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Double Majors/Secondary Majors
A double major represents the completion of work in two areas but for
one degree. For example, a student who majors in graphic design and industrial
design will receive only one BFA.
As double majoring is not an official policy at RISD, evaluation and
approval of student requests to pursue a double major are handled on a case by
case basis. It is rare for a student to double-major at RISD due mainly to the
amount of extra work involved. It usually demands at least one extra year of
study, sometimes more than that.
Freshmen are not eligible for consideration of double majoring. Other
students interested in pursuing two majors should first consult with their
academic advisors in their current home department. Then the
student should meet with both academic department heads to gain their written
permission to formally declare both majors. The
approval process may begin as early as the first semester of sophomore year and
cannot begin after the first semester of junior year. Double majors who receive financial aid should seek counseling early from the
Financial Aid office, particularly in regard to aid eligibility in the fifth
year and beyond.
One major will be designated “primary” and the other “secondary.” Students generally pursue both majors simultaneously rather than sequentially,
hence the intention to double major must be declared by the middle of the
Both majors must be completed before the degree can be earned unless
the student formally “undeclares” the desire to double major. A student may
withdraw their double major declaration by notice to the Registrar’s office.
A double major is different from a double
degree. Students in five-year programs, such as Architecture, receive two
degrees because they are in formally approved and structured dual degree