Dual degrees discontinued

Queen’s to no longer offer students in Applied Science, Commerce or Nursing a chance to earn a secondary degree in Arts and Science

Students currently enrolled in a dual degree program will complete their degrees.
Image by: Corey Lablans
Students currently enrolled in a dual degree program will complete their degrees.

Come September, Queen’s will no longer offer dual degrees with the Faculty of Arts and Science for students enrolled in Nursing, Applied Science and Commerce.

Hugh Horton, associate dean of studies for Arts and Science, said the dual degree program is impractical.

“If you’re doing a combination there’s no way to manage a time table and the student can end up getting very frustrated in trying to schedule their courses,” he said. “That’s a major problem.”

The program takes an average of five years to complete and allowed students in Nursing, Applied Science and Commerce to pursue a secondary degree in the Arts and Science faculty.

The decision was approved in the summer.

Students choose to enrol in dual degrees in their second years, Horton said, leading to problems later in university.

“Students at the beginning of their second year are not necessarily thinking about how they’re going to feel at the end of their fourth year,” Horton said. “All your friends leave because they’ve graduated and you still have another year or two years at the University and you’ve got no degree yet.”

Horton said the Faculty of Arts and Science became aware of the issue through student-complaints to academic advisors.

The 120 students currently pursuing dual degrees will be allowed to finish their programs. Applications for admission to a dual degree program will continue until June 1. A dual degree in economics and Nursing, Applied Science or Commerce will still be allowed.

“We are focusing where our strengths are in the dual degree program. The only department that has a good grounding is the economics department,” he said.

Horton said students that aren’t enrolled in Arts and Science will soon have the option of pursuing certificates on top of their degrees. Horton was unable to comment on how soon this would be.

“Students will have the option of [attaining] a certificate in popular subjects like a liberal studies certificate, a medical sciences certificate, or a global development studies certificate.”

Nicholas Wesley-James is currently doing a dual degree in engineering and economics after finding engineering too specific.

“Doing Engineering you’re only required to take three Arts courses,” he said. “I wanted to take more.” Wesley-James, Sci ’12 and ArtSci ’13, said he didn’t find the dual degree more stressful than a single degree.

“It just took more time,” he said. “Economics is significantly easier than Engineering, so I like mixing it up.”

Though his dual degree program will still be available for future students, he said shutting down other dual options is unfortunate.

“It … further contributes to the streamlining of education,” he said. “It seems like removing an avenue for students to broaden their academic horizons.”

-— With files from Savoula Stylianou


Academics, dual degrees

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