Dual Bachelor's Degrees

Qualified students may earn bachelor’s degrees from two different undergraduate schools at Northwestern. Five years of full-time study are usually required.

For information on applying to the combined programs, see Application to Dual Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Dual Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Cross-school collaborations provide opportunities for undergraduate students to complete coursework in two Northwestern schools concurrently and to receive bachelor’s degrees from both schools. Students may choose from the following dual bachelor’s degree programs:

  • BA/BS in liberal arts and engineering
  • BA/BMus in liberal arts and music
  • BA/BS or BS/BS in communication and engineering
  • BA/BMus, BS/BMus, BA/BAMus, or BS/BAMus in communication and music
  • BSED/BMus or BSED/BAMus in education and social policy and in music
  • BS/BMus or BS/BAMus in engineering and music
  • BSJ/BMus or BSJ/BAMus in journalism and music

Typically, five years of faculty-approved full-time study are required to complete any of these programs and meet the Undergraduate Registration Requirement.

Students in dual degree programs must earn at least 42 credits in 12 quarters at Northwestern to fulfill the URR.

Students apply to the BA/BS program in liberal arts and engineering after matriculating. For information on applying to the other programs, see the section titled Application to Dual Bachelor's Degree Programs in Admissions. Students receiving financial aid should also note the restrictions under Financial Aid.

Liberal Arts and Engineering Program

Qualified Northwestern undergraduates with strong interests in the liberal arts as well as engineering may elect to earn both a bachelor of arts degree in a liberal arts discipline from Weinberg College and a bachelor of science degree in an engineering field from the McCormick School (BA/BS). Students may pursue any combination of majors from the two schools. They must complete all requirements of both schools and both majors and are subject to all regulations of both schools and the URR. The one exception is that students may be exempted—by decision of the Weinberg College associate dean for undergraduate academic affairs—from the rule that a minimum of 34 Weinberg College courses must be completed toward requirements for a Weinberg BA degree

Interested students most often begin their studies in the McCormick School. To do the necessary planning, they should consult with Weinberg College’s Office of Undergraduate Studies and Advising and the Undergraduate Engineering Office in the McCormick School as soon as possible after enrolling at Northwestern. Students should meet regularly with advisers in both schools to discuss their progress toward completion of both sets of requirements.

Liberal Arts and Music Program

Some Northwestern undergraduates choose to combine intensive study in music with a broad exploration of the liberal arts and a major in a liberal arts discipline. Students accepted into the Weinberg College–Bienen School of Music dual bachelor’s degree program may simultaneously earn a bachelor of arts degree from Weinberg College and a bachelor of music degree from the Bienen School (BA/BMus). In addition to the URR, they must complete all Weinberg College degree requirements, including at least 30 Weinberg courses (other students must complete 34; details about what constitutes a Weinberg course can be found in this Catalog under Weinberg College Requirements), as well as all Bienen School degree requirements, including at least 30 music courses.

Participants in this program must be accepted by both Weinberg College and the Bienen School. Students work closely with academic advisers from both schools to develop an individual curricular program. Most follow a balanced curriculum in which about half of the coursework each year is done in each school. It is possible, however, to take mostly courses in one school in the earlier years and to then take mostly courses in the other school. Current students interested in this program should consult with the associate dean for undergraduate academic affairs in Weinberg College and the assistant dean for student affairs in the Bienen School.

Communication and Engineering Program

The dual degree program in communication and engineering offers students the opportunity to earn both a bachelor of science in engineering and either a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts in communication in five years. Students may select any of the School of Communication’s six majors and any of the available programs in engineering.

Dual degree students must complete all requirements for both degrees and are subject to all regulations of both schools and the URR. Each school enforces all of its policies regarding requirements.

Current students interested in pursuing the dual degree in communication and engineering should contact advisers in the Undergraduate Engineering Office and a School of Communication adviser in the desired major. Contact information for School of Communication advisers is available at communication.northwestern.edu/advising.

Communication and Music Program

The dual degree program in communication and music offers students the opportunity to earn both a bachelor of science or bachelor of arts in communication and either a bachelor of music or bachelor of arts in music. Students may select any of the School of Communication’s six majors and any of the available programs in music.

Dual degree students must complete all requirements for both degrees and the URR. Each school enforces all of its policies regarding requirements.

Current students interested in pursuing the dual degree in communication and music should contact the assistant dean for student affairs in the Bienen School of Music and a School of Communication adviser in the desired major. Contact information for advisers is available at communication.northwestern.edu/advising.

Education and Social Policy and Music Program

The dual degree program in music and education and social policy offers students the opportunity to earn a bachelor of music/bachelor of arts in music and a bachelor of science in education and social policy in five years, developing their passion for music as a tool for creating change in learning environments, human relationships, organizations, and the field of social policy.

Students may select any of the Bienen School’s undergraduate majors and any of SESP’s undergraduate majors except secondary teaching. Students must complete all requirements for both degrees as well as the URR. Each school enforces all of its policies regarding requirements.

Engineering and Music Program

Highly capable students who have a strong interest in and commitment to both engineering and music may apply to the McCormick School–Bienen School dual bachelor’s degree program. Students accepted into this program may simultaneously earn a bachelor of science degree from the McCormick School and a bachelor of music or bachelor of arts in music degree from the Bienen School (BS/BMus or BS/BAMus). Students must complete all requirements of both schools and both majors and are subject to all regulations of both schools and the URR.

The program may be entered no later than the beginning of the sophomore year, and admission requires concurrent approval of both the McCormick School and the Bienen School. Current students interested in this program should consult with advisers in the Undergraduate Engineering Office in the McCormick School and the assistant dean for student affairs in the Bienen School.

Journalism and Music Program

This dual bachelor’s degree program allows students to earn both a bachelor of science in journalism from Medill and a bachelor of music or bachelor of arts in music from the Bienen School (BSJ/BMus or BSJ/BAMus). The program is intended to prepare students for journalism careers emphasizing music and arts reporting. Prospective students typically apply to the program while applying for undergraduate admission to Northwestern.

The program requires completion of all Medill and Bienen School degree requirements as well as the URR. Students should work with advisers from both schools to develop a timeline for completing all requirements within five years of enrollment.