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Dual MBA degree programs combine two types of master's degrees. These programs benefit learners with multiple interests seeking to use aspects of two degrees in their careers.

In-person and online dual MBA programs award graduates two separate degrees. Therefore, a dual-degree MBA student might graduate with an MBA and a master of science (MS) or master of arts (MA) degree.

A dual degree differs from a double major. Double majors provide a single degree with two concentration areas.

Degree-seekers can choose a dual-degree program as early as the associate level. Some schools also offer combined associate-bachelor's and bachelor's-master's degrees.

An MBA degree is a common choice for students seeking a dual degree. Their business-focused curriculum pairs well with other graduate degrees, developing leadership skills alongside a primary specialization.

Use our detailed guide to discover when an MBA dual degree might benefit your future career.

Why Get an MBA Dual Degree?

A primary benefit of an MBA dual degree is the unique career opportunities it leads to.

Stacy Blackman Consulting principal Esther Magna tells us that her joint MPH/MBA opened the door to her higher education consulting career. "The role actively relies on my graduate degrees," explains Magna. "I could not have had this career without those degrees and feel grateful that I had taken the time to attain both degrees when I was younger."

Magna also attributes her dual degrees to adding value to job searches, offering more credibility to her work, and providing her with an intricate understanding of business principles.

As you plan your educational pathway, consider the following benefits of earning an MBA dual degree:

Career Development

  • Dual-degree MBAs can help professionals reach managerial and leadership positions faster than an MBA alone.

Increased Earnings

  • Professionals with dual degrees occupy a unique space with reduced competition, allowing them to acquire some of the highest positions in various industries.

Versatility

  • Graduates with MBA dual degrees qualify for more positions in more industries than their single-degree peers.

Continued Learning

  • Depending on the industry, graduates with dual degrees may gain access to more continued learning and professional certification options. The MBA and several other master's degrees qualify candidates to sit for a variety of licensure and certification examinations.

Demand

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), candidates with advanced degrees and specialized experience access the most job opportunities in business.

Online Dual MBA Programs

Online dual MBA programs offer the same curriculum as on-campus programs, with the benefit of scheduling flexibility. Some online programs require students to meet virtually with an instructor at scheduled times.

However, many online dual MBA programs are asynchronous, meaning that learners can self-pace their work.

Online students should prepare for a heavy workload and commit to effective time management. With an MBA dual degree online, learners often complete one degree at a time. However, there may be more courses scheduled each semester than in a typical single-degree program.

Be sure to look for schools that prioritize support for online students. Some institutions offer mentorship programs, networking events, and virtual peer learning opportunities.

Academic preparation courses, financial aid, and remote learning guidance can also help learners make the most of their online dual-degree programs.

Types of MBA Dual Degrees

Students can combine a variety of degrees to satisfy their educational and professional goals. Thanks to their versatility, MBA degrees complement many programs and degree types. The following sections examine just some of the available MBA dual degrees.

A master of science (MS) degree prepares students for broad career options in science and technology, including computer science, data science, and biology. Students interested in an MS/MBA often have a bachelor of science degree, but schools may accept any bachelor's degree.
Combining an MS with an MBA can lead to management positions in fields such as healthcare management or energy management.
A master of public health (MPH) degree yields positions in food safety, clinical administration, and research. An MPH overlaps some MBA topics, like policymaking, statistics, and ethics, focusing on how they affect public health. Graduates may become healthcare consultants, public health policymakers, or health office executives. A master of health administration (MHA) combined with an MBA develops future healthcare leaders. The program targets innovation, public policy, and advanced strategies in healthcare to create improved solutions for workers and patients.
MHA degree-seekers can usually apply with any accredited bachelor's degree. However, a degree in health management or a related field could set candidates apart.
Healthcare professionals interested in careers such as a chief nursing officer or head of patient services might choose a dual MBA and master of science in nursing (MSN) degree.
An MSN/MBA explores healthcare research, policy, ethics, and advocacy to improve healthcare settings. Thanks to an MSN's emphasis on nursing practices and innovation, graduates of this dual degree program are well-prepared for nursing leadership.
A master of public administration (MPA) prepares professionals for public and nonprofit administration work. An MBA and MPA overlap to provide graduates with a well-rounded knowledge of leadership responsibilities within the public, nonprofit, and private business sectors.
Graduates might pursue management or executive careers in government, nonprofit organizations, or private companies.
In this dual-degree program, students complete a master's or doctoral degree in psychology alongside an MBA. Advanced research methods, organizational psychology, and economics are key courses.
Graduates tend to pursue consulting careers using their combined knowledge of business practices and the psychology behind business leaders and strategy.
MS/MBA in finance programs give learners the necessary knowledge and skills to enhance an organization's financial strategy through consulting, financial analysis, or financial management. Students can begin the program with any bachelor's degree, although business or financial knowledge could help them feel more prepared. Degree-seekers interested in business and law may combine an MBA with a juris doctor (JD) degree to become law firm owners, business law consultants, or intelligence analysts. JD/MBA programs often require applicants to take and pass the Law School Admission Test as a prerequisite to law school admission.

Explore Top MBA Programs

Paying for a Dual MBA Degree

Funding their education is a large consideration for aspiring students. For MBA dual-degree students, there are a variety of funding options, such as loans, scholarships, and grants.

MBA dual-degree candidates can take advantage of school-, location-, and program-specific scholarships, which can fund part or all of their degrees. The following links highlight these options in much greater detail.

Learn More

Common Questions About Dual-Degree Programs


Does a dual-degree program cost more?

Yes, in most cases, a dual-degree program costs more than a single-degree program. A dual MBA program combines two master's degrees, resulting in more credits and coursework than a single degree. However, some programs have overlapping classes students need to take only once, decreasing related tuition costs.

How hard is a dual-degree program?

Dual-degree programs offer two separate degrees, which some learners find incredibly challenging. Degree-seekers pursuing an MBA dual degree online or in person should expect to commit plenty of time to their programs to keep up with the intense course load.

How long does it take to complete a double degree?

Double degrees vary in length but often take 3-4 years to complete. Some programs offer accelerated schedules and/or part-time options. Learners can often complete a dual degree in less time than it would take to finish two degrees independently.

Is a dual degree worth it?

Dual degrees suit learners pursuing careers that intersect multiple fields, such as healthcare and business or engineering and business. Graduates often enjoy more opportunities with higher salary potential than those with only one degree.

Meet Esther Magna, Principal, Stacy Blackman Consulting

Esther Magna received a joint MBA and MPH from UCLA's Anderson School. For over 10 years, Esther has coached higher education applicants in her work as principal with Stacy Blackman Consulting (SBC), a leading MBA admissions consulting firm. At SBC, Esther provides initial assessment for 900+ applicants annually; these applicants aspire to top MBA programs in the U.S. and around the world, including joint degree programs, such as JD/MBA, MBA/MPP, and MBA/ MPH. Esther's schools of expertise span Harvard University, Stanford University, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and INSEAD.

  • https://www.stacyblackman.com/

  • Reviewed by:

    Krystal Covington, MBA, is a business growth strategist with 15 years of experience in marketing and public relations. Her company, Go Lead Consulting, provides clients foundational tools to build new client and customer relationships. Covington founded Women of Denver, one of the largest privately held membership organizations in Denver, Colorado. Her program helps women increase their business acumen, sharpen leadership skills and connect with other high-achieving women. Covington received her MBA from Western Governors University in 2012.
    Krystal Covington is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network.


    Featured Image: ArLawKa AungTun / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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