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Master's Degree - Second (Sequential and Simultaneous)

There are two options for acquiring a second master's degrees. Graduate students who have completed one master's degree program at San José State University may, with the approval of the new department, complete requirements for a second master's degree at this institution.

In the first option, the student interested in a sequential second graduate degree after finishing another master's degree must apply for admission to the second graduate degree program after the first degree is completed and recorded on the permanent record. All policies and procedures listed in this catalog applicable to satisfactory completion of a master's degree apply to completion of requirements for a second master's degree, including that program requirements must be completed within a seven-year period. Graduate Studies at SJSU will not admit an applicant in pursuit of a master's degree if it is determined that the applicant has a similar degree already. Pursuit of a second master's degree will receive a lower priority for admission.

The second option is pursuit of two simultaneous master's degrees. A student in good standing enrolled in one master's program may pursue a second master's degree. Matriculated master's students do not need to formally reapply to the university through Cal State Apply. However, the student must secure approval from and admission into the second master's degree program. This requires submission of all application materials previously requested of applicants by the department or school to the first degree program, as well as any additional materials required by the second program. Current transcripts, GRE scores, English-language test scores and letters of recommendation might be among those items required by the second department or school. The student is responsible for making those items available to the department regardless of his or her date of matriculation into the first major. Individual department deadlines apply for acceptance in any particular semester. Note: Approval for admission into the second master's program is given by means of its graduate advisor's signature on the Master's Level Double Degree Application; download the current form from the GAPE website.

The stipulation, however, is that a student pursuing simultaneous master's degrees cannot apply for graduation or be awarded either degree until both degree programs are complete. Both degrees must effectively be completed at the same time, and diplomas are issued for both degrees. If a student gains admission into a second degree program while still pursuing the first degree and applies for graduation before finishing the second program, he or she will be awarded the first master's degree and then lose matriculated status. Student status will thus be revoked and pursuit of a second master's degree prohibited. To satisfy this procedural requirement, a student should simply delay the request for award of the first degree until the second degree program requirements have been fulfilled. Please keep in mind that graduate units expire after seven years.

Alternatively, if a second master's degree is desired but will not be completed at the same time as the first, the student must file for graduation from the first degree program and formally apply for admission into the second program. That would require a full application, submission of all documentation required by the university and the department of the second master's program, and acceptance by both entities. Pursuit of a second master's degree will receive a lower priority for admission.

An approved program for a second degree should be prepared by the student and graduate advisor in the new field. If the new program happens to include course work taken in the first degree, a maximum of 33% of the total units required for the new degree may be courses completed in the previous degree at this institution. Thus, for example, a student might be permitted to apply up to 10 units toward a 30-unit program. Such courses must have been completed by the student with a grade of "A," "B" or, in special cases, "CR." The courses must be approved by the graduate advisor, who may limit the number of transferred units. The 33% level is allowed only for transfer of units from master's degree programs taken at SJSU. Transfer from completed degree programs at other institutions is not allowed.

Please note that both simultaneous degree programs must be completed in the same semester to qualify for the double degree award. Both programs must also be completed within seven years. The student who finds he or she cannot complete both degree programs in the same semester has the option of dropping one of the programs and receiving a single degree. Dropping one of the programs requires informing GAPE in writing.