Graduate Dual, Concurrent, & Joint Degrees
Dual degrees 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. Example: dual degrees for the Juris Doctor and M.B.A. programs, for which the time to completion of both degrees is reduced from five to four years. To determine if this is a viable option, see the currently-approved dual graduate degrees in the Programs Search.
Students cannot -invent- their own dual degrees, but they may pursue a concurrent or second degree, sometimes called double degrees. Concurrent or second degrees may be earned 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 M.B.A. 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.