EXCELLENCE THROUGH INTELLECTUAL FUSION
Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs (GIDPs), through their capacity to transcend departmental boundaries, facilitate cutting edge teaching and research at the interface of traditional disciplines. The fusion of ideas, techniques, and expertise through the GIDPs provide an essential foundation for research, academic, and private sector endeavors, especially in the areas of high technology. Because there are no clear lines of demarcation between the areas of research in a given GIDP, interactions across research areas are common. The substantial need for highly trained educators and researchers, both in academia and in other research environments, is optimally met by individuals in an interdisciplinary environment who are able to promote the exchange of ideas among a wide range of paradigms and areas of specialization.
GIDPs provide an environment that fosters independent thinking and conceptual creativity, all within a spirit of teamwork. Independent technical and intellectual skills are developed so that GIDP students become knowledgeable, productive, and competitive investigators who are encouraged to broaden their abilities and experiences, and to look to non-traditional employment opportunities with an open mind. The ultimate goal of GIDPs is to provide a cadre of scientists and educators who have gained knowledge through interdisciplinary training so that they can develop new and imaginative methods of teaching and research, and create new fields of endeavor.
Interdisciplinary excellence among faculty is enhanced through GIDPs. Currently, 691 faculty from over 100 departments at the University of Arizona are actively involved in GIDPs. These programs provide a formal mechanism for campus-wide interdisciplinary collaborations. Indeed, faculty are attracted to the University of Arizona because of interdisciplinary ventures. Faculty participating in GIDPs also develop partnerships with academic and research institutes campus-wide, state-wide and nationally. These connections signify interdisciplinary teaching and research through intellectual fusion at the University of Arizona.