To The Top
Your Dual Master's Degree

Academic Process for Dual Master’s Degree Students

Choose an Advisor
The student selects a consenting advisor from faculty members of the academic program in which the major work is planned.

Before registering for each semester or session, the student consults the advisor concerning a program of courses.

Special Circumstances

An advisor who retires or leaves MU may continue to serve as a student’s advisor unless a written academic program policy prohibits such an arrangement.

If an advisor is unable or unwilling to continue to serve, the academic program, led by the director of graduate studies, will ensure that a replacement is found.

Learn More
Submit a Plan of Study
After performing satisfactorily for a minimum of one semester, the student completes the Plan of Study for the Dual Master’s Degree form (DM1) with the advisor’s assistance.

This form outlines the plan of study for the student’s graduate program.

The plan of study form must be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies by the end of the student’s second semester of enrollment. Upon approval of the program by the Office of Graduate Studies, the student is a candidate for the degree.

Changes to the Plan of Study

Changes to the plan of study should be submitted on the Plan of Study Course Substitution form.

Learn More
Form a Thesis Committee
When a thesis is required for a dual master’s degree, the student must submit a Request for Dual Master’s Thesis Committees form (DM2) for approval by the program’s director of graduate studies and the Office of Graduate Studies by the end of the student’s second semester.

A thesis committee is composed of three members of the MU faculty: a major advisor from the academic program, a second reader from the academic program, and an outside reader who is a member of the graduate faculty from a different MU graduate program.

Committee Formation

For lists of graduate faculty in each degree program, refer to the appropriate department/program in the MU Catalog.

Committee Chair or Advisor

Faculty members may serve as advisor or committee chair when their primary appointment is in the graduate student’s home academic program. When the graduate student’s home academic program is the involved academic program for a jointly appointed faculty member, this person may serve as chair or advisor with the approval of the director of graduate studies from the student’s home academic program.

Committee Member

A faculty member can serve as an internal member only when their primary appointment is in the graduate student’s home academic program. When a graduate student’s home academic program is the involved academic program for a jointly appointed faculty member, they may serve as either an internal or external member of the committee.

Adjunct Faculty Membership

Adjunct faculty may serve as a committee chair or member only in academic programs in which they are appointed and approved for graduate or doctoral faculty membership as appropriate for the student’s degree.

Service on graduate committees outside the academic program in which they are appointed requires a recommendation by the director of graduate studies from the student’s home academic program and approval by the associate vice chancellor of graduate studies.

Approval of a Non-MU Faculty Member

Upon approval of the academic program’s director of graduate studies, the student may petition the Office of Graduate Studies to allow a person who is not a member of the MU graduate faculty to serve as the third reader.

The petition should include a written justification for such a request and a copy of the person’s curriculum vitae. The Office of Graduate Studies maintains copies of curriculum vitae previously received and approved, and if such a request is anticipated, the student should contact the Office of Graduate Studies to see if the curriculum vitae of a particular person is already on file.

Jointly Appointed Faculty Membership

Chapter 320 of the Collected Rules and Regulations for the University of Missouri requires that all jointly appointed faculty members have a designated primary appointment and primary department as well as affiliation with one or more involved academic programs. These affiliations affect membership status of jointly appointed faculty on graduate student committees.

Approval of a Non-MU Faculty Member

Upon approval of the academic program’s director of graduate studies, the student may petition the Office of Graduate Studies to allow a person who is not a member of the MU graduate faculty to serve as the third reader.

The petition should include a written justification for such a request and a copy of the person’s curriculum vitae. The Office of Graduate Studies maintains copies of curriculum vitae previously received and approved, and if such a request is anticipated, the student should contact the Office of Graduate Studies to see if the curriculum vitae of a particular person is already on file.

Learn More
Pass Graduate Examination
Each candidate must pass a final examination to demonstrate mastery of the fundamental principles of the work included in the course of study offered for the degree.

Minor

If the program includes a minor, the minor advisor will be a member of the final examination committee and will examine the candidate over course work taken in the minor.

Thesis Option

When a thesis is presented in partial fulfillment of graduation requirements, students must form a thesis committee (see above). After the successful defense of the thesis, the members of the student’s committee must sign the Dual Degree Report of the Master’s Examining Committee form (DM3), which is then forwarded through the academic program’s director of graduate studies to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Non-Thesis Option

Where no thesis is presented by the candidate, a three-member final examination committee is designated by the academic program’s director of graduate studies with the approval of the Office of Graduate Studies. The Dual Degree Report of the Master’s Examining Committee form (DM3), signed by the director of graduate studies, is forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies.

All candidates for the MA or MS degrees must complete either a thesis or a substantial independent project that cannot be coauthored.

Dual Degree Requirements

Approved Dual Master’s Degrees

Dual-degree programs enable students to earn two degrees concurrently. All dual degree programs require Graduate Faculty Senate approval. Please refer to the catalog to determine whether a dual degree is available in your area of interest.

Application Process

Students should be admitted to both degree programs at the same time using separate applications. Students may postpone enrollment in an approved dual-degree program to no later than the end of their second semester at MU.

Counting Credits

In each degree field, a minimum of 18 hours of graduate courses is required, with a minimum of three hours of 8000-level courses. Students must also take a minimum of 12 hours of shared 8000-level graduate credit.

  • The 18 hours of graduate course work is to be taken for each degree program respectively.For example: For a dual master’s degree program in mathematics and electrical engineering, a student’s plan of study must show 18 hours of mathematics graduate course work that applies only to the mathematics degree and 18 hours of electrical engineering graduate course work that applies only to the electrical engineering degree.
  • 12 hours of shared 8000-level graduate credit, which can include thesis/project research credit, as applicable.
  • 18 + 18 + 12 = 48 hours of graduate credit, which is the minimum total hours for a dual master’s degree program.

Credit Transfer

Up to eight hours of transfer credit may be applied to one of the two degree programs, or divided between the two degree programs. The eight hours of transfer credit cannot be applied to each degree program separately.

Advising and Committees

The student must have a separate advisor and committee for each degree program.

The option of a combined committee structure may be included in proposals for senate consideration, e.g., co-advisors who would also serve as outside members, plus one additional member from each degree program, for a total of four committee members.

Dual Degree Progress Forms

Special dual master’s degree program forms will be used to certify plans of study, committee members and final defense/examinations.

Conferral of Degrees

There will be two separate diplomas awarded upon completion of all degree program requirements.

Dual Degrees for Law Students

Several JD/graduate degree programs are available, enabling students to earn a juris doctor and a master’s degree concurrently. Dual degree students must fulfill entrance requirements for both schools, including the office of graduate studies’s entrance exam (if required) and the LSAT.

Credit Toward a Second Master’s Degree

For students pursuing a second master’s degree or two separate master’s degrees that are not part of a recognized dual-master’s program, 8 hours can be shared between the two degrees.

Enrollment Information

Students expecting to present a thesis, manuscript, project, or portfolio must be enrolled in the term when that activity occurs.

If master’s and educational specialist students have completed all their course work and only need to take comprehensive exams or defend a thesis or project, they can enroll in 8999 Graduate Examination, reference #21608, located in the Miscellaneous section of the Schedule of Courses. The cost is exempt from a late fee.

Note: Registration in 8999 Graduate Examination does not count toward enrollment certification. Students enrolled in the Graduate Examination would not be considered full time or part time. Additionally, if students need to use the library or computers on campus, they should enroll in at least one hour of regular credit instead of Graduate Examination.

Students who have a financial aid or visa situation should check with Financial Aid or the International Center respectively before registering for the Graduate Examination option. Failure to do so could cause serious consequences for the student’s financial aid or visa status.

Extra fees apply for access to the Student Health Center and the Student Recreation Center. Please consult the Cashier’s Office for these optional fees.

Information for International Student Enrollment

View the enrollment guidelines on the International Center website.