PhD Program

The PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies (IHS) is a new doctoral program, funded by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, that aims to facilitate the investigation of topics and problems that benefit from the insights of two disciplines. Under this program, first and second-year doctoral students have the unique opportunity to design a customized interdisciplinary PhD curriculum that they will pursue over the remaining years of their doctoral study. This program provides an avenue to pursue training and research that might not be easily carried out within the ambit of an established PhD program, and that stands to produce novel interdisciplinary research results and innovative curricula that impact two (or more) fields at once. IHS students work with faculty advisors from two different PhD fields, combining the methods, resources, and requirements of the two fields to develop and carry out their specific interdisciplinary course of study and research. At least one of these fields must be in the humanities or humanistic social sciences.

To be eligible to apply, students must be currently enrolled in their first or second year of doctoral study at Johns Hopkins in a humanities or humanistic social sciences discipline. Accepted students officially enter the IHS program at the beginning of the following year, and from that point onward they follow their self-designed course of research and study. Administratively they exit their original program and transition to dedicated IHS program funding. Students entering the program in their second year are then guaranteed four further years of full stipend, tuition remission, and health care, to make up five years of full support, conditional upon satisfactory progress. Students entering the program in their third year are guaranteed three further years of full support to make up five full years, conditional upon satisfactory progress, but may petition for one additional year or partial year of funding.  Students are provided workspace, administrative support, and other programming and research support by the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute.

Up to eight students total will be funded over four to five annual admissions cycles, with the aim of enrolling 1-3 new students per year in the program.

A Zoom information session on the PhD in IHS program was held on December 10, 2020. A recording of that session is available below for viewing.