Policy - Duplicate Degrees
This is a summary of the policy on Duplicate Degrees. Click here to view the official policy in its entirety in the UW-Madison Policy Library.
The awarding of the same UW-Madison degree-major to the same student more than once is not permitted. On occasion academic programs seek to award the same student the same degree-major credential twice. In such cases, the student would see the identical credential appear twice on their transcript and they would receive two identical diplomas.
Duplicate degree-major awards are prohibited because they are inconsistent with the conditions under which programs are authorized. A degree-major is authorized with a single set of learning outcomes and a district curriculum. If a student has met those learning outcomes and fulfilled requirements once, there is no value to the student to repeat the degree-major.
This prohibition on duplicate degree-majors should be a consideration at the time a student enrolls in a degree-major program at UW-Madison. Students who seek additional coursework in the same discipline must either enroll as special/non-degree students to complete coursework or enroll in a special committee degree (graduate-level) or individual major (undergraduates).
Degree-major: Combination of the degree and the major, represented in the academic plan code, that signifies a credential that has been authorized for UW-Madison by the UW System Board of Regents.
Academic Plan Code: A code representing a formally approved academic offering such as a major, minor, or certificate within an academic career and program. This code corresponds to the degree-major in which a student is enrolled and awarded.
Individual Major: An individually tailored curriculum for undergraduates that fulfils major requirements; offered by College of Agricultural and Life Science, School of Education, School of Human Ecology, College of Letters & Science,
Special Committee Degree: An individually tailored curriculum for graduate students (i.e., master’s and PhD students) for students whose needs cannot be met within an established and formally approved degree-major program.
This policy applies to all degree-seeking students at UW-Madison.
The awarding of the same degree-major (academic plan code) to the same student more than one time is not permitted. Students who seek to earn additional coursework or an additional degree-major for a degree-major they already completed must either enroll as a special/non-degree student for coursework or enroll in an individual major (undergraduates) or special committee degree (graduate students). The prohibition on awarding the same degree-major more than once is best prevented by not allowing enrollment in the same degree-major (plan code) a student previously completed, including enrollment in distinct subplans/options.
An additional administrative update was made October 2021 by Academic Planning and Institutional Research.
An administrative clarification of existing policy was supported by the Academic Planning and Institutional Research/Office of the Provost, Office of Graduate Education/The Graduate School, and Student Records/Office of the Registrar; November 2007. A prohibition on duplicate degrees was endorsed by the Graduate Faculty Executive Committee and the University Academic Planning Council at their respective December 2007 meetings.