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.

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Application Deadlines

Summer*FallSpring
May 1 August 1 December 1

Why Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies?

The dynamic and global nature of today’s economies require leaders with advanced skills in multiple domains. 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. 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.

Why UAB Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies?

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.

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.
  • 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.
  • Successfully complete 30 graduate credit hours.
  • Complete GRD 690: IGS Capstone Experience (3 credit hour course) during the final enrollment in the IGS degree program.
  • Satisfy all university policies for degree completion.

Together with the IGS Program Director, students must develop a list of academic objectives for their degree plan.

Participating Certificates

Who will benefit from an IGS degree?

  • Anyone seeking advanced knowledge and skills in more than one content area.
  • Professionals seeking career advancement, or transferable skills to maximize employment mobility in today’s dynamic economy.
  • Students preparing for entry into the workforce who want to stand out among their peers as the candidate with the most promise.
  • Professionals considering a graduate degree who want to gain practical skills associated with career advancement and quality of life.
  • Current UAB employees who are satisfied with their environment and wish to apply an institutional benefit that supports continued academic learning.

How to apply

Students interested in earning an MA or MS in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies must complete an application through the UAB Graduate School.

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Admission requirements

  • Completed application to UAB Graduate School
    • Choose the IGS degree
    • Choose two (2) affiliated graduate certificate programs
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended

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

FAQs

We are excited to introduce the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The IGS degree is designed to support learners interested in blending two graduate certificates in order to meet skill and knowledge needs within contemporary hybrid careers. If your questions are not answered by the below information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

What is an MA or MS in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies?

The MA and MS programs in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies are master’s degrees that:

  • blend two areas of expertise in a way that is most meaningful for students’ professional and/or personal goals,
  • require students to earn two separate graduate certificates from UAB,
  • require students to complete a master’s capstone course that blends the associated content specialization from the two certificates in an applied manner for their career field, and
  • require successful completion of a minimum of 30 hours of graded graduate level credit.

For example, an individual seeking advancement into a leadership or administrative position in the field of social media may choose to complete the following certificates in order to gain advanced expertise in their career field along with skills and competencies in providing mentorship and leadership for a team:

  • Social Media Graduate Certificate (12 Hours)
  • Leadership and Professional Development Certificate (15 Hours)
  • Complete GRD 690: IGS Capstone Experience (3 Hours)

What are the requirements for earning an MA or MS in Interdisciplinary Studies?

In order to earn the MA or MS in Interdisciplinary Studies, you must:

  • earn a minimum of 30 graduate level credit hours at UAB, and
  • earn two separate graduate certificates at UAB, and
  • successfully complete GRD 690, a 3-credit hour capstone course at UAB.

If you choose two certificates that only require 12 graduate credit hours, or if some of your courses are applicable to both certificates, you will be expected to consult with your program advisor to choose an additional course(s) that relate to your career goals and associated certificates in order to meet the 30 graduate level credit hour minimum needed to earn the MA or MS degree.

Who can pursue an MA or MS in Interdisciplinary Studies?

Anyone who has completed a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university is eligible to apply to UAB’s MA or MS in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program.

Admission requirements

  • Completed application to UAB Graduate School
    • Choose the IGS degree
    • Choose two (2) affiliated graduate certificate programs
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended

How do I apply for the MA or MS in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies?

Go to UAB’s Graduate School website and click on the "Apply Now" link to complete your application. Learn more on our Graduate Admissions page.

Choose the MA or MS in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies and indicate which certificates you plan to complete. Certificates eligible to be included into the IGS degree are provided within the application.

You must be accepted into both of your desired certificate programs in order to be admitted to the MA or MS in Interdisciplinary Studies program. Please see admissions requirements and processes for each certificate program.

What graduate certificates does UAB offer that fulfill the requirements for the MA or MS in Interdisciplinary degree program?

A initial list of certificates affiliated with the IGS program will be posted by July 6, 2020. Because this is a new degree program, additional certificate options will be added regularly. If there is a certificate that you are interested to incorporating into an IGS program that is not on the affiliated list, please contact the program director for that certificate to understand your options for that certificate.

How do I choose between the MA or MS options?

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the Program Director will get in touch with you to discuss your plans.

When will UAB begin to offer the MA or MS in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies degree programs?

Beginning in Fall 2020 the IGS degree program will be available for applications.

What 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.