Dual Degrees

A dual degree program is defined as a graduate student's pursuing 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.

Program of study

The student and advisor(s) in each graduate degree program must plan an integrated course of study to satisfy the requirements of both degree programs. The program plan form for dual degree students must be completed and submitted to the Graduate School within one semester of planning the integrated course of study with both advisors.

Students who are interested in pursuing a concurrent second degree are not required to reapply through the Graduate Admissions Office. Rather, they should contact the graduate studies committee chair and/or the graduate coordinator in the proposed second degree program to gain a clear understanding of the graduate program’s application process and deadlines. 

In some cases, the proposed graduate program will accept application materials originally submitted to the student's original graduate program, which the student may request to be sent to the proposed second graduate program. In other cases, new materials may be required. An approved Dual Degree Program Plan form is then submitted to the Graduate School as a notice of final admission. Students should not submit a Request of Transfer of Graduate Program form when submitting a Dual Degree Program Plan form.

Additional details about the following dual degree options are provided in Section 6.7 and Section 8.5 of the Graduate School Handbook.

Dual Master’s Degree Program

Typically, students will complete a separate master’s examination for each degree program. However, if the following conditions are satisfied, a student pursuing two thesis option master’s degree programs may be required to complete only one master’s examination and one thesis. The graduate studies committee in each graduate program must approve.

Dual Master's/PhD Degree Program[1]

Students pursuing a master’s degree in one graduate program and a PhD in a separate program must submit a Dual Degree Program Plan form to pursue the two degrees concurrently and to be listed on the university’s student database as a dual degree student. Students must satisfy the credit hour requirements for each degree program. A minimum of 50 percent of the hours counted toward the credit hour requirement for each degree must be unique to that degree and cannot be used for dual credit. The graduate studies committee may establish a minimum higher than 50 percent. All other respective degree requirements must be completed independently.  An individual thesis or dissertation cannot be used toward degree requirements for both degrees. 

Dual Master's/Professional Doctorate Degree Program[1]

Students pursuing a master’s degree and a professional doctorate must submit a Dual Degree Program Plan form to pursue the two degrees concurrently and to be listed in the university’s student database as a dual degree student. Students must satisfy the credit hour requirements for each degree program. A minimum of 50 percent of the hours counted toward the credit hour requirement for each degree must be unique to that degree and cannot be used for dual credit. The graduate studies committee may establish a minimum higher than 50 percent. A thesis or final document (professional doctorate) cannot be used toward degree requirements for both degrees.

Dual PhD/Professional Doctorate Degree Program[1]

Students pursuing a PhD and a professional doctorate degree must submit a Dual Degree Program Plan form to pursue the two degrees concurrently and to be listed in the university’s student database as a dual degree student. Students must satisfy the credit hour requirements for each degree program. A minimum of 50 percent of the hours counted toward the credit hour requirement for each degree must be unique to that degree and cannot be used for dual credit. The graduate studies committee may establish a minimum higher than 50 percent. All other respective degree requirements must be completed independently. An individual dissertation or final document (professional doctorate) cannot be used toward degree requirements for both degrees.


[1] Except as stated previously, the doctoral degree program rules in Section VII and the master's program rules in Section VI of the Graduate School Handbook apply to students pursuing the dual degree programs outlined above. Students who are pursuing any of the dual programs detailed above are responsible for the completion of the requirements for each program. Furthermore, 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.