At most schools, an MBA is a general management degree – an excellent way to hone your leadership skills and develop strong foundational business skills across a number of departments and operations. But if you’d like to delve deeper into a specific industry or career path, a general management MBA may not be the best choice.
Joint JD/ MBA programs have been around for years, often pursued by students who want to work specifically in business law, or who are looking to move into senior-level positions within their law firm.
But students pursing other career paths, from dentistry to education to environmental science, have seen the benefits of adding a strong base of leadership and management experience to their specific industry-level knowledge.
Top business schools have responded to students’ interest in more defined, career-specific programs by developing a number of joint degrees offered alongside their traditional MBA program.
In this article, we’ll look at dual-degree MBA options at several top business schools. Stay tuned for part 2, where we’ll discuss program options at several more schools, as well as how to decide when an MBA dual degree program is right for you.
Chicago Booth School of Business
The Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago offers a number of ways for MBA candidates to tailor their education to further their goals, from concentrations to certificates to joint degrees.
During the course of the school’s standard MBA program, students typically choose up to three concentrations (from a list of 14 options), each of which offers recommended extracurricular courses, faculty specialists, and co-curricular activities. Students with an interest in health care management also have the option to pursue a certificate in Health Administration and Policy.
For students who want to specialize further, Booth offers a number of joint degrees with other schools and departments at the University of Chicago:
– MPP – Harris School of Public Policy
– JD – University of Chicago Law School
– MD – Pritzker School of Medicine
– MA – School of Social Service Administration
– MPCS – Department of Computer Science
In addition, the school offers a combined MBA/ Masters in Area Studies in which students are able to choose from four regions to study intensely. The joint degree takes 2.5 – 3 years to complete, covering a complete business education and thorough understanding of the chosen region’s politics, economy, history, and social issues, plus mastery of a regional language.
For Booth’s combined MBA/ Masters in International Relations, students should enroll through the full-time MBA program. An integrated thesis and 24 required courses are needed to complete this joint degree, covering leadership, ethics, business foundations, and theories of international relations, politics, and law.
Columbia Business School
New York’s Columbia Business school has perhaps the broadest range of dual-degree options of any top business school. As with most schools, students apply to each school separately as a part of the dual degree; however, Columbia does not grant deferred enrollment, so students who are admitted to CBS must begin their studies there immediately. Dual degree options at CBS include:
– MS in Urban Planning – Granted through the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. This degree is completed in six required terms, three per school.
– DDS – Granted through the Columbia College of Dental Medicine. The degree offers a thorough grounding in the financial and managerial aspects of healthcare, plus clinical dentistry exposure and understanding of basic biological science. Requires three terms of business education in the midst of the dental degree.
– MS in Engineering and Applied Science – Granted through the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, offered through the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Department. The degree is completed after five terms of study, two with the Engineering School and three with the Business School.
– MIA – Granted through the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. The degree is completed in six semesters, three at each school.
– MS in Journalism – Granted through the Columbia School of Journalism. The five-semester program is designed for students who desire a career in media organizations, especially with an eye toward management and business communication.
– JD – Granted through Columbia Law School. The school offers both a three-year JD/ MBA and a four-year JD/ MBA. The three-year program requires students to spend their first and third years in residence at the Law School, and their second year at Columbia GSB. All core requirements must be completed for the law degree, but students do have the opportunity to test out of certain business school courses. The four-year program is a good fit for students who wish to take on more extracurricular or elective options, and who are looking for a broader curriculum.
– MS in Nursing – Granted through the Columbia University School of Nursing.
– MD – Granted through the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Designed for students who envision a career in health care management, whether as a hospital executive or as the CEO of a company in the health care industry. Three business school terms are required, in addition to the MD requirements; the three terms can be done consecutively, or the third term can be done the year after the first two terms.
– MPH – Granted through the Mailman School of Public Health.
– MS in Social Work – Granted through the Columbia School of Social Work.
– MA in Private School Leadership – Granted through the Klingenstein Center of the Teacher’s College at Columbia University.
Fuqua School of Business
Duke University has developed four joint degree programs that pair Fuqua students with other Schools within the University. While several of the programs offer traditional professional degrees combined with an MBA, the school’s partnership with the Nicholas School of the Environment offers a unique intersection of environmental care and management skill.
The JD/ MBA program is offered with Duke University School of Law. This four-year program is is one of Duke’s oldest joint-degree ventures. Corporate litigation, contract law, mergers and acquisitions, and venture capital are all common destinations for Duke JD/ MBA graduates.
The MD/ MBA program is offered with Duke University School of Medicine. Both programs are rated in the top 10, with good reason. MD/ MBA students have a lot of resources available during the joint program, whether they plan to go into clinical practice or the management side. The Management and Leadership Pathway offers a rotational residency that combines clinical exposure with management skills in various aspects of health care delivery, and the Health Sector Management program engages students in research into a number of emerging surrounding the health care field.
The MEM/ MBA and MF/ MBA programs are offered with the Nicholas School of the Environment. Both the Masters of Environmental Management and the Masters of Forestry are three-year programs with a focus on corporate sustainability and environmental partnerships. Resources for MEM/ MBA and MF/ MBA students include the Duke Center for Sustainability and Commerce and the Fuqua Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment.
Haas School of Business
The University of California’s Berkeley School of Business offers three dual degree options for MBA students:
– A MPH/ MBA with the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. The program takes 2.5 years to complete, including a three-month internship in a health organization.
– A JD/ MBA with the UC Berkeley School of Law or UC Hastings College of the Law. This is a four-year program where the first two years are spent in law school, the third year in business school, and the fourth year split between electives from both schools.
– A MBA/ MA in Global Studies, which is a three-year program that allows students to combine courses from several departments and schools within UC Berkeley in order to delve deep into a specific country or region.
Harvard Business School
With one of the most recognizable names in education throughout the world, Harvard’s four joint-degree programs allow students to access a highly respected world-class education in business, medicine, law, and public policy.
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– MPP/ MBA and MPA-ID/ MBA programs are offered with the Harvard Kennedy School. The Master in Public Policy and Master in Public Administration-International Development programs were both developed in 2007. These three-year programs generally require two summer internships, allowing students to gain exposure to both business concerns and policy/ social enterprise/ international development concerns.
– The JD/ MBA program, offered in conjunction with Harvard Law School, is the oldest joint degree program at Harvard, with a name that is instantly recognizable worldwide. The program requires four years to complete, and students must comply with pro bono, professional responsibility, and written work requirements of HLS.
– The MD/ MBA program is offered in conjunction with Harvard Medical School. The program was developed in 2005 and has been designed to be completed in five years, with a goal of helping students to become “outstanding physician leaders”.
– The DMD/ MBA program is offered with the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. It is designed to give students a thorough understanding of both management principles and the foundations of dental care.
IE Business School
IE business school offers several advanced or dual degree MBA options, each designed to offer specialized insight into a career or industry path. Combined with the strong international flavor of IE’s typical MBA program, the dual degree options are a great path for students considering a global career. Dual-degree options offered by IE include:
– Master in Advanced Finance
– Master in Market Research and Consumer Behavior
– Master in International Relations
– Master of Laws (LLM)
– Master in Business Analytics and Big Data
– Master in Corporate Communication
– Master in Visual and Design Media
In addition, IE partners with schools like Yale and MIT to offer dual degree options including a Master of Advanced Management and Master of Supply Chain Management/ Logistics.
With a strong focus on global business education, INSEAD offers students a number of ways to work and study at locations around the world during the course of their MBA program. In addition to the school’s three campuses in France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi, campus exchange partnerships allow students to spend time in the US at Wharton or Kellogg, or in China at CEIBS. INSEAD also offers three joint degree MBA programs:
– The MBA/ MA program is offered with the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Established in 2011, the dual degree program is aimed at students with a global mindset. It is a good choice for anyone interested in pursuing a career path that combines business leadership with international relations. The degree is completed with one year at INSEAD and 18 months at SAIS.
– The MBA/ MA in Educational Leadership program is offered with the Teacher’s College at Columbia University. The two-year program started in 2014, and was designed for students who want to work in education, particularly K-12 education, at the management level. The combined program seeks to marry “the passion of a social mission with business-like determination and discipline”.
– Master of Advanced Management – As a member of the Global Network for Advanced Membership, INSEAD is able to send its MBA graduates to Yale School of Management’s MAM program. The 9-month program gives students increased global exposure and the opportunity to dive deep into specialized topics with electives from across Yale University.
Kellogg School of Management
Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management offers two dual-degree programs:
– The MBA/ Master in Design Innovation program. This innovative dual-degree program, known as the MMM program, allows students to complete an MBA from Kellogg School of Management along with a MS in Design Innovation from the Segal Design Institute at the McCormick School of Engineering. The program is completed in two years, requiring seven semesters and a summer internship. The MMM Program is a hands-on, immersive experience for students, with multiple opportunities to work on real projects with external companies, as well as access to workshop, technical training, and professional design facilities.
– A JD/ MBA program. In this three-year JD/ MBA program, students earn their MBA from Kellogg, and a JD from Northwestern Law School. The program is structured to allow students to graduate alongside their first-year cohort from both programs in order to encourage a strong network from both the business and legal arenas. Students have several opportunities to gain hands-on experience throughout the program, whether through small-business and start-up consulting with Northwestern’s Entrepreneurship Law Center, or through Global Lab challenges and Venture Lab incubator experiences.
Considering a dual degree?
If you’re thinking about pursing a dual-degree MBA program, remember that applying will be twice the work: for almost all programs, you need to apply (and be accepted) to each program separately. If you want to be sure that you’re the clear choice for the admissions committee, EXPARTUS can help you devise a winning application strategy.
Don’t forget to check back for Part 2 of our dual-degree MBA program round-up, where we’ll cover more joint programs from top business schools, as well as offer some advice for when a dual-degree program is the right choice.