Graduate Degree Information
Concurrent Master’s Degree and Second Master's Degree
Concurrent Master’s Degree
Currently matriculated, post-baccalaureate students may enroll concurrently in a second master’s degrees program. Rather than sequentially completing one degree first and then the other, the student’s time and the university’s resources may be conserved by arrangements that permit the student to proceed in a coordinated way toward completion of the two graduate degree programs simultaneously. Requirements for both degree programs must be completed before the degrees are awarded. To protect the integrity of the university’s degrees, the following conditions must be satisfied to award concurrent master’s degrees:
- 1. The student must complete all prerequisites for the concurrent master’s degree prior to seeking approval to declare the additional master’s degree.
- 2. A student wishing to pursue a concurrent master’s degree must first seek the approval of the graduate department of the student’s first master’s degree program to declare the additional master’s program.
- 3. If the student’s current graduate department agrees that the additional master’s may be appropriate and feasible the two departments would collaborate to develop a plan to allow completion of both degrees. When appropriate, up to one-third (1/3) of the total number of units required in the lower unit program can be shared between both degrees.
If the two departments are successful in developing a plan to allow completion of both degrees, the Dean of Graduate Studies or his/her designee(s) must approve the plan before the student can begin work on the additional master’s degree while still enrolled in the initial degree program. The decision whether to approve the student’s request should be based on:
- 1. The extent to which the additional master's program would form a coherent intellectual whole with the initial program;
- 2. The number of units already completed in the initial master’s degree program and student’s academic performance in that coursework;
- 3. The feasibility of the plan to complete the degrees in a timely manner (i.e., without violating either the “seven-year rule” or any timely completion policies of individual master’s degree programs);
- 4. Any additional criteria the Dean of Graduate Studies finds relevant to the decision in any particular case.
The student is considered formally admitted only to the initial master's degree program. If the student wishes to discontinue the initial program in favor of the added program they must reapply to the university and the plan to complete both degrees would no longer be valid.
Regardless of the number of units approved for “sharing” between two master’s degree programs, students must complete distinct culminating activities for each degree (e.g., a comprehensive exam for each of the two degrees; two different theses or projects; one comprehensive exam and one thesis or project).
Two departments that feel pursuing concurrent master’s degrees would be beneficial to their students may establish formal cooperation agreements with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies. Students would still need to fulfill the requirements listed above but the process for entering the additional master’s program would be streamlined.
Second Master’s Degree
Students who have graduated with or who are about to graduate with a master’s degree from CSULB or any other regionally accredited university may apply for a second master’s degree in a different program. CSULB will grant advancement to candidacy for the second degree only after the first degree has been awarded. All candidates for a second master’s degree must meet the following requirements:
- 1. Meet all admission requirements of CSULB and the department.
- 2. Complete all general requirements for a master’s degree at CSULB not already completed as well as all specific requirements for the new degree program.
- 3. Earn, after the awarding of the first master's degree, a minimum of 24 units of graduate residence credit at CSULB including the minimum of 500/600 series units mandated by the major department in which the student is earning the second master's degree.
- 4. No more than six units earned on the first degree may be applied to a second master’s degree;
- 5. Prerequisites for an advanced course must be completed prior to enrollment in the advanced course. An instructor may disenroll a student who does not provide evidence of adequate preparation;
- 6. All prerequisites must be completed prior to application for candidacy;
- 7. Two master’s degrees cannot be awarded concurrently;
- 8. The area or discipline in which the second degree is earned shall be designated on the transcript and a second diploma awarded.
Graduate Degree Information
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