Some students may wish to pursue two master's degrees simultaneously. Such programs of study are called dual programs and represent an elective activity of the student rather than a program planned by the faculty. Such programs are not offered as a matter of general practice, but rather meet the unique needs of specific students who wish to receive training in two fields.
Each of the two programs is considered to be a full and complete program; neither is to be considered as supplementary or minor in scope. Each degree received at the conclusion of the program will be considered to be the same degree as that received by a student pursuing only one degree. Admissions procedures for dual degrees are provided in the Admissions chapter of the Graduate catalog.
The student should consult with the advisors of each program and undertake the creation of an advisory committee, consisting of their academic advisor from each program. This committee will assist the student in planning a sequence of courses that provides adequate training in each field and that meets the requirements of each program.
In general, the pursuit of cooperative, simultaneous degrees will involve the completion of all the requirements of each degree and thus will normally require more credits than the completion of either degree singly. However, certain circumstances may result in a situation in which the total number of credits taken is less than the sum of the requirements of both programs.
One such situation results from identical core course requirements for each program or from core course requirements that are sufficiently close in content to justify the taking of only one. Such overlapping core courses will reduce the total number of hours the student must take by the number of credits of the course. These credits need not be substituted with additional credits. Some elective courses may also overlap with approval of each advisor. In all cases, the student's program must be approved by the chair of each department. Denial of approval by either chair constitutes denial of the pursuit of two simultaneous degrees.
The description of cooperative, simultaneous degree procedures is intended for students who wish to pursue two degrees simultaneously. Ordinarily, degrees taken in sequence are not eligible for the reduction of credits from overlapping courses taken as a part of the earlier program.