Dual-Degree ProgramA dual-degree program, which can go by many names, is a special degree program where students can work towards two degrees with two entirely different focused at the same time. Depending on the school and the type of combined program that you are taking, you may either study for each degree at the same institution or at two different institutions that have a partnership agreement.

The idea of earning a single degree at one time can be intimidating, so for some the thought of dual-degree programs might sound impractical. While these specialty conjoint degree programs are not for every student, they can be great for those who want to keep their cost of attending college low while still studying multiple disciplines. If you are interested in learning more about how dual programs work and why they might be beneficial to the right student.

How Does a Dual Degree Differ From Declaring a Double Major?

It is easy to confuse dual degree programs with declaring the traditional double major. While, in essence, the final goal of majoring in two discipline is the same, it is the approach that students take that is very different. When you decide to be a double major, you will select two majors on a single degree. In addition to taking general education courses, you will take the courses for each major. While there may be overlap, in most cases you will take a larger workload.

The dual conjoint degree program, on the other hand, is where students will take two very distinct degree programs at a single time. They will take an integrated approach so that most of the coursework taken will fulfill the requirements for both degrees. You will study for a longer period of time for your degree, but in the end will be granted two diplomas instead of one.

Is this Type of Program Right For You?

If you would like to earn two degree but you are not sure if you are a good fit to study for each simultaneously, you need to decide if you are a good fit. There are a long list of advantages to studying for a combined degree, with the biggest being financial, according to College Data. While this is true, you may need to put in longer hours completing coursework and homework and could have to travel to different colleges for some of the courses.

If you can handle intensive paced courses and you are willing to put in the extra time, you could graduate earlier and pursue two interests at once in a dual degree program. Just remember that the coursework is challenging, you need to be able to find a balance, and you could only be eligible for aide for a single degree and not the second one.

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If you are unsure how to go about finding a dual program, you should start your search online. Some schools will only allow the combination of certain programs that can be easily integrated. You can use professional directories or even look at the college that you are most interested in directly, according to Idealist. Be sure that you have done the research on how the programs are delivered and learn as much as you can. Compare different specialty programs with accelerated structures and then decide if a dual-degree program is right.