Office of Academic Affairs

Dual Degree Program – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Dual Degree Progam?

The Dual Degree Program combines study at two of the University of Rochester’s Schools: the Eastman School of Music and the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering.  The program leads to the Bachelor of Music and the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degrees.

How are students admitted to the program?

Interested students apply for admission to each division separately.  Acceptance by both divisions qualifies students to be members of the formal dual degree program.

Who advises Dual Degree students?

Dual degree programs must be carefully planned.  The largely pre-professional study at the Eastman School consists of organized sequences of courses and requirements designed to prepare students for professional careers in music.  Study in the College combines broadly conceived preparation in the liberal arts along with focused study in the major, which may itself be more or less intensive with many or fewer specific requirements.

Dual degree students are expected to meet with their official advisers at least once each semester.  Preparation of long-term plans of study showing the completion of both degrees, updated each semester to reflect changing circumstances, are useful aids in advising discussions.

Program specific questions should be directed towards the advisor for the degree. Eastman specific questions can be directed toward the Office of Academic Affairs. AS&E degree advisors can often be found on the department’s web page or by contacting the College Center for Advising Services.

Since Freshman Orientation at both campuses happens concurrently, where do students attend Freshman Orientation?

Students in the dual degree program normally take only one or two courses in the College during the freshman year.  As a consequence, while students are invited to attend the Orientation Program for students in the College, attendance is not required.  It is essential that students attend the Eastman School’s Orientation program, however, which is held just prior to the start of the semester.  Placement tests in music theory and keyboard skills are given, and students will be ready to register for fall classes at the end of the session.  We hold a special get-together at the Eastman School specifically for the new students in the dual degree program late in the week prior to the start of classes.  Questions about placement into College courses and other matters can be addressed at this session.

Where do Dual Degree students live?

Students normally live on their billing campus, but this is not a requirement.  With the permission of the Director of Residential Life on the River Campus (Laurel Contomanolis, 585 275-3166) and of the Assistant Dean for Residential Life at the Eastman School (Robert Bones, 585 274-1251), arrangements to live on the other campus will be accommodated.

How are students transported between the two campuses?

Free shuttle buses run frequently throughout the day between the Eastman School and the River Campus.   Classes on the two campuses are on different schedules.  Thus, it is usually possible to leave a class on one campus, get on the shuttle bus for the 20-minute ride, and arrive on the other campus in time for the next class.  Please refer to the Transportation and Parking website for the most current schedule at

What are the requirements for graduation?

Students accepted into the dual degree program need to complete all of the specified degree requirements for each degree.  These are spelled out in more detail in each Undergraduate Bulletin.  While the usual four-year single degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours, the dual degree program will certainly require earning additional credit.  Early consultation with advisers in each division is important in order to plan the most efficient completion of the program.  (It should be noted that in some cases, completion in four years plus summers is possible, while in other cases, four years may not be sufficient, and an additional 5th year may be required.)

The College requires:

• completion of requirements for a major with an average grade of C or better.

• completion of the primary writing requirement with a C or better grade.  (Each major includes at least two upper-level writing courses.)

• completion of the Rochester Curriculum:  an approved 3-course cluster in each of the two divisions outside the division of the College major, with an average grade of C or better.

The Eastman School requires:

• completion of the prescribed degree program with a minimum GPA of 2.0.

• completion of the major department and applied music juries.

• completion of the equivalent of at least eight full-time semesters of college study.

How many semesters of Financial Aid may Dual Degree students receive?

As long as students continue to make what both divisions consider to be satisfactory progress toward both degrees, and assuming that all other factors remain the same, the institutional financial aid for which students qualify will be awarded in a 9th semester or a full 5th year.  (Students will receive a maximum of ten semesters of financial aid across both degrees no matter when the second degree is begun.)

What is the normal Dual Degree courseload?

The normal courseload for dual degree students varies from 16 to 24 credits.  They may register for 20 or more credit hours in any semester as long as they maintain B or better averages.  There is no extra charge for credits above 16 each semester taken for program enrichment.

Normally, students will take most of their courses at the Eastman School of Music during their first two years.  However, in order to maintain enrollment in the dual degree program and to make progress toward the degree in the College, students are strongly recommended to complete at least 8 credit hours on the River Campus by the end of the first year and to have completed 24 credit hours by the end of the second year.

By the end of the fifth semester, dual degree students will be expected to have earned 32 credit hours and to have been officially accepted into a major in the College.  Students may be dropped from the College degree program if these criteria have not been met.

For how many semesters may a Dual Degree student study their applied instrument?

Up to five years of private instruction are available to dual degree students with their applied faculty instructor.