MS & PhD Dual Degrees

Aug 13, 2019

A dual degree program gives you the opportunity to work toward two different degrees at the same time. Learn more about specific dual MS & PhD programs in the fields of psychology, nursing, physics, and speech-language pathology.

Dual MS & PhD programs usually allow you to earn both a master's degree and PhD in a streamlined process, often saving time and sometimes cutting costs. Possible fields of study for dual programs of this type include speech-language pathology, physics, nursing, and psychology. In this article, we discuss some of these dual MS & PhD programs in-depth, going over their degree and admittance requirements.

Dual MS & PhD Degree Programs

MS/PhD in Speech-Language Pathology

The field of speech-language pathology studies the neurological processes that control speech, as well as different speech and language disorders. A dual program of this type will require that you take coursework that fulfills both the master's and PhD credit requirements. For your master's, you most likely also need to either complete a thesis project or comprehensive exams. Then, for your PhD, you will complete a dissertation. Along with those requirements, a dual MS/PhD in Speech-Language Pathology program usually requires a clinical practicum and field placements where you will get experience in a school setting, a medical setting, or in private practice.

MS/PhD in Applied Physics

In a dual MS/PhD in Applied Physics degree program, you typically begin your studies by taking coursework that fulfills the master's degree requirements. These courses usually focus on basic physics topics such as plasma physics, electrodynamics, and laser physics. After you earn your master's, you move on to PhD coursework, where you might be required to choose a specialty within the realm of physics. For your PhD, you complete qualifying exams, written exams, and a dissertation.

MS/PhD in Nursing

For those interested in the theories of nursing and who want to pursue research in the field, a dual MS/PhD in Nursing may a good choice for you. This type of program may require that you take coursework for both degrees at the same time, or you might complete a specialty for your MS studies, first, which could include areas like adult-gerontology, nursing education, midwifery, or family nurse practitioner. Your dual degree program could also include clinical hours, research assistantships, and publication requirements. A dissertation as well as exams will probably be a part of your MS/PhD in Nursing program.

MS/PhD in Psychology

You can also earn a PhD in Psychology along with a master's degree in a related field. Various programs pair a different kind of master's degree with the PhD in Psychology, and some possible options include public health or women's studies. In this type of program, your coursework may be split between the two areas, with your master's classes based on your chosen field. You might also be required to write a master's thesis. Your PhD could be in clinical psychology, or you may have options, such as cognitive, developmental or social psychology. A dissertation is usually required.

Entrance Requirements for Dual MS & PhD Programs

Most dual MS & PhD programs have some common application materials, which could include an application, a fee, transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement. GRE scores are required by some but not all programs. Other requirements vary by the type of program to which you are applying. For example, graduate-level nursing programs require that you hold a bachelor's in nursing degree, and engineering programs may prefer a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field. To be accepted in other programs for which you don't have the undergraduate degree in that field, specific prerequisite courses may be required.

There are several program options that allow you to earn both a master's degree and PhD, such as the fields of nursing, psychology, physics, and speech-language pathology. Dual degree programs often have specific admittance standards, so you should check with your chosen school for exact requirements.

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