The University Senate of Michigan Technological University

 

SECOND MASTER'S DEGREES

(Proposal 1-09)

Senate Policy 410.1

 

Background


There is growing interest among graduate students in obtaining a second masterís degree or a masterís degree in addition to a PhD from Michigan Tech. For example, graduate students may be interested in obtaining both a masterís in engineering and an MBA because both degrees will assist them in their future careers. Similarly, students who have earned a PhD in one field (e.g., Geology) may also be interested in pursuing a masterís degree in a cognate field, such as Applied Science Education, because the combination of the two degrees will be beneficial to them.

Currently, students are not allowed to reuse any credits in pursuit of multiple graduate degrees.† This means that students who wish to complete two 30-credit masterís programs, for example, must complete a total of 60 credits, even if there is redundancy or overlap in the requirements for the two programs.

The proposed policy will allow students to apply credits earned at Michigan Tech to satisfy the requirements of both a primary graduate degree and an additional Michigan Tech masterís degree.A maximum of 1/3 of the non-research/non-practicum credits required for the additional masterís degree can be applied toward both degrees.Research/practicum credits can not be applied toward more than one degree.Credits earned at other institutions or applied toward a previous graduate degree at another institution cannot be reused.

Graduate students who wish to double count or reuse credits will be encouraged by primary advisors to prepare a preliminary degree schedule with their planned additional masterís program advisor or director to ensure that they will successfully meet all of the requirements for the additional masterís degree in a timely fashion. The graduate school will consult on a one-on-one basis with graduate students or faculty members who have questions regarding additional masterís degrees.

Graduate students who consider working on† an additional masterís degree at the same time they are working on their primary degree will also be counseled to discuss issues related to workload and funding with their advisors (or potential advisors) and/or graduate program directors for both degree programs. Students who attempt to concurrently pursue an additional degree program may find it difficult to make good progress toward their primary degree and lack of progress can have serious consequences, including loss of financial support and dismissal.



Policy on Multiple Graduate Degrees


Michigan Tech graduate students who are pursuing or who have previously completed a Michigan Tech graduate degree may seek an additional masterís degree. Such students may reuse credits earned for their primary or prior degree to satisfy up to 1/3 of the required non-research/non-practicum credits required for the additional masterís degree. Students must complete all requirements for their primary degree and must obtain permission of their advisor and the graduate program director of their additional masterís program before being allowed to double count credits. Research or practicum credits cannot be applied toward more than one degree.† The double-counted credits applied to the additional masterís degree must have been earned at Michigan Tech. Such reuse of credits is allowed only when the studentís additional masterís program advisor or director determines that double counting of credits will not have a negative impact on the graduate student's education.

Any courses and credits that are to be double-counted must be clearly identified on the graduate student's additional masterís degree schedule using the wording "also used for (MS or PhD) in (Primary Program Name)". The advisor and department for a graduate student's additional masterís program will indicate approval of the use of double-counted credits by signing the degree schedule for the additional masterís program. 

An example of a case in which this policy would apply is when a graduate student desires to obtain both a masterís in engineering and an MBA because both degrees will assist them in their future careers. Similarly, students who have earned a PhD in one field (e.g., Geology) may also be interested in pursuing a masterís degree in a cognate field, such as Applied Science Education, because the combination of the two degrees will be beneficial to them.

Admission to the additional graduate degree program is not automatic; graduate students are accepted at the discretion of the programs to which the applications are made.

 

Introduced to Senate: 15 October 2008
Editorial changes made: 29 October 2008
Adopted by Senate: 29 October 2008
Additional Editorial Changes made: 9 March 2009
Approved by Administration: 10 March 2009