If you are thinking of grad school, you may have noticed there are many graduate programs to choose from. If you are having a hard time making a decision between a few different fields, you should know there are several popular dual degree programs out there.
In a world where so much of our work is interdisciplinary, it makes sense colleges and universities offer degrees with expertise in more than just one field. This is definitely the case for bachelor’s degrees, which are already less specialized. Most schools will allow bachelor’s degree students to double major, minor, or even double minor.
However, master’s degree programs tend to focus on one specific area. Luckily, there are more dual degree master’s programs being offered these days as schools work to meet demand. You might want to pursue a dual degree because you have a very specific career goal in mind.
Whatever the reason, a dual degree program is a great opportunity to become an expert in more than one field. You may know exactly what you want to do with those two specializations. Or, you might discover the perfect way to mix your two interests while you’re getting your degrees.
What Is a Dual Degree?
A dual degree is a degree program that lets you study two degrees in two different subject areas at the same time. Usually, dual degree programs will include many classes that will count for both degrees. That is why in some instances, you may complete a dual degree program in the same amount of time that it would take you to complete a single degree program. It may also take an extra semester or even an extra year.
Some students may be wondering if a master’s degree is even worth it in the first place. If you’re reading this article, chances are that you have already answered that question in the affirmative. Now, you’re considering whether or not two master’s degrees are worth it. If you have a very specific career goal in mind and there are two different areas of specialization that would help you get there, a dual degree program might make the most sense for you.
What Types of Dual Degrees Are There?
Since they have been growing in popularity, there are more and more dual degree options to choose from. Many programs mix a foundational discipline like business with a master’s that would compliment business as a specialization, like public health or environmental policy.
You will see there are many different types of dual degree programs that include a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Dual degrees with Master’s in Public Policy (MPP) are also popular, since the other degree can focus on policy specializations like public health (MPH) or social work (MSW).
Many dual degree programs are full-time programs because they tend to require more credits than single degree programs. As a result, a part-time dual degree program may take much longer to complete. That being said, part-time programs are available for those who want to continue to work full-time. There are also many online dual degree programs for students who need added online flexibility.
Popular Dual Degree Program Options
Keep reading for descriptions of just a few of the most popular dual degree programs out there. Remember that there are many more options. Many graduate schools offer several MBA dual degree combinations, JD combinations, and MPP combinations. You can even pursue dual doctoral degrees through a dual degree program.
Master’s in Business Administration and Master’s in Public Health
A joint MBA/MPH program is a common dual degree option for students who want to work in hospital administration and health management and earn both degrees that will help them get there. Though there are many master of science programs out there in fields like healthcare management and healthcare administration, the MBA/MPH degrees are higher-level professional degrees that may lead to greater advancement opportunities.
This program, when done full-time, typically takes between five and six semesters to complete. Here is a sample of coursework that includes both aspects of the program:
- Public Health Foundations and Systems
- Healthcare Management
- Leading High-Performance Teams
- Methods for Public Health Research
- Evolution of US Health Policy
- Operations Management
Someone might get a dual Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and Master’s in Public Health (MPH) degree if they want to run a public health system, organization, or consultancy. It is also a possible pathway for someone who wants to have a leadership role in hospital administration.
Master’s in Business Administration and Master’s in Education
This dual degree program combines hard business skills with a foundation in education and education policy. This is for educators who want to have the business know-how to start their own schools or for business professionals who want to break into the education industry. These programs prepare leaders to innovate educational organizations, schools, and the education technology sector.
Sample coursework includes:
- Contemporary Innovation
- Envisioning Management Change
- Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
- Business Operations
- Comprehensive Examination
Master’s in Public Health and Master’s in Social Work
This is a very popular degree program for people who really want to make a difference. An MSW will give you the training and license that you need to become a social worker while the MPH will give you specific public health knowledge to better understand your work in clinical environments. It is a joint program that will help social workers make career advancements in the leath sector.
Coursework may include:
- Human Behavior
- Family and Violence
- Social Welfare
- Planning and Program Development
- Substance Use Disorders
Though this was just a short glimpse into the vast world of dual degree programs, you should now have what it takes to start your own program search. If you know exactly what you want to do and you need to specialize in more than one thing, don’t limit yourself. Get out there and find the dual degree program that lets you focus on both.