Accelerated Dual Degree programs allow a student to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in less time than it would normally take to complete each degree separately.
Most Accelerated Dual Degree programs require completion of freshman and sophomore course work at RIT before applying for admission.
Students in Accelerated Dual Degree programs generally double count 6-9 credit hours in both degrees.
Supporting rationale for guidelines follows below the guidelines.
UPDATED INFORMATION REGARDING ACCELERATED UNDERGRADUATE/GRADUATE DUAL DEGREES (October 2020)
View/download important information regarding guidelines for approval of accelerated (dual) degrees.
Accelerated Dual Degree proposals should allow students to complete their BS degree along the way in 4 years (or five for five year undergraduate programs) and enroll in the courses that would be double counted during the second to last year of the combined accelerated program. Undergraduate degree completion and certification within the 150% period will retain eligibility for the Direct Loan interest subsidy.
The guidelines for registering non-professional dual degree programs have changed. New York State Education Department’s Office of College and University Evaluation (OCUE) has advised us that:
- If the undergraduate and graduate programs comprising the dual degree are already registered with NYSED as separate programs and neither program leads to professional licensure, then RIT does not need to register a “new” dual degree option made up of the these already registered degrees.
- If building the dual degree from the ground up with degrees that are not already registered with NYSED, then registration with the Office of College and University Evaluation (OCUE) within NYSED is required. In this case, separate degree proposals should be submitted along with the request to register a dual degree using the NYSED “Change or Adapt a Registered Program” form.
- Note: Approval from the NYSED Office of the Professions (OP) is required for dual degrees if either the graduate or undergraduate program is considered a professional program and/or leads to licensure.
In both cases, RIT remains responsible for ensuring that dual degrees are subject to internal curriculum review and approval, and that the established guidance from NYSED on the use of double counting credit in these degrees is used as follows:
Double Counting Credits:
Dual Degrees where the undergraduate and graduate component are Non-Engineering Programs
- For programs that are 120 semester credits for the bachelor’s degree and 30 semester credits for the master’s degree, up to 6 credit hours from the master’s degree can be double counted in the bachelor’s degree.
- For programs that are 123 semester credits or more for the bachelor’s degree and 30 semester credits for the master’s degree, up to 9 credits can be double counted.
Dual Degrees that include an Engineering Program (requirements from the NYS Engineering Board)
- To double count credits, the number of credits double counted must align to the number of credits in the bachelor program that exceed 120 semester credits. For example: if the bachelor is 126 semester credits, then 6 credits from the master can be double counted. If the bachelor program is 120 semester credits, no master’s courses can be double counted.
- Therefore, the number of double counted credits will have to be determined on a program by program basis dependent upon the number of credits in the standalone bachelor’s program.
RIT Approval Process
- Departments should prepare requests for a dual degree program using this proposal form with Table 1 included.
- Proposed dual degrees must be reviewed and approved by:
- The department faculty and department chair(s) from the contributing undergraduate and graduate degree programs
- The Department Curriculum Committee
- The College Curriculum Committee
- Dean of the College
- Once the steps #1 and #2 are completed, the proposed dual degree should be forwarded by the Dean to the Office of the Provost.
- The final decision for approval of a dual degree resides with the Provost.
NEW ACCELERATED BS/MS GUIDELINES (Effective September 2015):
- Accelerated Dual Degree students will be classified as graduate students once they are certified for the bachelor’s degree or once they reach the credit hours* that are required for the bachelor’s degree portion of the accelerated program, whichever occurs first.
- While a student is still classified as an undergraduate all courses will be placed on the undergraduate record/transcript.
- Once classified as a graduate student, courses taken from that point forward will be reviewed each term and courses applicable to the bachelor’s degree will be placed on the undergraduate record/transcript and all graduate courses will be placed on the graduate record/transcript.**
- Also, once a student is classified as a graduate student, that determination made by the Registrar’s Office will continue to be used consistently throughout campus for external reporting, enrollment status, financial aid eligibility, tuition calculation, and eligibility for employment as graduate assistants for example. It is important to note that enrollment in graduate level courses will be reported to the Department of Education so it will be important to ensure that those students are enrolled in graduate level courses.
- We are not asking already approved programs to go through major curriculum modifications. The Registrar’s office will continue to conduct the individual evaluation described above and notify other offices on campuses when students are determined to be graduate students, based on our current understanding related to their program progress.
- We do expect that newly developed accelerated dual degrees will make every possible effort to lay out a curriculum that will allow students to complete their BS degree along the way in 4 years (or five for five year undergraduate programs) and enroll in the courses that would be double counted during the second to last year of the combined accelerated program. Undergraduate degree completion and certification within the 150% period will retain eligibility for the Direct Loan interest subsidy.
*The credit hours threshold is calculated by adding credits earned and credits in progress. In general, the threshold has been 120 to 123 credit hours.
** This change is mandated by the Department of Education.
SUPPORTING RATIONALE FOR GUIDELINES:
This briefing provides clarification of the proposed path for “new” accelerated degrees. Federal reporting requirements have historically required that RIT designate whom we count as an undergraduate student and whom we count as a graduate student. New federal requirements require more specific enrollment information on students who are enrolled in accelerated undergraduate/graduate degree programs. There is a unique impact on the students who are enrolled in these programs, are considered to be graduate students, and who have not yet completed undergraduate degree requirements. Several offices have worked through the issues and have developed an approach that will allow RIT to be in compliance without penalizing students who are participating in these accelerated programs.
As approved by New York State Education Department, students in the accelerated dual degree programs generally double count 6-9 credit hours in both degrees. In the past, RIT has established a process for determining at what point students in accelerated (dual) degree programs are considered to be graduate students. The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (Public Law 112-141) added a new provision to the federal Direct Loan statutory requirements that limit a first-time borrower’s eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans to a period not to exceed 150% of the length of the borrower’s education al program. Under certain conditions, the provision also causes first-time borrowers who have exceeded the 150% limit to lose the interest subsidy on their Direct Subsidized Loans. The resulting new federal requirements mandate a change in how RIT reports enrollment for students enrolled in those credit hours. Specifically, the enrollment information provided must now include information about each student’s academic program length. Program-level enrollment data is now required each time RIT reports enrollment.
Currently, an individual evaluation of each student record is conducted by the Registrar’s Office once a student reaches the credit hour threshold* and the classification is based on a determination that the student is essentially a graduate student who might be missing one undergraduate requirement, for example. The determination made by the Registrar’s Office is used consistently throughout campus for external reporting, enrollment status, financial aid eligibility, tuition calculation, and eligibility for employment as GRA’s, for example.
We realize that particularly in the Engineering discipline that our undergraduate programs are 5 year programs and that in many cases students do not complete the BS and MS until their final term at RIT. This is occasioned by the need for the multidisciplinary seminar course in the last year and in some programs other important program requirements.
What we are asking new program proposers to do is to make every possible effort to lay out a curriculum that would allow students to complete their BS degree along the way in 4 years (or five for five year undergraduate programs) and enroll in the courses that would be double counted during the second to last year of the combined accelerated program. Undergraduate degree completion and certification within the 150% period will retain eligibility for the Direct Loan interest subsidy.
In light of this new context, the following guidelines will take affect September 1, 2015.
RIT ACCELERATED DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS:
- Industrial Engineering/Industrial and Systems Engineering
- Industrial Engineering/Engineering Management
- Industrial Engineering/Sustainable Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Engineering
BS/MS (One discipline)
- Computer Engineering
- Computer Science
- Computing Security
- Criminal Justice
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Science
- Game Design and Development
- Mechanical Engineering
- Physician Assistant
- Software Engineering
BS/MS (Two disciplines)
- Applied Mathematics/Applied and Computational Mathematics
- Applied Statistics and Actuarial Science/Applied and Computational Mathematics
- Applied Statistics and Actuarial Science/Applied Statistics
- Bioinformatics and Computational Biology/Bioinformatics
- Biomedical Engineering/Science, Technology, and Public Policy
- Business Administration - Accounting/Accounting
- Chemical Engineering/Science, Technology, and Public Policy
- Chemical Engineering/Materials Science and Engineering
- Chemistry/Materials Science and Engineering
- Computational Mathematics/Applied & Computational Mathematics
- Computer Engineering/Science, Technology, and Public Policy
- Computer Engineering Technology/Computer Science
- Computer Science/Computing Security
- Computer Science/Software Engineering
- Computing Security/Science, Technology and Public Policy
- Electrical Engineering/Science, Technology and Public Policy
- Electrical Mechanical Engineering Technology/Manufacturing and Mechanical Systems Integration
- Environmental Science/Science, Technology and Public Policy
- Environmental Sustainability, Health & Safety/Environmental Health & Safety Management
- Industrial Engineering/Industrial and Systems Engineering
- Industrial Engineering/Science, Technology and Public Policy
- Industrial Engineering/Sustainable Engineering
- International & Global Studies/Science, Technology, and Public Policy
- Manufacturing Engineering Technology/Manufacturing and Mechanical Systems Integration
- Mechanical Engineering/Science, Technology, and Public Policy
- Mechanical Engineering Technology/Manufacturing & Mechanical Systems Integration
- Microelectronic Engineering/Material Science and Engineering
- Microelectronic Engineering/Science, Technology, and Public Policy
- Physics/Astrophysical Sciences and Technology
- Physics/Materials Science and Engineering
- Physics/Science, Technology and Public Policy
- Public Policy/Science, Technology, and Public Policy
- Software Engineering/Computer Science
- Software Engineering/Computing Security