The Requirement for Justification of Double-Counted Credits

The University of Florida offers students the opportunity to combine baccalaureate, graduate, and professional degree programs depending on their interests and qualifications. Our institutional accreditor, SACSCOC, now requires that faculty justify the use of double-counted credits in any combination program that counts a portion of the credits earned in one program toward a different program. This is a core requirement, stated in SACSCOC's Principles of Accreditation 9.2:

9.2. Program Length. The institution offers one or more degree programs based on at least 60 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the associate level; at least 120 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the baccalaureate level; or at least 30 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the post-baccalaureate, graduate, or professional level. The institution provides an explanation of equivalencies when using units other than semester credit hours. The institution provides an appropriate justification for all degree programs and combined degree programs that include fewer than the required number of semester credit hours or its equivalent unit. 

When a combination program double-counts credits that result in less than the minimum required number of credits in either program, the program faculty must develop a justification for these double-counted credits as required by SACSCOC principle 9.2 and  UF's policy on Combination, Joint, and Dual Degrees.

The Approval Process

All justifications for double-counted credits must be reviewed and approved by the Academic Assessment Committee as part of the approval process for the combination program. To start the process, faculty should start a new request in the approval system under the Degree program tab. The list of possible degree program combinations is under the "Create a new combination degree" tab. Open the tab and select the appropriate choice from the dropdown list and complete the request. 

Only one approval request is needed for each combination program. When the combination involves programs in two or more colleges or units, the best approach for submission is for both colleges to collaborate on the request, and for one college to take the responsibility for entering the request in the approval system. The request is routed first to the Academic Assessment Committee then moves forward through the remaining steps of the process.

Examples of Double-Counted Credit Justifications