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GCAC-208

Dual-Title Graduate Degree Programs

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Purpose

This policy describes the process by which graduate students may apply and be admitted to a dual-title graduate degree program.

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Academic Goal

The academic goal of this policy is to define the requirements of a dual-title graduate degree program.

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Scope

This policy applies to all graduate programs and graduate students.

The program of study for a dual-title graduate degree fully integrates both the graduate major and dual-title fields of study early in the program beginning with defining a culminating experience appropriate to the degree and continuing through its completion. A dual-title graduate degree program includes the addition of valuable coursework not currently prescribed in an existing graduate degree program.

Policy Statement

  1. A graduate dual-title degree is a fully integrated program of study that allows students to define a problem that combines both the graduate major and dual-title fields.
    1. A dual-title graduate degree program cannot exist as a separate (stand-alone) graduate degree program at Penn State.
  2. A dual-title graduate degree program must require a minimum of 15 credits for a dual-title doctoral program and 6 credits for a dual-title master’s program.
    1. Credits required for a dual-title master’s program or a dual-title doctoral program may be counted towards the student’s graduate major degree requirements. A program’s policy restricting the double counting of credits must be approved through the Graduate Council curricular review process and be stated in the graduate major program’s Graduate Bulletin listing.
    2. If a student completes both a dual-title master’s degree and a dual-title doctoral degree in the same dual-title, credits required for the dual-title master’s degree may be counted towards the dual-title doctoral degree requirements. A program’s policy restricting the double counting of credits must be approved through the Graduate Council curricular review process and be stated in the graduate major program’s Graduate Bulletin listing.
  3. Students must apply and may be admitted to an existing dual-title graduate degree program only after being enrolled in an existing graduate program.
    1. Doctoral students should enroll in a dual-title graduate degree program early in their training, and no later than the end of the fourth semester (not counting summer session) of entry into the graduate major program.
    2. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should students be encouraged to take coursework related to or recruited for admission to a dual-title graduate degree program that has not yet been adopted by the student’s graduate major program by means of a program change proposal approved through the Graduate Council curricular review process.
  4. The student's diploma will carry the name of both the graduate major and the dual-title degree program.
  5. Students may complete only one dual-title in addition to a graduate major program of study within a single degree program.

Process

  1. To create a new dual-title graduate program a new program proposal must be approved through the Graduate Council curricular review process. Proposals for new dual-title graduate degree programs must be accompanied by at least one graduate program change proposal from an existing graduate major program to adopt the proposed dual-title. Program proposals to create a dual-title program must include:
    1. a rationale for the creation of the dual-title degree. The proposal must show the advantages to be conferred by the dual-title graduate degree beyond those offered by other credentials that already exist (e.g., graduate minors). For example, a proposal might show the existence of current and sufficient demand by graduate students for such a program, and enhanced employment opportunities for dual-title degree graduates.
    2. a list of courses typically taken. A dual-title program must include a minimum of one graduate course in the dual-title under its own course abbreviation that is required for all students. There is no minimum credit limit required for this course; however, it cannot be independent study (596/896 Individual Studies or other independent study course). Exceptions to the expectation that a dual-title program have at least one course in the dual-title under its own course abbreviation may be evaluated and approved through the Graduate Council curricular review process only when there are valid pedagogical reasons.
    3. expectations for participation by dual-title students (for example, dual-title students may be expected to regularly attend weekly seminars in the dual-title area of study).
  2. To adopt a dual-title graduate program, an existing graduate major submits a program change proposal that must be approved through the Graduate Council curricular review process. Program proposals to adopt a new dual-title graduate degree program must show the advantages to be conferred by the adoption of the dual-title.
    1. Graduate programs that have adopted a dual-title degree must add sections to their graduate student handbooks that outline the nature of the dual-title degree, stipulate the array of courses typically taken, and detail other structural and practical requirements of the dual-title degree. The various formal requirements for achieving a dual-title degree should be stated in the graduate program’s student handbook, along with a rational way to satisfy these requirements while also satisfying the requirements for the graduate major in a timely manner.

Procedure

P1 - Graduate Curricular Proposal Requirements

Revision History

  • Approved by Graduate Council, March 16, 2022. Effective date: Fall 2022 (8/15/2022)
    • Policy revised extensively. Major changes include clarifying the allowance for double counting of credits between the dual-title and major programs and requiring a minimum of one graduate course in the dual-title under its own course abbreviation that is required for all students.
  • Approved by Graduate Council, May 1, 2019. Effective date: Fall 2019 (8/12/2019).
    • This policy was revised as a result of revisions to GCAC-604, which gave dual-title graduate programs additional options concerning the timing of the Qualifying Examination.
  • Revised by Graduate Council, Sept. 17, 2014.
  • Revised by Graduate Council, May 13, 2009.
  • Approved by Graduate Council Nov. 20, 2002.
    • New policy.
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