Talk:Double degree

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For the benefit of editors coming to this fresh, I've brought the debate here from the two Talk pages on which it's been carried out:

I'm not sure that you've understood the notion of "linkspam", I'm afraid. It's when someone adds links – usually to commercial sites, or to her own Web page – to a number of articles. In this case, when I created this article, I added a section giving links to the relevant pages of various Universities around the world to give axamples of the different ways in which double degrees are organised. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:38, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

No, I understood linkspam correctly. Using the generic concept of a double degree to hype a handful of specific programs when most institutions around the world offer them is pretty clearly linkspam. -James Howard (talk/web) 22:43, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
  1. Even if your description were correct, it wouldn't be linkspam, because it's only one article.
  2. It's simply not true that "most institutions around the world offer" double degrees; I've taught at a number of universities, and only one of them has offered such a degree, and then only in a very limited context. When I was searching for examples, partly in order to make the article accurate, I was able to find very few. Why you should think that I want to "hype" a set of unconnected institutions, with none of which I'm connected, is beyond me.
  3. Your description is thus incorrect, and your assumption that my explanation of what I was doing is a lie is both ungrounded and offensive (and against Wikipedia guidelines). Your insistence on removing the section, with the same inaccurate edit summary, despite the explanation and continuing discussion is also hostile and uncalled for. Is there some personal animus here of which I'm unaware? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:20, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

I am, right now, hard pressed to think of a school that doesn't offer a double degree program. The three I've attended (Miami University, University of Maryland, College Park, and University of Baltimore) all do, and these are each three different classes of institutions. Addtionally, linkspam does not need to be applied to multiple articles to be spam. Any attempt to use links for commericial gain, even if on behalf of someone else is link spam. Addtionally, my edit summary is correct. -James Howard (talk/web) 13:53, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Spam has to be multiple — that's the definition. Moreover, in what way could anyone think that those links are for commercial gain? Your position is, apparently based on personal experience of just three institutions, all in the same country — that is, Wikipedia:No original research; mine is (though backed up by personal experience) based on extensive research on the Web, trying to find universities that offered such programmes.
No, spam does not need to be multiple. And unless one of those schools is giving away degrees for free, there's some hefty commericial gain to be had. -James Howard (talk/web) 18:15, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
I've placed this article at W:Rfc; please leave the section in place until other editors have had a changce to look at it and make their own comments. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 14:38, 29 October 2005 (UTC)


I'd be grateful for comments here:

How about I prove the point and put up a list of schools that offer double degrees? -James Howard (talk/web) 18:03, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

RfC response: I personally do not think this is link-spam, for the reasons already given: this is not being done in mass, and is not being done by the university for the sake of profit. However, I do agree with James Howard in one thing- if a verifiable list of universities that offer a double degree can be formed at is excessively long (i.e.- more than about 30), then perhaps none of them should be there. OR, they could be moved to List of universities that offer double degrees. EWS23 | (Leave me a message!) 02:25, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Given the hundreds of thousands of universities in the world, thirty or so would be miniscule (I don't know of a single site that even tries to list them all, but this site (just philosophy departments that have separate Web pages) indicates something of the number we're talking about). There may be some parochialism here, in fact. When I trawled through Google, I found that only universities in certain countries offered such degrees (and some universities offered degrees with similar names, but didn't fit the concept as explained in the article). It may be that most U.S. universities offer such degrees (though my research indicated otherwise), which could (if sourced and verfified) be mentioned in the article, but that most certainly isn't the case elsewhere. A short list of examples, indicating the sorts of programmes available, and the differences between them, acts as a source for the information given. That it's a sample implies that it's not exhaustive. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 11:22, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
I suppose I don't have a problem with this, as long as it's clear to the reader that it's a sample list, and by no means exhaustive. This should probably be achieved by a clear sentence indicating this, such as "Below is a sample list of institutions that offer a double degree. This list is not exhaustive." EWS23 | (Leave me a message!) 16:49, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Providing a "sample list" is, by its very nature POV, and that must be avoided at all costs. To provde a list of uniersities that offer double degrees, as suggested by EWS23, it ridiculous for other reasons. As I said before, I cannot think of a school in the United States that doesn't (though I thought St. Johns, until I remembered they do a joint MA/JD with University of Maryland, Baltimore). It would be, almost entirely, the list of schools in the United States. Further more, any school that accepts transfer credit, implicitly offers a double degree program. Finally, this article REALLY should be merged into academic degree. -James Howard (talk/web) 17:50, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
In what sense is a sample-list PoV? The comment about transfer credit, in so far as I understand it, has nothing to do with double-degree programmes. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 13:40, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
It's POV because I think the example given from the United States should be University of Maryland, College Park and not Columbia. As for transfer credit, nearly every community college in the United States offers an associates degree and can transfer those credits into a bachelors program at nearly 4-year school...and you just created a double degree program without anyone from the schools involved even authorizing it. The list of schools that explicitly deny double degree programs would be shorter than the current list. -James Howard (talk/web) 14:03, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
  1. "It's POV because I think the example given from the United States should be University of Maryland, College Park and not Columbia." Er, why? What does it matter? It's a sample. If the U. of Maryland has a clear description fo a double-degree course that can be linked to, feel free to replace it. If the list were headed "Best courses available" or "Best institutions offering double degrees", then you'd have a point.
  2. It would seem from your account that transfer credits have nothing to do with double degrees. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:27, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
By providing examples of something that as common as dirt, you are creating the suggestion, whether you know it or not, that somehow those examples listed are superior. This is furthered by the fact the American example is an Ivy League school. Furthermore, if the example list REALLY added anything to the article, there'd be a list of school offering MDivs on Master of Divinity or there'd be something other than a highly specialized example on Master of Public Administration page. In the end, your pet list adds nothing to this article and your insistance on accusing me of misdeeds suggests you're acting in bad faith, something you've been blocked for less than a month ago. Finally, the fact you have completely ignored my proposed comprise proves you're acting in bad faith. -James Howard (talk/web) 23:23, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
  1. They're not as common as dirt; I suspect very strongly that you've misunderstood the notion of a double degree (in which case either you haven't read the article very carefully or I haven't written it clearly enough). They're certainly not extremely (or even very) common in many parts of the world. Having followed some of the links that you added, they were all for joint graduate degrees (single degrees awarded for work in two schools or departments of the same university).
  2. "Master of Divinity" isn't a special kind of degree, but a degree in a certain subject. Double degrees depart from traditional degrees, are relatively new, and (in many parts of the world) are rare or even unknown.
  3. With regard to my suspicion that there's something personal about this, there's no evidence; indeed, the only time that we seem to have interacted before is when I helped you by cleaning up your misnaming of categories ([1]), so I'm at a loss as to why you're being so hostile and unpleasant about this. Perhaps I've missed another encounter.
  4. With regard to being blocked fro bad-faith editing, I think that you have the wrong person (indeed, I can't think of anyone being blocked for that reason). --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:08, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
  1. No, really, they are as common as dirt. And I can continue providing examples to demonstrate that. Perhaps you need to look again, because none of the examples provided are for single degrees. In fact, most of the examples, since I am a lazy bum, are for JD/MBAs which are always, due to accrediting issues, two separate degrees. And the fact you are now flat out lying, again, about what I posted again proves you are acting in bad faith.
  2. Again, mischaracterising what I said about the MDiv won't get you far since what I did write is posted right above it. But MDiv is a special kind of degree and in the United States, at least, requires special accreditation just like a JD, MBA, or most other professional degrees. And they are a lot less common than double degree programs.
  3. You're right, we did interact then without objection. But from the begining, you've mischaracterized and lied about my actions on double degree, and I do not take kindly to that. I strongly suspect this is because you're wrong and got called out for it, and are now unwilling to back down.
  4. As I said before, I'd be content to drop the matter with removing the list completely for reasons I previously stated: 1) nothing is added by keeping the list; 2) it is, by its very nature, POV; 3) it is spam, since the current form is an advertisement masquerading as an article; and 4) they are so extroidinarily common, a better use of space would be to list institutions that do not offer such a plan. However, I will go further and state I provided a far better solution under #Potential Compromise below. The concept is so common, and vague, providing a separate page is ridiculous. And without the context of academic degree, this page is ill-served, with or without a sample list. So, I say again, merge into academic degree and make a section there. Provide for the common themes and variations, let's drop the matter. -James Howard (talk/web) 23:55, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

RfC response: I second the notion that the entire list should be deleted from Wikipedia. There are five major universities in my state: the University of Western Australia, Curtin University of Technology, Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University and the University of Notre Dame Australia - all five offer double degrees. There is no problem with offering a sample of universities that do offer a double degree and some examples of double degrees would strongly benefit the article. However, trying to list all such universities would build a very long list that would probably be of very little use to anyone. Right now, the list dominates what could be a quite helpful article. Cedars 05:57, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

I wonder if you were looking at the absurdly expanded version created by James Howard? Unfortunately he insists on reverting to it, thus confusing the issue. The section that I added originally contained links to seven institutions, each from a different country, and thus didn't dominate the article. If he doesn't stop reverting, I'll have to ask to have the article protected until editors coming in response to the RfC have had a chance to see what it is that's at issue. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 23:36, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
You are correct, I was looking at the expanded version by Howard. The revised list is much more amenable to reading. That said, more information on the topic in general would benefit the article. I see the shortened list as neither damaging to the article nor particularly helpful. In any event, I believe the best path forward is probably to work on improving the article in general and leave the list inclusion issue alone for a bit. Cedars 01:57, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
I am aware of multiple Canadian universities—or colleges, I am not really following this entire discussion—that offer double degrees. Is anyone interested in an extra few bucks? --Hollow Wilerding 02:30, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't intend to get drawn into an edit war. But in my opinion, the examples Mel added were useful. They were not added to multiple articles throughout Wikipedia, and I cannot imagine that they bring any financial gain to Mel. I recently added my own school (as well as a rival school) to an article [2], and nobody removed it as linkspam. This is an example of linkspam. (At least, it was as of 3 November. I understand the user has apologized and has been unblocked, so the contribs may not reflect recent linkspam next time someone looks.) Mel's examples are nothing like that. Ann Heneghan (talk) 11:26, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Potential Compromise[edit]

Rather than continuing to bash each other's brains in over this issue, I propose the following compromise:

  • Redirect to academic degree--nothing is gained from having this as a separate article when there is not much actual text here.
  • Include a section under academic degree on double degrees, dual degrees, and joint degrees
  • Discuss the major common themes of these programs, such as the hundreds of joint JD/MBA programs, JD/MPP programs, and discussion of the MPhil being given to ABD PhD students
  • Also discus degrees conferred jointly by multiple institutions, and how this is done to avoid accreditdation problems
  • If an example is provided, there is really one good one [3], which is an MBA jointly conferred by three universities in three countries (NYU, LSE, HEC), which, being rather unique, may be worth mentioning, though I'd still prefer to see no examples, since they add nothing to the discussion

Please discuss here. -James Howard (talk/web) 14:14, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Page protection[edit]

I've protected the page for a short time because I see there's reverting back and forth between versions even though an article RfC has been filed. I'll keep an eye on the talk page and won't keep it protected too long. Cheers, SlimVirgin (talk) 23:11, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't want to have to protect this again, but the reverting has to stop, and James, you're making personal attacks. I'm wondering whether you've misunderstood what a double degree is, because you keep mentioning credit transfer, which is a separate issue. Perhaps a compromise could be to remove the list from this page, and start a page listing all the institutions that offer double degrees — not including credit transfers, MPhil/MLitt to PhDs ABD, and so on, because those are not double degrees. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:10, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
I have not engaged in any personal attacks and to say otherwise is slanderous, and, you'll note, the first personal attack on this page. No, credit transfer is not a separate issue. There's a strange misconception among some on this page a double degree is a specialized program when that's only true part of the time. You cite a handful of examples in your last post that are not double degrees even though they meet the definition given in the article. While I do not object to a full list being placed on a separate page, I want to remind, again, that it would include, at a minimum, every accredited institution in the United States. (Challange: Find an example of a regionally accredited school in the United States which will not allow a student to construct a double degree program in some form.) -James Howard (talk/web) 20:27, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

I wanted to point out that User:Mel Etitis removed User:'s list of schools and replaced it with his pet list of favored schools here [4] giving the wonderfully inaccurate and false summary of "tidied." -James Howard (talk/web) 14:17, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

I had stopped discussing this, precisely because, once one person rsorts to insult, rational discussion is generally pointless. Still, I'll make a few points.
  1. Calling someone a liar is a personal attack; I'm a little surprised that Howardjp thinks otherwise. Referring to good-faith, non-vandalism edits as vandalism, especially in an edit summary, is also against Wikipedia policy.
  2. His insistence that a sampling of universities that offer a very specific sort of degree programme, one from each of a number of countries, is spam because it's advertising is peculiar to say the least, Everyone who has commented on this has pointed out that it's not spam, yet he persists. It's especially odd that he labels as spam my addition of an example that he himself gave above as a good example that might be added...
  3. A double degree is a specific programme that involves two degrees worked for in parallel, an arrangement set in advance; that is simply not a matter of credit transfer, nor is it one degree attained by work in two institutions.
  4. While it may be that Howardjp has a list of pet universities, I don't. I have no relationship with any of the universities on the list, I have never studied or taught at any of them, nor have I taught any student from any of them. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:40, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  1. It's not a personal attack when you can prove it.
  2. It meets the definition of spam on Wikipedia:Spam, so it isn't just me.
  3. That's completely false. And I keep telling you this. And providing examples. And you just don't listen.
  4. I have no such pet list. I tried to provide a complete list. It was futile, as it would exceed article size recommendations, but an honest effort nonetheless. You demonstrated you have a pet list when you yanked User:'s list in favor of you own.
-James Howard (talk/web) 16:47, 12 November 2005 (UTC)


I don't think the list is spam, but still I wonder if there's any point to it. As far as I know, pretty much every uni in Australia offers double degrees - it's not useful to pick any individual institution as an example. I guess there'll be a table somewhere on wikipedia of universities to which we could add a column saying if they offer double degrees, but that's not useful information either, unless you say which degrees can be done in parallel. And that's a long list, and probably changes too often to maintain.

Regards, Ben Aveling 20:09, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

I cannot speak for Australia, but the same would hold in the United States. I agree. -James Howard (talk/web) 20:23, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Surely a list of universities that do NOT offer dual degrees would be shorter. I can't think of even one here in Canada that doesn't, at least at the postgraduate level. Carolynparrishfan 21:55, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm trying to decide whether to protect this page or take some other action to stop the reverting, so could someone help me out? I'm wondering whether the confusion is due to a misunderstanding of what a double degree is. James, are you saying that, if I start my degree at Yale but then decide for personal reasons to move to California, and I apply for permission to continue my degree at Berkeley (arranging for the appropriate credit transfers) that I'm engaged in a double-degree program?
If that's not what you're saying, could you explain the significance of the issue of credit transfers to the double-degree issue? And apologies if it's me who has misunderstood things. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:41, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
No, that is not what I am saying. And this is a silly issue to be caught up. But the definition on the page is incredibly vague. (I don't know where you are, so if you are not American, this may not make sense.) In the United States, we have a collection of schools we call community colleges. They are two year programs and almost all share two common attributes. First, they give out a degree called an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science (and lots of variations). Second, their credit transfers into a four year program. Henceforth, if you follow those paths, and complete a bachelors, you've finished a double degree program, according to the definition on the page. Further, some schools actually offer this as a joint-degree plan for part-time or technical students (University of Cincinnati did this in the mid-1990s and may still). Now, having explained that, my original reason for mentioning transfer credit is that almost any program can be turned into a joint-degree program in one way or another. And not all programs do this in a formal way:
In addition to the established formal joint-degree programs, students may create ad hoc joint-degree programs with other prominent graduate programs.[5]
That's from SAIS's website. And this is why I brought it up. At least in the US, almost all schools will let you transfer credit around. Business classes can count for a law degree. Or a medical degree. Frankly, you can get a business degree in combination with almost anything else. JD/MD is offered by many schools. So is an MD/PhD. Or an MPP/PhD. Or an MPP/JD. In no way can the "sample" list be considered representative. There are so many possible options, no list could be representative. So the list is inherintly POV. Therefore, the list does not belong here. -James Howard (talk/web) 03:53, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Note that transfering credit is not necessarily a double degree. For eg, a science student might do just one subject of law, which would count for credit towards the science degree. Very different. And can I suggest that whatever state the main page is in (I haven't checked) it be left as is until this discussion is settled? Ben Aveling 04:02, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
James, that's not what's meant by a double degree. In the example you gave, you end up with one degree: the first program, Associate of Arts, isn't a degree at all. This is like saying that, in Scotland, where you can do a B.A., and then decide after three years to do an extra year and get a B.A. (Hons), or in some universities an M.A., you're doing two degrees. Or if you're studying for a PhD and you don't quite make it and are awarded an MLitt instead, that you were studying for two degrees. A double-degree program is where you study for two degrees in parallel, and you end up with two separate degrees. Taking part in business classes toward a law degree doesn't count. SlimVirgin (talk) 07:06, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
An AA is absolutely a degree and to say otherwise is snobbery. And pulling an AA and a BA (for instance) is two separate degrees, unless you've redefined separate. However, I agree that failing to get the PhD and landing on MLitt doesn't count. But your confusion here exemplfies the problem I have with this article. It is ill-defined. That's why I suggested the merge. After this discussion started, I realized how out of context this page is. -James Howard (talk/web) 13:45, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

As the article clearly refers to working for the two degrees in parallel, I don't understand how the above claims could be made. Getting this AA then a BA is receiving two degrees in sequence, in just the same way that on many degree programmes students spend three years on a BA and then extend it to an MA with an extra year. It's not the article that's unclear. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 18:25, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

They are being done in parallel! And even if they weren't, you're still spamming...and that's what's important here. -James Howard (talk/web) 18:31, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
James, would you call doing a B.A. and then doing an extra year to get an M.A. doing a double degree? If not, what do you see as the difference between that and the example you gave of doing an AA and then extending it to do a B.A.? SlimVirgin (talk) 18:34, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't believe the list should be here, not because it's link spam but because it's not useful. At least in Australia, pretty much every uni offers double degrees. A more useful list might be common double degrees, eg sci/eng, arts/law, commerce/law, etc. Or perhaps an analysis of attitudes to double degrees around the world:Australia - nearly universal; elsewhere, I'll take your word for it. I've put the list back not because I believe it should be here, but because I believe that being civil is far more important than wheather this whole page exists or not, let alone one little list. I remind everyone that civility applies especially in edit summaries. Regards, Ben Aveling 20:48, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Only if they received and used concurrent credit to count toward both degrees. But I do not think I have ever heard of a program like this. -James Howard (talk/web) 16:42, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

If you want linkspam[edit]

Hi James,

If you want to see some real linkspam, have a look at some of the pages listed here.

Regards, Ben Aveling 10:36, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

What would be a useful list[edit]

Hi Mel,

I was just wondering how you decided to pick your list.

If I type "Double degree" into google, I can see that some of your list are first to appear, but that there are other institutions in each list that aren't in the other list.

Just picking Australian institutions at random

  1. "double degree" unsw = 700 hits
  2. "double degree" "sydney university" = 336 hits
  3. "double degree" "monash university" = 18,100 hits!
  4. "double degree" "anu"= 753 hits
  5. "double degree" "deakin university" = 668 hits
  6. "double degree" "edith cowan university" = 538 hits
  7. "double degree" "university of tasmania" = 414 hits
  8. "double degree" "rmit" = 9,450 hits
  9. "double degree" "charles darwin university" = 131 hits
  10. "double degree" "university of wollongong" = 671 hits, And a nice definition of a double degree as well: [6]
  11. "double degree" "flinders university" = 428 hits
  12. "double degree" "University of Notre Dame" = 411 hits

The only .au uni I've been able to find that doesn't have a double degree is and that's something of a special case. :-)

I realise there's a lot of double counting, and false, hits, so the usual ton of salt applies, but still

  • "double degree" + pages from Australia = 114,000 hits

Hmm. What about overseas?

  • "double degree" "america" = 80,500 hits. Less than Australia, which is interesting.
  1. "double degree" MIT = 31,800 hits Including this guide [7]
  2. "double degree" "university of utah" = 251 hits
  3. "double degree" "university of washington" = 662 hits
  4. "double degree" "seattle university" = 106 hits

Not as many, but still hits everytime, and not all of them false - forgive me if I don't put all the links, but each time I've confirmed that at least some of the links are talking about double degrees offered at that institution.

What about

  1. "not offer double degrees" = 1 hit (New York University) And that's just music, other departments do offer double degrees. (190 hits)
  2. "does not offer" "double degree" = 319 hits. Not a lot, and the first few pages all see to be places that do offer double degrees but not scholarships, or not an online mba, or not a meal plan or work experience.

I've spent more time on this that it's worth. Any suggestions on how to find universities that don't offer double degrees?

Last find. A list of the universities that offer double degrees with French "Grandes Ecoles" (members of the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles):

But maybe we need to distinguish b/n double degree at one institution and double degree at two institutions?

Regards, Ben Aveling 11:38, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Problem with this article[edit]

I'm not sure exactly what this dispute is about, but perhaps it's a terminology issue. Here's a link which might help: A "double major" occurs when a person works on two degrees in one college, while a "simultaneous degree" occurs when a person works on two degrees at different colleges. Hope that helps. Jayjg (talk) 01:21, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Hi J, What do you mean by college? To me, the word is shorthand for residential college but that's clearly not what you mean. Regards, Ben Aveling 04:24, 18 November 2005 (UTC)


I think the dispute is mainly about the list of sample uni's at the bottom of the page.

A double major is different to a double degree. A major is a stream within a degree. So one might do an Arts degree, with a major in History. Or a double major, such as a bachelor of science with a double major in pure maths and comp sci. (Assuming comp sci is part of science, and not a separate degree which it probably now is at most places.) A double major is not two different degrees, at least not in Australia.

A double degree is either two a cojoint degree at one institution, such science/engineering. Or a degree which is spread across two different universities. I guess that's probably the same as a simultaneous degree, though I don't think it's a term that's used in Australia.

If the US is different, well, it wouldn't be the first time.

Regards, Ben Aveling 01:42, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

I think that was Jay's point: that what in the UK is called a double degree may be called a simultaneous degree in North America, and perhaps that's where some of the confusion stems from. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:56, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps. But I'm not sure this is a USA vs Rest of the world definitional debate. Mel is a Brit. I'm Australian. I don't know where James is from, so could be America. But the ill-feeling seems not to be about what a double degree is but about whether or not a sample list of institutions offering double degrees is link spam. James thinks it is, and no-one else does. Mel and I disagree about whether the links should be there, but we haven't really had much debate about it, and what there has been has been civil. Regards, Ben Aveling 02:49, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
James actually merged this article into Academic degree today, and I moved it back because it seems it was done without consensus. However, I don't want to interfere with what the rest of you want to do. I moved it as admin, not as editor, so feel free to merge it again, or not, as you all see fit, with or without the links. I think the problem with the links from James' perspective is that he feels there are so many universities offering double degrees that to single some out amounts to soliciting i.e. spam. If this confusion is being caused by a difference in definition, then solving the latter should solve the former, which is why I'm hoping simultaneous degree might do the trick. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:23, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps. I agree with James that the list shouldn't be there, but I don't feel strongly about it. And I think the page should be merged, once Mel and James have resolved their issue with the list, and not before. Thanks for the input. Ben Aveling 04:24, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

I give up. A small group of users wish this page to represent amature hour at standards and practices and admins are more than willing to abuse their authority to make sure it happens. I am sure, in the end, someone else will fix this article. -James Howard (talk/web) 14:11, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Linkspam revisited[edit]

At Wikipedia:External links, there are some wonderful guidelines for what should be linked to and the sample list does not meet any of the "What should be linked to" list or "Maybe OK to add." The list DOES violate guidelines 1 and 3 of "What should not be linked to." If the sites actually have valid content that is useful to the article, it should be added with appropriate references. It should also be noted that Wikipedia is not a repository for links and that is now official policy. -James Howard (talk/web) 00:24, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

There is nothing on the page cited that rules out the list; the list offers a varety of institutions with diofferent approaches to double degrees — to include all that information in the article would be absurd and unnecessary. The repeated misuse of "spam" doesn't help the argument either. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:40, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, that's not true, since meets a quarter of the qualifications of things that shouldn't be linked to. It also is clearly spam and everyone here sees it. Claiming it isn't spam doesn't give you an exception. Just out of curiosity, what is your objection to writing this article correctly? -James Howard (talk/web) 14:06, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Everyone who has expressed an opinion has said that it isn't spam; just look up the page. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 14:23, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
New year, old argument. Absent the option of banging both your heads together ;-) let me just repeat: it's not spam; it's not encyclopedic. Unless there is something special about these institutions, it's not appropriate to list them. Ben Aveling

The list illustrates the different approaches to the idea of double degrees — it's useful precisely becasue they're not special except in the sense of offering double degrees. They also help to show the difference between genuine double degrees and the other degrees that various editors have been confusing with them. Note that Howardjp has just added a "noreference" tag — yet the links that he's been obsessively removing are precisely references for what is said in the article. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 23:42, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Hey, you insist they are necessary, the request for references is a framework for you to include these "necessary" these links. But rather than doing it right, you just vandalised the page by removing the request. -James Howard (talk/web) 01:55, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
?? I don't follow this. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:02, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't follow. What's special about the double degrees that the linked institutions offer, as compared to just about every other institution in (for eg) Australia? Regards, Ben Aveling 02:52, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
We've discussed this at length. Most of the degree programmes that people have taken to be double-degree programmes are in fact something else. As the article explains, a double degree involves reading for two different degrees in parallel (not in series, nor one degree with two functions, nor a degree that gives credit for a later degree, etc.). Are you sure that every university in Australia offers such programmes? Few in this country do, and I've asked overseas colleagues about them; they've told me that such programmes are relatively uncommon in their countries too. I'll be seeing an Australian colleague in College today, so I'll ask him about it.
There's nothing special about the linked institutions, which is why they're introduced the way they are. When four different sources would all do as citations in an article, we don't give all of them, nor do we say or imply that the one that we give is special; that's what's going on here.
I believe that the list is useful and that it serves a purpose, for the reasons that I've given in a number of places above. The only "reasons" that I've seen for removing it is that it's spam, which is absurd (though Howardjp persists, Humpty Dumpty-like, in misusing the word), that it violates the guidelines at Wikipedia:External links, which it doesn't, and that double-degree programmes are almost universally offered, which they're not. If I saw a good reason to remove it, or a convincing rebuttal of my reasons, I'd go along with it. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:02, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

If you really feel that these universities represent different kinds of "double degrees," why don't you read the websites, and then give some examples in the article, with a reference to the page on the website describing the degree? This way, the article is more encyclopædic, and the references serve as citations instead of a list that may be interpreted as linkspam. Avi 16:09, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Just to refer back to my earlier comment: I checked with my Australian colleague, who confirmed that double degrees as defined and explained in the article are rare in Australia; there's confusion with what's called in the U.S. a double major. Other colleagues at the lunch table were in agreement, and commented that the notion of an undergraduate double degree generally only makes sense for univesities with a U.K-style sytem of degrees (though systems of graduate degrees are more similar across countries, so graduate double degrees can make sense in a wider range of systems).
With reference to your question: I felt (and still feel) that the information offered in the Web pages to which I've linked is much too detailed to be appropriate. Given the inability of many editors here to grasp the notion of a double degree, and the distinction between it and other notions, I've tried to see how I could make the definition clearer, but it seems to me to be as clear as I can get it. the list, therefore, offers a further set of resources for those who are still confused as to what the article is about.
I've asked for comments on this at Wikipedia talk:External links, so I hope that there'll be some more input soon. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 20:59, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I've watched this tug-of-war for some time now and admit that I agree with Howardjp that the list should be removed. Putting aside the issue of whether or not the list is linkspam, according to the introductory sentence, the list is supposed to provide an idea of the variety of double-degree programs available. In this, I believe the list fails because (a) it is left to the reader to determine what are and are not the salient differentiating features that contribute to "variety," (b) it is unclear whether the list is entirely comprehensive of the salient differentiating features, and (c) it is unclear whether the fact that there are differentiating features is at all relevant to the topic of double-degrees. In short and IMHO, the list adds no value to the article. Wikiant 02:02, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Your first point is obscure; the links are there to provide examples and detail which would be inappropriate in the text — are you saying that the list should only be included if the text gives those details (thus rendering the list pointless)? If you can provide the relevant information in the article without overloading it, fine. Also, are you saying that we must assume that our readers are too dim to notice the differences between the degrees? Secondly, the list doesn't claim to be comprehensive, but nor is it clear to me why you think that it should be. Thirdly, in what sense is the variety of types of double degree not relevant to an article on double degrees? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:52, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure the point is obscure. Extending your argument, Wikipedia should be comprised of a single article titled "Information" followed by a list of links to all websites in existence. The reader can then determine what are and are not the relevant distinctions among the links. Wikiant 14:56, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
The length and detail of an article should be proportional to its subject. It would, of course, be possibe to write an article in which the details of every (genuine) double-degree programme was given; it would be longer than the current article on Human, and would be turgid and unreadable. On the other hand, one could write an article giving the main details, and then tell the reader (by implication) that if she wants any more, she can bloody well use Google. Or we can give the basic details, and then offer a selection of links to a sample of relevant university pages so that she can see for herself how such programmes work and how they differ in detail.
I can't deny that my attitude to the links has been strengthened and hardened by the antics of James Howard (see Wikipedia talk:External links for an outside view), as well as by the fact that, although I've tried to make the article as clear as I can, many editors posting messages to this page have clearly no idea what it's about, confusing double degrees with other sorts of degree programme in places like the U.S. and Australia. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 16:03, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
The fact of the matter is that Wikipedia has standards for outside links and your list cannot under any of those standards be considered appropriate. When you requested assistance on Wikipedia_talk:External_links, the only other poster was User:Musical_Linguist. A quick glance at your edit histories shows a lengthy list of tag-team edit abuse when one of you cannot get your way. Hardly an "outside view." Your obsessive issue with this article is sickening and I, for one, am quite tired of having to defend this article against your abuse. But you, unfortunately, give me no choice. -James Howard (talk/web) 16:53, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

If you'd care to take that outright and transparent lie to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard I'm sure that you'll find someone who'll take it seriously. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 18:25, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

I have gone through the links in question. Here are some observations:

1. The Columbia Dual Degree program is, effectively, a sequential degree. Yes, the *traditional* student gets a single dual-degree at the end, but if the student ends the program early, he likely ends up with the lesser degree. For example, in the US, a student can go from a BS straight to a Ph.D. program. If the student doesn't complete the dissertation, he can apply for an MS. Further, the student who does complete the Ph.D. program has (effectively) earned an MS/Ph.D. You have fill out paper work to request that the MS degree be put on your transcript, but there is no further studies/exams that are required.

2. The Singapore Dual Degree is indistinguishable from what, in the US, is called a double-major.

3. The University of Stirling Dual Degree looks little more than a study abroad program.

4. University of Trento appears to be a hybrid of the Stirling and Columbia models -- it's a sequential degree program in which the second degree of the sequence is done abroad.

5. University of Wellington's dual degree is equivalent to a double-major in the US wherein the two majors are taken from different colleges within the same university.

In short, the list *is* useful -- it has convinced me that the whole article on dual degrees should be deleted. Every university in the US has been doing variations on this theme for decades.

Wikiant 19:37, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

  1. Leaving aside the unnecessarily combative tone, it's at least encouraging that you've looked at the sites linked to.
  2. Your reading of many of the pages is, however, faulty: all of the pages explain that the student recived two degree, not one degree with two majors. The Wellington page explicitly distinguishes double or conjoint degrees from double majors, and explains the difference clearly, but all of the pages make the same point. To be honest, I'm at a loss as to how you could look at any of them and draw the conclusions that you do. For example, I teach many study-abroad students from the U.S. — none of them gets a separate degree from Oxford; their work here counts towards their degrees at home. The Sterling page even gives details of the two degrees from the two institutions. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 20:02, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think that's right either. Stirling suffers from having an unintelligible website, so you may be right, but your assessments of the rest are incorrect. -James Howard (talk/web) 22:30, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

double major[edit]

How does a double degree differ from a double major program? I think if anything, any difference that may exist is relative to what school's program you consider. If a difference exists, it needs to be expounded upon in the article. Shaggorama 10:50, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

I must say that it looks perfectly clear to me; a double major is one degree with two subjects, whicle a double degree is two degrees, with either different subjects or the same subject. How do you suggest that the explanation could be made cleaer? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 12:10, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Double major currently redirects to this page. Someone should probably fix that, but to where? Bachelor's degree? Ewlyahoocom 16:50, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree that it shouldn't redirect here. Bachelor's degree or Academic degree are possibilities, or at least add a compare/contrast section here. JJL 17:27, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Terminology issues[edit]

While I see that double major has been fixed to redirect to Academic major, 'Joint Degree' still redirects here. That's equally problematic. As far as I understand, it goes something like this... A double major is one degree with two subject area concentrations. A double degree is two degrees that can be in the same or different subject areas that typically require the student to take less time on each degree than doing each of them separately would. Also, double degrees may allow students to take both degrees at the same institution. A joint degree is one degree offered jointly by two or more institutions or by a consortium of institutions.

Some feedback or help with resources that define such things concisely would be nice before I go ahead and edit the page. I have yet to find a nice, accurate description of the different permutations of higher education programming available (the above three statements are a summary culled from pages and pages of more amorphous research). —Preceding unsigned comment added by BubblestheAnarchist (talkcontribs) 21:31, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Sample list (previous discussion)[edit]

(Relocated from top of talk page)

Why include a sample list of institutions? A lot of universities offer double degree programmes, and it would almost be easier to include a definitive list of those that do not (Harvard University, notably) than a sample list of those that do... jglc | t | c 16:24, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Actually, Harvard explicitly offers at least one double degree program with New York University. [8] -James Howard (talk/web) 18:15, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
My impression was that this is relatively rare, and a Google search tended to confirm this. I know of only one or two British Universities that offer them, for example. They seem to be more popular in the Far East and Autralasia. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 16:51, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
Every accredited institution of higher education in the United States that accepts transfer credit, by definition, offers a double degree program. So, if you'd like, I can expand the list, but it would just become a list of every school in the United States (with a handful of exceptions, such as St. John's College and Antioch). -James Howard (talk/web) 18:15, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Sample list[edit]

I would like contributors to this page to consider adding the University of Auckland to the sample list. My revision of 23:26, 26 October 2006 stated:

"University of Auckland, New Zealand. Offers students with an academic record of a sufficiently high standard the option to pursue a conjoint degree. There are 32 conjoint degrees covering combinations of arts, commerce, engineering, education, fine arts, health sciences, music, property, theology, law, and law with honours."

I think that, given the large number of conjoint degrees available, together with the great range, this is a worthy inclusion. Compare this with some of the other items on the list which relate to single programmes. I will not revert the edit by JJL myself, but anyone who agrees with me is welcome to do so. --- Nicknz 01:51, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

To my mind the real question is, How long should such a list be? I think it's already overlong. It's one thing to have a reference of some short showing that such programs do indeed exist. How much more is needed?

As to the number of double degrees, at many schools most combinations are allowed so I'm not sure that 32 is an especially high number. Where I was an undergraduate you could double-degree a B.A. or B.S. with any of eight tagged engineering degrees (like the B.S.E.E.), with the B.Arch., with the BSN, with the BSW, with the BSBA, with the BSIS (info. science), etc. Then there were graduate/professional degree options! This isn't unusual. JJL 02:12, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Then I would suggest that some of the Universities on the lsit that have only a single conjoint programme be removed, and those that offer a more significant number be included. In any event, it is necessary to clarify the criteria for inclusion in accordance with the list guidelines. -- Nicknz 02:23, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Criteria for inclusion on list[edit]

I propose that we collectively resolve a set of criteria to be applied to potential "candidates" for inclusion on the sample list. — Nicknz 20:06, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Do we need a sample list at all? That isn't obvious to me. Virtually every university allows it at the undergrad. level, as do a great many colleges. Even MBA/MD or MBA/JD or MPH/DMD programs are not at all uncommon. What purpose is served by the sample list? I am inclined to remove it entirely. JJL 20:25, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Sample list (again/still)[edit]

Maybe we could revert and put the sample list back? Mikebar 18:05, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

(Discussion re sample list relocated to body of talk page)

I moved the above comment from the top of the page. I don't see the value of the sample list, and it seems to be growing once again. Everyone thinks their school deserves to be on the list, but it's such a common thing--so many schools have it--that I don't see the value of such examples. I'm taking Wikipedia is not a mirror or a repository of links, images, or media files to heart here. JJL 18:59, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

You point is valid but rather than just delete the list you should add value by adding text that would help clarify the topic and the fact that many schools do participate. Mikebar 07:24, 15 April 2007 (UTC)