Program Overviews

The Office of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs offers a wide variety of programs which may be offered as concentrations, graduate certificates, or a degree program.  Please visit the different Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP) Admissions Models to learn more regarding how the admissions process functions. 

Administered programs are managed by the Office of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs. Affiliated programs are managed by an outside office or department.

Administered Concentrations

Computational Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (CIGP) is an interdisciplinary graduate program that provides students with the opportunity to study their primary discipline along with computing in a multidisciplinary environment. The aim of the program is to produce a student who has learned how to integrate computing with their own research interests. Students are required to work within an officially affiliated program to be considered for admission.

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The Persistent Pursuit of New Perspectives

Mengmeng Zhu, Biological Sciences, Computational Interdisciplinary Graduate Program"This program gives students a new perspective, broadens their minds, and benefits their academic and personal development. It lets you meet students from various backgrounds, exchange ideas and learn from each other."

Mengmeng Zhu, Biological Sciences, Computational Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

Are you ready to reduce the “ecological footprint” of human society on earth? ESE — Ecological Sciences and Engineering at Purdue — empowers you with the interdisciplinary experience needed to solve real-world environmental problems. You’ll be prepared to lead the way in finding answers to some of society’s grand ecological challenges.

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Developing greater understanding, one small step at a time.

Kate Haapala, Political Science, Ecological Sciences and Engineering"The best thing about ESE is learning to speak the languages of other disciplines. ESE has given me the opportunity to develop the necessary skill set to be a useful collaborator on interdisciplinary projects through courses, symposiums and seminars."

Kate Haapala, Political Science, Ecological Sciences and Engineering

Join in the Information Security program and become a part of one of the world’s leading programs for research and education in areas that are crucial to the protection of critical computing and communication infrastructure. The program, which offers degrees through both the College of Liberal Arts and the Polytechnic Institute, works in collaboration with the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS). CERIAS focuses on computing privacy, security, prevention, detection, policy and law.

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We work hard here. And we achieve more because we keep going.

James Lerums

“Purdue has created a very highly regarded, positive culture of academic achievement and engagement with industry and government. The world recognizes us for addressing relevant near-future cybersecurity challenges.”

James Lerums, Polytechnic Institute, Information Security

Are you ready for an innovative opportunity to discover your true area of passion in research? PULSe — the Purdue University Interdisciplinary Life Science Program — puts you in the driver’s seat for creating your own research path. You’ll choose from nearly a dozen training groups and diverse opportunities across many disciplines.

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The persistent pursuit of a cure.

Esteban Orellana"PULSe is designed so that students can interact with great scientists. PULSe has given me access to an array of courses that have helped me towards my goal of becoming an independent multidisciplinary cancer researcher."

Esteban Orellana, Molecular Signaling and Cancer Biology Training Group

Administered Certificates

This program will advance graduate students’ understanding of the role that they play in fostering a more diverse and inclusive workplace and other environments.  The goal of the Inclusive Excellence Certificate Program is to expand students’ understanding of the different systems of oppression and marginalization that hinder the formation of inclusive and diverse professional and other communities.  This will also enhance students’ awareness of how to develop policies and practices that will enable them to promote diversity and inclusion in professional institutions and other settings. 

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Affiliated Concentrations

Join the African-American Studies program and immerse yourself in one of the most significant global dimensions of American culture. Gain expertise in the diverse practices, theories and methods involved in the study of African-American life, including the African Diaspora and its connections to the Caribbean and Latin America. Explore African-American social, cultural and economic life in all its complexity.

Program Website

Keturah Nix, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, African-American Studies"For me, the best part of the program has been the community of support from faculty, alumni and graduate students. It was important that I work with professors who offer perspectives and resources that challenge me to think as an interdisciplinary scholar."

Keturah Nix, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, African-American Studies

Do you want to take a scientific approach to major medical problems like spinal cord injuries and the battle against cancer? The Biomedical Sciences program is a medically-oriented program for scientists that combines veterinary medicine and engineering. The program emphasizes biomedical approaches to diagnose and treat various troublesome human diseases.

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We are dedicated to research and unique opportunities.

Aya Saleh

 

“The program offers a unique opportunity to be trained at the interface of biology and engineering and to apply cutting-edge technology. It’s a stimulating environment that allows students to do high-quality research.”

Aya Saleh, Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Sciences

When you join the Food Science program, you're undertaking a venture that is centered on enriching and improving food through increased food safety, novel processing techniques, nutritional benefits, and food functionality. The program focuses on four signature areas: food chemistry, structure and function; foods for health; food safety and microbiology; and food processing and technology development. 

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We learn together here.

Breanna McArthur, Nutrition Science, Food Science

"The program provides both cultural and research diversity. The students are from various cultural and ethnic groups. Additionally, very few students study the same thing so we are always learning from each other."

Breanna McArthur, Nutrition Science, Food Science

Join the Gerontology program and become part of a groundbreaking dual-title gerontology PhD program. With the Center on Aging and the Life Course (CALC) at its core, the program offers the flexibility and expertise to accommodate diverse interests and embrace the “long view” in the study of aging.

PROGRAM WEBSITE

From Boilermaker to Scholar. That's Blakelee's Giant Leap.

Blakelee Kemp, Sociology, Gerontology

 

“The interdisciplinary mentorship is the best part of the program. The faculty are adept at integrating information in a clear and comprehensible way. The dual-title PhD option is an excellent way to become a scholar who wears two hats.

Blakelee Kemp, Sociology, Gerontology

Choose the graduate program at the Ingestive Behavior Research Center (IBRC) and join a program that promotes and coordinates collaborations among laboratories that investigate food and fluid intake, ingestive disorders, and the biological, psychological, and social processes associated with them. The IBRC features funded support, flexibility and specialized training experiences.

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Here, we embrace the challenges that lead to new ways of thinking. 

Stephanie Hunter, Nutrition Science, Ingestive Behavior

 

“It’s great to have a broad understanding of the complexity of nutrition science. Learning about ingestive behavior really allows you to think of a topic from different angles, all of which are important in influencing health and wellness.”

Stephanie Hunter, Nutrition Science, Ingestive Behavior

 

You can study the full impact that diet can have on health and well-being in the Interdepartmental Nutrition Program. Research on nutrition and health integrates information from many disciplines, including biochemistry, physiology, psychology, food science, genetics and cell biology.

PROGRAM WEBSITE

Success starts with one small step.

Andrea Lobene, Nutrition Science, Nutrition

 

"Our program has a high-achieving academic environment that gives students the skills to succeed in all areas of research. Students leave here well rounded and well prepared for a successful career no matter what."

Andrea Lobene, Nutrition Science, Interdepartmental Nutrition

 

The Philosophy and Literature Ph.D. program encourages the interplay between philosophy and literature currently animating discussions in such areas as social and critical theory, feminism, hermeneutics, narrative, semiotics, psychoanalysis, aesthetics, African-American studies, and cultural studies.

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The demands facing global business, governments, and society as a whole are increasingly complex, and changing at an ever accelerating pace. Navigating this dynamic environment will require leaders who understand how to bring order to this complexity, drive and navigate social change, and develop, scale and tailor solutions capable of yielding the reach, significance, paradigm change, and longevity of influence that we call impact. The Interdisciplinary Graduate Concentration in Transformational Innovation and Design draws on insights from Innovation Science to provide graduate students with the opportunity to gain an end-to-end perspective on innovation, rooted in the design process, and founded on rigorous theory, methods, and experiences from a diverse array of disciplines. The Concentration is an ideal complement to any graduate degree, and is particularly suited for graduate students seeking to proactively drive impact in complex socio-technical settings.

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Shifting Innovation from Serendipity to Science.

Akash Patil“Novel perspectives on design and innovation expanded my problem-solving skillset beyond my base domain of engineering. This gave me the confidence and adaptability to go after any complex socio-economic-technical problem that I wish to tackle.”

-Akash Patil, Innovation Science Laboratory, Civil Engineering

Feminism and the equality of all people regardless of gender or sexual orientation are as important now as they ever were. If you are interested in the issues central to these concepts, you'll find a place in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. This newly integrated program nurtures academic research and scholarly inquiry that investigates the core values of these important concepts.

PROGRAM WEBSITE

Moving human knowledge forward. That's our giant leap.

Jaimalene Hough, Political Science, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

 

"The knowledge you gain in these classes is something you will use, without exaggeration, every day for the rest of your life. These classes and this program are necessities for moving the sum total of human knowledge forward."

Jaimalene Hough, Political Science, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Affiliated Certificates

The certificate provides current M.A. and Ph.D. students the opportunity to deepen their specialties in Black Studies research and methods. Graduate students in departments and programs across campus can build their expertise in the practice, theories, methods, and approaches to the study of African American life and African diasporic history, culture, and experience.

Program Website

Created in partnership between the Office of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs (OIGP) and the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research (CILMAR), the overarching goal of the Intercultural Competence Mentorship Certificate (ICMC) is to provide to graduate students a mentorship skillset specific to intercultural competence development. The program will improve their appeal to future employers and ultimately benefit the sectors, including higher education, in which they will eventually work. The learning outcomes of this certificate will also personally enrich participants because mentoring others effectively demands a commitment to their own life-long learning.

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The global society in which we live is often faced with large-scale, pressing challenges that can only be solved through interdisciplinary research. The route chosen at Purdue to discover solutions to these grand challenges encourages collaboration between humanists, social scientists and STEM researchers, communicating the results to industry and policy makers. The Purdue Systems Collaboratory is eager to equip the next generation of systems thinkers with the tools and approaches for tackling the world’s complex challenges – to move our world… forward.

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Affiliated Degrees

Are you a self-directed graduate student who is interested in studying numerous disciplines and working with nationally recognized faculty at one of the oldest programs of its kind in the country? The American Studies program offers the opportunity to integrate theories, practices and content by choosing from more than 130 courses in 10 departments.

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Making progress through innovation and diversity.

Annagul Yaryyeva"American Studies does exactly what I was looking for. It encourages students to develop innovative approaches to the study of social justice issues in U.S. society and use diverse perspectives that draw a more holistic picture of the U.S. in the global arena."

Annagul Yaryyeva, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, American Studies

The Comparative Literature program teaches and compares world literature as both social documents and works of art in a cross-disciplinary approach. The program encourages the study of languages, an understanding of diversity and globalization, as well as an appreciation of various media as ways to fully engage literature.

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At Purdue, no one stands alone.

Tulin Ece Tosun

"All the faculty members have helped us to become engaged in the program and the community since we arrived. We all feel the program is our home. The program teaches students to think critically, have deep analysis and communicate complex ideas."

Tulin Ece Tosun, College of Liberal Arts Administration, Comparative Literature

When you join the Linguistics program, you will become immersed in the scientific study of languages and learn how to scientifically study all the world’s languages through a program distinguished by a strong, applied focus and thorough, theoretical training. Discover the structure of languages, how humans acquire and use language, how languages change, and the roles language plays in societies and cultures around the world. Apply theory in a variety of areas, including bilingualism, corpus linguistics, natural language processing and sign languages.

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Here, our curiosity keeps us learning.

Roderick Clare

“What I’ve really come to appreciate about our program is the sheer variety of courses on offer. It’s a great place to be for students with natural curiosity and diverse interests.”

Roderick Clare, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Linguistics