Traditionally, graduate degrees have focused on a single subject matter such as chemistry, physics, or mathematics.
However, current and expected future trends in the working environment show that jobs will increasingly bridge more than one area of specialization.
Biochemistry, for example, which is of major importance in today’s society, now spans two or three disciplines. Practitioners must have a thorough knowledge of several areas of chemistry and biology.
The same is true of bioinformatics, a new multidisciplinary field that depends on expertise in biology and computational sciences.
These are just two in a growing number of fields that cross specializations. Rensselaer’s M.S. and Ph.D. in Multidisciplinary Science meet the need of graduates who anticipate careers in such occupations.
Rensselaer strongly emphasizes interdisciplinary research programs that bridge disciplines within the School of Science and between the School of Science and the School of Engineering.
The George M. Low Center for Industrial Innovation was specifically constructed to house research centers such as the Center for Integrated Electronics, the Center for Composite Materials and Structures, the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems, the Center for Multiphase Research, and the Scientific Computation Research Center.
Students within multidisciplinary graduate programs are under the tutelage of faculty from more than one discipline. This highly knowledgeable faculty will determine which courses the student needs, develop appropriate examinations, and supervise research activities. The dean of science appoints the doctoral committee and supervises the student’s overall progress.
Students interested in pursuing such multidisciplinary graduate programs must follow Rensselaer’s standard graduate admission guidelines and must seek approval from faculty representing all disciplines related to their individual programs.