Double Dawgs

Double Dawgs logo

The Double Dawgs program was created to give ambitious and motivated students a competitive advantage in today’s knowledge economy. It allows outstanding UGA undergraduate students to get a head start on an MS degree by counting a limited number of courses (up to 12 credit hours) towards both the BS and MS degree in Horticulture.

The University of Georgia has promoted the Double Dawgs program as ‘4+1’, based on the idea that you can get an MS degree with only one year of additional study. In the case of the horticulture MS program, that timeline is overly optimistic. Because of the stringent research and thesis requirements that are part of our MS program, it most likely will take more than one additional year to get an MS degree. Nonetheless, the Double Dawgs program can give students a head start and shorten the time to obtaining an MS degree.  In addition, Double Dawgs participants will be given priority for Horticulture departmental graduate assistantships, once they have been admitted to the MS program.  Note that tuition waivers are available students on assistantship.

Admission to the Double Dawgs program is a two-step process:

  1. Admission to the Double Dawg pathway
  2. Admission to the Graduate Program

Admission to the Double Dawg pathway:  Admission to the joint BS/MS pathway will generally occur at the end of the student's junior year. Applications must be completed by May 15 for fall admission or December 1 for spring admission.

Preference for admission to the Double Dawgs pathway will be given to students who have:

  1.  Earned a GPA on all college course work in horticulture (HORT), biology (BIOL or PBIO), and chemistry (CHEM) of 3.2 or better
  2. Earned a GPA on all college course work (overall GPA) of 3.0 or better
  3. Completed two courses in introductory chemistry
  4. A faculty member who agrees to serve as the Major Professor

Students who do not meet these standards at the end of their junior year (90 semester credit hours) may be admitted after they have completed 105 semester credit hours, if they have attained the required qualifications at that time.

Applications for the Double Dawgs pathway consist of an unofficial transcript and a letter that explains the student’s interest in graduate school and specifies which faculty member the students wants to work with in grad school. Applications can be e-mailed to Dr. Marc van Iersel, graduate coordinator (

Students who have been admitted to the Double Dawgs pathway can take graduate level classes. Some of these classes count towards both the BS and MS degree. Note that these are all 4000/6000 level courses that are required for our BS degree. To take full advantage of the Double Dawgs program, it is important to not take these courses before admission to the Double Dawgs pathway. For these courses to count towards both the BS and MS degree in Horticulture, these courses must be taken at the 6000 level:

HORT 6430 Plant Physiology (3 credit hours)
HORT 6440 Environmental Physiology (4 credit hours)
HORT 6590 and 6590L Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition with lab (4 credit hours)
HORT 6990 Environmental Issues in Horticulture (1 credit hour)

Students admitted to the Double Dawgs pathway can subsequently apply for admission to our MS program.

Admission to the Graduate Program: To be admitted to the MS program, students must have completed their undergraduate degree (with at least a 3.2 GPA) and have at least a 3.0 GPA for all graduate courses taken at the time of admission. Applicants must take the GRE and have a total score of 300 or better on the verbal plus quantitative portions. Applicants must also meet any other graduate school requirements. All applications are evaluated by a five-member departmental committee. For more information, please see Please note that prior admission to the Double Dawgs pathway does not guarantee admission to the graduate program.

For more information, please contact Dr. Marc van Iersel, graduate coordinator (