What is a Dual Degree?

March 25, 2020

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What is a Dual Degree?

Interested in simultaneously pursuing two degrees? Not to be confused with a double-major, pursuing a dual degree means obtaining two different degrees, as opposed to obtaining a single degree with two areas of academic focus. Pursuing a dual degree can seem like a daunting task, but it is a path that can lead to new and exciting professional opportunities in the future.

We have answered some common questions to help you learn more about dual degrees.

What’s the difference between Dual Degree versus Double Major?

Double majoring generally pertains to one degree with two areas of study. For example, you pursue a bachelor’s degree while studying both Management and Marketing. On the contrary, a dual degree is two different degrees with different areas of study. An example of a dual degree would be simultaneously obtaining a MBA and a MS or a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts. Dual degree programs often take less time to accomplish, but that is not always the case.

Though these two academic paths are different, they both can diversify your career choices. Having a concrete background in one area of study is nice, but two is better!

What’s the difference between Dual Degree versus Joint Degree?

A joint degree option is a great opportunity for students to diversify their field of knowledge. Well suited for those with multiple areas of interest, a joint degree allows students to specialize in two subjects and combine them into a single academic discipline. For example, students may continue an area of study they excelled at during previous years, and combine it with a separate subject.

Typically, students will study each subject equally. Joint degrees are also offered either at the same school or at an affiliated university. This way, students can finish both degrees at a fraction of the time, compared to mastering one program after the other.

Is A Dual Degree for You?

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to pursue a dual degree program, including your time commitment, fields of interest, finances and plans for the future. With pursuing two degrees at the same time, it can be stressful balancing different studies together.

“If you’re thinking of pursuing a dual degree, time management is paramount. It’s critical to look through both lenses at all aspects of the programs—technically and managerially. And you should make sure to optimize the multitude of resources you’ll have available to you—twice the alumni network, twice the student services—because you never know what might come to fruition.”–Marisa Trevino, assistant director for the Eller Full-time MBA, which offers a dual degree with Eller’s Management Information Systems program.

Is It Worth Pursuing Dual Degree?

The benefits of dual degree are endless. Some of the more important reasons are:

Broadening skills and knowledge A dual degree allows you to develop, sharpen and diversify your knowledge and skillset across two fields of study. This can make you a more desirable candidate in the workforce.
Professional Flexibility Having expert level skills in the discipline means that more employers would be willing to hire you, giving you the flexibility to choose the roles and positions you truly want.
Save Time Pursuing two degrees can help you save time, consolidating the amount of time you need to spend in the classroom before returning to the workforce.

How Long Does It Take to Get A Dual Degree?

Here are time estimates of Eller’s dual degree programs:

  • MBA/Master’s in Marketing = 2 years
  • MBA/ Master’s in Accounting = 2-2.5 years
  • MBA/Master’s in Business Analytics = 2-2.5 years
  • MBA/Master’s in Finance = 2-2.5 years
  • MBA/Master’s in MIS = 2-2.5 years

Jacob Wagner earned an MBA and a Master’s of Finance while at Eller. Read more about his experience.

And keep in mind, the time it takes to obtain a dual degree depends on the type of degrees you are pursuing. There are different programs for different types of dual degrees. For example, there are programs that combine a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree—such as the type Aaron Panopio earned—but they usually take more than four years to complete.


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