Joint Degrees

A joint degree consists of one graduate degree with two programs. A student completing a joint degree writes one thesis or dissertation and receives one diploma. Students can earn a joint master’s or a joint doctoral degree. Such degrees are relatively rare. Students should inquire with each program prior to enrollment to see if additional policies exist that would restrict the ability to complete a joint degree.

To apply for a joint degree a student must submit a proposal for the degree to the Graduate School along with an electronic Add/Change/Discontinue Program Request. A student must be admitted to the second program. An appropriate Associate Dean of the Graduate School reviews all such proposals.

Students must submit the proposal before they complete the coursework and no later than the beginning of their second year of graduate study.

The joint degree proposal must address the following issues:

  • Reasons for seeking a joint degree, rather than following the traditional program/minor curriculum (for doctoral programs that require a minor) or double degrees curriculum (for master’s programs).
  • Coursework necessary to satisfy each program’s requirements; two separate course lists required.
  • The required content of each program’s portion of the degree requirements in the proposal (for example, preliminary exam arrangements for the doctoral degree or a joint thesis required for the master’s degree, etc.).

To receive a joint degree, students must:

  • Be admitted to both programs, with approval of their proposal from both programs;
  • Complete the degree requirements in each program as outlined in the proposal;
  • Fulfill the Graduate School’s minimum graduate residence, degree, and coursework (50%) credit requirements.
  • Be recommended for the degree by the faculty co-chairs/advisors from each program and the program director from each program, approval signatures required.

Once a joint degree proposal has been reviewed and approved, any and all changes must be submitted to the Graduate School for further review.

For further details about joint degrees, contact the Graduate School Office of Academic Services.

See Double DegreesDual Degrees: Graduate and Professional CombinationMinimum Graduate Coursework (50%) RequirementMinimum Graduate Degree Credit RequirementMinimum Graduate Residence Credit RequirementSpecial Graduate Committee DegreesAppendix 5 – Double, Joint, and Dual Degrees at a Glance