Dual-Degree Program in Communication with UDLAP, Mexico

App State students now have the option to receive two undergraduate degrees in communication, one from the Appalachian State and the other from our partner university in Mexico, the Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a dual degree? 

A: Students have the option to receive degrees from two separate universities in two different countries while being enrolled in one university in their home country.  For example, Appalachian State University’s students could receive two undergraduate degrees in communication, one from App State and the other from its partner institution in Mexico, Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP). 

Q: What is the App State-UDLAP Dual-Degree Program (DDP) in Communication? 

A: Appalachian State University offers its students the opportunity to earn a complementary undergraduate degree in communication at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla.  The agreement between App State’s Department of Communication and UDLAP’s Departamento de Ciencias de la Comunicación recognizes credits received by students at both universities.    

Q: How does the Dual-Degree Program (DDP) in Communication work?

A: Dual-degree students from App State commit to spending their freshman and senior years at their home institution here in Boone, and their sophomore and junior years at UDLAP in Cholula, Mexico.  While at UDLAP, App State students take classes toward both their major and minor, as well as to fulfill some of the General Education requirements. 

At the conclusion of the DDP, students who fulfill both universities’ requirements receive a B.S. degree in one of the five communication majors (that is, advertising, broadcasting, communication studies, journalism, or public relations) from App State and one of the three Bachelor’s degrees in communication from UDLAP (that is, media production, public image, or digital animation).  In addition, just like all App State communication majors, dual-degree students may complete the requirements for a minor or a double major.  

Q: Do student have to be fluent in Spanish to pursue a dual degree?

A: While some courses and many educational materials used in class might be offered in English, Spanish is the main language of instruction at UDLAP.  Therefore, candidates for the DDP are expected to be conversant in Spanish at the intermediate or higher level of proficiency.  In addition, prior to their first semester at the partner university, dual-degree students are required to take an intensive four-week Spanish language course at UDLAP.  

Q: Why study at UDLAP?

A: The Universidad de las Américas Puebla is one of Mexico's most prestigious private universities.  Its multicultural and multilingual campus is located in the city of Cholula, State of Puebla.  UDLAP’s academic programs are accredited and recognized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) of the United States of America. UDALP has exchange programs with more than 200 universities from around the world and dual-degree programs with universities in Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United States. 

Q: What are some of the benefits of the DDP in Communication?

A: By taking advantage of the strengths of both universities, dual-degree students obtain a unique combination of professional communication skills, thus enhancing their career prospects in both countries.  In addition, students gain access to a multinational learning environment, acquire an in-depth exposure to the Mexican culture, and achieve a full proficiency in Spanish.  And finally, receiving a dual degree is not as costly as pursuing an undergraduate degree abroad.  

Q: Who is eligible to be admitted to the DDP in Communication?

A: To be considered for the DDP in Communication, App State students have to maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher in their freshman year.  Candidates for the DDP are also expected to enroll in at least two Spanish courses in their second semester at App State. Those interested in the program, are encouraged to apply to the Department of Communication at the end of their first semester at App State.  However, second-semester freshmen and first-semester sophomores may apply as well.  Upon the early acceptance in any of the five communication majors at ASU (that is, advertising, broadcasting, communication studies, journalism, or public relations), students are eligible for the DDP.

Q: When should students declare their intent to enroll in the DDP?

A: Students interested in completing the DDP in Communication are encouraged to inform their academic advisor as soon as possible, preferably during their first semester at App State.  However, second-semester freshmen and first-semester sophomores may apply as well. 

Q: Do students need to apply separately to each school?

A: Students don’t need to apply to UDLAP separately.  Once students have been admitted to the Communication Department at App State, both the Department of Communication and the Departamento de Ciencias de la Comunicatión will make the decision about accepting a student in the DDP.

Q: How do students register for their classes at UDLAP?

A: After being accepted in the DDP in Communication, students work with the DDP academic advisors both at App State and UDLAP to design a program of studies tailored to each student’s educational and career aspirations.  The DDP advisor here in Boone coordinates students’ registration for the first semester of classes at UDLAP.  Once at UDLAP, the DDP advisor in Cholula coordinates students’ enrollment for subsequent semesters.     

Q: How do students pay for the dual degree?

A: Students do not pay separately for the dual degree.  Students pay the regular Appalachian tuition and fees, as well as regular Appalachian room and board, for the dual degree.  Before each semester in Mexico, the Office of International Student Exchange & Study Abroad will register participants as Appalachian exchange students and charge each participant's student account for these items. 

Q. Besides tuition, what expenses are involved in pursuing a dual degree?

A: Although there is no additional tuition cost to pursue a dual degree, students are expected to cover their medical insurance and travel expenses.  Students are encouraged to contact the Office of International Education and Development located in Suite 321 at Plemmons Student Union for assistance with all insurance and travel questions.  

Q: Are students eligible for financial aid while at UDLAP?

A: All financial aid, scholarships and grants that students receive for their studies at App State are valid for the DDP in Communication as well.  Students are encouraged to see their financial aid counselor at the Student Financial Aid Office located in John E. Thomas Hall to learn whether their travel expenses could be included in the financial package.      

Q: Is housing provided at UDLAP? 

A: Housing is provided on campus at UDLAP.  Dual-degree students are housed in double occupancy rooms in residence halls (colegios residenciales).  All colegios residenciales have a secure swipe-card entry system with 24-hour security presence.  Residence halls are fully furnished and equipped with laundry facilities. Wireless Internet is available in all rooms. Meals are provided in the campus cafeterias. Additional facilities include a medical clinic, computer labs, a gym and swimming pool, and bus service to and from the region's capital city of Puebla.  

Q. Is the UDLAP campus safe for American students?

A. The safety of Appalachian students abroad is an absolute priority of the University.  Risk-assessment reviews of all study abroad locations, including Mexico, are regularly conducted by the Office of International Education and Development.  Those reviews are based, in part, on information provided by the US State Department.  While news reports out of Mexico are certainly dire, it is important to note that not all parts of Mexico are affected.  The UDLAP program and campus are currently deemed safe.   

If you have additional questions or would like to apply to the App State-UDLAP Dual Degree Program in Communication, please contact:

Dr. Jean DeHart 
Professor and Chair
Department of Communication
dehart2jl@appstate.edu