The university is home to several committees for interdisciplinary scholarship, the most famous of which is the Committee on Social Thought. Faculty members come from departments across the division and across the University.
Committee on Social Thought
One of several PhD-granting committees at the university, it was started in 1941 by University of Chicago president Robert Maynard Hutchins along with historian John U. Nef, economist Frank Knight, and anthropologist Robert Redfield. The committee is interdisciplinary, but it is not centered on any specific topic. Since its inception, the committee has drawn together noted academics and writers to “foster awareness of the permanent questions at the origin of all learned inquiry”. Members of this program have included Hannah Arendt, Saul Bellow, Allan Bloom, John Coetzee, Mircea Eliade, T.S. Eliot, François Furet, David Grene, Friederich Hayek, Leszek Kolakowski, Edward Levi, Paul Ricoeur, Charles Rosen, Harold Rosenberg, Edward Shils, Mark Strand, Karl J. Weintraub, and many others.
Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science
The Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science (CHSS) is a graduate program at the University of Chicago that offers students the opportunity to work toward the MA and PhD degrees in areas concerned with the foundations, history, philosophy, and social relations of science. Though faculty interests range broadly, CHSS has particular strength in the history and philosophy of physics, astronomy, mathematics, evolutionary biology, psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, and communications.
Committee on Education
The Committee on Education consists of the following University of Chicago faculty members of international reputation whose primary interest is in education and learning. The Committee is rooted in two basic tenets. The first is that scholars studying aspects of education within their disciplines will benefit from interdisciplinary interchange. The second is that a well-orchestrated interplay between researchers and practitioners will foster outstanding new scholarship.More specifically, the Committee sponsors an ongoing workshop on Education; administers training grants in educational research; and fosters connections among education-related programs in existing departments and schools, including SSA’s Community Schools Program, the Urban Teacher Education Program, and courses in educational psychology, educational sociology, economics of education, social work, and educational policy.The Committee enables scholars throughout the University to explore these implications, deepening the work in each domain, uncovering new questions, and intensifying interdisciplinary scholarship in education.
Committee on International Relations
The Committee on International Relations, which began its activities in 1928, is the nation’s oldest graduate program in international affairs. Combining rigorous core instruction with an interdisciplinary curriculum, CIR allows students to explore the complexities of international relations and interact with world-class faculty, scholars and professionals
Committee on Geographical Sciences
The Committee on Geographical Sciences is the lineal descendant of the oldest graduate program in geography in the United States. Established in 1903, the graduate program in geography at the University of Chicago has awarded hundreds of doctorates and masters degrees, developing a singular intellectual influence and employment record internationally within the academic discipline.