2021 Best Online Dual MBA Programs [Ultimate Guide]

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If you want to fill out your resume with a variety of top-notch executive and managerial skills, a dual MBA program might be the answer.

Online Dual MBA Programs

In dual MBA programs, you’ll take courses in business administration alongside courses from another professional degree track.

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You may even graduate with two master’s degrees in less time than it would take to earn both degrees separately.

Popular Dual MBA Programs

What are dual degree programs? Dual MBA programs, sometimes called combined degree, joint degree, or concurrent degree programs, are designed to help you create an interdisciplinary graduate study program.

For example, a joint MBA and MEd degree program could allow you to pursue your interests in the field of education and help you build your skills for administrative and leadership roles.

Combining an MBA program with a program in engineering, social work, or public health could help you qualify for executive roles. You might be able to pursue jobs in complex sectors of business administration, financial management, or HR management. Select the program that most interests you to jump to that section of the guide:

These programs can be offered online and on-campus, and many are designed to help you earn two degrees simultaneously with more convenience and academic specialization. Some universities also offer MBA / MHA dual degree programs for students interested in healthcare administration.

These programs also tend to have a quicker completion time than you’d experience trying to earn two degrees separately.

    MBA/JD (Juris Doctor)

    MBA Juris Doctor

    This degree combination could help you build a specialization in business law, including contract law, liability protection, mergers and acquisitions, and more. With a JD degree, the right experience, and the right licensing, you could practice law.

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    Professionals with an MBA and JD may manage business structures at a private law firm. They might also work as a business law attorney or an in-house corporate attorney or legal advisor.

    MBA/MD (Doctor of Medicine)

    MBA Doctor of Medicine

    A joint MBA and MD degree could help you use your medical experience to move into hospital administration roles. It may also be used to pursue entrepreneurial or managerial work in the larger health insurance, health services, or medical devices industries.

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    These fields present unusual scientific, regulatory, and financial complexities. Doctors with MBA training might be well positioned to succeed in key leadership roles in these specialized fields.

    MBA/MPH (Master of Public Health)

    MBA Master of Public Health

    If you’re interested in working in business development, planning, HR, or finance, getting a dual MBA and MPH degree can be a strategic choice. It can help you position yourself to lead and manage business ventures in the public health arena.

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    Alternately, if you’re interested in MPA training, then the complementary managerial and administrative skills you can get in the MBA track might give you an edge. You could pursue jobs in health agency management and health services administration.

    MBA/MPP (Master of Public Policy)

    MBA Master of Public Policy

    The value in this dual degree could depend on the professional specialization you envision. For example, if you specialize in financial analysis in your MBA track, that training might give you complementary insights for specialized work in public policy analysis.

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    That said, an MBA and MPP could also help equip you to work in a number of economic public policy domains. For example, you might work in domains related to markets, business development, wages, economic development, or taxation.

    MBA/MSE (Master of Science in Engineering)

    MBA Master of Science in Engineering

    If you are developing your expertise in the engineering field but have an interest in pursuing niche jobs in engineering management, then an MBA and MSE may be a good choice.

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    You might also pursue HR management and training jobs in the field of engineering. Other careers in this sector include engineering jobs pertaining to business development and logistics. Professionals with engineering and administrative expertise may end up as engineering enterprise executives.

    MBA/MSN (Master of Science in Nursing)

    MBA Master of Science in Nursing

    Human resources management and human resource training and development roles often offer rewarding and well-paid career tracks.

    In the nursing industry, though, it can be difficult to find truly effective and capable managers when relying on MBA candidates who have no understanding of the nursing field. That’s why a dual MBA and MSN degree can be helpful for moving into a high-growth field like nursing.

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    Dual MBA / MSN programs may also help equip you for a broader career horizon working in supervisory or managerial roles in the field of nursing.

    MBA/MA in International Studies

    MBA MA in International Studies

    In a time of rapid globalization, pairing MBA studies with an MA in International Studies can be a strategic combination. For example, it could help prepare you for international economic development work.

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    Alternatively, you might look for a program designed to help you gain broad MBA skills with a concentration in global business management or a specialization in international markets. Training like this could help you carve out a specialized pathway in business administration and leadership.

    MBA/MPA (Master of Public Administration)

    MBA Master of Public Administration

    An MBA and MPA program can help equip you for careers in which public interest goals can benefit from business savvy.

    Professionals in the field may be involved in socially responsible governance work or lead social impact investing. Their business administration skills can also make them well positioned to help large public organizations forge partnerships with private enterprises.

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    Graduates with an MBA and MPA might help lead social entrepreneurship initiatives or play an important role in business ventures with lots of public regulation and investing, such as clean energy or healthcare.

    MBA/MEd (Master of Education)

    MBA Master of Education

    Many educational leaders enter school administration and leadership after working for years as educators. They may lack the dynamic entrepreneurial, administrative, and financial analysis training provided in MBA programs, though.

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    Combining expertise in business and education can help you become a more capable, confident, and innovative school system leader. Education professionals with an MBA may also lead business ventures in private-sector education enterprises.

    MBA/MSW (Master of Social Work)

    MBA Master of Social Work

    Effective social work requires training in direct social services, but leadership roles in the field require broad and dynamic organizational leadership, coordination, and management skills.

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    Training in a dual MBA and MSW program can help you learn how to help social and community service organizations and networks develop more sustainable business models. You may also learn how to engage private sector partners and sponsors more effectively and how to manage and deploy staff and resources more efficiently.

    MBA Careers & Salaries

    MBA Careers & Salaries

    MBA programs can come in many combinations. Within each combination, there’s the possibility of different course designs with different areas of specialization and emphasis.

    In some cases, students have their sights on working in one field but also get an MBA in order to acquire practical executive leadership and planning skills. In other cases, students are focused on learning business management skills but still pursue a combined degree in a dual MBA program.

    This can help them develop skills for managerial or organizational leadership work in complex professional fields, such as education, nursing, or public health. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, joint MBA degree options can lead to rewarding and well-paid professional opportunities.

    Careers Annual Median Salaries
    Architectural and Engineering Managers $149,530
    Financial Managers $134,180
    Lawyers $126,930
    Political Scientist $125,350
    Human Resources Managers $121,220
    Top Executives $107,680
    Medical and Health Services Managers $104,280
    Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals $98,490
    Management Analysts $87,660
    Social and Community Services Managers $69,600

    These are just a few of the careers you might pursue with a dual MBA degree. Some of the careers listed above may require additional licensure, education, or work experience. If you want to combine excellent executive skills with specialized knowledge in a complex profession, getting a dual MBA degree can be a strategic option.

    Pros and Cons of a Dual MBA Degree

    Getting a dual MBA degree can provide career flexibility, but these programs may also be difficult to navigate and require time and financial commitments.

    Pros Cons
    • Get practical and versatile executive management skills
    • Equip yourself for leadership roles in complex sectors
    • Get two degrees in less time
    • Differentiate yourself from single-track MBA holders
    • Develop skills tailored to executive careers that require interdisciplinary training
    • Requires more time and money than a single-track masters program
    • You’ll navigate a wide range of concurrent degree program options
    • May require applying to separate departments and faculty teams
    • Requires intensive cross-disciplinary coursework
    • May require full-time, year-round commitments

    Joint MBA Admissions Requirements

    Joint MBA Admissions

    Admissions requirements can vary by school and by program, but here’s a list of common requirements you may encounter:

    • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
    • Satisfactory GPA
    • GRE, GMAT, MCAT, or LSAT scores (when required)
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Specified prerequisite courses or work experience

    Some schools may require one or two years of related professional experience, and some programs may require two separate application processes, one for each degree track.

    Accreditation

    Dual MBA Programs Accreditation

    Another thing to look for when selecting a school is regional accreditation. When a school has regional accreditation, it means you can be more confident you’ll receive an appropriate standard of academic quality and student services.

    Regional accreditation may be required for licensing, so you may want to check with relevant licensing boards. Regional accreditation can also be a precondition for some forms of financial aid.

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    The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) has more information about accreditation and finding accredited schools.

    Financial Aid and Scholarships

    Dual MBA Programs Financial Aid

    Getting an MBA dual degree could help you boost your earnings potential, but you might need help with tuition and other student expenses in the short term.

    Financial aid can help you keep moving forward even when you can’t cover all of the upfront costs. You may be able to find aid from federal or state grants, employer-based programs, scholarships, and student loans. Some universities and organizations also offer scholarships for women in business, so this may be worth looking into. 

    Terms for financial aid and student loans can vary, so it can beneficial to review all offers carefully. If you think you’ll be applying for need-based aid, filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be a good place to start.

    What Is a Dual MBA?

    dual Master of Business Administration

    A dual Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a degree program that can help you pursue an MBA degree and a second graduate degree in another field of study.

    These programs are usually designed to help students access interdisciplinary studies and earn two degrees in less time than it would typically take to earn the same degrees separately.

    A dual MBA option can help you obtain practical training for excelling in a range of executive management roles. It can also help you develop skills for handling business, leadership, or administrative tasks in your other field of study.

    Getting a second degree in another field may help set you apart from other MBA candidates by giving you unique insights into another professional field.

    Can You Get 2 MBA Degrees?

    Executive MBA programs

    Yes. Some people go back to school to get a second MBA. In this case, we’re not talking about concurrent degrees but about professionals who return to school to pursue a second MBA. They may do this to reinvigorate or expand their professional network or to focus on a new area of concentration.

    They may also wish to improve upon a prior MBA learning experience by enrolling in a higher-quality or higher-profile MBA program. Some experienced and successful executives return to school to attend Executive MBA programs.

    Another motivation for getting a second MBA could be a desire to learn more up-to-date methods and practices. Others may seek training related to opportunities or challenges in areas such as globalization, emerging markets, or workflow automation.

    Can I Do Masters and MBA Together?

    dual MBA and masters programs

    One advantage of many dual MBA and masters programs is that they are designed to provide you an opportunity to earn a masters and MBA together.

    Most dual MBA and master’s programs can help you earn the two degrees in less time than it would take to earn each degree separately. Combining an MBA with a professional master’s in another field can allow you to complement your master’s training with strong business administration skills.

    This may give you opportunities for building a larger, more dynamic professional network in your chosen field, such as social work, medicine, public policy, public health, and more.

    When Is Having a Dual-Degree MBA an Advantage?

    Dual-Degree MBA Advantage

    One key advantage of having a dual MBA degree is that it can help you develop broad skill sets and target more senior roles in a specific niche.

    For example, getting a dual degree may allow you to enter the job market with knowledge related to a particular professional sector, such as education, public health, medicine, or law.

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    At the same time, you can bring knowledge of business practices to your career. Depending on your MBA specialization, you may also have a subset of skills, such as skills in management, innovational leadership, finance, or entrepreneurship.

    This kind of exceptional preparation may give you an advantage over other professionals or help you advance more quickly. Compared to someone with a single-track degree and with no MBA training, you may offer superior financial analysis and management skills. You might also be more confident networking with private-sector associates.

    What Can You Do with a Dual MBA degree?

    Dual MBA degree careers

    The specific careers you pursue with a dual MBA degree will depend on what professional master’s degree you pair with your MBA along with your areas of specialization in both tracks.

    Business administration credentials and a masters in public health or medicine could help you build a strong foundation for management roles in medical and health services. This career sector is projected to have a 32% job growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Other dual MBA degree options may have you pursuing jobs in financial management, HR management, or project management. Top executives, HR managers, and financial managers may earn average salaries over $100,000.

    The median salary for management occupations is $109,760, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 5% job growth for jobs in management over the next ten years.

    How Long Does It Take to Earn a Dual MBA Degree?

    Earn a Dual MBA Degree

    Most single-track master’s programs take 1 to 2 years to complete. What about dual MBA programs? Well, time to completion will vary by school and program.

    If you’re getting an MBA combined with a doctorate degree, it may take at least 4 years. Pursuing two master’s degrees typically takes 3 or 4 years, depending on the school. If you’re enrolled in a combined master’s program that’s designed to help you finish both degrees in only 3 years, you may be studying full-time, including the summer.

    What’s the Difference Between an MBA vs. Masters Degree?

    You can pursue a master’s degree in virtually every academic and professional discipline. If you choose to major in business administration, for example, you can work towards earning an MBA, or a Master of Business Administration.

    Master’s Degree Master of Business Administration
    • An academic or professional degree earned in graduate school
    • Awarded for all types of academic majors and professional disciplines
    • Generally requires 32 to 36 credit hours and takes 1 to 2 years to earn
    •  Designed to teach professional business skills
    • Typically includes topics related to economics, financial analysis, and organizational leadership
    • Usually takes 1 to 2 years to complete

    An MBA is just one kind of master’s degree. Most MBA programs focus on equipping students with practical knowledge and methods for roles in business administration, management, finance, and leadership.

    What’s the Difference Between an Executive MBA vs. MBA?

    Executive MBA vs. MBA

    Both an MBA and an Executive MBA are master’s degree programs in business administration. The key difference is that an Executive MBA is typically designed for seasoned business professionals and senior executives.

    Why would a successful executive go back to school for an MBA? Typically, it’s to develop more sophisticated management or leadership skills for the challenges they face on the job or to prepare for the next level of career advancement.

    MBA Executive MBA
    • Designed for students who have little to no experience in the field
    • Tailored to help students learn foundational knowledge, concepts, and methods
    • Suitable to business careers in a variety of industries
    • Designed for older, experienced senior executives
    • Often designed with flexible, remote learning options for busy executives
    • May focus more on sophisticated leadership challenges via research-driven and case-study inquiry

    In short, an MBA degree program is usually for those just entering the business world, whereas an Executive MBA is typically for those with a lot of managerial or executive experience.

    Is a Dual MBA Worth It?

    Yes, a dual MBA is worth it for many students. An MBA dual degree track can help you develop the skills needed for managerial, administrative, or executive roles in demanding industry sectors.

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    An MBA dual degree program can give you the chance to have intensive training in one field while you build a strong foundation in practical business administration. This may set you apart from a large number of students in single-track masters or doctoral programs.

    Universities Offering Master of Business Administration Dual Degree Programs

    Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online, on campus, or in a hybrid format.

    American University

    American University campus

    American University offers a number of dual degree Master of Business Administration programs. Students may pursue a master’s degree from the School of International Studies along with an MBA.

    Options include International Affairs, International Communication, International Development, and International Peace and Conflict Resolution. Other options are Global Environmental Policy and Development Management. Students must complete up to 73 credits to graduate.

    To be eligible, applicants must have 2 years of work experience, a letter of recommendation, and GMAT or GRE scores.

    American University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

    Auburn University

    Auburn University campus

    Auburn University offers a Master of Business Administration with a dual degree option. Students may add a Master of Science in Finance, Master of Science in Information Systems, Master of Industrial Systems Engineering, or Master of Science in Supply Chain Management.

    Each dual degree option has different graduation requirements. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75, GMAT scores, and 2 letters of recommendation.

    Auburn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    Drexel University

    Drexel University campus

    Drexel University offers a dual degree program for students interested in receiving a Master of Business Administration. Students may choose to add an MS in a business field, a Juris Doctor, an MD, an MS in Television Management, an MS in Biomedicine and Business, or a Master of Public Health.

    Applicants must apply with a letter of recommendation and GMAT or GRE scores. To be eligible for the dual degree program, both individual degree programs must accept the student.

    Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    Texas Tech University

    Texas Tech University campus

    Texas Tech University offers a dual degree program for those seeking a Master of Business Administration.

    Students may choose to add a Master of Architecture, an MA in Mass Communication, or an MS in Biotechnology/PhD in Biomedical Science. Other options are an MS in Nursing, an MS in Sport Management, a Juris Doctor, or a Doctor of Medicine.

    Each program has its own credit requirements. Those interested in a dual degree program must be accepted into both of the individual programs they want to take.

    Texas Tech University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    University of Arizona

    University of Arizona campus

    The University of Arizona offers a dual degree program for those seeking a Master of Business Administration.

    Students may pursue an MBA along with one of the following master’s programs: Marketing, Accounting, Business Analytics, Finance, MIS, Planning, or Public Health. Students may also pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy, Juris Doctorate, or Doctor of Medicine.

    Applicants must apply to both the MBA program and the program for their desired additional degree.

    The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    University of Minnesota

    University of Minnesota campus

    The University of Minnesota offers multiple dual degree programs for students interested in receiving a Master of Business Administration. Applicants must be accepted into both of the programs they want to take.

    Students may choose to seek one of the following in addition to the MBA: MS in Business Analytics, Human Resources and Industrial Relations, or Applied Economics. Other options include Juris Doctor, MD, Master of Healthcare Administration, Master of Public Policy, Doctor of Pharmacy, or MS in Finance and Business Analytics.

    The University of Minnesota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    University of Oklahoma

    University of Oklahoma campus

    The University of Oklahoma offers a number dual degree programs for students interested in receiving a Master of Business Administration and an additional degree.

    Students may add a master’s in Accountancy, Finance, or Management Information Technology, or another of their choosing. Students can pursue a dual degree at any point as long as they declare their intent prior to meeting graduation requirements.

    The University of Oklahoma is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    University of Pennsylvania

    University of Pennsylvania campus

    The University of Pennsylvania offers a number of Master of Business Administration dual degree programs.

    Students may choose to pursue one of the following: International Studies, Juris Doctorate, Health Care Management, Dentistry, Education, Medicine, Social Work, or Veterinary Medicine. Students interested in obtaining a dual master’s degree may apply for the program at any point during their studies.

    The University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    University of Southern California

    University of Southern California campus

    The University of Southern California offers a dual degree program option for students interested in receiving a Master of Business Administration. Those interested in a dual degree must apply to both of the programs they want to take.

    Students may choose to add a Juris Doctor, an MA in East Asian Area Studies, a Master of Planning, or a Master of Real Estate Development. Other options are an MS in Gerontology, an MS in Industrial Systems Engineering, an MD, a Doctor of Pharmacy, an MA in Jewish Nonprofit Management, or a Master of Social Work.

    The University of Southern California is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Senior College and University Commission.

    Vanderbilt University

    Vanderbilt University campus

    Vanderbilt University offers a Master of Business Administration dual degree program. Students may choose to add a master’s in one of the following: Divinity, Latin American Studies, Law, Medicine, or Education and Human Development.

    Each program has their own graduate requirements, but all programs require those interested in a dual degree to apply to both of the programs they want to take.

    Vanderbilt University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    Getting Your Dual MBA and Masters Degree Online

    Dual MBA and Masters Degree Online

    If you’re excited about joint MBA programs like those we’ve previewed, there are many accredited schools that offer dual degree MBA programs online, and there are many different career pathways to choose from.

    Researching these business online degree programs can help you gain some more insights, learn more about MBA graduate programs, and decide which joint MBA programs best fit your needs and professional interests.

    The sooner you start exploring online MBA dual degree programs, the sooner you may earn two graduate degrees, advancing your expertise and qualifications along the way.

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    Keith Nickolaus
    WRITTEN BY
    Keith Nickolaus
    Keith has a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of California - Berkeley and a B.A. in Literature from the University of California - Santa Cruz. A retired educator, Keith lives in Berkeley and researches and writes about trends in education leadership, innovation, and policy.