Concurrent Majors

Concurrent majors allow a baccalaureate degree candidate to earn degrees in more than one Penn State major.

(formerly Dual Degree, Multiple Major, and Simultaneous Degree)
(Senate Policy 60-00)

Concurrent majors allow a baccalaureate degree candidate to earn degrees in more than one Penn State major. When completing concurrent majors, the student simultaneously completes all academic requirements for his/her majors and graduates with two (or more) degrees in the same semester.

 

Entrance Requirements

The majors to be combined may be in the same or different Penn State colleges (e.g., two majors in the College of Education or one major in the College of Education combined with a major in another college, such as the College of the Liberal Arts or Eberly College of Science). Students must meet the entrance requirements for each major. If a student is combining a major that is under administrative enrollment controls, the student must enter the controlled major first and then follow procedures to enter the additional major(s).

 

Distinct Fields of Study

Because the majors must be in “distinct” fields of study, students may not combine a general major and a departmental major in the same college (e.g.-- the general Science major with the Biology major in the Eberly College of Science).

Additional limitations have been implemented by some colleges. Students should contact the appropriate advising center at University Park or Penn State campus for specific information. For example, students in the College of Education’s SECED/Math or SECED/Physics majors may not enroll in the similar MATH/Teach or PHYSICS/Teach majors in the Eberly College of Science, but it would be possible to combine one of these Education majors with one of the other non-teaching options in the MATH or PHYSICS majors in the College of Science. Students in the WL ED/German major also may not enroll in the similar GERMAN/Teach major in the College of Liberal Arts, but it would be possible to combine the Education major with one of the other options in the GERMAN major in Liberal Arts. Since the ENGLISH and SPANISH majors in Liberal Arts do not offer similar teaching options, it is possible for students in SECED/English or WL ED/Spanish to combine these Education majors with any option in the ENGLISH and SPANISH majors in Liberal Arts.

Levels of Study

Concurrent majors must be at the same level of study. Baccalaureate degree candidates may combine only baccalaureate majors, not Associate degrees.

Graduation Requirements

All University, college, and major requirements in effect at the time of entrance to each degree program must be met. With approval from the departments and colleges involved, approved courses may be used to meet the requirements for more than one major. A student must complete all academic requirements for his/her majors and graduate with two (or more) degrees in the same semester. Education students who petition to graduate “without teacher certification” are not eligible for concurrent majors because they will not complete all of the formal degree requirements for the teacher certification major.

Academic Records

  • Degree Audit: At the time a student is admitted to each major, the major and program year are listed on his/her degree audit. Up to four majors can be listed. A separate degree audit is generated for each major.
  • Transcript: A student has one transcript, regardless of the number of his/her concurrent majors. At the time the student is admitted to each major, the major is listed on his/her transcript.
  • Diploma: Students receive a diploma for each degree earned.

Student Action

(Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, Policy M-3)

  1. For the concurrent major (the additional major you are considering adding to your current major), meet with an academic adviser in the appropriate advising center at University Park (or another Penn State campus). Discuss your rationale for combining majors. Obtain information on entrance requirements, retention standards, and degree and graduation requirements. After this initial exploration, if you still want to complete the concurrent major, ask the adviser to refer you to the appropriate departmental adviser.
  2. Print an application for approval of concurrent majors form, complete as much of it as you can, and take it with you to your meeting with the departmental adviser. Brainstorm possibilities for courses that can meet requirements for both majors, and discuss possibilities for course substitutions. Be sure to consider the kind of work that will be demanded in each course and determine the combination of courses that will be compatible in a semester-by-semester plan. On the form, list all the courses needed to complete the concurrent major, and obtain the adviser's signature.
  3. Meet with your assigned adviser(s) in your current major(s). Review your academic plan. On the form, list all the courses needed to complete your current major(s), and obtain the signature(s) of your adviser(s).
  4. Obtain approval and signatures from the department head(s) and appropriate dean(s) for your current major(s) and the concurrent major.
  5. Submit the completed form to the appropriate dean (or representative) in the college offering the concurrent major.

Application Deadline and Approval Notification

Deans have the flexibility to approve a student's request for a concurrent major at any time prior to the student's graduation.

When a request is approved, the dean who received the completed form (step 5 above) reproduces the form and sends a copy to the student, the Registrar's office, and the appropriate dean in the student's other college(s) of enrollment.

Adviser Assignment

When a request is approved, the student is assigned an adviser for the concurrent major in addition the assigned adviser for the current major. The student is responsible for consulting with all of his/her assigned advisers to see that each major's requirements are met.

Cancellation of an Approved Concurrent Major

To cancel an approved concurrent major, the student must provide written notification to the appropriate dean for the cancelled major. When a dean receives this notification, he/she will notify the student's other college(s) and the Registrar's office.