Individual Interdisciplinary Doctoral

Be Unique

Washington State University’s individual interdisciplinary doctoral degree is a unique program, designed by you, to meet your individual interests. While many universities offer interdisciplinary degrees, very few offer one that is individually designed and able to meet the distinct needs, interests, talents, and career goals of each person.

IIDP students work on a broad range of topics, bridging many disciplines, as highlighted by the research topics of current students (see below). In their Ph.D. studies, IIDP scholars have addressed many important problems facing society—problems that are too complicated for a single discipline, and must be tackled by successfully integrating the perspectives of multiple disciplines.

Students who have earned IIDP Ph.D. degrees have gone on to successful careers in academic research and administration as well as the public and private sector. See some examples HERE.
IIDP student Ashley Railey talks about the flexibility of the IIDP program

IIDP Students in the NEWS!

Program Structure, Goals, and Learning Outcomes



2023-24 IIDP Handbook


Some IIDP Faculty



Graduate School
Washington State University
French Ad 324
Pullman, WA 99164-1030
Phone: 509-335-6424

IIDP Academic Coordinator: Tiffany Boswell, 509-335-7619

Current Student Research Topics and Combined Disciplines

StudentDisciplinesResearch Topic
Rachel BombergerEducational Psychology, Communications, and Rural SociologyMy goal is to elucidate the rationales and develop best practices for risk communication and pest management innovations in the different training preferences of pesticide applicators in Washington State through examining motivation, value-expectancy, and the relationships between applicators, peers, and employers . Additionally, I will investigate the use of graphics for communicating scientific concepts, including risk, in different training formats and determine best practices.
Ajay BarmanEconomics, Psychology, EpidemiologyTBD
Daniel BaylyEducation, Human Development, NeuroscienceHow normal/healthy expression of play contributes to normal development, how abnormal or inhibited play expression may contribute to abnormal development
Sydnee SchwendemanHistory, Philosophy, Political Science, Animal Science, Epidemiology/Zoonotic Communicable DiseasesResearching human and natural coupled systems on the science-policy interface and advocating for improved policy implementation of wild animal vaccinations to limit the spread of zoonotic communicable diseases. 
Zihui Zhao
Dan LiangApparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles, Biological Systems Engineering, Mechanical and Materials EngineeringTBD
Matthew Mietchen Infectious Disease, Math/Statistics, Stochastic SystemsControl of diseases at the interface between different communities
Megan Nims Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, GeologyInterdisciplinary approach to fisheries ecology research, specifically questions of fish migration and provenance
Alexander Gregory Perkins
Lillian SennMolecular Biosciences, Education, PsychologyCharacterize the personal and contextual factors across academic disciplines that influence post-secondary instructors' integration of affect into the classroom
Lindsay GreeneMusic, Education, HistoryA look into the influences that being a Chinese immigrant has on one’s Music Composition Pedagogy
Susan Williams Kinesiology; Communications; Sociology Mixed methods research into sociocultural factors which impact women's positive embodiment.