Dual Degree Programs

An internal dual degree program at NPS is one in which a student begins coursework for a second master’s degree before completion of his/her first degree. The dual degree program leads to the award of two distinct master's degrees and it must be approved by the Academic Council via the Special Programs Committee. A program in which the coursework for the second master’s degree begins after completion of the first NPS master’s degree is not considered a dual degree program.

Qualified students may pursue an internal dual degree program by requesting approval from the Academic Council to be admitted to the second degree. Any student not fully approved and not officially enrolled in a second degree program prior to the 12-month approval deadline is ineligible to receive the second degree.

The Program Officer and Academic Associate must certify that the applicant possesses a TQPR of at least 3.75 and is in the top 25% of the TQPRs of the students in the last four graduating sections of his/her curriculum.

The program which leads to two NPS graduate degrees must satisfy the requirements of both degrees.

A single thesis may be used to satisfy the requirements of both academic units provided it shows relevance to and mastery of both fields, is permitted by the policy of both academic units, and is coadvised by a member of each academic unit.

The dual NPS degree program must satisfy the enrollment limitations cited in this Manual. If a student requires waivers for enrollment limitations, the request for waiver must be included in the application for the special program.

A student approved for dual degree must maintain a performance ranking within the top 50% of each program or else dual degree approval may be terminated. The Program Officers and Academic Associates will monitor the student's performance each quarter and will report to the Academic Council if such a performance is not being maintained.

A student desiring admission in an internal dual NPS degree program must apply at least one year prior to their projected graduation date, but not before having completed a minimum of 12 hours of graduate course work in their assigned program. Students within one year of graduation are not eligible to apply for enrollment in internal dual degree programs.

The application endorsements must represent approval from all involved academic units:

  1. Chairs;
  2. Academic Associates;
  3. Service Representative or International Programs Office as applicable;
  4. Program Officers.

Endorsement by the academic unit Chairs will signify that the applicant meets any and all additional requirements for dual master's degrees that have been established by the respective academic units. The application must also include:

  1. The approved degree requirements for each program.
  2. A listing of courses and course hours for each program.
  3. A single course matrix, graphically depicting all courses necessary for each degree program and showing that the program will not exceed quarterly credit hour limits per §6.5 Course Enrollment Limitations. Quarters where enrollment limitation waivers are requested must be highlighted.
  4. Requests for enrollment waivers (if necessary).
  5. A written statement, signed by the registrar, attesting to the student's TQPR ranking in his/her curriculum.

Satisfactory progress in course and thesis work must be maintained by the student in the NPS dual degree program. Deficiencies in course and/or thesis performance have to be promptly reported to the Special Programs Committee by the thesis advisor(s) or the Academic Associate.

If satisfactory progress is not maintained, the Academic Council will require that the student revert to his/her original single degree program.