Second Degrees and Double or Additional Majors

Policy Number: II.19
Policy Level: Operating Policy

Originally Issued: January 13, 2016
Revised: February 12, 2019

Policy Owner: Provost/ VP for Academic Affairs
Policy Implementation: Registrar

I. Policy Statement and Purpose

In accordance with Athens State University’s educational mission, this policy establishes the standards for students who wish to pursue second degrees, concurrent degrees or
double/additional majors at Athens State University. These standards are based on comparable practices at other institutions of higher education, and also recognize the unique status of the University as an upper-division institution.

Federal regulations may not allow a student to receive grant aid for second degrees, concurrent degrees, double or additional majors. Students should consult with Office of Financial Aid at the University to determine financial aid options.

II. Second Degrees

Students Who Earned a Previous Degree at Athens State
Students must fulfill all current requirements for the new degree and major, and must take at least 25% of the requirements for the new degree and major at Athens State. In order to pursue a second degree after the conferral date of the first degree from Athens State, at least 25% of the course requirements for the new degree and major must be unique to the new degree and major, and must not be courses that are major, pre-professional, or general education courses for the first degree and major. If 25% of the course requirements are not unique, the student will not be eligible to receive the second degree/major.

Students Who Earned a Previous Degree at another Institution
Students must fulfill all current requirements for the new degree and major, and must take at least 25% of the requirements for the new degree and major at Athens State.

In either case, upon completion of the second degree, the transcript will note the conferral of the second degree, the date conferred, and the major. For example:

Bachelor of Science: Awarded May 15 2015
Major: Mathematics

In accordance with the University’s Academic Honors and Awards policy, to be eligible for a degree with honor a student must have completed at least 45 undergraduate semester hours at the University, not including coursework excluded by course forgiveness or academic bankruptcy. Degrees with honor are based on performance in all academic work completed at Athens State University, with the exception of any coursework excluded by course forgiveness or academic bankruptcy. Honors awarded for a second degree are not retroactive to the first degree.

III. Concurrent Degrees

Students who have not previously completed a baccalaureate degree can pursue two degrees of different types (i.e., B.A. and B.S., or B.A. and B.S.Ed., or B.S. and B.S.Ed.) concurrently only if at least 25% of the requirements for one of the degrees are unique to that degree, and are not major, preprofessional, or general education courses for the other degree. In addition, the total hours for both degrees must be at least 155 hours. If 25% is not unique or a total of 155 hours cannot be identified for the two degrees, the student is not eligible to earn both degrees, and can only be awarded an additional major (see below).

If 25% is unique and a total of 155 hours can be identified, the student is eligible for and can be awarded both degrees simultaneously upon the completion of all requirements for both degrees and majors. Students wishing to pursue concurrent degrees must confer with their advisor(s), complete the appropriate forms to declare the concurrent degrees, and receive the necessary approvals as indicated by the forms before the concurrent degree declarations are added to the permanent academic record.

Upon completion of the concurrent degrees, the transcript will note the conferral of both degrees, the date conferred, and the majors. For example:

Bachelor of Science: Awarded May 15 2015
Major: Chemistry

Bachelor of Arts: Awarded May 15 2015
Major: History

In accordance with the University’s Academic Honors and Awards policy, to be eligible for degrees with honor a student must have completed at least 45 undergraduate semester hours at the University, not including coursework excluded by course forgiveness or academic bankruptcy. Degrees with honor are based on performance in all academic work completed at Athens State University, with the exception of any coursework excluded by course forgiveness or academic bankruptcy. Honors are not awarded separately for the concurrent degrees; if a student is eligible
for honors based on all institutional coursework for both degrees, the honors awarded will be the same for both degrees.

IV. Concurrent Double or Additional Majors

Double Majors
Students can pursue two majors under the same degree (e.g., both are B.S. programs) concurrently only if at least 20 hours for one of the majors are unique to that major, and are not major, preprofessional, or general education courses for the other major. If at least 20 unique hours cannot be identified between the majors, then a double major is not possible or allowed.

If 20 unique hours can be identified, then upon completion of the requirements for the degree and both majors, the transcript will note the conferral of one degree, the date conferred, and both majors. For example:

Bachelor of Science: Awarded May 15 2015
Major: Chemistry
Major: Mathematics

Students wishing to pursue double majors must confer with their advisor(s), complete the appropriate forms to declare the double majors, and receive the necessary approvals as indicated by the forms before the double major declarations are added to the permanent academic record.

Additional Majors
Students can pursue two majors under different degrees (e.g., one major is a B.S. program, the other a B.A. program) concurrently only if at least 20 hours for one of the majors are unique to that major, and are not major, pre-professional, or general education courses for the other major. If at least 20 unique hours do not exist between the majors, then the additional major is not possible or allowed.

If 20 unique hours can be identified, then upon completion of the requirements for the degree and both majors, the transcript will note the conferral of one degree (the primary degree as specified by the student when the additional major is approved), the date conferred, and both majors. For example:

Bachelor of Science: Awarded May 15 2015
Major: Chemistry

Additional Major Only: Awarded May 15 2015
Major: History

The additional major is shown as an additional major only, with no indication that the major is associated with the degree conferred. Students wishing to pursue additional majors must confer with their advisor(s), complete the appropriate forms to declare the additional major, and receive the necessary approvals as indicated by the forms before the additional major declarations are added to the permanent academic record.

V. Responsibility for this Operating Policy

Policy Owner

As part of the initial approval of this policy by the President and subsequent to the original dissemination of the policy, the President has assigned the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs as the policy owner for the ongoing evaluation, review, and approval of this policy. Subsequent reviews and revisions to this policy must be in accordance with approved operating policy procedures and processes.

This policy will be reviewed every three years or more frequently as needed and updated/published in the University’s Policy Library.

Responsibility for Policy Implementation

The President has assigned the responsibility of implementing this policy to the Registrar, under the direction of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Support Services, and the Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management.