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ERIC Number: EJ1101112
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1081-4760
"A Jack-­Of-­All- Trades and a Master of Some of Them": Successful Students in Interdisciplinary PhD Programs
Gardner, Susan K.
Issues in Integrative Studies, n29 p84-117 2011
Interdisciplinarity has become a growing emphasis in the U.S. higher education and the prevalence of interdisciplinary doctoral programs is one indicator of such growth. Despite this growth, the experiences of individuals within interdisciplinary doctoral programs have been largely unexamined in the literature. This paper examines a self-designed interdisciplinary doctoral program for the two fold purpose of better understanding students' experiences and faculty members' conceptualizations of what constitutes student "success". Using the lens of socialization, findings uncovered issues related to a lack of program structure and support for those involved. Findings from the study demonstrate a need for a higher level of self-direction for these students given the increased ambiguity of the program's structure as well as the need for external support given the lack of community.
Association for Interdisciplinary Studies. Oakland University, Macomb County, 44575 Garfield Road Building UC2 Suite 103, Clinton Township, MI 48038. Tel: 586-263-6098; Fax: 586-263-6261; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: EPS­0904155