Ad Hoc Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program

Students admitted to established academic programs may propose to construct an ad hoc interdisciplinary doctoral program that draws on the intellectual resources of several graduate programs and involves faculty members from more than one college or school. This procedure allows students who have been admitted to a graduate program to design a course of study that does not fit into an existing degree plan. Each program must be approved by the graduate dean.

Students interested in the ad hoc interdisciplinary doctoral program should consult the graduate advisor of the program to which they are admitted or to which they plan to apply. Additional information is available from the Office of Graduate Studies.

Combined JD/PhD Programs

The School of Law and the Graduate School offer programs leading to the Doctor of Jurisprudence and the Doctor of Philosophy with a major in government or philosophy. These programs are designed to prepare students for academic careers in law or the cognate discipline or both. By counting law courses toward the PhD and courses in the cognate discipline toward the JD, students can save up to a year of coursework. The law school provides financial aid to students at the dissertation stage of the program. More information on the JD/PhD in government is available at (512) 471-5121, and on the JD/PhD in philosophy at the School of Law's website.

Graduate Portfolio Programs

The goal of graduate portfolio programs is to recognize and encourage cross-disciplinary research and scholarly activity. A portfolio program usually consists of four thematically related graduate courses and a research paper, presentation, or practical experience. The portfolio must include courses offered by at least two graduate programs other than the student’s major program. Portfolio programs are approved by the Graduate School. Although the certification requirements of each program are independent of the requirements for graduate degrees, courses included in the Program of Work may, with appropriate approval, be counted toward certification. Upon completion of both degree and portfolio program requirements, the student’s University transcript reflects portfolio certification.

All graduate portfolio programs must include nine to 15 credit hours of thematically related graduate coursework (typically three to five courses) selected from a variety of predetermined disciplines or graduate programs. The requirements of a portfolio may not exceed 15 credit hours. To ensure the expansion of cross-disciplinary content expertise, each portfolio must include a minimum of nine credit hours of content coursework (typically three courses) and content courses offered by at least two graduate programs other than the student’s primary degree major. In addition to required content courses, portfolio programs may require one Independent Study course and/or Internship course. Master’s Reports, Theses, and Doctoral Dissertations may be used to satisfy the independent paper, or project, requirement of a portfolio program; however, these courses may not be used to satisfy the nine to 15 credit-hour coursework requirement.

If a student’s graduate degree is conferred while their portfolio program is in progress, they may continue enrollment to complete the portfolio under the following circumstances:

  1. the student must enroll as a non-degree-seeking student in one of the graduate programs sponsoring the portfolio program,
  2. the student must have completed at least two of the courses required for the portfolio at the time that their degree is conferred (a student may not begin a portfolio program after their degree is conferred),
  3. the portfolio administrator must request permission from the Graduate School to allow the student to complete a post-graduation portfolio and provide confirmation that the student has completed at least two portfolio courses and,
  4. the student may not have a break in enrollment period.

A student will not be readmitted for the purpose of completing a portfolio program.

Graduate portfolio programs are available in the following areas:

  • African and African diaspora studies
  • Aging and health
  • Arts and cultural management and entrepreneurship
  • Asian American studies
  • Communication, information, and cultural policy
  • Computational medicine
  • Cultural studies
  • Digital studies
  • Disability studies
  • Dispute resolution
  • Energy studies
  • Ethical AI
  • Food-Energy-Water-Systems (FEWS)
  • Health communication
  • Imaging science
  • Integrated behavioral health
  • Integrated watershed studies
  • Interdisciplinary European studies
  • Language teaching and program coordination
  • Mexican American and Latina/o studies
  • Middle Eastern studies
  • Molecular biophysics
  • Museum studies
  • Nanomanufacturing
  • Nanoscience and nanotechnology
  • Native American and indigenous studies
  • Nonprofit studies
  • Robotics
  • Romance linguistics
  • Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies
  • Science and engineering professional development
  • Security studies
  • Study of religion
  • Sustainability
  • Women’s and gender studies

Cooperative Consortium Program

A cooperative arrangement between The University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University System allows a graduate student at one institution to use unique facilities or courses at the other institution with a minimum of paperwork. The graduate student registers and pays fees at the home institution and may retain any fellowship or financial assistance awarded by it. Space must be readily available, and the instructor or laboratory director of the proposed work must consent to the arrangement. Approval must be given by the graduate dean of each institution.

A similar arrangement among component institutions of The University of Texas System has been authorized by the chancellor and the Board of Regents. The University has active arrangements with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Science Park in Bastrop County, and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Cooperative Degree Programs

With appropriate approval, The University of Texas at Austin and another component of The University of Texas System may enter into a cooperative agreement in which one component serves as the degree-granting institution while some or all of the courses in the degree program are taught at the other component. The component that grants the degree is the “sponsoring” institution. A student who enters such a cooperative program is admitted on the understanding that institutional sponsorship of the program may change during the student’s enrollment. The student’s continuation in the program will not be affected by such a transfer of sponsorship, but the student will become subject to the policies and procedures of the new sponsoring institution, which may differ from those of the original sponsor. The student will receive the degree from the component that sponsors the program at the time of the student’s graduation.