College of LAS « Illinois

Applying for a Second Degree in LAS

Who Should Consider a Second Degree | What Makes A Second Degree Distinctive | LAS Rules | Procedures and Deadlines

Within available resources, LAS offers students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign the opportunity to earn second degrees in LAS.

Any student wanting a second degree in LAS (including students already in an LAS degree program) must apply, be reviewed, and receive approval from both department and college for second degree candidacy. LAS has specific criteria which must be met in addition to the general University regulations for second degrees. LAS rules, procedures, and deadlines are noted below.

  • Simple accumulation of credit hours in LAS does not qualify a student for a second degree in LAS.
  • LAS does not accept applications for second degrees in LAS majors administratively housed in another college (e.g. LAS Finance, LAS Music, LAS Art History, LAS Physics).
  • Submission of application materials does not ensure admission to a second degree program in LAS.

Who Should Consider a Second Degree

An LAS second degree is most appropriate for:

  • Students in LAS Specialized Curricula for whom multiple majors are not otherwise an option.
  • Undergraduates in other colleges at U of I's Urbana campus for whom formal certification in a liberal arts and sciences field may be obtained only via a second degree or a minor.

LAS students in Science and Letters curricula are expected to declare multiple majors and minors. There is no limit on the numbers of major/minor programs that an LAS Science and Letters student may declare. On occasion, a Science and Letters undergraduate may have specific graduate school, research, or career plans which provide a compelling academic reason for completion of a second degree instead of additional majors or minors, but these cases are rare.

What Makes an LAS Second Degree Distinctive

LAS second degree programs are expected to be distinctive in several respects:

  • In degree of integration of second degree with primary degree program, or in specific applicability to educational or career objectives. Why does the candidate believe the two proposed degrees provide a distinct educational opportunity not otherwise available?
  • In intentionality of demonstrated in student engagement in appropriate LAS advising and timely submission of all application materials for candidacy.
  • In academic performance of the demonstrated by the candidate meeting or exceeding set GPA criteria which currently include: meeting GPA eligibility standards for declaring the second disciplinary program, and, for students earning degrees in two colleges, GPA eligibility standards for (re-admission) to the primary degree program.

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LAS Rules for Second Degrees


  • Students seeking second degree candidacy must complete the full application process, including securing appropriate advising and being approved at the departmental and college levels according to the required schedule. Part of the planning process involves meeting with the advisors in each of the proposed majors to determine appropriate class choices and to assess whether a second degree is an appropriate path in achieving educational goals.
  • Students must complete all of the requirements specified for the additional LAS degree as well as an additional 30 hours over and above those required for the first degree. NOTE: No LAS degree or program requirements are waived and substitutions are rare.
  • An applicant whose first bachelor's degree is being pursued in a college other than LAS must take courses to satisfy any unmet LAS requirements immediately upon admission to LAS (for example, Non-Primary Language Requirement).
  • A course cannot count toward requirements of more than two programs (majors, minors, or double degrees).
  • Students desiring to complete a second degree must earn at least 12 hours of distinct, advanced level coursework in the LAS major discipline. Careful planning is important because the courses used as distinct advanced coursework in the LAS major cannot be used in meeting another degree program's requirements.
  • Students must also review the University rules governing second degrees, which can be found in §3: 801 (for students matriculating before fall 2006) and §3: 801 (for students matriculated after fall 2006) in the Student Code.
    NOTE: These hours do not include supporting coursework or technical electives, nor may students earn a degree in MCB and a second degree in Biochemistry.

GPA Requirement

Students must meet GPA eligibility standards of the two colleges and the individual programs. An Illinois GPA of 3.00 will be required of all students at the time of application for a second degree in LAS.

Residency Requirement

University regulations on second degrees require that the 30 additional hours for the second degree must be completed on the Urbana campus.

All second degree candidates in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must be enrolled in LAS for a minimum of two semesters. In addition, the candidate must complete 12 distinct advanced hours in the LAS major that are not used in meeting the requirements for any other degree program.

Maximum Terms of Eligibility

Normally, approval for admission to a second bachelor's degree will be granted only if the requirements for the degree can be satisfied within two semesters. Note that all candidates for LAS degrees are accorded a maximum of 10-semesters of total university enrollment to complete their degrees.

Timing in Completion of Second Degree

LAS students approved for candidacy for two LAS degrees must complete their degrees concurrently. Students completing a degree program in another college in addition to LAS have two options:

  • they may complete their LAS second degree concurrently with their first degree in another college, or
  • they may complete LAS as their first degree, then return for a second degree form the other college.

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Procedures and Deadlines

Submission Deadlines

  • February 15 (for decisions effective Summer & Fall term)
  • September 15 (for decisions effective Spring term)

Student must observe the following submission deadlines:

  • For students planning to complete undergraduate degrees in 8 semesters, we recommend you submit all application materials to the College, after departmental review, in the fifth term of enrollment. Submission is required by the first week of classes of the seventh term of enrollment.
  • For students planning to complete undergraduate degrees in 10 semesters, we recommend you submit all application materials to the College, after departmental reviews, in the seventh term of enrollment. Submission is required no later than the first week of classes of the eighth term.

Students who matriculated Fall 2004 or after will be strictly held to this submission timetable to ensure that appropriate planning and consultation has taken place in anticipation of a dual degree program. Students who matriculated earlier than Fall 2004 are strongly encouraged to follow these guidelines.

Obtaining and Completing the Application

Eligible students should obtain a copy of "Procedures for Planning a Second Degree Program—College of Liberal Arts & Sciences" available in LAS Student Academic Affairs, then follow the detailed directions as they develop their application materials in consultation with departmental advisors. The completed application submitted to the college consists of a student petition, plus a planning form, already reviewed and approved by the department, and a student resume.

You will be asked to present a compelling explanation in your petition for how a second degree award (as opposed to additional course work or an additional major or minor) is needed to achieve specific educational or career goals and how work in the second degree will be integrated with your work towards a first degree. You also must meet all other criteria noted in University rules and LAS rules.

Approval of Application

A student whose candidacy for a second degree is subsequently approved by the college, and who is successful in following the appropriate course of study identified in the Planning Form (or an approved revision of such), will be approved for official declaration and auditing of the second degree during the penultimate term of enrollment. Entry of the second degree into the Banner system will occur during the final graduation auditing.

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