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Advising Handbook

Overlap Policies

Cluster Overlap

No more than one course in a cluster can be used toward a major or minor being used to fulfill a divisional requirement.

Major and Minor Overlap

No more than three courses in a major or two courses in a minor can be used toward a separate major or minor. Allied field courses used to fulfill the requirements of the major are included in the set of courses subject to this restriction. However, prerequisite courses required for the major and non-departmental ancillary course requirements (such as chemistry for biology majors) are not subject to this restriction.

In general, introductory courses in calculus (MTH 141-143; MTH 161 and 162), chemistry (CHM 131 and 132), physics (PHY 121-122; PHY 113 and 114), and statistics (STT 211, 212, 213 and 214) are exempt from the overlap policies. This may vary by department, so students should always speak directly with an advisor in the department who is authorized to approve majors and minors.

Some majors such as the public health-related majors: bioethics (BET); epidemiology (EPD); environmental health (EH); health, behavior, and society (HBS); and health policy(HLP), and interdepartmental programs in arts and sciences (IPA) and in engineering (IDE) restrict the number of overlapping courses to two.

No two majors can overlap by more than three courses. No major and minor can overlap by more than two courses. No two minors can overlap by more than two courses.


Courses completed for certificate programs are not subject to overlap rules with regard to majors, minors, and clusters.

Upper-Level Writing Overlap

Only one upper-level writing course is permitted to overlap between two majors. Each major must have at least one upper-level writing course unique to that major.