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What Are the Different Types of Dual Master's Degree Programs?

Helen Akers
By Helen Akers
Updated May 17, 2024
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Dual master's degree programs are efficient ways for students to complete the course requirements of two advanced degrees at once. These types of programs can help prepare a person for a career that will require knowledge from several related disciplines. Some of the more common types of dual degree programs include the MBA/Juris Doctor, Master of Information Systems/MBA, Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health, and the Master of Library Sciences/Master of Arts.

For many reasons, a person may want to obtain more than one advanced degree. The completion of two master's degrees can be expensive, time consuming and stressful. Dual master's degree programs allow students to satisfy the requirements of two degrees in two and a half to three and a half years, on average.

The Master of Business Administration (MBA)/Juris Doctor (JD) double major is a well-known option for aspiring lawyers and business leaders who want to embark on careers that will use specialized knowledge from each field. This double major exposes students to business management and legal concepts. It is ideal for individuals who wish to pursue positions that deal with contract law and legal issues, such as commercial real estate management. The completion of both an MBA and a legal degree can also be beneficial for lawyers who eventually want to operate their own firms. Various aspects of the legal environment — including criminal law, constitutional law and property law — are covered.

A dual degree in information systems (MIS) and business administration (MBA) might be one of the appropriate dual master's degree programs for aspiring technology directors and senior level managers. Students in such a program develop skills related to business, project management, computer hardware and software. Besides courses in finance, accounting and marketing, classes in network design, database servers and programming languages are included in the curriculum. Those interested in pursuing a career in e-commerce management can also benefit from this degree since students are often challenged to develop abstract solutions to real world technology issues.

The Master of Social Work (MSW)/Master of Public Health (MPH) is one of the types of dual master's degree programs that prepare individuals for careers in medical social work. These positions are often based in hospitals and medical facilities to help address the needs of patients for trauma recovery, substance abuse intervention and psychiatric evaluation. The combination of an MSW and an MPH equips the degree holder with the knowledge and skills needed to work with sensitive cases in a medical environment.

Dual master's degree programs in library sciences (MLS) and liberal arts (MA) specialties are additional options for curators who have a strong interest in a certain subject matter. For example, an aspiring librarian might pursue a secondary degree in literature or anthropology. In a few cases, specialized knowledge in one or two subject areas may be necessary in order to qualify for librarian positions.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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