Applications for Fall 2024 admission will be due January 15, 2024. Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend our IHS Info Session on Nov. 7th on Zoom [event page here]. For more information about the application process, see our Admissions page, including details about application materials, deadlines, and the decision procedure.

The PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies (IHS) aims to facilitate the investigation of topics and problems that benefit from the insights of two disciplines. Under this program, students have the unique opportunity to design a customized interdisciplinary PhD curriculum drawing on the faculty and expertise of two departments at Hopkins.

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.


There are two ways to enter the IHS program. The first path is for students who are currently enrolled in their first or second year of doctoral study at Johns Hopkins in a humanities or humanistic social sciences discipline. These students may apply by the January deadline to 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. In order for students to make this move the new department they are adding to their program must agree to split the student’s funding package with the original home department for either the next four years, for students entering after the first year, or for the next three years, for students entering after the second year. Teaching requirements will be spelled out in the student’s proposed course of study and negotiated with the sponsoring departments.

The second pathway is for students who wish to apply to IHS from outside of Hopkins. These students must first indicate to two JHU PhD-granting programs their intent to apply for the IHS and find a prospective adviser in each program. The departments must each agree to support the student’s application and to provide half of that student’s funding for the duration of their program of study. As with the first pathway for admissions, teaching requirements should be negotiated with the sponsoring departments and spelled out in the student’s proposed course of study. When the IHS admissions committee receives the student’s application with support from the respective departments, the student will be considered for admission for the following academic year and both the student and the respective departments will be notified in the case of acceptance into the program.

To learn more about the process for AY2024–25, see our full Admissions page. And be sure to check the Requirements page for updated info about what you’ll need to apply.

Current IHS Students

All IHS students are provided workspace, administrative support, and other programming and research support by the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact:

William Egginton
Director, The Alexander Grass Humanities Institute
Decker Professor in the Humanities
[email protected]

A Zoom information session on the PhD in IHS program was held on November 7, 2023. A recording of that session is available below for viewing: