Master of Business Administration (MBA) and psychology dual graduate degree programs usually focus on a specific psychology practice area at a graduate level, but there are some programs that confer a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) in psychology along with an MBA. There are also several Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) programs available.
General Program Information
Options for graduate degrees in psychology in these dual degree programs include a Master of Arts in industrial/organizational psychology or sports psychology, a PhD in behavioral science, or a PsyD in clinical psychology.
There is usually considerably more coursework in the psychology portion of the dual degree; a reasonable expectation is around 58 credit hours for a master's degree, which usually takes about three to four years to complete. An MBA usually takes about two years to complete when attending full-time. Dual degree programs will vary in length, and PsyD and PhD programs will take longer, but a reasonable minimum estimated completion time for dual master's degrees in these fields is four to five years. The bachelor's in psychology with an MBA can be completed in three to four years.
The psychology course load in this dual degree is significantly larger and more rigorous, particularly if students are pursuing a doctorate. Some MBA courses can be shaved off with prior business-related coursework in an undergraduate program or even equivalency testing in some cases.
Coursework will vary on the psychology side of the program depending on the degree type being pursued. Some examples of common core business and psychology classes students can expect to encounter in these programs include:
Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
These courses cover fundamental methods of psychological research that every student in the field needs to be equipped with. Qualitative methods are more unstructured and subjective (like focus groups and personal interviews) while quantitative methods are more objective and based on factual observation (like records reviews and structured surveys). Techniques taught in these courses include interviewing, data collection and analysis, and other common field methods.
Organizational psychology examines the theories and structure of organizations from a psychological perspective. These courses examine how things like institutional culture and management practices impact individual behavior and actions in workplaces. These courses can cover non-work organizations as well.
Psychometrics classes teach students how to conduct objective measurements of psychological factors such as personality traits and attitudes. Courses cover various issues in the creation and implementation of psychological tests. Concepts covered include sampling, validity and test construction.
Financial management courses cover the financial aspects of running a business that upper-level managers need to be familiar with. Concepts covered in this course include the different types of capital, dividend policy and financial leverage. These courses also discuss ethical issues in the management of business finances.
Managerial economics courses link macroeconomic and microeconomic principles to business management. Students learn how factors such as government financial policy, tax changes and supply and demand impact a business.
These programs do not necessarily require that the applicant have a specific bachelor's degree, but some do require that some amount of psychology coursework has been completed with at least a 3.0 GPA.
Other common requirements include a certain minimum GRE score, academic references and a personal statement or essay. Some of the dual bachelor's/master's programs may require that students entering from high school have a minimum GPA in their English and science coursework and a certain minimum SAT score to demonstrate that they are ready for a program that is more challenging than a standard undergraduate degree.
A broad range of options are available to those interested in a dual MBA and psychology degree, ranging from bachelor's/MBA options for those just entering the undergraduate realm to PhD and Doctor of Psychology programs.