A Second Degree Student at the New Brunswick - School of Arts & Sciences (SAS) is someone who has earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and is now willing to commit time and energy to complete a new BA or BS in an entirely different major area.
A second degree is sometimes not a valued credential. Consider that, unlike advanced degrees, the Bachelor’s degree is awarded for a body of general knowledge (120 credits, including completion of a major, in some cases a minor, a prescribed set of general education requirements, and electives). It is redundant in a sense to earn another degree at the same level of study. Furthermore, pursuit of additional matriculated undergraduate study can be interpreted by others as the student not willing to take on the challenge of graduate school. In other words, if you have the preparation to move on to graduate level work, you should.
You should not consider a second degree if:
- your Rutgers GPA is below 2.50, the minimum requirement.
- you are interested in completing a Second Degree in a major that you already hold a BA or BS in.
- you are currently completing your first degree.
- you graduated from Rutgers and want to raise your first degree GPA.
- you want to take a few courses toward applying for graduate school. Many master’s programs do not require completion of an undergraduate major in the same field of study. Sometimes, they require undergraduate pre-requisites which can be achieved as a Non-matriculating Student.
- you are unable to attend classes at the Rutgers New Brunswick campus. Per SAS Policy, Second Degree students must take all their classes at the New Brunswick campus.
You might consider a second degree if:
- it has been many years since you earned your first degree and you are considering a career change for which you have limited or no academic background.
- your first degree is from a professional program, such as those offered by the Schools of Pharmacy, Engineering or Biological & Environmental Sciences, and your new interest is in a liberal arts discipline.
- your proposed academic plan will require completion of a minimum of 30 new credits.
Requirements for Admission as a Second Degree:
- Minimum 2.500 cumulative GPA in your first bachelor’s degree.
- Official transcripts are necessary as proof of your first degree and must be submitted before a candidate can be accepted as a Second Degree student.
- Official WES Evaluations (or companies similar to the World Education Service, Inc-WES) are needed for all students who hold international degrees. Students may also be asked to submit course evaluations, if necessary. These International Degree evaluations will provide US equivalencies for course credits, years of study, and degree. If the evaluation declares your international degree as not equivalent to a four-year, US Bachelor's degree, you will not be accepted as a Second Degree student, but instead you will be admitted as an undergraduate transfer student through Undergraduate Admissions.
- Intended major already selected must be distinctly different from your first degree.
(Undecided students are not accepted into the Second Degree programs. Students who are undecided should study on a non-matriculating basis until they decide on a major program of study.)
Earning a second degree from the School of Arts & Sciences represents a substantial commitment whether your first degree is from a unit of Rutgers or another institution. If you have considered ALL of your options and have determined that a second bachelor’s degree is needed to achieve your professional objectives, then this is the right path for you.
The Seven Steps to Complete an SAS Second Degree
Second degree candidates must complete the following requirements:
1. Submit the application:
- If your first bachelor’s degree is from Rutgers: Apply using the New Brunswick SAS Reenrollment Application. You will receive a decision letter from one of our SAS deans.
- If your first bachelor’s degree is NOT from Rutgers: Apply using the University Undergraduate Application through Admissions. You will be able to check your application status online by going here. (Note: You are NOT required to attend STAR Day.)
All Second Degree candidates will be invited via email to attend a mandatory information session designed to help them register and answer all their questions.
3. Complete a minimum of 30 credits beyond those applied from the first degree. (The minimum of 30 new credits all must be taken at New Brunswick campus only. No transfer courses are permitted.)
If you are coming from an institution other than Rutgers, you will not receive a transfer evaluation. As a second degree student, we will only post courses from your first degree that are applicable to your second degree requirements. We will also post courses which serve as pre-requisites for classes you intend to take at Rutgers. However, the credits for these courses will not be posted. You will be given a 90-credit lump sum that will be posted on your official Rutgers transcript.
5. Complete all requirements for the new major.
6. Complete the SAS Core Curriculum.
Completion of the SAS Core Curriculum is a requirement for all Second Degree students. While some courses from your first degree may be used to satisfy Core requirements, all Second Degree candidates are required to complete new coursework in fulfillment of the following CORE Learning Goals:
- 21st Century Challenges (two courses)
- Writing and Communication--one Revision Based (WCr) OR one Discipline-Based (WCd).
Courses taken as part of the first degree cannot be used to satisfy these requirements. Additional Core courses may be required, even for students who graduated from Rutgers. The final decision regarding the number of Core courses that you will have to complete will be made by the SAS dean.
7. Remain in good academic standing by maintaining a 2.00 minimum term GPA.
- Newly-admitted second degree students may register in August for the fall semester and in mid-January for the spring semester.
- Continuing second degree students register as students with senior status ("on 90-degree credit registration day"). See the registration calendar for more information.
If you intend to take a course which requires a pre-requisite, you may be required to take a placement test. Students with international bachelor's degrees are required to take the English placement test.
Your acceptance into the program does not guarantee that the courses you need will be available to you. If a class is closed, there are two options: 1) you can choose a different class; or 2) you can try to get into the class that is closed by contacting the individual department. Procedures for special permission vary considerably, so be sure to check the department’s webpage first.
Office for Nontraditional Students and Special Populations
College Hall, Room 104
125 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901