Interdisciplinary Studies

Program Requirements

 In all three programs (MA Individualized, MA with Specialization, joint MA/MLIS) students must complete each of the following:


MA (Individualized)
Coursework for the HUCO MA (Individualized) consists of nine 3-credit courses: four required courses in Humanities Computing (HUCO 500, HUCO 510, HUCO 520 and HUCO 530) and five optional courses. Of the optional courses, a minimum of two must be in Humanities Computing.

MA (with specialization)
Coursework for the HUCO MA (with specialization) consists of nine 3-credit courses: four required courses in Humanities Computing (HUCO 500, HUCO 510, HUCO 520 and HUCO 530) two optional courses in Humanities Computing, and three courses approved by the student's participating department in their area of specialization. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of the requirements for their specialization.

Students who are completing the MA/MLIS Joint Degree must also take required courses from the School of Library & Information Studies. In addition to the four required courses and two optional courses in Humanities Computing, students in the combined MA/MLIS program must also take: LIS 501, 502, 503, 504, 505 and 506 along with three optional LIS courses. Combined students must take LIS 501 (Foundations of Library and Information Studies), HUCO 500 (Survey of Humanities Computing) and HUCO 520 (Tech. Concepts and Approaches) in their first semester as prerequisites for the rest of their program.

Ethics Training Requirement

Ethics and academic integrity training is mandatory for all graduate students who started their program on or after September 1, 2004.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research requires that each student complete the equivalent of at least eight (8) hours of structured academic activity to fulfill this requirement.

HUCO and HUCO/SLIS students will:

  • Complete the online Graduate Ethics Training (GET) course offered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (equivalent to five hours of training). The course is available on the FGSR website
  •  Attend at least an additional three hours of training on academic integrity, research ethics, and/or digital ethics via sessions and/or seminars offered by individual departments or FGSR.
  • N.B. Some courses offered by FGSR as part of the Graduate Teaching and Learning Program can be used to fulfill requirement #2. Such courses will be publicized on the HUCO listserv. Students are also invited to find courses or sessions which they feel can fulfill this requirement. Any course or session you wish to use for this purpose must be approved by the graduate co-ordinator.

    Professional Development Requirement

    The Professional Development requirement applies to all students who began their program after September 1, 2016, including HUCO Individualized, HUCO Specialization, and HUCO/SLIS students.

    The Professional Development Requirement consists of:

    1. Individual Development Plan (IDP)
    2. 8 hours of Professional Development Activities

    More information on the PD requirement is available from the FGSR website

    Other Requirements 

    Supervisory Committees
    Students are responsible for establishing their own supervisory committees. Normally, this means circulating an informal proposal outlining the key ideas for the thesis, and having conversations with various faculty members. Once a student has decided on the right fit, they then invite faculty member(s) to serve on their committee. Occasionally a faculty member may be over-committed and may need to refuse a request, so students should consider alternatives as they weigh their options. The composition of the supervisory committee, and the deadline for its establishment are slightly different for HUCO students and combined HUCO/SLIS students.

    HUCO students are required to have a supervisor and first reader in place by April 30th of their first year. Of these two people, at least one must be HUCO affiliated faculty (i.e. regular faculty or adjunct faculty). When the student is ready to defend the thesis, a second reader is brought on to the committee to serve as an arm's-length examiner.

    HUCO/SLIS students are required to have co-supervisors (one a SLIS-affiliated faculty member and one a HUCO-affiliated faculty member) in place by April 30th of their second year.

    N.B. Students with a specialization should check with their departments to see if there are additional requirements for the committee's composition.

    Students must complete and return the Approval of Supervisor and Supervisory Committee Form to the OIS Office by the deadline noted above.

    Thesis Proposal
    Thesis Proposal Requirements and Deadlines

    HUCO and HUCO/SLIS Students (including specialization)

    Thesis proposals are 10-15 page documents. The supervisory committee, in consultation with the student, establishes the requirements for the proposal, but it will normally include at least the following sections:

    1. research overview (including research questions or central argument);
    2. literature review / theoretical framework;
    3. methodology;
    4. proposed timeline;
    5. appendices as necessary (e.g., survey questions).

    The thesis proposal must be formally approved by the supervisory committee by Sep 30 of the student’s second year (HUCO) or third year (HUCO/SLIS). HUCO students should complete and file the Approval of Thesis Proposal Form in the OIS Office; HUCO/SLIS students have their thesis proposals approved through a formal defence.


    All students in HUCO and HUCO/SLIS must present and defend a thesis.  The subject and format of the thesis should be arrived at in consultation with your supervisor(s).  Because theses in Humanities Computing vary widely depending on their area, there is no standard format for a HUCO thesis.  Some may adopt a conventional social science model composed of chapters for literature review, data collection, discussion, etc. while others may adopt a more organic humanities-influenced approach that proceeds by theme or idea.  Students are strongly encouraged to look at a variety of previous theses (searchable through to get a sense of what the program requires.

    All theses must conform to FGSR's regulations.  See for full information.