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Major Requirement

To qualify for an undergraduate degree a student must fulfill all degree requirements. This includes all major requirements and UB Curriculum requirements. Major requirements encompass a program of study, either in a degree program offered by a department or in an approved individual field of the student’s own choice, as developed in the Special Major Program. See the Course Catalog of programs for major acceptance criteria and program requirements and the UB Curriculum requirements chart for a description of UB Curriculum requirements.

An undergraduate student is expected to be admitted to a major by the time the student has earned 60 credits. To ensure timely progress towards a degree, it is strongly recommended that each student choose a major by the time they have completed 45 credits.

Failure to be admitted to a major and make progress towards a degree can negatively impact financial aid eligibility. Each student should work closely with their academic advisor to ensure they are meeting all requirements for degree completion and, if applying for financial aid, consult with a financial aid advisor to ensure all eligibility requirements are fulfilled.

Additional special degree options are available as listed below. These degree options require planning early in an academic career in order to meet the full requirements. Advisement is available for such planning; however, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all requirements of a planned program have been completed.

Double Majors

A double major is the awarding of one degree (e.g. a Bachelor of Arts - BA) with two majors: for example a student completes a double major in English and History, and earns one BA degree. To complete a double major, a student must be accepted into each major, fulfill all requirements of each major, and satisfy all university requirements including a minimum of 120 credit hours. Following conferral of the bachelor’s degree, the student’s transcript and diploma will note one degree with two distinct majors.

Joint Majors

A joint major combines two majors leading to the same degree (e.g. two majors within a BA, BS or BFA), but unlike the double major, does not require completion of all of the requirements of each major. Thus, it typically requires fewer credits than a double major. The joint major is created by combining requirements from each major as determined by the student and the directors of undergraduate studies in each department (for each major).

In arranging such a program of study, the student must obtain approval from the two departments involved and the directors of undergraduate studies for each of the majors must assist in planning the joint major. In special cases, a student may arrange a program that includes more than two departments or majors. Following conferral of the degree, the student's transcript will note the individual majors earned through the joint program.

A student wishing to pursue a joint major between programs leading to two different degrees (e.g., a BS and a BA) must pursue a Special Major (see the “Special Major” program listing in this catalog).


A minor is a secondary field of study and offers students a means to complement their major, explore a subspecialty, and/or broaden career opportunities. Minors may not be taken in the same discipline as the student’s major(s). For instance, a student may not complete both an English BA and an English minor. See the Academic Programs section for a list of approved minors and corresponding requirements. A minor alone is not sufficient for graduation: a student cannot receive a bachelor’s degree if they are pursuing a minor but not a major. Some departments require formal application to the minor; students should contact the department for application information and deadlines.

Double Degrees

The double degree is the concurrent awarding of two different bachelor degree types (BA, BS, BFA or MusB)

A student pursuing two majors from two different degree types develops the same competencies as a student pursuing each of the majors individually.

To earn a double degree, these criteria (beyond university and general education requirements) must be met:

  • The two degree types must be different (e.g. BA and BS)
  • Major requirements for both degrees must be completed
  • 30 credit hours beyond the full requirements of the degree with the larger number of required undergraduate credits
    • A minimum of 150 credits must be completed
  • No more than two 300- and 400-level courses required for one major in one degree may also count toward required courses for the other major in the other degree, including required elective credits
    • Students completing a double degree in Mathematics and another major may overlap Math 306 and 309 in addition to two courses at the 300- and 400-level

IMPORTANT: If a student completes two majors within one degree type, s/he will be awarded a double major (one degree with two majors), not two degrees, regardless of how many credits s/he earns.

A student wishing to pursue a double degree should complete the Double Degree Checklist early in their academic career with the guidance of faculty and staff from both programs to ensure they meet the criteria above.

Combined Degree Programs

Combined degree programs combine requirements of undergraduate and graduate degrees. A combined degree program accelerates the time to complete an undergraduate and graduate degree by substituting graduate-level courses for a limited number of upper-level undergraduate requirements such that students still meet the required learning outcomes for both degree programs; therefore two degrees are awarded. The condensed format allows students to complete the two degrees in less time (and often with less cost) than the two degrees separately. 

A minimum of 90 undergraduate credits are required for completion of a combined degree. The minimum undergraduate residency requirement for the undergraduate portion of any combined degree program is 18 credits. The minimum graduate residency requirement for the graduate portion of any combined degree program varies by program. In no case is the graduate residency requirement for any combined degree program less than 24 credits.

In the case of a combined degree that includes a double or joint major, whereby a single undergraduate degree is earned (BA or BS), a student may only pursue one combined degree option.

With department approval, a student has the option to receive the bachelor’s degree after one year of graduate or professional work as long as at least 120 credits have been earned, UB Curriculum/general education requirements are completed and all undergraduate major requirements have been satisfied.

Tuition for Combined Degrees: The 2021-2022 tuition structure for combined degree programs is currently under revision, pending guidance from SUNY. Until further guidance is issued, the current policy will be followed:

Combined degrees have a two-tier tuition structure. While the student is completing the undergraduate portion, tuition is charged at the undergraduate rate. When the student matriculates to the graduate level, tuition charges change to the appropriate graduate or professional rate. For example, a student pursuing a combined BS/MBA is required to complete three years of undergraduate coursework and two years of graduate coursework. Thus, the student is billed at the undergraduate rate for three years. When the student transitions to the MBA portion of the program, the student is billed at the appropriate graduate tuition rate until the remaining two years of the BS/MBA combined degree program are completed.

A student wishing to leave a combined degree program prior to completion must submit the Withdrawal from a Combined Degree Program form. Once processed, the following billing action will occur:

  • If the student is pursuing the undergraduate portion of the program, the student will continue with undergraduate coursework and will be billed accordingly at the undergraduate tuition rate. 
  • If the student is pursuing the graduate portion of the combined degree program when the student chooses to withdraw from the combined degree program, they will continue to be charged at the graduate rate until formally re-matriculated into the undergraduate career the following semester.

Combined Degree(s) that include a Double Degree:

In the case of a combined degree(s) that includes an undergraduate double-degree, rules of double degrees apply. A maximum of 30 credits of graduate coursework may be applied to one associated undergraduate degree. A student must complete at least 120 undergraduate credits. No graduate credits may be applied toward the 120 undergraduate credit minimum. No credit may be applied to more than two degrees.

Subsequent Degrees

A subsequent degree is earned when a student pursues an undergraduate degree after they have earned a bachelor degree from UB, an accredited U.S. institution, or a recognized foreign institution. Once a UB undergraduate degree is awarded a student may not add a minor or concentration to that degree.

In order to receive a subsequent undergraduate degree from UB, the following requirements must be met:

  • The student must be accepted to UB as a matriculated student and be accepted into the new major 
  • The student must meet all requirements for the new major
  • The coursework in the second degree program must be a minimum of 30 credit hours to fulfill the minimum required to satisfy UB’s residency requirement
  • The new major for the subsequent degree must be in a significantly different field of study than any already conferred degrees. Therefore 300- and 400-level coursework completed for the major requirements of the first bachelor’s degree will not count toward completing the major requirements of the subsequent degree.
    • In the rare circumstance when a single course taken for the first degree program is a required course in the subsequent degree program, a course substitution in the subsequent degree may be approved by petition from the undergraduate program director of the subsequent degree program
  • A student pursuing the second bachelor’s degree does not need to complete the UB Curriculum (general education) requirements but must still possess the competencies of a student who completes the requirements for the regular degree program
Published: Nov 23, 2021 13:22:42