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Graduate Academic Information

Graduate Dual, Concurrent, and Joint Degrees

Dual degree programs are formal programs that result in the awarding of TWO degrees.  Typically there is some overlap so that the total number of units required is reduced.  Examples:   “..the Juris doctor/M.B.A. program, which reduces the time to completion of both degree programs from five to four years; the M.B.A./Masters of International Management (MIM at Thunderbird), which reduces the completion of both programs (if the student is proficient in a foreign language) from four to two-and-a-half years.”   

Students cannot ‘invent’ their own dual degree programs, but they may take a concurrent or second degree, sometimes called double degrees.  Concurrent or second degrees are when a student enrolls in two programs, either concurrently or sequentially.  There does not have to be a formal program that links the two degrees.  For example, a student may earn an MBA and then decide to become a teacher and earn an M.Ed.  If some course work can legitimately apply to both degrees, students may ‘double count’ up to 20% of the required coursework (i.e., 6 hrs for a 30 hour master’s degree). 
 

Joint degrees are formal programs whereby students earn a single degree, but with two majors.  For example:  “The Ph.D. program in Anthropology and Linguistics allows students to pursue the joint study of linguistic anthropology and linguistic theory offered both in the Linguistics and Anthropology Departments without having to go through two separate Ph.D. programs.”  True joint degree programs are rare, although the term has been misused to refer to dual degree programs.  The University of Arizona often accomplishes the same goal through interdisciplinary majors and minors. 

 

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