Graduate Minors, Interdisciplinary Specializations, and Graduate Certificates

Customize your degree with low-credit hour minors, specializations, dual and combined degrees, and certificates.

Talk with your advisor about what might be right for you, your research and career interests, and your degree completion timeline.

Graduate Minors, Interdisciplinary Specializations, and Graduate Certificates

These degree options are open to any graduate student interested in developing a secondary expertise. Some of these options are available for as few as 10 hours of graduate-level course work in at least three courses outside the student's home program. 

A graduate minor requires that at least one program be outside a student's home program.

A graduate interdisciplinary specialization (GIS) involves two or more graduate programs outside the student's home program.

Completion of a graduate minor, GIS, or certificate program is noted on the student's transcript. 

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Graduate Minors

Graduate Interdisciplinary Specializations

Graduate Certificates

Combined Degrees

Students in combined programs are enrolled concurrently in the Graduate School and in either a professional or an undergraduate college or school.
The purpose of combined programs is to give outstanding students an opportunity to pursue simultaneously two degrees in different colleges or schools by reducing the amount of time required to complete both sets of degree requirements.

Programs Offering Combined Degrees

The professional colleges and schools offering combined programs with the Graduate School include Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Optometry, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine.

The undergraduate colleges and schools offering combined programs with the Graduate School include Agriculture, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Arts, Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Education and Human Ecology, Environment and Natural Resources, Nursing, and Public Health.

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Dual Degrees

A dual degree program is defined as a graduate student's pursuit of any two graduate degrees concurrently, with the exception of two PhD programs. A dual degree program can be the concurrent pursuit of a master’s degree and any other graduate degree (master’s, PhD, or a professional doctorate) or a PhD and a professional doctorate. The dual program does not apply to students pursuing a master’s and a PhD in the same graduate program. Students cannot pursue two PhD programs concurrently at Ohio State.

When a tuition difference exists between the two enrolled programs, students will be charged the higher tuition rate for all enrolled courses in a given semester. Students who are on a graduate fellowship cannot be enrolled as a dual degree student while in the fellowship period.

All master’s and doctoral exams must remain unique to their respective program degree requirements and cannot be used as substitutes for the second program.
Per the dual degree being pursued, students must also abide by all other rules and requirements for doctoral degree programs (Section 7) and/or master's programs (Section 6).

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A graduate specialization represents a significant, widely recognized division of an overall field of study that is broader than an individual faculty member's area of interest or an individual student's thesis or dissertation topic.

The specialization must be selected from a list of specializations already approved for the student’s graduate degree program. 

The student, together with his or her advisor, may select an approved specialization and forward a request for approve to the local graduate studies committee.

If the graduate studies committee approves the student's request, the committee forwards the request, together with notice of approval, to the Graduate School.

Upon the student's graduation, the Graduate School posts the graduate specialization in the student’s permanent record so that it appears on the student’s Ohio State transcript with the student’s graduate program.

Example: Psychology
Specialization in Counseling Psychology

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Dissertations & Theses

Doctoral Exams, Master's Examination, Graduation Requirements