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Combined Programs

Section 8.1 of the Graduate School Handbook

Students in combined programs are enrolled concurrently in the Graduate School and in a professional or 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. 

The following Professional Programs report to the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) and not to the Graduate School. Dual degrees involving two professional degrees also do not report to the Graduate School. However, the following professional programs also offer combined programs (e.g., MS or PhD) with the Graduate School: 

The following undergraduate colleges and schools offer combined programs recognized by the Graduate School:

Admission. Students enrolled in combined programs are admitted by the Graduate School, the Graduate Studies Committee, and the professional or undergraduate college or school.  The Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions receives application material, determines when the application is complete, calculates the official grade point average (GPA), and notifies the applicant of the admission decision. 

Criteria. To be admitted as a graduate student in a combined program, the applicant must submit documentation that demonstrates satisfactory fulfillment of the following admission criteria:

  1. completion of a minimum of 90 undergraduate credit hours, for those enrolling in an undergraduate/graduate combined program. 
  2. a minimum of 3.5 cGPA in all previous undergraduate work for those enrolling in an undergraduate/graduate combined program (including credit hours from other institutions). 
  3. an earned baccalaureate or its equivalent or completion of the first year of a professional program for those enrolling in a professional/graduate combined program. 
  4. a minimum of 3.5 cGPA in all previous undergraduate work for those enrolling in a professional/graduate combined program who hold a completed bachelor’s degree and have not completed one year in the professional program. Students who have completed one year in their professional program must be in good academic standing, admitted to the Graduate School without conditions, and approved by the professional college dean, director, or chair. 
  5. prerequisite training that will enable the student to pursue the graduate degree program selected. 

Students may not be admitted to the undergraduate/graduate or the professional/graduate combined program in conditional or graduate non-degree status. 

Credentials. Applicants must submit the same credentials required of other Graduate School applicants.

Procedures. Applicants must consult the appropriate professional or undergraduate college or school about admission requirements and procedures for its combined program students. The procedures are outlined in Combined Degree Program. The form must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester or term of the combined program. Additional information regarding these procedures may be found on the Graduate School website or by clicking this link.

Advisor. At the time of admission, a Graduate Faculty member is appointed to advise the student as their primary advisor (Section 12.1). This graduate advisor may be the same as the professional or undergraduate advisor. The Graduate Studies Committee and the student’s graduate advisor are responsible for monitoring progress toward the graduate degree. 

Course Load. The number of credit hours a student in a combined program attempts each semester or term is determined by the student and the advisor(s) and must be consistent with the course loads described in Section 3 and by the professional or undergraduate college or school.

Course Credit.  The student’s advisor(s) must designate the courses to be completed for graduate credit only, the courses to be completed for undergraduate or professional credit only, and the courses counted for credit in both programs and communicate that information to the Graduate School. Section 4.0  outlines the criteria for hours to count as graduate credit.

Cumulative Grade-point Averages. Students enrolled in combined programs have two cGPAs, one including all credit counted toward the graduate degree and one including all credit counted toward the professional or undergraduate degree.

Master’s and Doctoral Degree Requirements. A student pursuing a combined program must submit the Application to Graduate on GRADFORMS to the Graduate School no later than the third Friday of the autumn or spring semester (or third Friday of summer term) in which graduation is expected. All master’s and doctoral degree requirements apply to students enrolled in combined programs. 

Graduate Appointments. Students enrolled in professional/graduate combined programs may hold GA appointments (Section 9) or Fellowships and Traineeships (Section 10) provided all eligibility criteria are met. Students enrolled in a bachelor’s/master’s combined program may hold GA appointments that do not involve teaching of other students provided all other eligibility criteria are met. 

Withdrawal. Students who are denied further registration in or who withdraw from the graduate portion of their combined program may either retain their graduate credit in the Graduate School should they reenroll at a later time or transfer that graduate credit earned to the other degree program, subject to the rules of the other college or school.