can we get a second degree at the same institution?

General Discussion for SMART Scholarship Recipients
degquestion

can we get a second degree at the same institution?

Post by degquestion »

Current PhD candidate funded by SMART. are we allowed to get a second degree at our same institution? I have two options:

I can get a master's degree from my home department during the course of my degree program OR

I can get a master's degree from another department at my school, which my departmental fellowship might pay for (meaning SMART wouldn't pay for it).

I just don't want to get in trouble for something that's common for PhD students to do, but we all know how SMART policies are :/

malarious
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Re: can we get a second degree at the same institution?

Post by malarious »

Hi! From the SMART handbook

5.11. Follow-on Funding
SMART scholarships are awarded for a one-degree program at a time. Should the scholar desire to seek an additional degree award, the scholar would apply for the follow-on funding as a new award, with no guarantee of an award. Follow-on awards are separate from the initial award. The maximum award length is 5 calendar years per award. Scholars that apply for a follow-on award while in phase 1 or phase 2, could only possibly be offered an additional award with the current SF.

Bolded the key bits. You get an award for a single degree. That said, check if the SAR (Service Amendment Request) has a field for attaining another degree or such. If it does, you could always apply using it.

toferkey
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Re: can we get a second degree at the same institution?

Post by toferkey »

My opinion is that you are free to do this. Note from the previous poster the very important key term they copied, "Degree AWARD". If you receive the master's degree while completing the requirements for your PhD, and you don't have to do any additional courses or stay beyond your original award term length, then I don't think that's a violation because you are not seeking an additional award. It is STANDARD PRACTICE for many PhDs to receive a MS along the way (e.g. when advancing to candidacy). My personal recommendation would be to get the MS in your home department only, and only if this requires no additional time commitment or cost to SMART.

SMART does not really understand how graduate school or PhDs work (as evidenced by having to specify exactly how long your PhD will take when applying for SMART). I think you have two acceptable options: talk on the PHONE (not email) to someone at SMART (e.g. your component liason) about this first and tell them that it's standard practice for people in your department to do and there's no additional requirement to SMART, etc. Then follow-up with an email confirming if they are positive. If they are negative, I would just let it be, get your MS and continue with your life. I would be very surprised if a) they notice you got a MS along the way, and b) would remove you from the program for doing something that is considered standard practice for many PhDs in certain departments. You could easily just get a letter from your department chair or advisor saying "so and so is getting a MS along the way to completing his/her PhD. This is normal for all students in this department. It will not affect their scholarship."

malarious
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Re: can we get a second degree at the same institution?

Post by malarious »

Actually I agree with the above poster.

If they accepted you for a PhD, then the Masters is not when you complete the contract.

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