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Duplication of Degree

Normally, duplication of advanced academic degrees—MA, MS, PhD—is not permitted. A duplicate academic degree is one at the same level (e.g., a second master’s degree or second PhD), regardless of the discipline or the specialization awarding the degree. A professional degree at the master’s or doctoral level (e.g., AuD, DMA, EdD, MAS, MBA, MSBA, MPH, MTech, MDSO, DDPM, MCEPA, MEd, MEng, MF, MFA, MIA, MPAc, MPP, MD, PharmD) is not regarded as a duplicate of an academic degree.

Students who already hold an advanced academic degree may be admitted to UC San Diego to pursue a second advanced academic degree at the same level only under limited circumstances, and only with approval from the Graduate Dean. Recognizing that there are circumstances in which it is appropriate for a student to pursue a second degree, the Graduate Dean (acting on behalf of Graduate Council) will consider the following criteria when reviewing exception requests for permission to do so at UC San Diego:

  1. The degree already held by the student must be in a fundamentally different disciplinary field from the department or program to which the student is applying. A request for permission to be admitted to a degree program at UC San Diego should document this clearly, and should indicate the differences both in intellectual training and in qualification for future employment that the second degree would confer.
  2. The department or program considering the applicant must make a clear case that there is no other way at UC San Diego for the student to obtain the same outcome for future employment prospects (e.g., by pursuing a master’s program or postdoctoral study rather than a second PhD).

Departments and programs that award an MA or MS in the course of progress toward the PhD may confer the master’s degree on any enrolled PhD student who has met the departmental and university requirements for the degree, unless the student already holds an MA or MS in the same or related field. In particular, departments and programs may confer the MA or MS on a PhD student who holds a master’s degree in a different discipline by submitting the Duplicate Master's Degree form. See the DocuSign Forms page in collab for instructions.

Departments and programs are encouraged to consider waiving precandidacy requirements for students who already hold a master’s degree in the same or related field in order to decrease the time to degree.

Academic Senate policy reference.