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Darden, Johns Hopkins Launch Dual Degree

University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) have announced that they’re teaming up to offer a new dual-degree program.

The dual degree will combine Darden’s MBA and SAIS’s Master of Arts. Typically, each degree would require two years to complete, but under the new program both degrees can be earned together in three years.

Darden currently offers 12 dual degrees in total, including an MBA/JD and an MBA/MD. But the new offering with SAIS is Darden’s first dual-degree with a partner outside the University of Virginia.

The SAIS MA degree includes required course offerings like American Foreign Policy Since World War II and Comparative Politics. Each student pursues two concentrations, generally one having to do with international economics and one with either international policy or a specific world region.

For example, a given student might choose concentrations in International Monetary Theory and Conflict Management, or in Macroeconomics and Southeast Asia Studies.

Altogether, there are four economics concentrations, nine policy concentrations, and ten regional concentrations to choose from. Each student must also demonstrate proficiency in one of seventeen non-native languages.

The Darden-Johns Hopkins dual degree draws on the two schools’ proximity. Charlottesville, VA is about a hundred miles from Washington, DC. Students can also opt to complete part of the SAIS degree at the SAIS Europe campus in Bologna, Italy.

Overall, students will spend three semesters at each institution. This can be done by doing three semesters at Darden followed by three at Johns Hopkins, or more elaborately by doing one year at each school and then splitting the final year with an additional semester at each.

Ron Wilcox, Darden’s senior associate dean for degree programs, said the program would give students “the opportunity to earn two powerful degrees in distinct but related fields that will prepare them as future global leaders, join two dynamic alumni networks and save a full year of tuition costs.”

Certainly, for students who want an MBA from a top program and a strong international focus, it’s an attractive option. For that reason, it’s also one that’s likely to have competitive admissions hurdles.

When applying for an MBA, it’s crucial to demonstrate a personal story and set of interests that mesh with the program’s goals. And for a dual-degree, that’s doubly true!

We have extensive experience helping applicants hone their personal brands for admission success, and we’re happy to give you feedback on how your profile might come across to adcoms. Just get in touch with us to request a free assessment!