D01.2 Undergraduate Double Major Policy

I. Definitions

A double major is a program of study that meets the requirements of two distinct majors in a single Bachelor's degree. The program of study consists of courses required to meet the degree requirements for each of the two majors, together with the liberal arts and science courses needed to meet the general education requirements for the degree. The minimum number of credit hours required for a double major equals the total number of credit hours required for the major comprising the larger number of credit hours for the degree.

Students may apply the same coursework towards the fulfillment of requirements for both majors. Students who complete the requirements for a double major receive a single diploma that acknowledges both majors.

Because a double major program leads to a single Bachelor's degree, each of the two majors must be associated with the same degree type (i.e., both must be registered as a BS degree or both must be registered as a BFA degree). 

II. Requirements for a Double Major Degree

  1. The option of earning a double major degree is available to matriculated baccalaureate students only.

  2. Both majors in a double major degree must be registered with NYS by RIT as the same degree type (i.e., both must be BS or both must be BFA). The degree type for the double major will be the same as that of the two component majors.

  3. A double major degree requires the approval of the heads of both degree programs, who should take into consideration issues such as potential scheduling conflicts, prior to approving the program of study.

  4. A double major degree must satisfy the graduation and accreditation requirements for both degree programs, consistent with the following guidelines and restrictions.

  5. The student must select one major as their primary program of study, which will be reflected by their program code in the Student Information System.

  6. The student’s immersion/minor must be compatible with the general education requirements for one major.  However, the immersion can be a subset of the courses required for the other major.

  7. The same coursework may be used to meet the requirements of both majors; that is, “double counting” is allowed as long as the heads of both degree programs approve it.  In particular, students may use requirements from one major to fulfill electives in the other major, and vice versa.

  8. When designing a double major program, students and advisors should be guided by New York State Education Law, which requires that baccalaureate degrees consist of a minimum amount of liberal arts and science content (no fewer than 60 credit hours of liberal arts and sciences for the BS or 30 credits for the BFA) and a set of related courses in the major (no fewer than 60 credit hours for the BS or 90 credits for the BFA).

III. Procedures for a Double Major Degree

  1. The student’s program of study for the double major should be developed in consultation with the appropriate personnel of the two degree programs and approved by the heads of both degree programs. In the approval process, careful planning is needed to ensure that the student can complete all the requirements for both majors in a timely fashion.

  2. Students must complete the Undergraduate Double Major Authorization Form, which is available from the Registrar’s Office, and submit the completed form to the Registrar’s Office with the approval and signatures of both program department heads. One of the majors must be designated as the primary program of study on the form.

  3. Supporting documentation and course planning worksheets, which clearly show how the coursework and credit hour requirements for each program will be met, must accompany the Authorization Form.

  4. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the certification officer in each of the two degree programs to verify that the agreed upon graduation requirements for their portion of the double major have been satisfied

Responsible Office:
The Faculty Senate and Office of Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Inquiries may be directed to:
Faculty Senate - fsenate@rit.edu
Office of the Provost - academicaffairs@rit.edu 

Effective Date:
August 2013

Policy History:
Approved February 3, 2013
Revised December 4, 2014 section II.F