Dual-Title Graduate Degree Programs
This policy describes the process by which graduate students may apply and be admitted to a dual-title graduate degree program.
The academic goal of this policy is to define the requirements of a dual-title graduate degree program.
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.
- 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.
- A dual-title graduate degree program cannot exist as a separate (stand-alone) graduate degree program at Penn State.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Students must apply and may be admitted to an existing dual-title graduate degree program only after being enrolled in an existing graduate program.
- 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.
- 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.
- The student's diploma will carry the name of both the graduate major and the dual-title degree program.
- Students may complete only one dual-title in addition to a graduate major program of study within a single degree program.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.