Interdisciplinary Graduate Fields and Programs

The following is a list of the Interdisciplinary Degree Programs offered at the University of Maine.
Please note the links to their Departmental Web Pages, and a contact email address for the Graduate Coordinator.

Anthropology and Environmental Policy  |  Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering  |   Climate Change Insititute  |   Ecology and Environmental Sciences  |   Intermedia MFA  |   MA in Interdisciplinary Studies   |  School of Policy and International Affairs




This new PhD Program centers on understanding human society and culture in cross-cultural perspective and their pivotal role in implementing successful environmental policy. The program engages students in a multi-disciplinary framework bridging environmental sciences and policy while focusing on the sociocultural impacts of, and responses to, local and global environmental change. Students engage with faculty in cutting-edge research on the way social relations, human organization, cultural perceptions, and ecological behavior affect the causes and consequences of local, national, and global environmental change. Students analyze social and cultural dimensions of policy that mitigate negative environmental consequences of this change while safeguarding or promoting human well-being. Areas of environmental policy and research include:

  • Global Climate Change
  • Energy Resources
  • Marine Resources
  • Eco-tourism
  • Forestry Resources
  • Land-Use
  • Water Management
  • Pollution Control


The program core is a firm grounding in anthropological social and cultural theory, qualitative and quantitative methodology, and policy development and analysis. Students engage in methodological and specialized courses tailored to their specific environmental interests at the local, national or international scale. Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Work Study positions available for qualified students. Students in the program will normally select their main advisor from the Anthropology Department but are expected to include faculty from affiliated departments in their committees or as co-advisors.

You may contact Dr. Cindy Isenhour, ( the Graduate Coordinator for the Anthropology and Environmental Policy program for more information.

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (GSBSE) is a unique graduate program that includes the University of Maine as the Ph.D. granting institution and six cooperating academic and research institutions within Maine. GSBSE provides diverse interdisciplinary training in biomedical research through its tracks in multiple disciplines, including Functional Genomics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering, and Toxicology. During their degree program, students in the GSBSE are trained in both the classroom environment and through laboratory research in at least two of the partner institutions. With approximately 100 faculty members involved in the program the students have access to expertise in a broad range of research topics from world class leaders in these fields. The facilties available are all state-of-the-art, ranging from bioengineering fabrication and testing facilities to cutting edge microscopy and spectroscopy centers, modern zebrafish facilities, world class mouse facilities, animal imaging facilities, and genetic and bioinformatics resources. Research findings are disseminated through national and international conferences, publication in high-profile scientific journals, and the patent literature. GSBSE is a highly competitive program which makes available numerous research opportunities and provides a generous stipend.

You may contact Dr. David Neivandt, ( the Graduate Coordinator for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering program for more information.

The Climate Change Institute is an interdisciplinary research unit organized to conduct research and graduate education focused on variability of Earth's climate, ecosystems, and other environmental systems and on the interaction between humans and the natural world.

Institute investigations span the last 2 million years to the present, a time of numerous glacial/interglacial cycles and abrupt changes in climate. Research activities include field, laboratory, and modeling studies that focus on the timing, causes, and mechanisms of natural and anthropogenically forced climate change, and on the effects of past climate changes on the physical, biological, chemical, social, and economic conditions of the planet. Institute research is supported by grants from a variety of sources including the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the W.M. Keck Foundation, and endowments from the Bingham Trust and the Dan and Betty Churchill Exploration Fund and others.

You may contact Dr. Karl Kreutz, ( the Graduate Coordinator for the Climate Change Institute for more information.

The University of Maine offers excellent opportunities for graduate training in:

  • Conservation Biology, Community & Landscape Ecology, Population Ecology, Environmental Physiology, Agricultural Ecology, Ecosystems Analysis & Watershed Studies, Forest & Wetland Ecology, PaleoecologySoil Biology & Chemistry, Marine & Estuarine Ecology, Biogeochemistry & Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Measurements & Monitoring, Environmental Engineering & Hydrology, Environmental Pollution, Application of Remote Sensing & Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Environmental Problems, Global Change, Resource Economics & Policy, Environmental Policy, Environmental Education.

The Interdisciplinary Graduate Committee - A Training Partnership Each student enrolled in the Program in Ecology and Environmental Science is guided by a multi-disciplinary graduate committee composed of his or her major advisor plus other members of the program faculty. The graduate advisory committee for a student in the Ph.D. program includes a total of five faculty members representing at least two disciplines within the program. The committee for a student in the M.S. program is composed of three faculty members from at least two disciplines in the program. The student meets on a regular basis with his or her advisor and meets with the advisory graduate committee at least once each semester.


You may contact Dr. John Diagle, ( the Graduate Coordinator for the Ecology and Environmental Sciences program for more information.

The Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program (individualized track) allows qualified individuals to pursue doctoral study in areas in which the University offers no formal degree program but has significant curricular resources and faculty expertise. Students pursue the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. under the direction of a five-member Academic Advisory Committee. Four committee members are members of the Graduate Faculty of the University representing at least two academic departments, while the fifth member is from an institution other than the University of Maine. The student may designate a particular field as the major field of study.

In addition, the Graduate School in collaboration with academic departments on campus, offer several interdisciplinary options as formally-defined tracks:

  • Communication
  • Functional Genomics
  • Engineering in the Natural Sciences


You may contact Associate Dean Scott Delcourt, ( the Graduate Coordinator for the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program for more information.

The three-year MFA degree in Intermedia at the University of Maine provides graduate students with the opportunity to engage in innovative, creative and theoretical work in a flexible program that encourages individual creative development within an interdisciplinary context. Students will develop diverse skills grounded in methodologies from many disciplines that foster innovative, analytic, and speculative thinking necessary for innovative production and creative thinking in Intermedia.

The Intermedia Program is designed for students from a broad range of backgrounds, disciplines, and life experiences working at an advanced level of intellectual and creative practice. The program wishes to attract engaged students who will benefit from being part of a community with a diverse and challenging faculty in an environment that offers focused research within an interdisciplinary educational and varied innovative academic community.

You may contact Dr. Owen Smith, ( the Graduate Coordinator for the Intermedia M.F.A. program for more information.

A good B.A. or B.S. degree deliberately leaves its recipient hungry for the mental stimulation that continued learning can supply. But everyday life intervenes: a career, a family, a move to a different town. Continuing education courses meet some of the need, but the mature and intellectually curious person may come to a point when a more systematic and academically disciplined approach is desired. From its inception in 1979, The Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program has been an option to this type of student by offering:

  • Guidance in focusing your exploration of knowledge
  • The opportunity to integrate work from several disciplines into a program that is academically and personally meaningful
  • The solid achievement of a Master of Arts degree
  • The possibility of pursuing these studies as either a part-time or full-time student
  • With careful planning and in close coordination with a faculty-advisor, the degree can be completed fully online


You may contact Scott Delcourt, ( the Graduate Coordinator for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program for more information.

The graduate program offered by School of Policy and International Affairs (SPIA) comprises an interdisciplinary offering from a variety of academic units both on and off campus. This provides a combination of academic strength and flexibility to accommodate students with a unique opportunity to pursue advanced, interdisciplinary studies focusing on a broad perspective for understanding public policy in an increasingly interdependent world. The program defines core sets of courses that embody the necessary skills required to address timely global policy questions and issues relating to the environment, trade and commerce. We offer a Master of Arts in Global Policy, an international service degree, with concentrations in International Environmental Policy, International Trade & Commerce, and International Security & US Foreign Policy.

You may contact Capt. James Settele, ( the Graduate Coordinator for the Master of Arts in Global Policy program for more information.