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Double Majors
Second Bachelor’s Degrees
Combined Majors
Independent Majors

Page Contents

See also: Contact Information for New Student-Requested Combined Majors


Double Major

Students may earn a double major by completing all requirements for two majors. Some courses may be used to satisfy both majors. However, at least sixteen distinct courses may not be double-counted (i.e., used to satisfy both majors). Students completing a double major receive one degree and one diploma. The two majors appear on the transcript. If the two majors are in different colleges, the degree is associated with the major in the home college. At the time a second major is declared, the student and advisor(s) will designate the home college in which he or she will be registered and from which he or she will be graduated. When the two components of the double major individually offer different degree designations, the student and advisor(s) will determine which degree designation will appear on the transcript and diploma.


Second Northeastern University Bachelor’s Degree

To earn a second bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University, a student must complete all the requirements for the degree and must complete 30 semester hours beyond the semester-hour requirement for the first bachelor’s degree. In order to be eligible for the second bachelor’s degree, the student must apply for admission to the second degree program, preferably by the end of the junior year. If the student is granted admission to the second program, then upon completion of all requirements for the first program and the award of the first degree, the student’s status will be changed to the second program. A second diploma will be awarded and the second degree will be noted on the transcript.


Combined and Independent Majors—Overview

Students with academic interests not available in the context of existing majors, minors, and double majors may propose a combined or independent major. In these majors, students pursue in-depth study in areas that are supported and approved by the appropriate Northeastern faculty members.


Combined Majors

Combined majors include at least nine courses associated with each of two participating disciplines. There must be at least one course that acts as a bridge between the disciplines. No more than two courses may count for both disciplines, i.e., there must be at least sixteen courses in the combined major. The combined major should be declared by the end of the first semester of the junior year. It is generally advantageous to declare the combined major as early as possible, especially when highly structured disciplinary components are involved. There are three categories of combined majors:

  1. A number of defined combined majors currently exist, where the curriculum is specific to each individual program. List.
  2. A number of disciplines have preapproved template programs that may be paired in a variety of combinations to yield combined majors. List.
  3. Disciplines will consider combined programs upon student request.

Currently Defined Combined Major

Students may request admission to a currently defined combined major by following the standard procedure for changing majors. A home college is designated, in which the student will be registered and from which he or she will be graduated. Students completing a combined major receive one degree and one diploma. The combined major and home college will appear on the transcript and diploma.

Student-Requested Combined Major

Students may request admission to a new combined major via the Combined Major Approval Form that requires approval by both disciplines/colleges together with an approved curriculum. The request may be for a combined major comprised of preapproved template programs or for a new combined major to be considered by the participating disciplines. During the planning process, advisors from both disciplines will be designated, and one will be identified as the primary advisor. If the two disciplines partnering in the combined major are in different colleges, a home college will be designated, in which the student will be registered and from which he or she will be graduated. A meeting of the student and both advisors representing the two disciplines must be held to plan the combined major curriculum and to consider NU Core requirements. (Please see also list of discipline advisors and college contacts for new student-requested combined majors.)

Students completing a combined major receive one degree and one diploma. The combined major and home college will appear on the transcript and diploma. When the two components of the combined major individually offer different degree designations, the degree designation that will appear on the transcript and diploma will be designated during the approval process.


Currently Defined Combined Majors

  • BS in American Sign Language and Human Services
  • BS in American Sign Language and Psychology
  • BS in American Sign Language and Theatre
  • BS in Biology and Environmental Geology
  • BS in Biology and Geology
  • BS in Biology and Mathematics
  • BS in Business Administration and Interactive Media
  • BSCHE in Chemical Engineering and Physics
  • BFA in Cinema Studies and Digital Art
  • BA in Cinema Studies and English
  • BA in Cinema Studies and Journalism
  • BA in Cinema Studies and Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
  • BA in Cinema Studies and Mathematics
  • BA in Cinema Studies and Philosophy
  • BA in Cinema Studies and Theatre
  • BS in Cinema Studies and Theatre
  • BA in Communication Studies and Media and Screen Studies
  • BSCompE in Computer Engineering and Physics
  • BS in Computer Science and Biology
  • BS in Computer Science and Business Administration
  • BS in Computer Science and Cognitive Psychology
  • BS in Computer Science and Digital Art
  • BS in Computer Science and Environmental Science
  • BS in Computer Science and Game Design
  • BS in Computer Science and Information Science
  • BS in Computer Science and Interactive Media
  • BS in Computer Science and Journalism
  • BS in Computer Science and Mathematics
  • BS in Computer Science and Music
    with Concentration in Music Technology
  • BS in Computer Science and Physics
  • BS in Criminal Justice and Political Science
  • BFA in Digital Art and Game Design
  • BFA in Digital Art and Interactive Media
  • BS in Economics and Business Administration
  • BS in Economics and Mathematics
  • BS in Economics and Philosophy
  • BSEE or BSCompE in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • BSEE in Electrical Engineering and Physics
  • BA in English and Cultural Anthropology
  • BS in Environmental Geology and Chemistry
  • BA in Environmental Geology and Environmental Studies
  • BS in Environmental Geology and Mathematics
  • BS in Environmental Geology and Physics
  • BS in Environmental Studies and Economics
  • BA in Environmental Studies and History
  • BA in Environmental Studies and International Affairs
  • BA in Environmental Studies and Philosophy
  • BA in Environmental Studies and Political Science
  • BS in Geology and Chemistry
  • BS in Geology and Mathematics
  • BS in Geology and Physics
  • BFA in Graphic Design and Game Design
  • BFA in Graphic Design and Interactive Media
  • BS in Human Services and Criminal Justice
  • BA in Human Services and International Affairs
  • BS in Information Science and Business Administration
  • BS in Information Science and Cognitive Psychology
  • BS in Information Science and Environmental Science
  • BS in Information Science and Journalism
  • BS in Interactive Media and Music
    with Concentration in Music Technology
  • BA in International Affairs and Anthropology
  • BA in International Affairs and Economics
  • BA in International Affairs and Religious Studies
  • BA in Jewish Studies and Religion
  • BA in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and International Affairs
  • BA in Linguistics and English
  • BA in Linguistics and Psychology
  • BS in Mathematics and Business Administration
  • BS in Mathematics and Physics
  • BS in Mechanical Engineering and Physics
  • BA in Media and Screen Studies and English
  • BA in Media and Screen Studies and Journalism
  • BA in Media and Screen Studies and Sociology
  • BS in Physics and Philosophy
  • BS in Political Science and Business Administration
  • BA in Political Science and Communication Studies
  • BS in Political Science and Communication Studies
  • BA in Political Science and Economics
  • BS in Political Science and Economics
  • BA in Political Science and International Affairs
  • BS in Psychology and Education
  • BA in Sociology and Cultural Anthropology
  • BS in Sociology and Cultural Anthropology
  • BA in Theatre and Media and Screen Studies
  • BS in Theatre and Media and Screen Studies

Preapproved Template Programs for Combined Majors

  • Architecture
  • Cinema Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • English (BA)
  • Graphic and Information Design
  • History (BA and BS)
  • Interaction Design
  • Jewish Studies
  • Media and Screen Studies
  • Media Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Religious Studies
  • Theatre
  • Urban Landscape
  • Visual Studies

Independent Majors

In the rare cases when students have academic interests that fall within the expertise of Northeastern faculty members and that are not available in the large number of existing majors, minors, double majors, and combined majors, they may propose an independent major. Independent majors include courses in at least three disciplines and form an integrated program focusing on some issue, theme, or subject area not available within the context of existing curricula. These programs should be equivalent in depth and coherence to existing majors. A substantial project that integrates the curriculum pursued is required for the independent major. No student with less than a 3.250 grade-point average will be approved for an independent major. The proposal must be approved by the end of the first semester of the junior year. Proposals will not be considered before the end of the freshman year. For initial information and advice, interested students should consult the associate dean overseeing undergraduate studies in their current home college or the college most relevant to the proposed course of study.

The student assumes the initiative in formulating an independent major. High degrees of student initiative and self-reliance are also necessary for completion of this type of major. The student is responsible for securing the advice and approval of faculty mentors, at least one from each of the disciplines. These faculty mentors will help the student design the curriculum and will approve the required integrative project. The faculty mentors will guide the student’s academic progress through the major. The student should select one of the faculty mentors as the primary mentor.

If the disciplines partnering in the independent major are in different colleges, the college of the primary mentor will be designated as the home college, in which the student will be registered and from which he or she will be graduated. Students completing an independent major receive one degree and one diploma. The independent major and home college will appear on the transcript and diploma. When the components of the independent major individually offer different degree designations, the degree designation that will appear on the transcript and diploma will be designated during the approval process.

The student, with the assistance of the faculty mentors, must formulate in writing and submit to the home college curriculum committee an Independent Major Approval Form bearing the signatures of all faculty mentors and a proposal containing the following items:

  • A statement of the central concept around which the independent major is organized and a rationale for the major, including a discussion of why existing programs are inadequate to the student’s purpose and how the proposed major meets the student’s educational, professional, or personal goals
  • A list of courses, including names, numbers, prerequisites and frequency of offering (if known), and a breakdown of the introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses included in this list
  • A statement of the manner in which the NU Core requirements are fulfilled (and, if applicable, BA Core requirements)
  • A list of courses (including numbers, names, and grades) already taken that will apply to the major or to the NU Core (and BA Core, if applicable) requirements
  • A statement of how the requirement for a substantial integrative project is to be fulfilled
  • A student transcript
  • A calendar for completion of the degree
A meeting of all faculty mentors and the student must be held before college approval of the major program. In accepting the proposal, the home college dean’s office certifies that the rules established for the independent major have been followed, and it assumes administrative responsibility by assigning an academic advisor to monitor the student’s progress and clear the student for graduation. Any changes in the curriculum must be approved by the primary faculty mentor, and the home college advisor must be informed.

 

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