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This memorandum is under review and subject to change (October 2013)

Memo 35: Concurrent Degree Programs

Concurrent programs are defined as a pair of programs that may be pursued at the UW by a post baccalaureate student resulting in completion of the requirements for either two graduate degrees or a graduate and a professional degree. Rather than sequentially completing first one degree and then the other, the student's time and the University's resources may be conserved by arrangements that permit the student to proceed in a coordinated way toward completion of the degree programs. Graduate School policy allows for both formal and informal concurrent degree programs, as described below. A student may also pursue other options to combine study in two or more fields.

Formal Concurrent Degree Programs

General Policies

Graduate School policy defines a formal concurrent degree program as a curriculum established by two participating academic units resulting in completion of two graduate degrees or a graduate and a professional degree. These specific programs must be formally approved by the Graduate School, and students in formal concurrent degree programs are designated by unique program codes.

The two types of formal concurrent degree programs are as follows:

Graduate/Professional Degrees

Examples of formal graduate/professional concurrent degrees:

  • School of Dentistry: D.D.S. / Master's or Doctoral degree
  • School of Law: J.D. / Master's or Doctoral degree
  • School of Medicine: M.D. / Master's or Doctoral degree
  • School of Pharmacy: PharmD / Master's or Doctoral degree

The Graduate Program Coordinators are the primary representatives of the professional schools and the graduate-degree offering units. They are responsible for providing information and assistance to their students engaged in concurrent programs. Another source of information may be the Graduate Enrollment Management Services Division of the Graduate School.

Admission

An applicant who is not currently a student at the University must apply for admission to both the professional school and the Graduate School.

A student currently in a professional program at the University of Washington must submit a Graduate School Application and fee.

A current graduate student must go to https://www.grad.washington.edu/applForAdmiss/ and submit an application and fee for the second program.

Registration

After initial registration, a student must maintain continuous enrollment by registering as a full-time or part-time student each quarter OR by applying for on-leave status.

Requirements

Requirements for the master's degree are those which are in effect at the time the degree is awarded. All program and Graduate School minimum requirements must be met by appropriate graduate courses. It is the responsibility of the student to submit a written list of courses which apply toward the graduate degree at the time the student applies for the master's degree. This list must be approved by both programs.

Requirements for the doctoral degree are those which are in effect at the time the degree is awarded with the understanding that only approved graduate courses will be applicable.

Graduate/Graduate degrees

The Graduate School also offers formal concurrent degree programs which lead to the awarding of two graduate degrees. The Graduate Program Coordinators in the two programs involved are the primary representatives and are responsible for providing information and assistance to students engaged in concurrent programs.

Examples of formal graduate/graduate concurrent programs:

  • Master of Health Administration / Master of Business Administration
  • International Studies / Epidemiology
  • Master of Arts in International Studies / Master of Public Health

Admission

An applicant who is not currently a student at the University of Washington must submit an application and fee for EACH program. Both programs must offer admission before admission into the concurrent degree program is granted.

Students who are currently enrolled must submit an application and fee for the second program, indicating on the application that the intent is to complete both degrees rather than to transfer to the second program.

Registration

After initial registration, a student must maintain continuous enrollment by registering as a full-time or part-time student each quarter OR applying for on-leave status.

Requirements

To earn two master's degrees in a formal concurrent degree program, a student must complete the equivalent of two Graduate School minimum degree requirements of 36 credits each for a minimum total of 72 credits. If one or both of the participating programs require more than the minimum of 36 credits, those additional credits may be "shared" and applied to both degrees. Further, a maximum of 12 credits from one master's program, earned beyond the 36 credit minimum, may be applied in the second master's program towards the Graduate School minimum of 36 credits required. In this case, the minimum number of additional credits for the second degree, with the 12 approved credits, is 24. In all cases the total minimum required credits remains 72. For formal concurrent degree programs, both programs must approve the shared credits counting toward both degrees. A formal concurrent degree program may allow a shared thesis as described within the formal concurrent degree proposal. The proposing programs should follow the best practices guidelines developed by the Graduate School Council (Concurrent Degrees Shared Thesis Best Practices) and articulate these in the proposal sent to the Graduate School.

For formal Ph.D./Master's concurrent programs, up to 12 credits earned toward a Ph.D. degree may be counted toward a Master's degree in another program with the approval of both degree offering units.

It is the responsibility of the student to submit a written list of courses which apply toward each respective degree at the time he or she files an application for the Master's degree or schedules the general examination. This list must be approved by both programs.


Informal Concurrent Degree Programs

General Policies

Students may pursue two degrees from different departments simultaneously in an informal concurrent degree program. These programs have not been approved as formal concurrent programs and do not have unique program codes, but students have flexibility to 'share' coursework, given the approval of both programs.

Admission

Current graduate students wishing to pursue an informal concurrent degree program must go to https://www.grad.washington.edu/applForAdmiss/ and submit an application and fee for the second program.

Registration

After initial registration, a student must maintain continuous enrollment by registering as a full-time or part-time student each quarter, OR applying for on-leave status.

Requirements

To earn two master's degrees, a student must fulfill Graduate School degree requirements for EACH degree for a minimum of 72 credits. If one or both of the individual programs require more than the minimum of 36 credits, those additional credits may be 'shared' and applied to both degrees. However, the total number of credits must be at least 72 and BOTH programs must approve the shared credits counting toward both degrees. Theses and thesis credits may not be shared.

With the approval of both degree-offering units, up to 12 credits earned toward a PhD degree may be counted toward a Master's degree in another program.

It is the responsibility of the student to submit a written list of courses which apply toward each respective degree at the time he or she files an application for the Master's degree or schedules the general examination. This list must be approved by both programs.

 

Revised: June, 1996