Graduate Dual Degrees

Dual degree programs allow a student to combine two graduate programs of study in complementary programs via intentionally designed curricular coursework which allow for some double-counting of credits. Students completing dual degree programs successfully will be granted two separate diplomas and will include both degrees on the transcript.

Dual degree programs can be student-initiated, or school-defined. School-defined programs are subject to the regular degree program review process. The review process for student-initiated degree programs is described below.

Student-Initiated Dual Degree Programs

A student may seek approval for an individualized graduate dual degree program. Graduate students must complete at least one term of coursework in good academic standing before requesting to be considered for admission to a dual degree program. A dual degree program can combine at most two single degree programs. Student-initiated dual degree programs are reviewed on an individual basis and must be approved by the colleges of each degree. To provide consistent application of curriculum requirements and policy as well as to ensure the degree audit requirements are met, all proposals for dual degrees must be submitted to the UCDC Graduate Subcommittee.

Students may request dual degree programs in the following combinations: 

  • a doctoral degree in one field of specialization and a master’s degree in another field;
  • two master’s programs.

This graduate dual degree policy does not cover graduate certificates and how their coursework can be counted toward a degree (see Graduate Certificate Policy).

Double-Counting Credit Hours for Dual Degree Programs

Students in dual degree programs may ask to double-count a limited number of credits toward the requirements of both degrees. All dual-degree programs are subject to the following general rules:

  • Double-counted courses must meet the requirements of both programs.
  • Courses can be double-counted only if they were taken less than five years before the start of enrollment in the current degree program.
  • At least half of the minimum required credits for each degree must be earned in the program and counted solely for that degree. For example, a student enrolled in a 36- hour master’s program may not apply more than a combination of 18 transfer and/or double-counted credits toward the degree requirements.
  • A program may overlap with only one other program for the purpose of double-counting credits. Credits may never be used for three or more programs. If a student seeks a third degree, it must stand alone.
  • Programs may limit credit double-counting below the maximum number allowed in this policy, but may not allow credit double-counting above this limit. Some programs may not allow credit double-counting.
  • For a doctoral student who wishes to use some credits toward a master’s in another program, no course numbered 990, 995, or with “doctoral,” “dissertation,” or “preliminary” in the title may be counted toward a master’s degree.
  • The maximum number of credits that may be double-counted is determined by adding the minimum number of credits required for each program and dividing by six, rounding any fraction down to the nearest whole number. For example: 
Minimum credit hours required for Degree A 30
Minimum credit hours required for Degree B 36
Total 66
Maximum number that may be double-counted 11
  • Credits for a single course may not be split; a course must be double-counted in its entirety or not at all.

Students can begin the dual degree program as soon as their application and study plan has been approved by the college(s). New student-initiated degree programs will follow the university curriculum process for recording and processing purposes.