Policy - Duplicate Degrees

The awarding of the same degree-major (academic plan code) to the same student more than one time is not permitted.

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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.

Policy History

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.

Keywordsduplicate, degree, dual   Doc ID107138
OwnerKaren M.GroupAcademic Planning
Created2020-11-12 12:41 CSTUpdated2021-10-21 10:46 CST
SitesAcademic Planning
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