Graduate students at OSU can seek a concurrent degree or a dual major within one degree.
A dual major is earned with one degree (M.A., M.S., MPH, etc.) and two majors, for example, a master of science in Crop Science and Toxicology. Please review the guidelines for a dual major master's or dual major Ph.D.
A concurrent degree involves pursuing two types of degrees, such as an M.S. and an MBA, at the same time. Please check with your intended programs before pursuing a concurrent degree.
Concurrent master's degrees
This section is taken from the Graduate catalog.
Students who earn two master’s degrees at Oregon State University must complete all degree requirements for each degree. This requires:
For more information, please refer to the Transfer Credit section of the Graduate Catalog.
Guidelines for a dual major at the master's level (two majors, one degree)
- A single degree type is awarded for the dual major, such as MA, MS, EdM, or MF degrees.
- Both of the majors you select must be individually authorized to award the degree.
- You must apply to and be admitted to both majors.
- You must pass any qualifying exams for both majors.
- You must meet all degree requirements for both majors.
- Each major must be acceptable as a minor for the other major.
- A minimum of 60 credits must be posted on the program of study.
Committee and thesis
Your examining committee will consist of two Graduate Faculty members from each major and if a thesis is required by either major, a Graduate Council Representative. Learn how to select a GCR.
If both majors require a thesis then only one thesis, which must be acceptable to both majors, is required. This thesis may be directed by one person qualified in both majors or by co-major professors (one from each major). An approximately equal amount of thesis credit must be taken in each major. The maximum total credit for thesis on the program is 12 credits.
If one major requires a thesis and the other does not then the thesis must be directed by a qualified Graduate Faculty member from the major requiring a thesis. Up to 12 credits of thesis from this major may appear on the program. If the other major requires research in-lieu-of-thesis, up to 6 credits of 501 or 506 in this major may be posted on the program.
If neither major requires a thesis and a major requires research in-lieu-of-thesis, up to 6 credits of 501 or 506 in a major may be posted on the Program of study. A maximum of 12 credits of research in-lieu-of-thesis may be posted on the Program of study if both majors require this option.
All other requirements for the master's degree which are not in conflict with the above requirements apply to the dual major master's degree.
Guidelines for a dual major at the doctoral level
- Only one degree is awarded for dual major doctoral degrees.
- You must be admitted to the doctoral program in each of the two major fields.
- You must fulfill all program requirements (e.g., written preliminary examinations, language requirements) in each of the two major fields.
- On the graduate program the number of hours of coursework should be similar in each of the two fields, and the students should register for approximately the same number of thesis hours in each field.
Committee and dissertation
You have the option of one or two major professors. If one major professor is selected, this professor must be approved to direct doctoral dissertations in both of the two major fields. If two major professors from the two major fields are selected, each must be approved to direct doctoral dissertations in their field.
Your doctoral committee shall consist of a minimum of two Graduate Faculty members from each major and a Graduate Council representative.
The dissertation must show evidence of originality and a real contribution to knowledge in both of the major fields.
All other non-conflicting rules and requirements governing doctoral degrees apply.
Pursuing a second Ph.D.
Students may enroll for a second PhD degree if they have previously obtained a PhD from OSU or elsewhere. Concurrent pursuit of dual PhD degrees is not allowed. In the case of a student pursuing a second PhD degree, requirements for the second PhD must be met without overlap with the first PhD degree including, but not limited to:
- Successful completion of a second preliminary exam
- Separate thesis with no overlap with the first PhD thesis
- A final defense exam for the second PhD
- A different major advisor from the first PhD
- A thesis committee of different faculty than the first PhD degree (although some, but not complete, overlap between committee members would be acceptable in the case of two PhD degrees from OSU)
- And all other requirements for the second PhD degree program.
Courses from the first PhD degree relevant to the second degree may be allowed to transfer between the two degrees. However, the student’s program of study committee must approve all course transfers, should pay particular attention to the relevancy, overlap, and currency of any courses to be transferred from one PhD degree to another, and are advised to proceed conservatively when approving course transfers from a first PhD to a second PhD degree.
[Source: OSU Catalog]