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UAB offers two master’s degrees in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS): The Master of Arts and the Master of Science. Both IGS degrees are designed to provide students with opportunities to blend two areas of expertise in order to best meet the needs of contemporary hybrid careers. The IGS degree allows students to personalize a master’s degree to align with their professional, academic, and personal goals. Students may choose to combine any two (2) UAB graduate certificates that have affiliated with the IGS program in order to gain knowledge and skills they want as they seek professional advancement or personal development.

For more information, contact Brandon R. Brown at


Why Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies?

Careers today require us to "wear many hats." UAB’s IGS degree allows students to personalize a graduate degree to advance their competencies in more than one specialized area.  Now more than ever employers seek leaders with competence in multiple arenas in order to meet the dynamic nature of global economies, the IGS degree offers students the flexibility to study advanced concepts and skills that are relevant to these multifunctional careers.

Why Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies at UAB?

An IGS degree at UAB offers you an opportunity to design a personalized world class educational experience to meet your specific goals. UAB offers numerous graduate certificates to choose from which are delivered online, face-to-face, or in a hybrid format, providing flexibility for every learner. UAB’s Graduate School is world-renowned with nationally ranked programs dedicated to inspiring minds today to transform tomorrow.

Who will benefit from completing the program?

  • Employees seeking career advancement, or transferable skills to maximize employment mobility in today’s dynamic economy.
  • Students who want the flexibility to combine two areas of expertise into one degree.
  • Adults who want flexibility to create an academic experience that meets their need for course delivery options.
  • Professionals considering a graduate degree who want to gain practical skills associated with their unique career advancement opportunities.
  • Current UAB employees who are satisfied with their environment and wish to apply an institutional benefit that supports continued academic learning.

Apply NowIGS Degree Plan Form

  • Program specifics

    UAB’s IGS degrees provide flexibility to meet personalized goals with the structure of accredited academic programs. To complete an MA or MS in IGS students must:

    • Complete all required courses for two (2) graduate certificates approved for the IGS program. Both certificates must include a minimum of 12 graduate level credit hours, and 80% of the credits must follow standard letter grading format.
    • Earn a minimum of a “B” in 80% of the courses in both the certificate and the GRD 690 capstone course.
    • Successfully complete 30 graduate credit hours.
      • All courses must be affiliated with an institution approved certificate program that illustrates course coherence.
      • Individual courses may count toward completion of two separate certificate programs; however, a minimum of 30 credits is still required to complete the degree.
    • Complete GRD 690: IGS Capstone Experience (3 credit hour course) during the final enrollment in the IGS degree program.
    • Together with their Certificate Advisors and the IGS Program Director, students must develop a list of academic objectives for their degree plan. A copy of this plan will remain on file to be referenced during the IGS Capstone course.
    • Satisfy all university policies for degree completion.

  • Participating Certificates
  • Faculty & Instructors

    • Faculty and Instructors reside in the academic units delivering the associated certificate courses.
    • GRD 690: IGS Capstone Course is delivered by the IGS Program Director.
  • Application Checklist
    • Visit for more details regarding the general application process for UAB Graduate Degree Program.
    • As you prepare to apply to the IGS program remember that admissions to graduate certificates is based upon previous academic work, letters of recommendation, and your personal statement. Below are suggestions to help you prepare to apply to the IGS program:
      • Review the admission requirements and expectations for both certificates you plan to incorporate into your IGS degree plan.
      • Reach out to the departments of each certificate to discuss your interest in their program and make sure the program is a good “fit” for you.
      • Update your resume and/or CV
      • Write your personal statement to demonstrate how combining these two certificates will support you in reaching your professional, academic, and/or personal goals.
      • Identify and ask two people to write supportive letters of recommendation for you. It is a good idea to share your most recent resume or CV as well as your personal statement with them to help the personalize their letter.
      • Request official copies of all your academic transcripts to be sent to UAB graduate admissions (more details in the application).
      • Complete the online application.
      • Pay the application fee.
  • You're Admitted - Next Steps
    • If you are new to UAB, visit New Students to UAB.
    • Reach out to the IGS Program Director to learn more about developing your official Academic Plan for Degree Completion.
    • Draft your academic plan of study and enroll in classes.
    • Attend the IGS Orientation and learn how to network with other IGS students and use your UAB resources to support your success.
    • Questions: Email
  • Examples of IGS degree plans to meet specific professional careers

    A learner seeking advanced education for their position within a non-profit community health organization.

    • Complete the Nonprofit Management graduate certificate
    • Complete a Public Health graduate certificate
    • Complete GRD 690: IGS Capstone Course – Theory to Practice

    A learner seeking knowledge and skills needed to develop curriculum for a global health organization.

    • Complete the Post-Master’s Certificate in Instructional Leadership
    • Complete the Global Health Studies graduate certificate
    • Complete GRD 690: IGS Capstone Course – Theory to Practice

    A learner seeking advancement in a social media firm.

    • Complete the LEAD: Leadership and Professional Development graduate certificate
    • Complete the Social Media graduate certificate
    • Complete GRD 690: IGS Capstone Course – Theory to Practice
  • Virtual Information Sessions

    A virtual information session about the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program will be held via Zoom at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. Register online here.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the admissions requirements?

    1. Complete and submit the UAB Graduate School Application for the MS or MA in IGS. You will identify the two certificates you wish to incorporate into your degree within your single IGS application.
    2. UAB Graduate School will coordinate getting your application to both certificate departments for their review.
    3. IGS applicants must be admitted into both graduate certificate programs they choose prior to being admitted to either the MA or MS degree program.
    4. Refer to the admissions requirements associated with each of the certificates you are incorporating into your degree plan for more details.
    5. All applicants must submit an official transcript demonstrating they have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
    6. All applicants must submit a personal statement articulating why they seek to complete IGS degree program relative to your academic, professional, or personal goals.

    How do I choose between the MA or MS degree?
    Each certificate is affiliated with an "Arts" or "Sciences" designation. If both of your certificates fall within the "Arts" areas, you are eligible for the MA in IGS. If both of your certificates fall within the "Sciences" areas, you are eligible for the MS in IGS. If one of your desired certificates is designated within the "Arts" areas and the other in the "Sciences" then you have the option of choosing either the MA or the MS. If you are unsure and would like to speak with an advisor regarding this choice, please email and the Program Director will get in touch with you to discuss your plans.

    If I already earned a certificate, can I use that credential toward earning an MA or MS in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies?
    Not all Certificate Programs are participating in the IGS degree. Students may apply previously earned graduate certificate toward an IGS degree if:

    • the credits are associated with a certificate that has affiliated with the IGS program, and
    • you earned a minimum of a "B' in 80% of the courses affiliated with the certificate, and
    • the credits associated with the previously earned certificate were not counted toward another degree, and
    • you complete all required courses within the five* (5) year window.

    *The 5-year time limit is institutional policy and relates to all UAB Graduate School master’s degrees.

    Can I combine two different certificates from one school, college, or department to earn an MS or MA in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies?
    Students may combine two graduate certificates from the same department in order to earn an MS or MA in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies. Every student will confer with the IGS Program Director and the associated academic areas to discuss the best degree path to meet your professional and/or personal goals.

    Can I apply for Financial Aid to help pay for my IGS degree?
    Yes, the IGS is a master’s degree. Therefore, if you qualify for federal financial aid, or other forms of financial support you may apply these funds towards degree related costs. For more information about federal financial aid and other scholarships visit: Cost & Aid | UAB.

    Are there graduate assistantships for the IGS program?
    No, currently there not any graduate or teaching assistantships specifically designed for students seeking IGS degrees.

    May I earn more than one IGS degree?
    Yes, it is possible for a student to earn more than one IGS master’s degree. However, each completed certificate may only be applied to one IGS mater’s degree. Also, if you intend to complete multiple IGS degrees, please discuss your intentions with the Program Director so that you may identify if there are other programs or processes that may be available to support you to meet your career or personal goals.

    Can UAB employees use the tuition benefit to pay for IGS courses?
    Yes, current UAB employees may use the tuition benefits to take courses that will apply to their IGS related courses.

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