Jul 19, 2024  
Course Catalog 2018-2019 
Course Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Double-Degree Program

The Double-Degree Program represents combined study in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music. Students accepted to both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music pursue a degree in each division. Oberlin’s encouragement of such study–in conjunction with an exceptionally broad range of course options–makes Oberlin a uniquely effective environment for the study of both music and the liberal arts.

General Educational Guidelines


Double-degree programs must be carefully planned. Music study in the Conservatory is pre-professional study with an organized sequence of courses and requirements designed to prepare students for professional careers in music. The College of Arts and Sciences offers a broad liberal education, thus encouraging intellectual breadth and depth.

While the educational goals of each division differ, an increasing number of students elect the challenging and unique opportunity Oberlin offers through the Double-Degree Program.

Admission to the Program

Students not currently enrolled at Oberlin enter the double-degree program by applying for admission to each division separately. Students currently enrolled in one division may apply for admission to the other division.

Degree Programs


Double-degree students are awarded the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Bachelor of Music (BM) degree from the Conservatory of Music upon completion of the program. A double-degree student may not pursue a Bachelor of Arts in musical studies. Normally both degrees are completed in the same semester. A double-degree student may elect to graduate from each division in different semesters, however; to do so, the requirements for the first degree as a single degree must be met. Refer to the Arts and Sciences or the Conservatory of Music portions of this catalog for the single-degree requirements.


A student pursuing majors in both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music must earn a minimum of 214 credits. In addition, the student must complete institutional requirements as well as course and non-course requirements for a major in each division.

A few combinations of Conservatory and Arts and Sciences majors, together with the institutional graduation requirements, add up to more than 214 credits. Early planning and consultation with advisors in each division is important in order to complete the program in five years. It should be noted that in a few cases completion of all requirements in five academic years may not be possible.

Institutional Graduation Requirements

All students-Arts and Sciences, Conservatory of Music, and Double-Degree-are responsible for compliance with the institutional graduation requirements stated in the Oberlin College Course Catalog in effect when they first matriculate at Oberlin, unless action by an appropriate faculty body specifically directs otherwise. See the section below on Major Study for regulations concerning majors. The following summarizes these institutional requirements for the Double Degree:
1.  214 minimum total credits
2. 88 minimum Arts and Sciences credits (i.e., 22 full academic courses or the equivalent; 20 of which must be full academic courses or equivalent, up to two courses/8 credits may be fulfilled by co-curricular credits)
3. 110 minimum Conservatory credits
4.  7 semesters in residence at Oberlin
5.  3 Winter Term projects
6.  Completion of a major in each degree program
7.  40 Arts and Sciences credits by the end of the fifth semester
8.  Curriculum exploration requirement in the Arts and Sciences

Note: Double-degree students may count one Conservatory course toward the Arts and Humanities portion of this requirement. This course must be a 200- or 300-level musicology course (MHST, ETHN), a 300- or 400-level music theory course (MUTH), or a Historical Performance course (HPRF) beyond the introductory level. These courses are designated as DDHU in the catalog. These Conservatory courses do not count toward the 88-credit Arts and Sciences requirement.

9.   Cultural Diversity requirement
10. Quantitative and Formal Reasoning (QFR) requirement
11.  A minimum GPA of 1.67
12.  Writing requirement

Marching Requirements and Finish Away Status

Normally double-degree students complete both degrees at the same time. However, under certain circumstances, a student may request permission to finish degree requirements off campus (see Finish Away in the Academic Policies section of this catalog).

A double-degree student completing the two degrees in different semesters may participate in Commencement exercises for the single degree (either BA or BM) assuming all marching requirements for that degree are met. Double-degree students may return to participate in Commencement exercises as a double-degree student only after the requirements for the second degree have been met. Double-degree students who choose to participate in commencement a second time are responsible for all expenses related to the second commencement.

Off-Campus Study

Double-degree students must reconcile different policies about off-campus study between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory. Therefore, they should carefully consult the “Academic Policies” section of this catalog.

Leaves and Withdrawals

 Double-degree students may apply for Academic Leave, Personal Leave, or Enrolled-Not-in- Residence.

Double-degree students are subject to the same regulations as Conservatory students with respect to withdrawal/suspension and readmission/reinstatement.

For more information, see Academic Policies: Leaves and Withdrawals.

Major Study

Declaration of a Major

The Conservatory and the College of Arts Sciences have different requirements regarding declaring a major as described below.

The Conservatory major is declared as part of the admissions process. See “Change of Major” and “Requirements for Graduation” in the Conservatory section of this catalog for relevant information.

Double-degree students must declare the Arts and Sciences major before the end of the fifth semester. See “Major and Minor Study” in the Arts and Sciences section of this catalog for relevant information.

Requirements for Major Study

Students with majors in both divisions must be aware of the requirements which apply to each major, as stated in the College of Arts and Sciences as well as the Conservatory of Music sections of this catalog. Much that the double-degree student needs to know is not included in this section of the catalog but in the other two sections. The double-degree student must meet every requirement for each major in the two divisions, as outlined fully in those sections of the catalog.

Recommended Course Distribution

In order to progress satisfactorily toward the BA degree, it is strongly recommended that double-degree students will have earned at least 16 Arts and Sciences credits by the end of the first year and 32 credits by the end of the second year. By the end of the fifth semester a double-degree student must have earned 40 Arts and Sciences credits. The student will be asked to drop one portion of the double-degree program if the 40-credit rule has not been met. Up to four credits of Advanced Placement or pre-matriculation transfer credit may count each year towards the recommended course distribution. Transfer credits earned at the end of the first year will be credited to the second year. Students should consult the major grid for the recommended course distribution for each Conservatory major. All other transfer credit limits apply.

It is strongly advised that each double-degree student, at every stage of his or her Oberlin career, prepare and update a ten-semester course distribution plan of study, and that this plan be regularly reviewed by the student in consultation with his or her advisors.

Double-degree students should refer to the section of the catalog describing requirements in their Conservatory major for the Private Study Committee Exam timetable. Students may deviate from the Private Study Committee Exam timetable only with special permission. In consultation with the principal private study teacher a double-degree student may petition the private study department for permission for these exams to occur in the third, fifth, or seventh semesters.

Double-degree students may take 26 credits in any semester without special permission. See the early pages of this catalog for a fee schedule for additional credits. A student requesting approval of a schedule in excess of 26 credits must have demonstrated the ability to successfully manage a heavy course load.

Honors Program

Students interested in pursuing Honors should refer to the description of Honors for the major in which he or she is interested. Further general information on the Honors Program is elsewhere in this catalog.


Faculty Advisors

Students admitted to both divisions are assigned advisors as follows: for a Conservatory performance major, the principal applied study teacher is normally the student’s faculty advisor. For all other Conservatory majors, a faculty member from the major department or program is normally assigned as advisor. For the College of Arts and Sciences, students are initially assigned advisors, usually in the areas of their possible majors. When the student officially declares the major, an appropriate Arts and Sciences faculty advisor is chosen. Whenever possible, advisors are selected who have a particular interest in and knowledge of the concerns of the double-degree student.

Double-degree students should consult with both of their faculty advisors for help in recommending and selecting an appropriate distribution of courses over ten semesters for majors in the two divisions.

Academic Standing

Double-degree students are expected to achieve at least a minimum level of acceptable accomplishment in each division in order to be considered in good academic standing. The academic standing of double-degree students will be determined jointly by the College of Arts and Sciences and Conservatory of Music Academic Standing Committees. See “Academic Standing” in the College of Arts and Sciences and Conservatory of Music sections of this catalog for further information on the purview of the Academic Standing Committees of each division.


Incomplete Grades

The individual policies of each division apply for double-degree students; that is, the student follows the policy of the division in which the course is taught. These policies are described in appropriate sections of this catalog. Educational incompletes are available to double-degree students only in courses in the College of Arts and Sciences. For emergency incompletes, double-degree students must apply to the Academic Advising Resource Center for Arts and Sciences courses, and in the Conservatory to the Office of the Associate Deans.