Does A Dual or Joint MBA-MPA Degree Make Sense for You?

As you move beyond bachelor’s level programs and begin making the decision for your master’s track, it is important to consider your own needs and responsibilities as part of the decision process. Some degree programs may be more suitable for people with lesser obligations in their day-to-day life. The dual MBA-MPA program can provide students with more opportunity in the field, but may also require students to dedicate slightly more time to obtaining their degree.

From a constructive point of view, students may have more career potential when obtaining degrees that have multiple specializations. If you are the type of person that wishes to have skills in both business practice and public service, the MBA-MPA dual degree program may be the best option for you. Our team of educational experts has put together this guide to help you learn more about whether or not this path is right for you and what this degree can provide after graduation.

How Long Does A Dual MBA-MPA Program Take To Complete?

Since the dual MBA-MPA program requires more time and awards 2 degrees, students may notice a slightly increased cost for tuition throughout the length of the program. Some schools may have higher tuition rates than others, so it is important for students to make their decision based on quality of education, length of time, and overall cost of the program.
mba and mpa dual
A lot of schools charge students a flat tuition rate per semester. Since this program requires an additional year of student, students can expect to pay more during the dual degree program that in standard master’s programs.

After reviewing some available degree programs, our team has concluded that most require students to take part in around 3 years of master’s level education in order to complete this dual program. Since joint programs include courses from both degree programs, students are expected to engage in more classes than they would in standard one-track programs.

Universities shorten the length of both programs by combining the curriculum for both and allowing credit for similar courses found between the 2. Even though this reduces the amount of time students take to complete both degrees, it still ends up being a longer time period that other standard master’s programs.

Have you researched what your desired career will require?In addition to ensuring the time frames for completion are within reason for what you require, you should also research the requirements of your prospective career. If you have a good idea of what you want to do as far as a career after graduation, you can learn more about the degree requirements for that specific position.

In some cases, it is not necessary to obtain a dual degree in order to obtain the position you are searching for. If you feel like having both degrees would be more beneficial for your professional advancement, this is the right program for you.

What Do Dual MBA-MPA Graduates Do?

The dual MBA-MPA degree program can provide skills that are relevant within different facets of business and government positions throughout the country. Having these skills can help you become an able prospect for employers that are looking for capable leaders within different fields throughout society.

Take a look at the list below to see some of the common fields in which you can exhibit your knowledge.

Business

The MBA is the leading degree program for individuals that want to pursue a career in business. Although this field is vast and can touch on many different areas within society, the requirements for leaders within this field are well-known.

If you are interested in finding a career in business, you can work for companies that provide services, products, or even consultation on a day-to-day basis. Your responsibilities could include employee management, training, financial planning, and even marketing of products. Depending on the type of business that you are involved with, you may have several different responsibilities on a regular basis.

Non-Profits

Non profit agencies can be a huge factor in local and widespread community improvement. If you want to become a part of this field after graduating, you may find that having a diverse knowledge of both business and public administration can be a huge advantage.

Since organizations within this domain are tax-exempt and work under federal regulations, it is vital for professionals working in this field to have a strong knowledge of the rules and advantages that come along with it. In this field, you may have similar leadership responsibilities as a career in business, but may also organize community improvement plans, communications, and finance.

Government

One of the largest platforms for exhibiting your expertise and knowledge within the field of business and public administration is within the national government. There are several different options for careers within the U.S. Government, including careers that involve planning and implementing policies for business, healthcare, education, and community advancement.

Your interests and preferences can sometimes lead you on various paths within this field, which can help shape your overall career potential. Leadership positions, law-making, and even local representation are a few of the options for careers at this level.

Benefits of the Dual MBA-MPA Degree

Dual degree programs are an excellent way for students to communicate their education and professionalism to potential employers. Having expertise within these 2 specialized areas can help to exhibit your understanding of both areas within society, which can potentially lead to more career options in the future.

While most students have a career in mind when choosing this degree program, it is an excellent choice for those that are undecided as well. If you want to show future employers that you have the dedication and knowledge needed to be a successful employee, this could be a great first step.

The MBA-MPA dual degree program can help students understand business practices and public service from different standpoints. While it may not seem important to learn more about different areas, more knowledge can mean more opportunity when rising into careers after graduation.

Once you have obtained a joint degree, you can provide better insight to companies that are interested in business from the public frame of mind, be helpful insight during financial planning, and provide solutions that are helpful for both the business and the community all in one.

Courses to Expect in MBA-MPA Programs

The MBA portion of the program consists of courses that are relevant to the business-minded professional. Take a look at some of the courses you can take throughout this portion of the program below.

  • Managerial Finance: This course can help students gain skills necessary for becoming an effective financial manager. Assets, liabilities, rate of return, and cash flow are a few of the subjects that students can expect to engage during their experience. Topics from microeconomics and finance may be used to help interpret economic situations throughout this course.
  • Financial Accounting: Students that take this course can learn more about the basics of financial accounting from a professional point of view. Topics such as assets, present value, and liabilities may be discussed, as well as the methods for creating and maintaining accounting statements. Income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements are a few of the tools that students can learn to work with during this course.
  • Strategic Financial Analysis: Strategic Financial Analysis can help students recognize opportunities for growth, service improvement, and improved financial well-being. This course can help students use analysis tools to help review and organize businesses effectively. Through course work, students may be able to help during future performance analysis, stock purchasing and trading, and mergers and acquisitions.

Courses for public administration may also include topics that are relevant to business, but have more of a policy-driven intent. Common courses for the MPA are listed below this section.

Public Economics and Finance

This course can help students better understand how public policy influences the distribution of income throughout the economy. Students within this course can potentially learn more about economic analysis and how they are reviewed and conducted within a professional environment. Topics from microeconomics and finance may be used to help interpret economic situations throughout this course.

Program Analysis and Evaluation

While in this course, students can become familiar with tools that are necessary for conducting program analysis and evaluation within the professional environment. Topics focus on both the private and public sector, which can help extend a student’s knowledge of analysis at different levels. The importance of efficient analysis and program planning may be discussed in this course, in an effort to create more knowledgeable and accurate analytic professionals.

Intro to Public Policy

Students that take this course may be given the opportunity to view public policy from an introductory standpoint. Policy making decisions, outcomes, and fundamentals may be a large portion of what students learn throughout this course. Different tools that are used throughout policy analysis may also be introduced, which can help prepare students for further learning in policy development and improvement.

Common MBA-MPA Questions and Answers

Can there by negative consequences to having the MBA attached to the MPA?

When you are involved in the job search process, having a joint degree can portray excellence within both areas to potential employers. However, when pursuing business-specific positions, interviewers may be swayed by the MPA designation on your degree. This is a quirk that can easily be corrected and does not usually present a lot of difficulty for upcoming professionals. Other than this, the results of obtaining this degree are mostly overwhelmingly positive.

Is this dual degree program offered in online format?

Yes! Like a lot of other dual degree programs, the MBA-MPA is offered in convenient online formats. Schools all over the country are seeking qualified applicants for these online programs. The convenience and flexibility of these types of programs can draw in large numbers of applicants each year.

How long does it take to complete the MBA-MPA program?

The answer to this question relies heavily on what you will require as a graduate student. If you can only attend classes part-time, you might be looking at a time frame from 4-5 years. For most standard programs at full-time enrollment, students can be finished with their dual program within around 3 years.

MBA in Public Administration Programs to Consider

Your search for the right degree program does not have to be an exhausting process. Our team of educational experts has located a few universities that offer this dual program to students that are interested in pursuing greater endeavors with their career. The list below consists of reputable universities that can help set you on track throughout your journey.

  • Eastern Washington University: MBA-MPA – 3-4 years
  • Harvard Business School: Joint MBA-MPA ID – 3 years
  • Dartmouth Tuck: Joint MBA-MPA and MBA-MPA ID – 3-4 years

Potential MBA-MPA Careers, Salaries, and Job Growth

We wanted to pull a list of potential careers that many MBA-MPA graduates often qualify for. It should be noted that the salary information is bulled from government BLS data and that while these are relevant careers, you could find yourself in a different career just as easily.

Conclusion

Your choice of degree program can be a decision that changes the course of your life throughout your future. There are so many different options for you to choose from in terms of what you can study throughout your master’s experience and the skills you can gain as a result. If you want to become involved in the field of business, or are looking for more diverse opportunities in public service or policy development, the MBA-MPA dual degree program is an excellent place to start.