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GCAC-209 Concurrent Degrees


  1. Students enrolled in a Ph.D. program of study who would like to add an M.A./M.S.:
    1. Students enrolled in a Ph.D. program who would like to pursue a master's-along-the-way should inform their graduate program in the first semester of the doctoral program.
      1. A Ph.D. student may enroll in a master's-along-the-way after the first semester in the Ph.D. program, but a master's-along- the-way cannot be added after the Comprehensive Examination has been passed.
    2. Students must be enrolled in the master's-along- the-way no later than the semester prior to the semester in which the master's degree will be conferred.
    3. The program coordinator/program assistant will request the master's degree be added to the student's plan by contacting Graduate Enrollment Services at
    4. The GES Records Coordinator will update LionPATH student by adding the master's plan to the record.
  2. Students enrolled in an M.A./M.S. program of study who want to add the Ph.D. with their program's approval:
    1. The student shall submit a degree application for the Ph.D. program. This application is referred to as a "Change of Degree" application.
      1. This second degree application cannot be submitted for the same semester as the master's degree application.
      2. The student will be asked if they intend to graduate with the master's degree program. They should indicate in the positive for a master's-along-the-way.
      3. There is no application fee charged for the Change of Degree (Ph.D.) application.
    2. The graduate program will have to issue an offer of admission, the student will have to accept said offer, and the Graduate School will have to finalize the Ph.D. admission before the student's record in LionPATH is updated.

Conferring the Master's-Along-the-Way

  1. Students must be enrolled in the master's degree in the semester before the master's degree will be conferred.
  2. In the semester that all degree requirements will be completed and the degree is to be conferred, the student should activate their Intent to Graduate in LionPATH by the published deadline for the graduation semester.
  3. The Professor-In-Charge (PIC) will review the student's record by the established semester deadline.
    1. If the student meets all degree requirements, the PIC will indicate "Grad Major PIC Approved" in LionPATH Graduation Tracking.
    2. If the student does not meet all degree requirements, the PIC will indicate "Grad Major PIC Denied" and add a note as to the reason for the denial in LionPATH Graduation Tracking.
  4. The GES Records Coordinator will review the student's record for compliance for Graduate Council and Graduate School graduation policies and update LionPATH Graduation Tracking appropriately.
    1. If the Coordinator finds any reason that the student will not be approved for graduation, the Coordinator will indicate "Grad GES Problems" and note the reason in Graduation Tracking. If the problems are not resolved the status will be updated to "Grad GES Denied" and the student will be removed from the graduation list.
  5. Upon completion of the Office of the University Registrar's conferral process the official transcript will be updated with the master's conferral, and the diploma will be mailed to the student.

Revision History

  • Approved by The Graduate School, May 11, 2021. Effective immediately.
    • New procedure.
This page was generated on June 16, 2024 at 4:52 PM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.