Majors, Dual and Composite
The Educational Policies Committee (EPC) has approved the following definitions for dual majors and composite majors. Effective Fall Semester 2005, all dual majors and composite majors must be advertised and offered in accordance with these new definitions.
Students can earn multiple degrees and majors either within the same college or from two different colleges. They will then receive a diploma for each major. In order to complete a dual major, students must complete all requirements for both of two previously approved majors. These true dual majors do not require any additional approval.A hybrid of two majors (in which students complete only part of the requirements for one or both of the majors) can no longer be considered a dual major, but must be redefined as a composite major (see definintion of composite major below). In a dual major, any combination of two majors is possible and may be described in the General Catalog. Exceptions to this policy include the Interdisciplinary Studies degree, which may not be combined with another major in a dual major, and any combination of majors specifically prohibited by a departmental or college policy. The graduation form will simply list them as first and second majors.No formal statement or advertisement of potential combinations is necessary. Students can simply work with advisors to ensure that they meet all major requirements for both majors. In order for a "degree audit" system to work and to allow departments to track their advisees, students should declare both majors using the Change of Matriculation form. The first major chosen will be called primary in the University's data tracking system, and the second one chosen will be called secondary. Students may need to accumulate credits beyond the 120 credit minimum, in order to complete all requirements for both majors. While each major must remain under the 126 credit limit, the combined credit total for a dualmajor may exceed the 126 credit limit.
Composite majors are single majors that consist of part of the requirements for each of two previously approved stand-alone majors. The two stand-alone majors (from which a composite major is created) may be within the same college or from different colleges; they may even be within the same department.A single degree and major will appear on the transcript and diploma.
Under this definition, students declare a single major (e.g., Composite Elementary Education and Special Education). Each of the composite majors could have a complement, if the two majors being combined are in different departments. For example, Composite Special Education and Elementary Education could be a complement to the example above. This would allow students the choice of which department they desire to identify with and receive advising from. In the case of complementary versions, the requirements must be identical, must be jointly agreed upon by both departments, and must be clearly stated in the General Catalog. It is critical that the requirements be clearly stated and consistent, especially when two departments are involved.A student having a composite major will graduate from the department administering the first major (e.g., a student with a Composite Elementary Education and Special Education major would graduate from the Elementary Education Department).
Departments and advisors need to work with individual students who are currently enrolled in dual majors that actually fall under the new definition of composite majors. In the past, many of these students have been awarded two separate majors, even though some have completed only part of the requirements for one or both majors. If such students are unwilling or unable to complete all of the requirements of both majors or to move to one of the new composite majors, this practice will have to be continued until these students are gone or graduated.
For dual majors (as described above), no additional approval is required. However, departments should review how these are described and advertised and ensure that, when two departments are involved, the requirements for dual majors are presented in a consistent manner.
Departments are required to identify all existing majors that may need to be modified, renamed, or dropped under these new definitions and procedures. The Registrar's Office has been asked to prepare a list to assist in this effort. Majors that are currently described in either (or both of) the General Catalog and/or the major requirement sheets as dual majors, but actually fall under the new definition of composite majors, can be deleted, modified into true dual majors, or "grandfathered" in as composite majors. Existing dual majors being converted to composite majors will be grandfathered in, even if they exceed the 126 credit limit in their current form. To grandfather an existing dual major by converting it to a composite major, a memo from the department head(s), which clearly describes the requirements for the composite major, must be sent to the EPC Curriculum Subcommittee requesting its approval before the Fall 2005 EPC deadline. When the composite major is created from majors residing in more than one department, each department head must sign the memo. Athough EPC approval is required to convert an existing dual major to a composite major, Board of Regents approval is not required. The departments must take responsibility for ensuring that the composite major will be described in a consistent manner in all handouts, publications, and websites, both current and produced in future years. If any changes are made to the requirements, they must be jointly agreed upon by both departments.
Once EPC approval is granted for a composite major, the Registrar's Office will assign a major tracking code and work with the department(s) and the Office of Analysis, Assessment, and Accreditation to attach a CIP (Classification of Instructional Programs) code to the approved composite major. Deletion of a major that is currently called a "dual major" (but does not meet the new definition of a true dual major) will only require a memo to the EPC Curriculum Subcommittee, since such a major was never assigned a major tracking code or CIP code. After the Fall 2005 deadline, the assistant registrar will provide the Provost's Office with an updated list of majors to send to the Board of Regents. The Admissions Office should also be informed of changes, so that entering students will only be enrolled in approved majors.
In the future, any newly proposed composite major must be approved by the Board of Regents as a new major before such a major may be advertised and before enrollment of students in the new major. UnlessBoard of Regents approval is given to the contrary, these majors must meet all requirements for a major and must not exceed the 126 credit limit.
Although the editor of the General Catalog will assist in checking the consistency of dual major and composite major descriptions, the primary responsibility for the dissemination of accurate information resides with the departments involved.
Institutional Reporting Issues
Although the current institutional reports to the Department of Education and the Board of Regents only count the primary major, data has been collected and reported regarding the secondary majors (number and type). Therefore, a department wanting to be recognized for their contribution to true dual majors (when they are listed as secondary for a particular student) can access and report that data. In the case of composite majors, the existence of a complementary listing (composite A and B, as well as CompositeBand A) would probably result in either equal credit for the participating departments, or reflect a conscious preference by the student for priority in the listing.