Designated Emphasis

Graduate students in certain Ph.D. programs may participate in a Designated Emphasis (DE), a specialization that might include a new method of inquiry or an important field of application which is related to two or more existing Ph.D. programs.

The DE is awarded in conjunction with the Ph.D. degree and is signified by a transcript notation; for example, “Ph.D. in Literature with a Designated Emphasis in Native American Studies.”  Students may pursue Designated Emphases in any of the following interdisciplinary areas:

Benefits of a Designated Emphasis Program

Students who participate in a Designated Emphasis program benefit in several ways:

  • Coursework for the Designated Emphasis provides analytical tools that enhance their research.
  • Interdisciplinary study accords graduate students the opportunity to network with students and faculty at UC Davis, thereby providing a larger audience for their research and work, and increasing access to information about career opportunities.
  • Students have a larger pool of professors to draw from when forming their qualifying examination and dissertation committees.
  • Because of their additional training, DE students are competitive for teaching assistant and associate-in positions in their chosen emphasis.
  • Students with a wide breadth of knowledge make for competitive candidates in the academic job market.

Please complete the Designated Emphasis Application (GS323) once you have ascertained that it is offered in your chosen program.  You will need the support of a faculty member in the chosen DE.  Please note students must have one qualifying exam committee member and one dissertation committee member affiliated with their chosen emphasis.  You are strongly encouraged to contact the Designated Emphasis Chair for more information.