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Additional Major/Degree Policy and Process

This document explains the policy on concurrent multiple majors/ degrees for CALS students as well as the process to apply to complete concurrent majors/degrees.

Policy

Process

Policy

Under certain circumstances a student can earn more than one undergraduate major or degree at the same time.  CALS policy has six requirements:

  1. Majors/degrees significantly different from each other, with at least 15 unique credits in each major/degree.
    • As each major or degree is a separate credential, students must demonstrate that the two (or more) programs are significantly different from each other and represent different areas of study.  Students must identify 15 unique credits in each major/degree, which cannot be used to fulfill requirements in the other major/degree or used in university or college requirements.  These unique credits are verified before the major/degrees are awarded.
  2. Simultaneous completion of major/degree requirements.
    • Students must progress and complete the two majors/degrees at the same time.  CALS graduation policy is to graduate students when they have completed all graduation requirements for one CALS degree program.
  3. Completion of both programs within four years.
    • Applications must demonstrate how the additional program will fit into a student’s existing four-year plan and will not delay a student’s graduation.  This requirement may be appealed, such as in situations where a student cannot complete degree requirements for a single major in four years.
  4. (For multiple undergraduate degree programs only) Thirty additional credits toward graduation.
    • To demonstrate the achievement of two separate degrees, students must complete 30 additional credits toward graduation.  This will generally require 150 total credits, depending on the graduation requirements for the degree programs.  More information about multiple degrees can be found below.
  5. Demonstration of good academic standing.
    • Students must have cumulative and semester GPAs above 2.0 and cannot be on academic probation.  Students who have previously been on probation should discuss their academic improvement in their personal statement.
  6. Submission of all application materials before completing 86 credits.
    • Students must submit their applications before they have completed 86 credits.  This policy ensures that students are intentionally planning for the additional major and have adequate time to connect with faculty, other students, and be involved in both majors.  This requirement can be appealed in certain situations, such as when a student has already completed most of both majors or has brought in a large amount of AP/IB credits.

Process

CALS students should follow the process that best describes their situation.  Appeals for items #3, 5, and 6 above can be addressed in the personal statement, and will be decided on through the overall approval process.

Multiple majors:

CALS students can complete two (or more) majors in CALS, or a major in CALS and certain majors in another college. Majors must either be in the same degree program (e.g., CALS has four degree programs: ALS, ADI, ABM, and ABE); or one major must have an MAJ code (indicated in DARS What-If options).  Students cannot use an MAJ code if the major exists in the same degree program.

Process for multiple majors in CALS

Process for a major in CALS and a major in another school/college

 

Two degrees:

CALS students can pursue two simultaneous degrees when the programs have different degree codes (e.g., ADI, ALS, ABM) and there are no MAJ options. A student who wishes to earn two undergraduate degrees simultaneously (in contrast to earning two undergraduate majors simultaneously) should consult with the Office of Academic Affairs as early as possible in their academic career regarding feasibility.  In many cases, students should complete one degree first and apply as a second degree candidate for the additional degree, or complete one degree and pursue graduate study in the other area of interest.

Process for two degrees in CALS

Process for two degrees from two different colleges (one in CALS and one in another school or college at UW-Madison)

 

Process for multiple majors in CALS

Both majors must be in the same degree program (CALS has four degree programs: ALS, ADI, ABM, and ABE).  To apply for two CALS majors:

  1. The student must receive approval in advance from their current major advisor and the advisor of their desired additional major.  Approval should be documented by the advisors in Advisor Notes.  It is strongly recommended that the student also consult with their advisors in both majors about the eligibility assessment form and personal statement.
  2. The student must complete and submit an eligibility assessment form and personal statement, which will be reviewed by the Office of Academic Affairs in CALS for approval. Eligibility assessment forms and personal statements be submitted via email at academicaffairs@cals.wisc.edu, and students will be given a response within 3 weeks of submission to Academic Affairs. If forms are unclear or not complete, more information may be requested.

The student must complete all degree requirements, all requirements of both majors, and the requirements of the policy above.  These unique credits are verified before the majors are awarded.

The diploma awarded will be based on the certification of completion of the degree. The transcript will note the completion of requirements for majors.

Process for a major in CALS and a major in another school/college

The College of Letters & Science (L&S) and the School of Education currently permit CALS undergraduates to complete certain additional undergraduate majors offered by L&S or the School of Education, which are designated by the code “MAJ” in DARS.  To apply for a second major in another school/college:

  1. The student must receive approval in advance from their CALS major advisor and the advisor of their desired non-CALS major.  Approval should be documented by the advisors in Advisor Notes; some non-CALS advisors may have an online form as well.  It is strongly recommended that the student also consult with their advisors about the eligibility assessment form and personal statement.  [NOTE: The non-CALS major cannot substitute for any major offered by CALS, such as Biology.]
  2. The student must complete and submit an eligibility assessment form and personal statement, which will be reviewed by the Office of Academic Affairs in CALS for approval. Eligibility assessment forms and personal statements be submitted to 116 Agricultural Hall or via email at academicaffairs@cals.wisc.edu, and students will be given a response within 3 weeks of submission to Academic Affairs. If forms are unclear or not complete, more information may be requested.

The student must complete all CALS degree requirements, all requirements of both majors, and the requirements of the policy above.  Note that for the non-CALS major, majors may have additional, non-coursework requirements (e.g. for L&S majors, 15 credits of advanced work in the major in residence at UW–Madison).  Students are not required to complete the other school/college’s degree requirements.  The 15 unique credits for each major are verified before the majors are awarded.

The diploma awarded will be based on the certification of degree completion. The transcript will note the completion of requirements for two or more majors.

Process for two degrees in CALS

CALS has four degree programs: ALS, ADI, ABM, and ABE.  Students approved to declare two of these degree programs must complete at least 30 additional credits, as well as all course and grade point requirements for each degree. Thus, a minimum of 150 credits (for most majors) would be required. Some courses may satisfy requirements for both degrees; however, students must complete 15 unique credits in each major.

  1. The student must receive approval in advance from their current degree program advisor and the advisor of their desired additional degree program.  Students must have an advisor in each degree program.  Approval should be documented by the advisors in Advisor Notes.  It is strongly recommended that the student also consult with their advisors about the eligibility assessment form and personal statement.
  2. The student must complete and submit an eligibility assessment form and personal statement, which will be reviewed by the Office of Academic Affairs in CALS for approval. Eligibility assessment forms and personal statements be submitted to 116 Agricultural Hall or via email at academicaffairs@cals.wisc.edu, and students will be given a response within 3 weeks of submission to Academic Affairs. If forms are unclear or not complete, more information may be requested.  Decisions cannot be guaranteed any sooner than 3 weeks, so students should plan accordingly.

The student must complete all requirements for both degree programs and the requirements of the policy above.  The 30 additional total credits and 15 unique credits will be verified before the degrees are awarded.

The diplomas will be awarded based on the certification of degree completion.  Students will receive a diploma for each degree.

Process for two degrees from two different colleges (one degree in CALS and one degree in another school or college at UW-Madison)

Academic deans in CALS and the other school/college must approve the student's plan. Not all schools/colleges will allow dual degrees. Where allowed, the following additional academic policies shall be followed (additional policies may exist, depending on the other school or college):

  1. Admission into the other college or school shall be based on that particular college or school admission criteria.
  2. A student may seek two baccalaureate degrees simultaneously (in contrast to two majors), each from a different college, provided that the two degree programs differ sufficiently so that the combined total requirements for the two degrees are at least 150 credits and that the student's program is approved by both colleges before the student has earned 86 credits. The degrees from each college will be awarded simultaneously.

Students interested in this path should contact the CALS Office of Academic Affairs early on in their academic career to start the application process, as each situation is unique.

Revised March 24, 2023



Keywordsdouble major, double degree, dual degree, additional, eligibility assessment, application   Doc ID73885
OwnerDiana A.GroupCALS Academic Affairs
Created2017-06-07 13:42:09Updated2023-11-07 16:18:52
SitesCALS Academic Affairs
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