Combined Study in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory
of Music (The Double-Degree Program)
General Educational Guidelines
General. 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—make
Oberlin a uniquely effective environment for study of both music
and the liberal arts.
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.
Degrees. Double-degree students are awarded the Bachelor of Arts
(BA) degree from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Bachelor
of Music (BMus) degree from the Conservatory of Music upon completion
of the program. A double-degree student may not pursue a Bachelor
of Arts in music. 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.
General. A student pursuing majors in both the College of Arts
and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music must earn a minimum
of 152 hours of course credit. In addition, he or she 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 152 hours. 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 following section
on Major Study for regulations concerning majors.
The following summarizes these institutional requirements for the
1. 152 minimum total hours
2. 62 minimum Arts and Sciences hours
3. 76 minimum Conservatory hours
4. 5 semesters in residence
5. 3 Winter Term credits
6. Completion of a major in each degree program
7. 30 Arts and Sciences hours by the end of the fifth semester
8. 9-9-9 distribution requirement in Arts and Sciences1
9. 9-hour cultural diversity requirement2
10. Writing Proficiency
11. Quantitative Proficiency
Residence Requirement. Five semesters in residence at Oberlin or in Oberlin College
programs are required. Further, the Conservatory degree requires that at least
24 of the last 30 required credit hours must be earned in residence at Oberlin.
Note: A minimum of 40 Conservatory hours and 36 Arts and Sciences hours must
be earned at Oberlin. A maximum of 45 credits may be transferred by double-degree
students to Oberlin College following matriculation. Up to 24 hours of transfer
credit in the Conservatory and 21 hours in the College of Arts and Sciences will
be permitted. Additional note: for students who decide to drop either degree,
the transfer of credit limitations for the remaining degree will apply.
Finish Away. 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 according to the following procedures.
In the Conservatory of Music, a student who lacks not more than six credit hours
may request approval of Finish Away status from the Assistant Dean in the Conservatory
in order to complete these hours at another institution; if any of these hours
are requirements for the student's major, the major department must also
approve completion of requirements for Finish Away status. In a small number
of cases, a student who has spent at least six semesters in residence or in Oberlin
programs and who has completed a major, may request a waiver of the last semester-in-residence
requirement with a program of off-campus study, justified by clear educational
purposes, for up to 15 hours, either Enrolled-Not-in-Residence, or at another
In the College of Arts and Sciences, a student who lacks not more than eight
credit hours at the end of the spring semester or four hours at the end of the
fall semester of the amount required for graduation may apply through the Office
of the Registrar for permission to complete these hours away from Oberlin. The
work may be done at another institution or through Oberlin courses on an Enrolled-Not-in-Residence
registration. Permission to complete more than four hours at the end of the fall
semester or more than eight hours at the end of the spring semester away from
Oberlin will be granted only after consideration of educational or personal reasons
by the Office of the Dean of Studies.
A student must be registered for work sufficient to complete, by the end of the
last semester in residence, all requirements for the degree(s) sought, in order
to be eligible to participate in the annual Commencement exercises following
that semester. In addition, students must complete all non-course requirements
by the end of classes prior to the Commencement in which they wish to participate.
Students who have permission to finish their work away from Oberlin may participate
in Commencement exercises only after all requirements have been met.
Off-Campus Study. Double-degree students must reconcile different policies
off-campus study between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory.
Therefore, they should carefully consult the "General Information" section
of the catalog where specific provisions are presented under "Academic
Double-degree students are required to complete at least nine credit
hours in each of the three divisions at Oberlin College. These credits
must be from at least two departments or programs within each division.
Double-degree students may count Music History courses above MHST 101,
upper-division Music Theory courses (refer to list of Music Theory courses
in the back of this catalog), and Historical Performance courses toward
the Arts and Humanities portion of this requirement. However, these Conservatory
courses do not count toward the 62-hour Arts and Sciences requirement.
Double-degree students are not required to fulfill the 84-hour rule, i.e.,
are not required to have 28 Arts and Sciences hours outside the Arts and
Sciences division in which they have the most credit.
Nine credit hours of courses labeled cultural diversity from at least
two departments or programs are required. This work will count simultaneously
Important considerations are as follows:
Double-degree students may apply for Academic Leave, Personal Leave,
(for Oberlin programs abroad);
Double-degree students are subject to the same regulations as Conservatory
students with respect to withdrawal/suspension and readmission/reinstatement.
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. A request
for a change of major is initiated in the Office of the Associate Dean in the
Conservatory. Conservatory students must complete the requirements for their
Conservatory major which were in effect upon entering Oberlin. Should the requirements
for the major change while the student is enrolled, the student may elect to
follow the Conservatory major requirements in effect when entering Oberlin or
those in effect in any subsequent year during which the student is enrolled;
in any case, the student must elect to follow a complete set of Conservatory
major requirements in one of those years.
Double-degree students must declare the Arts and Sciences major before the end
of the fifth semester. The requirements that apply are those published in the
Course Catalog in effect in the student's fifth semester. These requirements
may be altered as necessary in individual cases by the departments or programs.
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
1. In order to progress satisfactorily toward the BA degree, it is strongly
recommended that double-degree students will have earned at least 12 Arts and
Sciences hours by the end of his or her first year and 25 hours by the end of
his or her second year. By the end of the fifth semester a double-degree student
must have earned 30 Arts and Sciences hours. The student will be asked to drop
one portion of the double-degree program if the 30-hour rule has not been met.
Up to four hours of Advanced Placement or pre-matriculation transfer credit may
count each year. Transfer hours 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Double-degree students may take 17 credit hours in any semester without special
permission. Schedules of 18 or 19 hours may be approved by the appropriate dean
in each division. See the early pages of this catalog for a fee
additional hours. Generally, a student requesting approval of a schedule in excess
of 17 hours must have demonstrated the ability to successfully manage a heavy
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 the student's faculty advisor. For all other Conservatory majors, a
faculty member from the major department or program is assigned as advisor. For
the College of Arts and Sciences, students are initially assigned faculty advisors,
usually in the areas of their possible majors. When the student officially declares
the major, an appropriate Arts and Sciences 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.
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 that 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 Office of the Dean of Studies for Arts and Sciences
courses, and in the Conservatory to the Assistant Dean.