In its recent notification, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced the commencement of collaborative dual degree programs between Indian and foreign universities. The decision has been made in view of “Academic Collaboration between Indian and Foreign Higher Educational Institutions to offer Twinning, Joint Degree and Dual Degree Programmes” (UGC Dual Degree Notification).
Some of the provisions of the dual degree programs were first announced in 2012 and later modified in 2016. However, joint degrees are being permitted by the Govt. of India for the first time.
UGC has laid down various regulations and guidelines regarding the dual degree, twinning degrees, and joint degree programs with Indian and foreign universities.
We will be discussing all of them in detail, but let us first understand what a dual degree program is.
What is a Dual Degree Program?
A dual degree or a double degree program means that a student can pursue two different degrees from either the same university or two different universities or even from two different countries but at the same time. The two degrees may or may not be in the same subject area.
For example, suppose you pursued business and journalism in a dual degree program. In that case, you will graduate with two degrees in hand- a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Journalism degree respectively.
The concept of a dual degree has been quite popular in Europe and is now making its way to India as well. This popularity is due to the many advantages of a dual degree in the current fast-paced and highly competitive times.
The foremost reason is you save a lot of time. You spend less time than it would have taken when you pursued 2 degrees separately. You gain knowledge of different specialisations/subjects which makes you a multi-talent and hence gives you an edge over others.
However, you must not confuse a dual degree with dual major or integrated courses. All three are different. Continue reading till the end to find out these subtle but important differences.
University Grants Commission (UGC) has taken a decision on regulation for academic collaboration between Indian and foreign higher education institutions to offer training, joint degree, and dual degree programs: Jagadesh Kumar, UGC Chairman pic.twitter.com/tt8Z8zB9fp
— ANI (@ANI) April 19, 2022
UGC Guidelines for Pursuing Dual Degree
According to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the education pedagogy must evolve in order to make the education more holistic, experimental, integrated, flexible, discussion-based, learner-centered, and enjoyable as well.
The objective is to offer flexible curricular structures for students to be creative and practical in their approach towards education. Different areas of study will help students with multiple career options and help with employment in the country.
Following are the guidelines for pursuing dual degrees in India:
- A learner can pursue two full-time academic degrees (offline) provided that the class timings for one course do not coincide with that of the other course.
- Students can pursue dual degrees in the following modes:-
- Both are full-time offline courses.
- One full-time offline course and the other in online mode or Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode.
- Both the courses are in online mode or Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode.
- The degrees pursued in the ODL or online mode must be from those institutions only that are UGC/Statutory Council/Govt. Of India recognised.
All the above guidelines are for the undergraduate and postgraduate degrees only and not for Ph.D. programmes. Earlier, dual degree programs were available but only within India. You could pursue two separate degrees from two separate Indian universities. However, with this recent UGC notification, students will be able to pursue dual degrees from both India and abroad.
The UGC regulation has permitted 3 types of programmes:
- Dual Degree- This is where both the colleges award separate degrees even if in the same subject.
- Joint Degree- Here the curriculum of the program is designed jointly by both Indian and Foreign universities. After the completion of the program, the degrees will be offered by both the universities but in a single certificate. The student must earn
- Twinning Degree- Here a part of the course is completed at the Indian University and the other part at a foreign university. Only the Indian University will offer the degree in this case. The credit distribution will be no more than 30% from the Foreign university and the rest from the Indian university.
This move by the UGC has made it easy for Indian students to study abroad and earn a foreign university degree. However, there are certain guidelines for pursuing dual degrees from foreign universities.
- The dual degree programme will be designed together by the Indian university and the partner foreign university. Students will receive two separate degrees, one from each university.
- The two degrees must be in the same disciplines/subjects and also in the same level.
- The students must meet the eligibility criteria of both the Indian and foregn university for the admission.
- Out of the total credits, students must earn at least 30% from the Indian university. The rest credits to be earned from the foreign university shall be obtained through the conventional mode.
- In case of Ph.D. courses, the students should have a mentor/supervisor at each of the two universities.
Best Dual Degree/Integrated Courses (Regular Mode) 2023
There are so many dual degree programs out there because of the sudden popularity. Many prestigious universities have come up with numerous dual-degree programs because of an upsurge of students seeking these programs.
Some of the common and most in-demand dual degree programs (regular mode) for students who have just completed their 12th are:
- Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) + Master of Technology (M.Tech)
- Bachelor of Engineering (BE) + Master of Engineering (ME)
- B.Tech/BE + Master of Science (MS)
- B.Tech/BE + Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) + Master of Science (M.Sc)
- Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) + Bachelor of Business Economics (BBE)
- Bachelor of Arts in English (BA Honours) + Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (BA Honours)
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) + Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) + Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) + Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) + Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
- Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) + Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm)
- Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) + Master of Business Administration (MBA)
For students who possess higher academic qualifications than the 12th standard certificate can opt for the following dual degree programs:
- Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) + Master of Education (M.Ed) Integrated Course
- Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm) + Master of Business Administration (MBA) Integrated Course
- Master of Science (M.Sc) + Ph.D. Integrated Course
- And more depending upon your area of study
Top Dual Degree Colleges In India 2023
Some of the top institutions in India have started offering dual degree courses as it has become quite popular recently. Not just the popularity, but the great potential of this program has made the following top institutions offer these dual degree courses.
|Indian Institute of Technology (IITs)||Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU Delhi)|
|IIST Thiruvananthapuram||Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT Vellore)|
|Delhi Technical University (DTU)||Lovely Professional University (LPU Jalandhar)|
|Amity University||Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University|
|BITS Pilani||Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (Hyderabad)|
|Chandigarh University||National Institute of Technology (NITs)|
|Christ University, Bangalore||SRM Institute of Science and Technology|
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Dual Degree Programs
If you are someone who is highly driven towards their passion and career. If you are someone who can keep up with the academic rigour and pressure of pursuing two degrees at a time, then there are many advantages to look forward to.
- Accelerated Education- In a dual degree you get two separate degrees in the same time period. So, for instance, you can earn BBA and BA degrees in 3 years of time through a dual degree program. Now, if you go the traditional way to gain these two degrees one after the other, it’ll take you 6 years to do so. Hence, a dual degree saves your time.
- Diverse Career Options- Since you are studying two separate areas of study, there will be more career options when compared to when you have a single degree. For instance, if you have a dual degree in MBA and MCA, then you will have career options in the Management as well as Information Technology (IT) sectors. Or you can even go for career options like an MBA in Data Science etc. whatever you choose, you will always have better chances of getting jobs than people with a single degree.
- Integrated Courses- A dual degree can be further classified into an integrated degree. In this case, you can pursue a UG and a PG degree together. Integrated courses are really popular and beneficial as you have to take the admission once and it takes less time. For example, you can complete an integrated B.Tech+M.Tech course in 5 years rather than the traditional 6 years.
- One-time admission- You have to go through the admission procedure and other formalities only once. This saves you from a lot of hassle and saves your precious time and money.
- Personality Development- Pursuing a dual degree is quite a challenging task. Hence, it creates a good impression on the employers who are looking for hard-working people for their firms.
The Disadvantages of Dual Degree programs are only a few
1. The academic pressure is extremely high because you are studying two very different areas of study at the same time. However, if you are extremely career-driven and passionate then this might not be a problem for you.
2. Another important point of consideration is that you will not be able to switch to a different university after you take the admission if you wish to do so. So it is always advised to properly inquire about the university.
Is a Dual Degree Worth It?- Careers after Dual Degree
The world is moving at a fast pace. The competition is immense and everybody wants to get ahead of each other. In such an environment, it is wise to remain one step ahead of the others. A Dual degree is something that helps you do so.
From the above examples, you already know how beneficial dual degrees are when it comes to saving time. You can get two different bachelor’s degrees in 3 years instead of 6 years and two different master’s degrees in 2 years instead of 4 years. However, time is not the only benefit here.
After you complete your dual degree, the door to a number of diverse career opportunities opens for you. Since you have an in-depth knowledge of two different fields, your career options are also doubled.
For example, if you pursue only an MBA degree, then you will have some job opportunities in the Management field. If you pursue only an MCA degree, then you will have some job opportunities in the Information Technology (IT) field. However, if you pursue a dual degree with both MBA and MCA, then you will have job opportunities in both these fields.
Another advantage that makes a dual degree worth consideration is that it increases your value in the eyes of an employer. With a dual degree in hand, you project yourself as a multitasking person. This is one quality that every employer wants in their employees. Hence, your chances of getting recruited increase.
So to answer the question, yes a dual degree is worth it if you do it with passion and focus. For those who have a clear picture of their career path and who know what different areas of study will help them, a dual degree is definitely a great choice towards a bright future.
Dual Degree Vs Dual Major
There is quite a major difference between a dual degree program and a dual major program even though they might seem similar. As already discussed, in a dual degree program you have the opportunity to study two completely different subjects/fields. In this case, you get two different degrees for the two different subjects you studied.
For example, if you study computer applications and business together in a dual degree program, then you will earn two separate degrees. One BCA/MCA for computer applications and one BBA/MBA for business administration. These two are completely unrelated fields but can be studied in a dual degree program.
However, in a dual major program, you can opt for two completely different specialisations but within a single degree program. For example, you can study MBA in Finance and MBA in Marketing at the same time in a dual major program. In this case, you will earn a single MBA degree but with two different majors/specialisations, that is, Marketing and Finance.
So in short, a dual degree is when you are studying in two separate degree programs in two different fields at the same time. While a dual major is when you are studying in a single degree program but you will specialise in two different disciplines.
Another difference is that you can pursue a dual major from one university only since there is only one degree. On the other hand, you have the opportunity to pursue a dual degree from different universities or even from different countries, getting a degree from each.
Is Dual Degree the same as Integrated Courses?
An integrated course is one type of dual degree program. There are a few key differences that make an integrated course a little different from other dual degree programs.
In a dual degree program, you can opt for two separate degrees but only of the same level. This means that both degrees must be either bachelor’s or master’s. For example, you can not opt for a BCA and MBA degree together.
On the other hand, an integrated course means you can opt for one UG and one PG degree together. The only limitation is that both the degrees should be in the same or related fields. For example, you can pursue a B.Tech in Computer Science and an M.Tech in Cyber Security together as an integrated course.