Dual Degree between GSU and Another Institution

Dual Degree Program: Dual degree programs include separate, but affiliated degree programs that are linked through shared curricular offerings and collaborative administrative processes. Dual degrees may be awarded concurrently or one degree may be awarded prior to the second. A dual degree program should be differentiated from a joint degree.

Proposal Format

Proposals should include the BOR cover form and the dual degree program agreement between GSU and the other institution.

The full extent of the collaboration between the partner units and institutions should be clearly articulated in a program agreement, which should include responses to the prompts below, as well and any information required by the originating institutions. The program agreement must also address SACSCOC accreditation compliance requirements detailed in the Collaborative Academic Agreements Policies and Procedures.

  • Degree and major (and relevant concentrations if applicable) for both programs linked through the dual degree program
  • Collaborating departments, colleges, and institutions (listed with their respective program). Include the location of the partner institution.
  • Lead faculty member for each program, with department, email address, and phone number.
  • Date of submission
  • Implementation term
  • Program description and objectives
  • Complete program curriculum (i.e., catalog copy)
  • Program timeline and sample program of study that might be followed by a representative student.
  • Provisions in case a student is not able meet program milestones.
  • Provisions in case a student wishes to end participation in the dual program and complete work on only one degree.
  • Location(s) of program. Indicate percentage of credit hours that will be earned through instruction by GSU.
  • Describe methods of assessing and monitoring courses and components completed through instruction by partner institutions, including the qualifications of the personnel with these responsibilities.
  • Evidence of the need for and interest in this program, including projected enrollments.
  • Anticipated impact on other programs within the offering department, the college, or the university.
  • Additional resource requirements, if any, and budget implications (e.g., personnel costs, library acquisitions, computing/equipment costs, facilities and other operating costs, graduate student support). Intended method of funding additional costs if any.
  • Administration of the program.
  • Process for admitting students to the program.
  • Process for formally identifying dual program students (i.e., assigning program attribute in Banner system).
  • Process for enabling students to take graduate coursework (for undergrad/grad programs).
  • Process for formally admitting students into the graduate program (for undergrad/grad programs).
  • Advisement process and resources for students in the program.
  • Strategies for ensuring adequate communication among the collaborating units.
  • Methods that will be used to assess the effectiveness of the program, including:
    • Student learning outcomes and other program outcomes (e.g., job placements, examination pass rates, etc.).
    • Plans for assessing these outcomes.
  • Offices, departments, committees, and individuals consulted during the development of the proposal.
  • Approval path for program proposal, noting all formal department- or college-level votes.

Approval Process

    1. Proposals should be considered and approved by the originating GSU department, as well as by the collaborating unit at the partner institution. Approval by the institutions at this stage, including any formal vote, should be noted as specified in the program proposal.
    2. Proposals require the approval of the dean of the GSU college that would be responsible for the administration of the new program, as well as of the appropriate official from the partner institution. The college may elect to require that proposals first be reviewed or formally considered by college faculty, a college undergraduate or graduate committee, or some other college-level body. Approval by at this stage, including any formal votes, should be noted as specified in the program proposal.
    3. The dean should send approved proposals to the chair of the University Senate Committee on Academic Programs. Within CAP, the proposal initially will be deliberated on by a subcommittee, most typically the Undergraduate Council or Graduate Council (depending on the level of the program being considered). The subcommittee chairs will include the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness (APIE) in the dissemination of proposals to committee members. The Associate Provost for International Affairs should be included if the proposal involves collaboration with an international partner institution. The Graduate College dean should be included if the proposal involves graduate programs. These university administrators may request that notable issues be addressed before subcommittee review commences, or they may provide feedback on the proposal as part of the subcommittee review process to be addressed before the final proposal goes to the full committee for further review.
    4. The subcommittee may elect to invite the proposing parties to attend a meeting at which the proposal is discussed. The subcommittee will then make a recommendation to CAP. At a meeting to which the proposing parties will be invited, CAP will deliberate and vote on the proposal. At both the subcommittee and full committee levels, requests may be made to the proposing parties for changes to be made to the proposal.
    5. The chair of CAP will notify the APIE in writing of the recommendation of CAP.
    6. If any aspect of the proposed program constitutes a substantive change by BOR or SACSCOC standards, the university may be required to submit additional notifications or seek approval from either or both of these bodies. In such cases, the proposing units may be required to provide additional program information.
    7. The provost, on behalf of the university president, will make the final decision on implementation of the new program.
    8. If the provost’s recommendation is positive, he or she will notify the University System of Georgia (USG) offices of the university’s decision and will forward the program proposal to the USG for reference.
    9. Normally, the program can be officially added to the university curriculum (i.e., added to the record of official programs in the Banner system) after final university approval. (The APIE will send a copy of the official University System acknowledgement to the originating college(s) and the chair of CAP upon receipt.)

Program Policies & Resources


Dual degree programs provide a range of benefits to the institution and to participating students, including

  • enhancing the educational and research opportunities within the university’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs;
  • attracting high-achieving and highly motivated students to the university;
  • providing students with complementary preparation for a variety of career opportunities;
  • enabling accelerated completion of multiple degrees, saving students time and money; and
  • facilitating programmatic interaction across departments and colleges.

Program Types:

Dual programs take two general forms:

  • Dual undergraduate/graduate programs (commonly called 4+1, 3+2, or accelerated programs) enable admitted undergraduate students to begin taking specified graduate courses during their senior year and count the coursework toward both the undergraduate and graduate degree. Current examples include the BS Physics/MAT-Science Education and BA/JD.
  • Dual graduate programs enable admitted students to use specified coursework from one graduate or professional degree program to also count toward another program. Current examples include the MBA/JD, MA-Political Science/MIB).

Students in dual programs are enrolled in each degree program either concurrently or in close succession. Dual degrees may, therefore, be awarded at the same time, or one degree may be awarded prior to the second.

Admissions Processes:

Admission processes for dual programs are developed by the collaborating units in keeping with the following university parameters:

  • On admission to a dual program, students must be identified in the Banner system using a specific program attribute, which can only be applied by authorized college personnel.
  • Undergraduate students in dual undergraduate/graduate programs must be granted access by authorized college personnel to register for graduate coursework at a specified program milestone; and
  • Students in dual undergraduate/graduate programs must complete their undergraduate degree before being formally admitted to the affiliated graduate program.

Program Level Requirements & Student Financial Factors:

University rules regarding the student’s program level and the implications for tuition and fees vary based on the type of dual program. General parameters are as follows:

  • Undergraduate students in dual undergraduate/graduate programs pay tuition at the undergraduate rate regardless of the course level. Undergraduate financial aid (e.g., HOPE, Pell, SEOG) can be used toward specified graduate-level courses under these circumstances.
  • Graduate students in dual undergraduate/graduate programs pay tuition at the graduate or professional rate regardless of the course level. They are eligible for other sources of financial aid, including graduate assistantships and tuition waivers.
  • Students in dual graduate programs may be enrolled concurrently in two graduate or professional programs. In such cases, if the rate of tuition and fees for one program exceeds that of the other, the rates for all coursework will be set at the higher amount.

Grade-Point Average:

The university calculates a variety of official grade-point averages, several of which are relevant to tracking the progress of dual degree students.

  • Undergraduate Institutional GPA: includes all course work taken at Georgia State while an undergraduate, regardless of the course level. In other words, graduate-level course work taken as an undergraduate will be included in the Undergraduate Institutional GPA and not the Graduate Institutional GPA. Transferred courses are not included in this GPA calculation.
  • Graduate Institutional GPA: includes all graduate-level course work taken at Georgia State while a graduate student. Therefore, graduate-level course work taken as an undergraduate would not be included in the Graduate Institutional GPA. Transferred courses are not included in this GPA calculation.
  • Program GPA: includes all course work that fulfills the requirements of a specific degree program (as recorded in the university academic evaluation system), whether taken as an undergraduate or graduate student. In other words, the Program GPA would provide a measure of achievement in either of the two degree programs that make up a dual program. Repeated attempts and other coursework taken but not applicable to the degree program are not included in this GPA calculation. The Program GPA does not appear on the student’s transcript.

See Also:

Academic Affairs Handbook 2.3.9