Guidelines for awarding multiple majors and minors


In AY 02-03, the LAS Courses and Curricula Committee developed guidelines for students wishing to earn multiple majors and minors, particularly with regard to double counting of coursework for multiple programs. This issue becomes an important one as:

  1. Students perceive that additional credential endorsements on their transcripts will make them more attractive to employers and graduate programs.
  2. Students are completing more interdisciplinary programs; both new programs and programs in the core disciplines that are evolving to encompass more interdisciplinary study.
  3. The college routinely allows nine to 10 semesters for students to complete a degree. For most students, this allows the completion of additional credentials.
  4. The college is experiencing significant enrollment pressures on popular majors.

The goal of this committee is to develop guidelines that:

  • recognize the student's desire/need for multiple credentials,
  • reward the directed, creative student who can map out plans of study to include these credentials,
  • prevent abuses of the multiple counting of coursework, and
  • retain the College of LAS emphasis on helping to develop broadly educated individuals.


Accordingly, we recommend that the following policy be adopted:

  1. Courses cannot count toward requirements of more than two programs (majors, minors, double degrees).
  2. Students desiring to complete an additional major must earn at least 12 hours of 300-or 400- level coursework in the second discipline. [Note: These hours do not include supporting coursework or technical electives.] Students desiring to complete a minor must earn at least six hours of 300- or 400-level coursework.
  3. Students completing Individual Plans of Study must receive the approval of their advisors before declaring a double major or a minor.
  4. Students may not double major in integrative biology and molecular and cellular biology. Students completing a degree in MCB may not also undertake the specialized curriculum in biochemistry.

Additionally, the Courses and Curricula Committee recommends the following:

  1. The faculty advisory committee for Individual Plans of Study should develop a policy statement on the feasibility of double majors for their students. Minimally, we suggest that students completing an IPS degree not be allowed to double-major in either of their main IPS fields of study.
  2. Similarly, we recommend that the faculty committee overseeing the global studies major should develop a policy statement on double majors between global studies and other interdisciplinary area studies majors, such as Latin American Studies. We believe that Rules 1 and 2, above, will ensure that students pursuing double majors in global studies and such fields as political science or anthropology undertake programs with the required number of hours of distinct work.
  3. In special cases in which curricula subsume minors for all students—e.g., biology honors major/chemistry minor—the programs of study document should explicitly state: "Students earning the biology honors major automatically complete the chemistry minor."