At the University of Oregon (UO), the term “concurrent graduate degrees” is used when a graduate student is admitted and enrolled in two degree programs at any point in his or her studies. Here are some examples:
A student pursues a master’s degree in Environmental Studies and a Law degree (JD) over the course of four years. He is awarded both degrees in the same term.
A student pursues a master's degree in Political Science with a full credit load and a master's degree in Economics with a reduced credit load. She is awarded the Political Science degree in a given term and continues on and receives the Economics degree at a later date.
While pursuing a doctoral degree in Education Leadership, a student also opts to pursue a master's degree in Special Education. The doctoral degree takes longer to complete and the master's degree is awarded first.
A student pursues a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Public Administration (MPA). She alternates her focus by enrolling full time in MBA-related courses for one year and enrolling full time in MPA-related courses the next year. After completing the requirements for both courses, she is awarded both degrees in the same term.
Currently, all concurrent graduate degree programs are considered to be “student-initiated.” (Faculty interested in formalizing a concurrent degree program should see below.) The Graduate School encourages any student who is interested in pursuing a concurrent degree to contact one or both of the relevant academic units. Any student who wishes to create a concurrent degree program outside of the formalized process is expected to follow this process:
Gain admittance to both degree programs via the UO Online Application. See "About the Admission Process and Timeline" below.
As soon as possible after being admitted to both programs--but at least three terms prior to the term in which the student would complete either or both degrees--meet with a faculty advisor in each of the cooperating units. Each advisor must approve a course of study and a degree completion plan leading to the concurrent degree. This course of study will establish the requirements that must be completed for each unit, explicitly noting which courses will count toward one degree or the other, and which might count toward both.
The Declaration of Concurrent Degrees form must be completed, printed, signed, and submitted to the Graduate School as soon as the student has been admitted to both programs, and no later than three terms prior to the term in which the student would complete either or both degrees.
Beginning with the term of declaration of concurrent degrees, tuition for students pursuing concurrent degrees will be assessed at a rate based on the average of the tuition of the two academic units. This is clearly communicated on the Declaration of Concurrent Degrees form and on the Graduate School webpage for students, Pursuing Concurrent Degrees .
In the case that a student completes one degree prior to the other, the tuition rate for subsequent terms is that of the remaining degree program.
Once the student is concurrently enrolled in more than one program, the college in which each program resides will receive 50% of its usual tuition. If there are more than two units involved, a proportional formula will be used. For student-initiated concurrent degrees in which both majors reside in a single school/college, the dean of that school/college is responsible for determining the revenue flow to the programs.
There will be no retroactive revenue adjustments for courses taken before declaration of concurrent degrees.
About the Admission Process
Formal admissions via the UO online application is required. Admissions practices are left to the departments’ discretion. However, departments must have an equitable and fair practice/policy established for admitting second degree-seeking students to their program. For example, the department may decide it will not admit students at all, it may decide to admit only during their current annual admissions cycle, or it may elect to admit less formally when space is available. Departments must also establish a list of required materials for the admission of second degree-seeking students.
Students must be admitted with enough time to spend at least two full terms as an admitted student in their second master’s degree program. This expectation is in keeping with the current University (Graduate School) residency policy for master’s students. It also sets an expectation for good practices in advising by providing departments with adequate time and opportunity to advise students pursuing a second master’s degree in their program. This policy recognizes that post-baccalaureate degrees involve more than the completion of coursework.
Formalizing a Concurrent Degree Program
While there are currently no formal concurrent graduate degree programs at the University of Oregon, institutional policies governing the development and funding for concurrent degrees do not discourage innovative educational opportunities such as concurrent degrees. Given the importance of interdisciplinary learning and the role concurrent degrees play in the professional development of our students, these policies aim to create incentives for the formalization of such programs while retaining flexibility for student-initiated (non-formalized) programs.
At this time, all concurrent degree programs are considered "student-initiated" programs, including those that have historically been popular with students (e.g., JD/International Studies, MBA/MPA). Schools/colleges and departments are encouraged to formalize these more popular concurrent degree programs by creating a new major for the concurrent program.
Decisions related to academic requirements should reside primarily in our academic units, and tuition and revenue decisions should reward the partnerships necessary for the success of these programs. To this end, tuition setting and allocation of revenue for formalized concurrent degree programs should be made at the time that these programs are approved by the deans who oversee the cooperating units, in consultation with the Vice Provost for Budget and Finance and the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies or Dean of the Graduate School.
To view information for students about concurrent graduate degrees, please visit the Policies and Procedures section of this website.