Interdisciplinary Self-Designed Program


​The Interdisciplinary Self-Designed Program (ISD) is an innovative, flexible, and highly individualized graduate program designed to meet students’ academic and professional goals. The program gives students the opportunity to design a program of study tailored to their own needs and interests. When students choose ISD, they take on the exciting challenge of creating their own curriculum and unique plan for learning. Creating an individualized program requires maturity, self-motivation, and independence. Students seeking a combination of flexible options and academic challenges are natural ISD candidates. ISD is a creative alternative to more rigid traditional, discipline-specific programs. Students can build their particular academic or professional interests and concentrate on specialized fields that are not available in traditional graduate programs.

The program offers students individualized cross-disciplinary majors, incorporating courses drawn from social sciences, humanities, business, computer and information science, and public service.

The program offers the following:

  • Individual, self-designed graduate program of study that builds on specific academic and professional interests.
  • Ability to combine various academic disciplines in chosen areas of study.
  • Choice of courses in most colleges and schools.


​Lisa Poirier, PhD; Director
Associate Professor, Religious Studies 
Syracuse University

Because students in the Interdisciplinary Self-Designed Program select course offerings from most areas of the university, faculty may originate in multiple departments, such as the social sciences, humanities, business, computer and information science, and public service, for example. The program Director offers individualized academic advisement throughout each student’s plan of study.​