2022-2023 Bulletin: Policies and General Information 
    Sep 22, 2023  
2022-2023 Bulletin: Policies and General Information [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Enrollment in Multiple Programs

Claremont Graduate University offers students an opportunity to establish graduate expertise in two related fields at the same time by undertaking concurrent degrees or an interfield degree.  Note that the terms “dual degrees” (two degrees) and “interfield” (two programs, one degree) apply only to enrollments entirely at CGU.

Programs are also offered in collaboration with other institutions and are called “joint programs.”

General Guidelines

The following qualifications apply to all dual and interfield programs.

Admissions Approval.  The addition of any program to a student’s enrollment requires the approval of the admissions committee of the new program.  A Degree Program Change Request form, available from the Registrar’s Form Index webpage, must be presented to both the student’s existing and new departments.  Departments reserve the right to require additional information from the applicant, including new test scores and letters of recommendation specific to the field being added. Policies and limitations in the Program Changes  section of the Bulletin apply.

Transfer Credit.  Transfer credit  policies apply.  Limitations apply to transferring credit for multiple programs, including the total number of units which can be transferred into CGU.  Coursework previously accepted from an external institution for one degree program may not be transferred again for another CGU degree, although the total units of a completed degree at CGU may, with limitations, be applied toward another degree from CGU.  See the Transfer Credit Limitations sections specific to dual degrees and interfields. 

Crediting Units for Degree Completion.  Units earned at CGU may be used toward completion of requirements in no more than two degrees. Other restrictions may apply.

Degree Completion Requirements.  Students enrolled in multiple degrees or in an approved interfield degree program are required to complete all requirements for the two degrees or fields.  Within the first semester, either a Dual Degree Coursework Proposal form or an Interfield Coursework Proposal form (available on the Registrar’s Form Index webpage) should be completed to specify requirements which must be met to receive the degree(s).  The appropriate courework proposal form must be filed in the Registrar’s Office. 

Dual Degrees

Definition of Dual Degree

A dual degree program is a program of study pursued collaboratively between two departments or programs, leading to the award of two separate degrees in different fields/disciplines. With some double-counting of overlapping units, a dual degree program supports students with transdisciplinary academic interests and career goals, while saving time and total cost of the two separate degrees. Dual degrees may be pursued only between disciplines that are sufficiently different as to require separate curricula; dual degrees are not permitted between disciplines that are so close in subject content that almost any course in one area would satisfy a requirement in the other. Generally, dual degrees are not permitted for two degrees offered through the same academic department except by petition1. Examples of dual degrees are two Masters Degrees, a Masters/Ph.D., or an M.B.A/Ph.D.

Dual degrees differ from two other types of degree:

  • an “interfield” degree, which is a single degree based on an integrated program of interdisciplinary work involving two or more fields, such as the interfield degree of politics and economics.
  • a “joint” degree, which is a single degree cosponsored with other institutions, such as the joint Ph.D. program in Education with California State University, San Diego.

Dual degree programs with other institutions are not included in this policy.


Number of Degrees:

In accordance with CGU’s policy on multiple degrees , once a student completes two degrees that share units at CGU, no units from either degree may be used toward a subsequent degree except by petition. If a master’s degree is awarded in a field other than the field of the Ph.D., no master’s degree is awarded in the field of the Ph.D.

Formalized and Individual Dual Degree Programs

There are two types of dual-degree programs, formal and individual:

  • Individual programs are programs initiated by individual students according to their special needs and interests (see 5e below).
  • Formal programs are programs whose requirements are explicitly agreed upon and formalized between two departments, such as the M.A. Art Business/MBA or the MBA/Ph.D. Economics.

After a number of students (at least 5) have enrolled in the same individual dual degree program, the Registrar will notify the programs concerned, and the faculties shall be encouraged to prepare a proposal for a formalized dual degree program and submit it to the Academic Standards Committee for approval. From that point on, individual students will complete the formalized program requirements, and individual coursework/dual proposals will not be required. Descriptions and requirements for formalized programs will be included in the CGU Bulletin, program handbooks, and the CGU website.

Coordination of Requirements

  • No more than twelve units from previous degrees may be transferred into a dual Master’s/Doctoral program. No transfer units will be allowed into a dual Master’s degree program.
  • Double-counting units: Of the total units required for each individual degree, no more than 35% of those units may be applied from the other degree program. For example, a Master’s degree of 40 units may apply up to 14 units (35%) from the other program toward its total units and vice-versa. In other words, students must complete at least 65% of the units originally required in each degree. For individualized dual degree programs, the maximum percentage may be less, depending on the point of application (see 5.b below).
  • The reduction of credit requirements brought about by double-counting must be based on the relevance of the courses to the programs and their learning outcomes. Relevance may be indicated by the close relationship of content, mutual complementarity, methodological relevance, other criteria of intellectual relevance, and career goals. If this relevance is not obvious in the dual proposal, the department(s) may be required to submit additional information.
  • All degree requirements and milestones must be met for each degree. A dual degree program may include and require specific expectations for the nature and format of those requirements. Although subject to the requirements specified in this policy, the faculty of each field involved in either a formal or individual dual degree program will have flexibility to determine other matters associated with the dual degree, including, but not limited to, the expectations for meeting research tools requirements in each field; expectations for the nature and format of qualifying examinations, folios, and thesis or dissertation, and any additional requirements or understandings in light of the academic integrity of each degree.
  • It is the responsibility of the advisors to remain informed of the requirements and the student’s progress in each field and to provide appropriate coordination between the fields involved.

Application and Approval Process

  • Some students apply to dual degree options upon their initial application to CGU. Others apply after beginning their first degree.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to apply to the dual degree program prior to completion of 50% of the units of their current program at CGU in order to maximize the benefit of the dual degree.
  • Students who apply to change to an individualized dual degree prior to completing 50% of the units in the first degree may double-count up to 35% of the total units required in each degree. While maintaining the collaboration between programs and the integrity of the two degrees, students may still apply for an individualized dual degree after completing 50% of the units in the first degree, but may double-count up to 25% of the total units required in each degree.
  • Students who apply to a formalized dual degree program after beginning the first degree will complete all expectations for the formal dual degree program, regardless of the point of application.
  • Students must apply to and be accepted by both degrees in which they are going to work.
  • Students must have two advisors, one for each degree.
  • Individualized Dual Degree Programs: Students interested in developing individualized dual-degree programs should first discuss the potential program with their home department and then with the new department. The application process requires the approval of both departments for a Change of Degree Form and a detailed Dual Degree Proposal Form (see below). The new (second) department may require additional application materials and a new personal statement. Forms are available in the Registrar’s online Form Index.
  • The Dual Degree Proposal Form will include a description of the program including: the relevance of the two fields to each other, the number of units to be completed in each field, the allowable transfer units, the number of units and specific courses that will be cross counted in each field, specific courses required in each field, expectations for meeting research tools requirements in each field, expectations for the nature and format of qualifying examinations, folios, and thesis or dissertation, names of academic advisors in each field, and any understanding regarding fellowship funding or additional requirements.
  • With signatures of both advisors and both deans/directors, the programs will send the two forms to the Transdisciplinary Studies Program for review and (if applicable) consultation. The forms are then forwarded to the Registrar’s office for a final check of requirements. Dual Degree Proposal Forms must be completed and filed before the completion of a student’s first semester in the program.
  • Formal Dual Degree Programs: Departments interested in formal dual-degree programs must apply to the Academic Standards Committee for review and approval, following the “Proposal for a Formalized Dual Degree Program” template appended to this policy. The proposal should include: the purpose and general description of the program, a detailed description of program elements and requirements, program oversight responsibilities, and a draft description of the program for the CGU Bulletin, program handbooks, and website. Once the degree is formalized with Academic Standards Committee approval, students apply either directly with their initial application for admission to CGU, or by completing the Change of Degree form if they are already enrolled at CGU.


On the recommendation of the advisors in both fields, the student may petition to waive specific requirements.

1The approved exceptions are the dual degree programs is MSFE/MBA and MSFE/Math.

Interfield Degrees

Interfield degrees refer to degree programs that span or combine two disciplines or fields. Only one degree is earned.

Eligibility. New and continuing students may apply for an interfield degree. Students wishing to transfer in must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students with an Incomplete (I) or Grade Pending (GP) on their student record from CGU must resolve the ‘I’ or the ‘GP’ before applying to an interfield program. Students with a Fail (F) or the equivalent previous grade of Unsatisfactory (U) on their record from CGU cannot apply for an interfield program. Guidelines and forms for resolving grade issues are available on the Registrar’s webpages.

Required Units. Generally, a minimum of 44-48 units are required for completion of a master’s interfield; a minimum of 72-80 units are required for completion of a doctoral interfield.

Transfer Credit Limits. Transfer credit policies  and limitations apply.

Earning a Master’s Degree while Pursuing an Interfield Doctorate. Interfield doctoral students may receive a master’s degree in one but not both fields. Refer to the section on Master’s Degree Regulations  .

Degree Name. The naming policy for interfield degrees is to combine the exact titles of the two existing degrees with “and.” For example, an interfield degree between the PhD in Information Systems & Technology and the PhD in Political Science where Information Systems & Technology is the primary field would be titled: PhD in Information Systems & Technology and Political Science. The one exception to this policy is an interfield degree between the International Studies and Politics & Government departments; in this case the interfield degree title is PhD in Political Science and International Politics.

Other Information. Procedures and form(s) are available on the Registrar’s website under: Dual, Interfield, & Joint Degrees.

Interfield Master’s Program(s)

Application. Prior to students enrolling in an interfield master’s program, curricular agreements must be made between each participating department (only two) and the Transdisciplinary Studies program. Students may either seek direct admission to the program when applying for master’s study, or they may transfer into an interfield master’s program at the end of their first term. A list of approved interfield master’s programs is available in the Degree Requirements Bulletin. Students may petition for additional interfield program combinations not listed in the Degree Requirements Bulletin by contacting each participating department and the Transdisciplinary Studies program. All interfield student applications will be reviewed by both participating departments and the Transdisciplinary Studies program. Interfield application procedures and form(s) are available on the Registrar’s website under: Dual, Interfield, & Joint Degrees.

Interfield Doctoral Program(s)

Application. Students may apply directly to an interfield program before matriculating or current students may transfer to an interfield program. The approval of the faculty advisors for both fields, chairs of the two respective programs, and the Director of the Transdisciplinary Studies Program is required for students wishing to be considered for a doctoral interfield degree prior to end of the student’s first semester in an interfield program. Interfield application procedures and form(s) are available on the Registrar’s website under: Dual, Interfield, & Joint Degrees.


Joint Doctoral Programs

Claremont Graduate University offers a number of joint doctoral programs through collaborations with other institutions. Students enrolled in joint programs are responsible for complying with all policies and procedures of the two institutions involved.

  • At CGU, a continuous student status is required, with the student enrolled in one of the two institutions each term.
  • During the student’s graduation semester, enrollment is required at both institutions.
  • The joint doctoral student is responsible for advising each institution of any changes to student status at either institution.  Changes to student status include leaves of absence and withdrawals.
  • Graduation requirements of both institutions apply.

Additional information is available on the Registar’s webpages.

CGU offers the following joint doctoral programs

  • Education, PhD (joint with SDSU)
  • Engineering and Computational Mathematics (joint with CSULB)