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A dual master’s degree option can be approved at the request of two cooperating master’s degree programs, and with the agreement of the Graduate School, provided that the requirements listed below are met. There are no new degrees or programs associated with adding a dual degree option to the offerings of each of the cooperating programs. However, the addition of this option will be subject to Graduate Council and Faculty Senate approval. The intent of a dual master’s degree option is to encourage students to pursue interdisciplinary studies in two clearly related programs. By undertaking this simultaneous pursuit, the student earns a master’s degree in each of the two programs, while completing somewhat fewer credits than would be required to complete the programs separately. 

  1. The cooperating programs must submit to the Graduate School a proposal that argues the need and inherent value of a dual degree option for these programs. The proposal should (1) explicitly list the core courses and the number of additional elective courses (or credits) required for each of the separate master's degrees, (2) specify a plan for completion of these requirements under the dual master’s degree option, and (3) explicitly address the topic of any required thesis. The Graduate School will check that the criteria listed below are satisfied by the proposal, verify that the credit savings resulting from the proposal are reasonable (no more than approximately 20%), and forward that proposal to the Faculty Senate for consideration by the Graduate Council and ultimately the Senate. 
  2. All degree requirements of each of the two degrees must be completed. In particular, the core courses in each program must be completed. However, courses in one program may be used to satisfy elective requirements in the cooperating program, and vice versa. 
  3. The total number of degree credits will be at least equal to 60 credits of which no fewer than 30 credits must come from each of the two programs. 
  4. If either of the cooperating degree programs requires a thesis, a thesis will be required under the dual degree option. The thesis should address a topic which is derived from the rationale for the dual degree. 
  5. In order for a student to be permitted to exercise the dual degree option, the student must meet the entrance requirements of each individual program and be admitted by both programs. 
  6. Both degrees must be awarded concurrently. Neither of the two degrees awarded under the dual degree option shall be awarded retroactively. 
  7. The Statute of Limitations for completion of a dual degree option shall be five (5) years. 
  8. A student who does not complete both courses of study required by the cooperating programs may be awarded one Master's degree upon completion of the program requirements for one of the two programs.

Source: Sen. Doc. No. 05-009