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Gauging the Transdisciplinary Qualities and Outcomes of Doctoral Training Programs


A key assumption underlying recent investments toward establishing transdisciplinary research centers and training programs is that cross-disciplinary research and training provide a stronger basis for achieving scientific and societal advances than unidisciplinary programs. It is necessary to develop reproducible and reliable criteria for identifying the distinctive qualities of cross-disciplinary research and training programs, especially in the field of urban and regional planning. The current study provides an exploratory first step toward that goal. A composite scale designed to measure the transdisciplinary qualities of doctoral dissertations as an important product of one's intellectual development and graduate training was constructed and administered in the present study. Dissertations completed over a twenty-five-year period by Ph.D. candidates within an interdisciplinary doctoral training program were rated by two independent reviewers across multiple dimensions of transdisciplinary integration and scope. Departmental as well as gender differences were found on several dimensions of transdisciplinarity. © 2005 Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.

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