustrations at http://josephagarcia.deviantart.com/, and read more about his work at http://www.fws.gov/FieldNotes/regmap.cfm?arskey=34308.


Getting ready to graduate? Don't forget to check graduation requirements here.

            Commencement ceremony: There are two options for Commencement ceremonies for MIS and IIP students: the general commencement for the university and individual ceremonies housed by the student’s chair’s department. For other arrangements, please contact the graduate school 243-2572 two months prior to graduation to discuss it with the Director.

Graduation Items (please talk with Isa at the Graduate School if you have questions):

- File the Application for Graduation at the Graduate School.

- Email your professional paper, thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School (see link for graduation requirements above) one week prior to your defense for formatting check.

- After your defense, collect the signature from your chair for the audited Application for Graduation. Please check with the IGP office for the copy.

Frequently Asked Questions

From Students:

1. How often should I meet with my committee?

Your committee is your department. You should be in touch with them at least once a semester. Please make sure to ask the committee how often they would like updates for the whole committee and/or when you should communicate just with your Committee Chair. It is important that both you and your committee are clear on how these communications will happen and that they are up-to-date on your progress.

2. I am unable to take classes next semester, what should I do?

First, talk with your Committee Chair and/or the whole committee about the situation. The Graduate School has a continuous registration policy, therefore, you will need to file a Leave of Absence. Please follow the procedure delineated on the Graduate School website.

3. Ops! Some of my proposed coursework or other information from my proposal for the M.I.S. or I.I.P. are no longer feasible. Who should I talk to?

The first step is to talk with your whole committee. When the committee comes to an agreement on the next course of action, they should contact the Interim Director of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs and inform her of the situation. Your chair or one of your co-chairs should send a memo to the Director with the changes.

From Faculty:

1. How does an M.I.S./I.I.P. committee works?

Each M.I.S. and I.I.P. committees is different. There are some things one should keep in mind: the members of the committee are from different departments. Each committee should decide how they will proceed and discuss with the student what his/her expectations of each member of the committee should be. Some committees may want an update every semester on the student’s progress sent to all members, while others rely on the chair to disseminate information. Some might elect to have the chair/co-chairs and the student work closely together and be informed when the student is ready to defend. Regardless, expectations on communications and working relationship should be make explicit early on in the program.

2. Who confers the degree?

The degree is awarded through the Graduate School.

3. My student is asking me about graduation ceremonies. Now what?

Some Committee Chairs have included their students in his/her department's individual ceremonies. Check with your Department chair about that possibility. The other option would be to contact the Director of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs one month prior to graduation in order to discuss other options.

4. Who to I go to if I have questions?

Please contact the Graduate School if you have other questions about the M.I.S. or I.I.P. procedures. There will also be an annual gathering for Faculty serving in both programs on the fourth Friday of the fall semester.  

Contact Information

Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs email interdisciplinary@mso.umt.edu

Dr. Raquel Arouca, Program Coordinator: email raquel.arouca@mso.umt.edu, telephone 406-243-6695.

Dr. Sandy Ross, Graduate School Dean, is the Acting Director of the IGP.