SIS 2nd Major Double Counting

A brief explanatory note of how SMU SIS students double-count courses towards their 2nd major, using the BSc (ISM) + Advanced Business Technology (Without Track) combination.

People have been asking me about how double-counting works. I'll probably expand this at some point, but this is what I posted on Facebook recently. 

Double Counting

This is a bit SIS-centric, but the idea should apply to all the main degree + 2nd major combinations. It is probably more complicated for the degrees where you have a 1st and 2nd major.

Let's use the BSc (ISM) curriculum as an example. Here I'm using the 2015 intake's new curriculum diagram, but the bits relevant to 2nd majors are exactly the same as on the 2011-2014 intakes' curriculum.

Let's focus on a few areas: the 4 IS Depth Electives, CAT/Stats, 4 Business-Oriented Electives, and the additional 2 or 4 courses for 2nd majors.

Let's represent this subset of the degree's requirements in a graphical form, with individual boxes representing one course. Matches up right?

For those counting along at home, I've marked out where the 36, 38 and 40 CU marks are. If you only need to +2 courses to fulfill your 2nd major, over the 36 courses for the degree, you should have 38 CUs in total.

Next, take a look at the 2nd major's requirements. For this example, we'll use the Advanced Business Technology (Without Track) 2nd major, because it's the most flexible – there are practically no specifically named courses.

Again, let's represent the requirements in a graphical form, with individual boxes representing one course.

Okay, here's the magic. Most of the 2nd major requirements are kind of matched with some part of the degree's requirement, apart from ISTDE5. So, we say that these courses are 'double-counted' towards the 2nd major.

Double-counting means you 'count' the same course towards both the degree and 2nd major's course requirements (x courses in a course area).

Course area refers to the types of requirements it fulfills, whether of your degree or 2nd major. More on this later.

Let's go down the list:

  • For CAT, it's exactly the same course, so there's no need to debate over course areas. But the same course is still double-counted.
  • ISTDEs match directly across, since ISDE is defined as ISMDE/ISTDE.
  • However, for the other courses, they must be cross-listed in both course areas. For instance, the course used to fulfill the ISMDE requirement must also be listed under the BOE course area. (Most, if not all, ISMDE courses are also listed under BOE.)
  • For the ISDE course paired with BOE, it means that we need either a ISMDE or ISTDE course, that is also cross-listed under BOE. (Most ISTDE courses are not cross-listed under BOE, there's approx 1 course that is. You probably will have to take another ISMDE to fulfill this double-counting plan.)
  • For the final ISTDE course, since it isn't double-counted towards anything, you can just pick any course under ISTDE without bothering about its other course areas.

Of course, this is just the optimal way that it's been planned for you by the nice people at SIS General Office. You can vary your path slightly:

  • If the ISDE you take isn't cross-listed under BOE, then it drops to your 38th CU and you need to take a total of 3 CU of BOE instead. You will still complete within 38 CUs. (Do this if you want to take another BOE, or another ISTDE.)
  • If you manage to find an ISMDE that isn't cross-listed under BOE, then similarly, it will get slotted as your 38th CU and you need to take a total of 3 CU of BOE. (This is very unlikely.)
  • If somehow both of the above happen, then congratulations, you might actually have to take 39 CUs to get this second major! But double-check and run the Course List What-If report in OASIS first.

Course Areas

What's a course area and what is meant by cross-listing?

If you go to BOSS, and search for a class (whether from Add to Cart or from Class Search for Last Academic Year), you eventually get a bunch of results with a big hyperlink on the section number. Click on that.

You can see which Course Area(s) the course is listed under. If there are multiple Course Areas, we say that it is cross-listed across those areas.

If these areas happen to include some requirement for both your degree and 2nd major, we say that this course might possibly be 'double-counted' towards both sets of requirements.

Written by cflee on Wednesday August 12, 2015
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