Is a Dual Master's Degree Worth It?

Sep 07, 2019

Dual master's degree programs pair two different yet complementary degrees. To help you decide if a dual degree program is worth pursuing, read more about some specific programs, the careers they prepare you for, and the common entrance requirements.

A dual master's program allows you to earn two graduate degrees in different or overlapping fields, which then can help expand your career opportunities. Benefits of dual programs are that you can usually earn two degrees at a faster pace than working on them separately and that you might save money, as well. In this article, we will discuss different kinds of dual master's program, what these programs entail, and some of the common entrance requirements.

Types of Dual Master's Degree Programs

Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration

Dual Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Business Administration programs are designed for those in the nursing field who want to expand their career options into the realm of health care management or administration. This kind of dual program can require anywhere from 66-78 credits, and when attending full-time, you should be able to complete both degrees in about 2 years. Your coursework will entail a mix of advanced nursing topics, such as health policy, population health, and ethics in nursing, and business topics, such as economics, financial management, and project management. Usually, you will complete coursework for the MSN first and then the MBA.

Master of Arts in English/Master of Arts in Creative Writing

If you have an interest in teaching creative writing or English at the college level, then a dual Master of Arts in English and Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree could be worth pursuing. The curriculum of a dual program of this type usually includes English literature classes, literature theory classes, and writing and craft workshops. These dual programs might require anywhere from 60-69 credits, depending on the program, and could take about 3 years to compete both degrees. Most dual MA/MFA program will also require that you complete a creative MFA thesis, and some might also require an MA thesis or a comprehensive exam.

Master of Arts in Education/Master of Public Policy

For those who want a career in creating and studying educational policy, a dual Master of Arts in Education and Master of Public Policy degree might be the right choice for you. These types of dual programs could take 2 years or more to complete. Your coursework might entail taking classes on such subjects as postsecondary education, research methods, ethics and public policy, and statistics. You may also need to complete internships or field placements.

Master of Architecture/Master of City and Regional Planning

A dual Master of Architecture and Master of City and Regional Planning degree program can help you pursue a career in city planning or architecture. A dual degree program of this type will often require coursework on urban design, economics, project development, policy design, and community building. The number of credits for completion differs by program and can vary widely, depending on whether you have an undergraduate degree in architecture, requiring anywhere from 60-99. These programs will also usually require a thesis project or a capstone project.

Common Entrance Requirements for Dual Master's Programs

Some of the common entrance requirements will include an application, transcripts, personal statement, and letters of recommendation. Also, some dual master's programs will have more specific admission requirements. For example, most Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration programs will require that you have a bachelor's degree in nursing. Similarly, dual Master of Arts in English/Master of Arts in Creative Writing programs will require creative writing and academic writing samples. Most, but not all, dual programs could also require GRE scores.

Dual master's degree program could be worth the effort if you want to pursue an interdisciplinary career or want to expand your knowledge in two different subjects, while saving both time and money. These dual programs could have specific entrance requirements, and you may have to apply to both programs.

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