M-3: CONCURRENT AND SEQUENTIAL MAJORS PROGRAMS
At the baccalaureate or associate degree level, students may be approved for admission to more than one major under the Sequential or Concurrent Majors Program. A Concurrent Majors Program is one in which a student takes courses to concurrently meet the requirements of at least two majors, with graduation for all majors in the program occurring during the same semester. Concurrent undergraduate majors must all be at the baccalaureate degree level or all at the associate degree level. Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science majors may be combined, if in different disciplines (or with college approval).
Any student requesting more than one major program shall, for each major, meet the same acceptance standards and graduation criteria required of all other students. Colleges and departments may identify and should publish in the Undergraduate Bulletin any combinations of majors that would not be approved for the Sequential or Concurrent Majors Program. An undergraduate student may not combine a general major with a departmental major within the same college. Requests for adding concurrent major(s) require permissions from all departments and colleges involved. If any department or college involved submits a denial to the request, the decision is final.
Approval and Advising for Concurrent Major Program
Students interested in adding a concurrent major should follow these steps:
- Student speaks to assigned academic adviser in current major about interest in concurrent major.
- Student works with academic adviser in current major to create an initial academic plan for current and additional major. This can be done using a "what-if" report in LionPATH or another approval document as designated by the college. This plan should include the following elements:
- Students must fulfill all of the General Education requirements for at least one major listed on their record as well as all General Education courses listed as Major or Option requirements for their other degree(s).
- Advisers should verify that the student meets entrance requirements for the majors.
- Students enrolled in one or more Bachelor of Arts degrees must fulfill all of the Bachelor of Arts requirements for at least one major listed on their record.
- If one of the desired majors is under administrative enrollment controls, the college of that major may require that the student enter that major first. Generally, it is not possible for the student to incorporate more than one major that is under administrative enrollment controls in a concurrent majors program.
- Current major adviser records meeting in Starfish and indicates their recommendations of approval of the proposed plan on behalf of the current major, notifying the college dean or designee.
- The dean(s) or designee(s) of the current major(s) indicate(s) in Starfish approval of the student's intent to request the concurrent major.
- A student requests concurrent major(s) by requesting Add Program/Major through Update Academics. LionPATH will indicate that the student's request requires Dean's Review.
- The college of the concurrent major will direct the student to an appropriate adviser (e.g., colleges may choose to direct the student to the program head for the intended major) to facilitate the necessary advising conversation, including review of the student's proposed academic plan (e.g., the what-if report created in Step 2).
- The concurrent major adviser enters their notes in Starfish, including the adviser's recommendation concerning approval, and then notifies the dean(s) of the College(s) (or designees) of the current major and the proposed concurrent major(s) that a decision to approve or not approve the plan is requested.
- The colleges of the first major and the added major(s) approves or denies the concurrent major request(s) in LionPATH.
- If the plan is approved, a primary adviser must be designated. In most instances the student's primary adviser will be the adviser from the college of the initial major.
- The student must be granted approval for a concurrent major prior to the end of the intent to graduate activation period of the student's final semester. Exceptions to this deadline can be granted only by the Dean(s) or designee(s) of the concurrent major(s).
- An intent to graduate needs to be filed for all majors the student intends to graduate with (see 86-00; and L-2) (see https://www.registrar.psu.edu/graduation/intent.cfm)
- Students wishing to cancel an approved concurrent major are responsible for removing the major from their record through Update Academics in LionPATH prior to filing their intent to graduate. Prior to cancellation, a student should consult with their academic adviser in order to understand any potential consequences.
- The deadline for cancelling a concurrent degree is the end of the late drop period of a student's final semester.
- If a student has filed their intent to graduate, they must contact the dean(s) or designee(s) of the college of the concurrent major(s) to have the concurrent major(s) removed.
Approval of a Sequential Major
- A graduate from a Penn State baccalaureate or associate degree program who desires another Penn State baccalaureate or associate degree may seek re-enrollment in order to meet the requirements for the additional "sequential" degree.
- Prior to seeking approval for a sequential major through re-enrollment, the student should meet with an academic adviser in the appropriate college or department to identify any possibilities for meeting requirements with credits previously earned and create an academic plan of requirements that must be satisfied to earn the sequential degree. The adviser should document their discussions and any information related to the plan for meeting degree requirements in the advising notes.
- In the sequential majors program, different levels of study can be combined. A student who has earned a Penn State baccalaureate degree may seek an associate degree or another baccalaureate degree; a student who has earned a Penn State associate degree may seek another associate degree or a baccalaureate degree.
- University, college, and major requirements and all other University academic policies in effect at the time of entrance to the sequential major must be met. Students must meet the entrance requirements for the sequential major. Majors with administrative enrollment controls may have restrictions that limit entrance. Additional limitations may be implemented by colleges.
- To officially enroll in the sequential major, students should follow instructions for re-enrollment (http://undergrad.psu.edu/aappm/K-1-reenrollment-as-degree-candidate.html).
- When a re-enrollment is approved, the student is assigned an adviser for the sequential major. Only the student's sequential major will be listed on his/her degree audit. A student enrolled in a sequential degree program can determine their first day to register for an upcoming semester by using the undergraduate Registration Timetable, which is based on the total credits recorded on an undergraduate transcript. Upon completion of the sequential major the student receives another diploma.
Approved: ACUI (5-27-76)
Revised: ACUE (9-26-96)
Revised: ACUE (5-1-03)
Revised: Editorial (6-2-03)
Revised: ACUE (12-1-11)
Revised: ACUE (4-5-12)
Revised: ACUE (11-5-15); Effective Fall 2016
Revised: ACUE (6-6-2019)
Revised: ACUE (7-1-21)