Second Degree Students

Second Degree

Welcome Second Degree Students!

Second degree students have already completed a bachelor's degree at an accredited college or university and now willing to invest a substantial amount of time, money and effort to complete another BA or BS degree in a  major area entirely different from their previous major

Before you apply, you should know that a second bachelor’s degree is not a highly regarded credential, and that undergraduate study beyond the first degree is sometimes interpreted as redundant or as a sign that the student is unable or unwilling to take on the challenge of graduate school. In other words,  if you have the preparation to move on to graduate work, you should.  Many master’s programs do not require completion of an undergraduate major in the same field of study.  If you are planning to apply to graduate or professional school but need to complete some undergraduate prerequisites first, you may be better off completing them as a nonmatriculating student.  

You should not consider a second degree if:

  • Your Rutgers GPA is below 2.500, the minimum requirement for admission.

  • You are interested in completing a Second Degree in a major that you already hold a BA or BS in.

  • You have not yet completed your first bachelor’s degree. 

  • You want to raise your first degree GPA.

  • You want to take just 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 prerequisites which can be achieved as a  Nonmatriculating Student

  • You are unable to attend classes at the Rutgers New Brunswick campus. 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 arts and sciences 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  nonmatriculating  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 an 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 office.
  • If your first bachelor’s degree is NOT from Rutgers: Apply using the University Undergraduate Application through Undergraduate Admissions. You will be able to check your application status online by going here. (Note: You are NOT permitted to attend a STAR Day with new transfer students. Instead, you will receive personalized advising from an SAS Dean.)

2. Meet with an SAS Nontraditional Dean

  • All Second Degree candidates will be contacted via email to attend a mandatory advising session designed to answer all their questions about the major and degree they intend to pursue.
  • Reenrolling Rutgers graduates will need to meet with a Dean before their reenrollment application can be processed, while students admitted through Undergraduate Admissions will meet with a Dean after they are admitted.

3. Complete a minimum of 30 new credits in the School of Arts and Sciences-New Brunswick

  • A 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 receive a transfer evaluation.  Any courses deemed equivalent to Rutgers courses will be posted individually to your Rutgers transcript, and non- equivalent courses will be posted as lump sum credits. All Second Degree students will receive a total of 90 degree credits posted to their transcripts in a combination of equivalent courses and lump sum credits.

4. Declare your Major

  • See list of SAS Majors.
  • Review the information on the website of your major department and locate the contact information for the major advisor. 
  • Declare your major at MyMajor.
  • Second Degree students are NOT required to complete a minor.

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. Courses from your first degree will be evaluated to determine whether they fulfill Core requirements.  However, all Second Degree candidates must complete at least two new Contemporary Challenges courses (CC), and one new Writing and Communication course (WCr or WCd).  Courses taken as part of the first degree cannot be used to satisfy these Core requirements AND 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 after an evaluation of your previous course work. Required core courses can be taken alongside intended  major courses. 

7. Remain in Satisfactory Academic Standing

  • All Second Degree students are expected to maintain a minimum 2.000 term GPA and follow all SAS Academic Standing policies.

Registration

2DNM FormSmStudents register via WebReg. If the student experiences difficulties registering, he/she should fill out the Second Degree Registration Request Form and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • 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.


If you have further questions, please email us to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Office for Nontraditional Students and Special Populations
Ruth Adams Building, Room 103
131 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Phone:848-932-8888, 848-445-8888
Fax: 732-932-8898

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