With the assistance of Graduate Chairs from two doctoral programs, a student may propose to initiate a PhD program that combines different disciplines and fields and results in a doctoral degree with a single designation. Because of the breadth and depth of study required for these programs, only those students of exceptional preparation and focus should consider this option. An application must be submitted to the Graduate School that includes a statement of purpose and describes the proposed courses, other requirements, and the qualifying and preliminary exams. The application must be approved and signed by both advisors, by the Graduate Chairs of both programs, and by the Graduate School.
Only students admitted to a regular Rackham doctoral program who have completed at least one term of coursework may request a Student-Initiated Doctoral Program. An application for a Student-Initiated Doctoral Program should be submitted no later than the term before the student becomes a candidate. A student who is a candidate will be returned to pre-candidacy if the Student-Initiated Doctoral Program is approved; both programs must recommend re-establishing candidacy status.
A student in a Student-Initiated Doctoral Program should have advisors from both doctoral programs who will supervise pre-candidacy work; determine and conduct preliminary exams; and recommend the student for candidacy. A minimum of two faculty members from each program are required for the dissertation committee. A cognate member is not required for the dissertation committee.