Dual masters degree programs offer you the ability to pursue two master’s degrees in different fields by taking overlapping courses as your electives. Therefore, these programs usually take less time to earn as a dual degree rather than as two separate degrees.
Learn all about dual master’s degrees below, including some of the most common degrees, and check out some of the school’s that offer dual master’s.
What Are Dual Masters Degree Programs?
Dual masters degree programs are two master’s degrees awarded in different subjects. Depending on your goals and expectations, these subjects can be similar, such as an Master of Business Administration (MBA) and an Master of Science in Finance, or they can be very different, such as a Master of Nursing Science (MSN) and an MBA.
In some cases, these programs are offered as dual degrees, which, is in essence two separate degrees. Other times they are offered as joint degrees, with courses and requirements overlapping. Normally, the specific structure depends on how similar the degrees are and the unique design of the university.
In addition, some joint degrees can be pursued at two different universities, which is common for those looking to study abroad. For instance, many of these programs are an American university that offers a study abroad option with a relationship with a foreign institution, which allows you to study at the foreign institution, gaining credits in two different subjects.
Keep in mind that these programs all have different requirements.
How Long Do Dual Masters Degree Programs Take?
The specific length of time it will take for you to earn your dual master’s degree depends on whether you attend as a full-time or part-time student, and a number of other factors, such as whether or not you take courses during the summer.
Another factor depends on how similar your two degrees are. For instance, some schools offer an MBA and Master of Science in Project Management. Many of these courses can be applied to both degrees, which means you may be able to earn the dual master’s in two to three years as a full-time student.
On the other hand, if you pursue very different degrees, such as an MBA and master of arts, there may be little overlap in courses. Usually, these degrees take longer to earn and may require four years of full-time study.
However, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to dual master’s degree programs, including dual masters degree programs online. Therefore, it’s important that you check with a variety of schools to find the perfect program for you.
Did You Know?
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the greatest number of master’s degrees conferred in 2014-2015 were in business (185,000), education (147,000), and health professions and related fields (71,000).i
8 Colleges and Universities that Offer Dual Masters Degree Programs
There are many colleges and universities that offer dual master’s degrees and in a number of different subjects. Eight of these schools are listed below, with an example of their dual master’s offerings.
Keep in mind that this is not a complete list of all the schools that offer dual master’s and may not be a complete list of all of the dual master’s offered by any of the sponsored listings below. In addition, the schools are not listed in any particular order.
To learn more about any of the school’s or programs, click on any of the links below.
With a total enrollment of more than 16,000 students, and with more than 170 graduate, professional, and graduate-level certificate programs, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic Universities and the only one located in Chicago.
As a Jesuit Catholic university, they are stewards of the Catholic tradition, consisting of a diverse community working to expand knowledge in the service of humanity. (A and B)
Two of the dual master’s degrees offered at Loyola Chicago are:
Located in the heart of Boston, Simmons College has pioneered liberal arts education for more than a century by combining professional work experience and classroom education. Their mission is to provide transformative learning that links passion with lifelong purpose.
As a result, Simmons always puts the needs of their students first through an education that combines intellectual leadership with professional preparation in state-of-the-art facilities and with exceptional faculty and staff.
Two of the dual master’s degrees offered at Simmons are:
A student-centered research institution located in Washington, D.C., American University has an internationally-renowned faculty and a reputation for creating meaningful change in the world. Recognized for its emphasis on personalized teaching and experiential education, the university also actively encourages a commitment to public service and an appreciation of diverse cultures and viewpoints.
American University’s School of International Service was founded in 1957 and combines knowledge and practice to serve the global community. SIS at American offers a number of dual master’s degrees at institutions around the world, including:
John F. Kennedy University was one of the first universities in the country dedicated to lifelong learning. The school strives to offer high quality, affordable education that will prepare you to advance in your career and in your community.
As a fully accredited and nonprofit university offering a wide variety of innovative and nationally recognized programs, JFKU is focused on personalized attention to provide you resources and support during your studies and beyond.
Two of the dual master’s degree programs offered at John F. Kennedy University are:
With a mission to build the university the world needs, and by drawing inspiration from their namesake, Roger Williams University prides itself on being innovative, forward-thinking, and devoted to strengthening society through engaged learning and teaching.
As a result, RWU is dedicated to the spirit of love of learning and service toward the greater good. A private university with a public purpose, Roger Williams offers a number of dual master’s degrees, including:
A private, Christian, Baptist-related university, Gardner-Webb University provides outstanding education strongly grounded in liberal arts while offering opportunities to prepare for various professions.
Gardner-Webb prepares its graduates to make significant contributions in the global community by embracing faith and intellectual freedom, balancing conviction with compassion, and inspiring a love of learning.
Among its many graduate degree offerings, two of the dual master’s degrees at Gardner-Webb are:
Grand Canyon University, Arizona’s premier private Christian university for more than 65 years, is committed to a Christian worldview that provides greater unity across the university.
Now, as the university stands in a formidable position with a purpose to make a difference in the lives of others, the school is rapidly expanding with top-tier infrastructures and brand-new amenities. Plus, with a steadily growing student population and multi-million-dollar renovations, GCU is changing the landscape of West Phoenix.
Among the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees offered at GCU, they offer a number of dual master’s degrees, including:
Founded in 1831, Xavier University is a Jesuit Catholic university located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Along with teaching the next generation of community leaders to act with integrity, justice, and generosity, Xavier carries on the Jesuit traditions through community service, sustainability, and religious inclusion.
With a world-wide network of more than 65,000 alumni, Xavier offers a number of graduate degrees, including a dual master’s degree in:
Common Admissions Requirements
At many universities, admissions requirements include being accepted to each program individually before admission to the dual program can be granted. This may include filling out two different applications, plus all of the different required materials.
Usually, this is because programs have different requirements, even when offered from the same school. This is especially true for master’s degrees that are in high demand, such as nursing or an MBA.
However, be sure to check with each school before applying, and the two programs you’re applying to, in order to make sure that the school is a good match. Some of the common admissions requirements include:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
- Personal statement
- Letters of recommendation
- Official transcripts
Keep in mind that the specific requirements vary from school to school. In fact, there are a number of graduate schools that accept a low GPA and master’s programs that don’t require letters of recommendation.
Popular Dual Master’s Degree Programs
As the schools listed above and their dual master’s degree offerings show, many programs have similarities. For instance, as the principles of business and sound decision-making continue to be important for leadership positions in every field, MBA programs are one of the most common inclusions in a dual master’s degree.
Some of the other most common portions of the dual master’s degree are listed below with some of the course requirements.
Dual MSN Programs
As the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the number of nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners to increase 31% during the ten years from 2016 to 2026, there is a high demand for skilled and educated nurses.ii
Therefore, MSN degrees are common offerings in dual master’s degrees and commonly paired with:
- Master of Public Health (MPH)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Master of Social Work (MSW)
- Master of Health Administration (MHA)
- Master of Public Administration (MPA)
Each of these programs have different admissions and course requirements.
Dual MBA Programs
As mentioned above, another common part of a dual master’s degree is an MBA because of the importance of sound business decision-making skills in leadership positions. In fact, according the BLS, top executives earned a median annual salary of $103,950 in 2016.iii
These top executives usually have a bachelor’s degree and a number of years of experience, or an MBA, which is one of the reasons why the degree has become so common.iv As dual MBA degree programs are so sought after, many have strict requirements. However, there are some online MBA programs that don’t require a GMAT.
Dual MSW Programs
Master of Social Work (MSW) programs offer students the ability to learn how to help others who cannot properly care for themselves. However, many students see an opportunity to complement their social work education by earning a degree in another discipline or profession.
The BLS projects the number of social workers to increase 16% during the years 2016 to 2026, and earning a dual master’s degree with an MSW is a unique way for students to jumpstart their career.v
Some of the degrees paired with an MSW include:
- Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
- Juris Doctor (JD)
- Master in Law (ML)
- Master of Bioethics (MBE)
- Master of Public Health (MPH)
Earn the Perfect Dual Master’s Degree Program for You Today!
One of the ways to distinguish yourself from other job candidates, especially in interdisciplinary fields, is to earn a dual master’s degree. Including all types of fields, often, these programs can take less time combined than they would separately.
If you’re interested in earning a dual master’s degree, click on any of the sponsored listings on this page for more information about the school, their dual master’s offerings, and how to apply.
[i] nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=37 [ii] /ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm#tab-6 [iii] /ooh/management/top-executives.htm#tab-5 [iv] /ooh/management/top-executives.htm#tab-4 [v] /ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm#tab-6