A dual degree program is one in which the student works towards satisfying the academic requirements for two distinct degree types in an integrated fashion. Currently at RIT at the undergraduate level, this option applies solely to those students who aspire to earning the Bachelor of Science (BS) and the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in a single program of study. Students may apply the same coursework towards the fulfillment of the requirements for both degrees. To achieve the academic depth and breadth implied by a program of study that results in the awarding of two undergraduate degrees, a dual degree program consists of substantial additional coursework as compared to that required for a double major; namely, a minimum of 30 additional semester hours beyond the credit hours required for the degree program comprised of the smaller number of credits. Students who successfully complete a dual degree program receive two diplomas, one for each degree earned.
II. Requirements for a Dual Degree
The following requirements apply to students who want to earn a BS degree and a BFA degree in a single, integrated program of study.
The option of earning a dual degree is available to matriculated baccalaureate students only.
The dual degree program must satisfy all the graduation and accreditation requirements for both degree programs, including an immersion for each degree. However, students may use requirements from one major to fulfill electives in the other major, and vice versa.
The dual degree program must include a minimum of 30 additional semester hours beyond the credit hours required for the degree program comprised of the smaller number of credits.
The same coursework may be used to meet the requirements of both degrees; that is, “double counting” is allowed as long as the heads of both degree programs approve it.
III. Procedures for a Dual Degree
The program of study for the dual degree will be developed by the student 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 degrees in a timely fashion.
Students must complete the Dual Undergraduate Degree 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.
At the appropriate time, in advance of degree certification and graduation, the student must submit an Application for Graduation form for each of the two degree programs. The student should indicate on each form that he/she is also a candidate for a different degree in another program, and list that degree explicitly.
Students should consult with their financial aid counselor before deciding to attempt a program leading to a dual degree, to carefully assess the impact of such a decision on one’s eligibility for financial aid. Because dual degree programs invariably require substantial additional coursework beyond that for either degree, students may need to enroll in extra terms as an undergraduate to complete the additional coursework needed to earn both degrees.
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