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7. Dual Degree Programs

A number of arrangements are available for students to pursue two degrees simultaneously. Dual degree programs lead to two different degree citations on the transcript and two separate diplomas. Dual degree programs allow a student to combine two graduate or graduate-professional programs, at least one of which is a Rackham master’s or doctoral program, and may include a non-Rackham professional degree program. A dual degree program allows students to undertake complementary programs of graduate study simultaneously through streamlined curricular arrangements with limited double-counting of courses (section 7.2). Specific information about dual degree programs, including minimum credit hours required, credit hours that may be double counted, and awarding of degrees can be found in Rackham's Help Desk. Students should contact the graduate program(s) directly for more detailed information and other program-specific requirements.

A student in a Rackham doctoral or master’s program must complete at least one term of coursework in good academic standing in a regular Rackham program before requesting admission to a dual degree program (section 3.9). Students pursuing any combination of master’s degrees must complete an Add a Degree or Certificate Application (Formerly: Dual Degree Application), and, with the exception of cases indicated below, submit the appropriate Dual Degree Course Elections form that lists all courses to be used toward the requirements of both programs.


7.1 Student-Initiated Dual Degree Programs

A student may seek arrangements for a dual degree program that is not among those already approved by the Graduate School. A dual degree program may not include a student-initiated single degree program which already combines study in two programs. Student-initiated dual degree programs are reviewed on an individual basis and must be approved by both graduate programs and the Graduate School.

Students may request dual degree programs in the following combinations:

  • a doctoral degree in one field of specialization and a master’s degree or certificate in another field. No dual degree election form is required for this combination;
  • two different master’s programs;
  • a master’s and a Rackham certificate of graduate studies program (students may overlap a certificate of graduate studies program with no more than one master’s degree program); or
  • a degree in the Graduate School and a post-baccalaureate degree in a professional school of the University (e.g., MA and JD). Students must meet all requirements of both programs. If the units assess different tuition and fees for a term in which a student is taking courses in both units, the student will be charged at the higher rate.

7.2 Double-Counting Credit Hours for Dual Degree Programs

Students in dual degree programs may double-count a limited number of credit hours toward the requirements of both degrees. Double-counting of credit hours for two certificate programs is not allowed. To request double-counting, a student must complete a Dual Degree Course Election Form no later than one term prior to completing the second degree. Double-counting rules specific to each dual degree program are found on the Rackham Website. The following general guidelines apply:

  • Double-counted courses must be taken within five years of the first date of enrollment of the current degree program.
  • To preserve the integrity of each Rackham degree, at least half of the minimum required credit hours for each Rackham degree must be earned in the Rackham program under a Rackham registration and counted solely for that degree. For example, a student enrolled in a 36-hour Rackham master’s program may not apply more than a combination of 18 transfer and/or double-counted credit hours toward the Rackham program.
  • A graduate program may overlap with only one other program for the purpose of double-counting credit hours. Credit hours may never be used for three or more programs. If a student seeks a third certificate or degree, it must stand alone.
  • Graduate programs may limit the double-counting of credit hours below the Rackham maximum, but may not allow double-counting above the Rackham limit. Some programs do not allow double-counting of credit hours.
  • For a student pursuing a doctoral degree who wishes to use some credits earned in the doctoral program toward a master’s in another field, faculty in the master’s program will decide how many may apply toward the master’s degree. No course numbered 990, 995 or with “doctoral,” “dissertation,” or “preliminary” in the title may be counted toward a master’s degree.
  • For students in a Doctor of Musical Arts program, courses taken while registered in Rackham count toward the Required Fee Total requirements within the specified limits (section 2.1).

The maximum number of credit hours that may be double-counted for a dual degree program is determined by adding the minimum number of hours required for each program and dividing by six. For example:

Dual Degree Credit Hour Distribution 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

Any resulting fraction is rounded down to the nearest whole number of credit hours. Credit hours for a single course may not be split; a course must be double-counted in its entirety or not at all.

Last updated: September 12, 2017 - 4:22pm