Doctor of Philosophy

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Program Overview

Union Institute & University's doctoral program consists of the following components:

  • Four interdisciplinary foundational seminars related to Ethics and Social Justice, The Creative Process, Engaging Differences and Interdisciplinarity - These courses offer theoretical as well as practical introductions to the methods of interdisciplinarity inquiry, which illuminate how issues of social justice, difference, and creativity traverse across any number of fields and disciplines.
  • Three sequenced academic skills seminars in Critical Writing and Thinking - These courses are designed to reacquaint adult students with the standards of scholarly research, analysis, and argumentation; prepare them for the profession; and to guide them through the entire dissertation process, from preparing a literature review to editing the final manuscript.
  • Two research methods seminars - Taken in terms II and III, these courses are intended to familiarize students with humanistic approaches to inquiry, and methods of both quantitative and qualitative research to assist them in conceiving, formulating, conducting, and evaluating their individual research projects.
  • Academic studies in core and advanced seminars as well as electives and individualized studies - Students acquire both core and advanced knowledge in a primary area of concentration and study in a secondary area of concentration or area of specialization. They also have the option of choosing electives in areas of specific interests and individualized study that is directly related to the student’s area of study, professional interests, and dissertation study.
  • Comprehensive examination.
  • Dissertation research that, when completed, contributes new knowledge to the student’s field of study.

Low-residency Learning Model

The academic year for the Cohort Ph.D. program is divided into two six-month terms: January 1 to June 30 and July 1 to December 31. At the beginning of every January and July approximately 20 new students and all returning students come together for nine days of Academic Residency in Cincinnati, Ohio. The students move through the doctoral program as members of cohorts that are formed within and across the program’s three areas of concentration. The cohort model leads to the formation of academic communities through regular and sustained interaction among students and between students and faculty. See detailed Program Overview.

Students pursuing the Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies focus their studies in one of the following three areas of concentration: