2024 Best MBA & MPA Dual Degree Programs

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Earning an MBA MPA dual degree might be the next step in your career if you’re passionate about both business and social change.

Best MBA & MPA Dual Degree Programs

You might want to help companies grow and succeed, but you may also be civic-minded and looking to get involved in public service.

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A dual MBA MPA degree program provides extensive training in leadership skills, and it gives exposure to both private and public sectors.

MBA MPA Dual Degree Programs

MBA MPA Dual Degree Programs

A dual degree program allows you to earn two separate degrees at the same time. Dual Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees are among the most popular of these.

Professionals who are also interested in public affairs and government structures can combine an MBA with a Master of Public Administration (MPA). A dual MBA MPA degree packs a double punch because both the MBA and the MPA are seen as the top degree of choice in their respective industries.

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By pursuing a dual degree, you can pick up skills from both disciplines. Career paths in these fields can range from top-ranking managers or business consultants to nonprofit directors or political scientists. On top of this, career roles are becoming more interdisciplinary. Public organizations are looking for more innovation and strategic marketing, and private firms are getting more concerned about social responsibility.

MBA MPA graduates are well-poised to fill this gap since they can bring together business and social insights along with policy analysis.  

What Is an MBA Degree?

MBA graduate degree

An MBA is a graduate degree that stands for Master of Business Administration. It’s the most widely taken graduate degree in the world because it provides a well-rounded foundation in management skills.

MBA students are trained in finance, marketing, operations, and other fundamental aspects of a business. This helps them develop strategic thinking and prepares them to take on lead roles in organizations. In an MBA program, you’ll be trained in business fundamentals, such as entrepreneurship, leadership, strategic thinking, and communication—all of which are essential in any industry.

Classes often involve plenty of presentations and case studies across various industries. On top of this, students often take on work placements or internships.

What Is an MPA Degree?

MPA graduate degree

An MPA degree is a graduate degree that stands for Master of Public Administration. Similar to an MBA, it also focuses on business skills such as economics and project management.

An MPA, though, mainly deals with the management of government institutions, public sector organizations, and nonprofits. It’s seen as one of the best graduate degrees for government officials and other leaders who are concerned with creating societal change.  

In an MPA program, you’ll likely take interdisciplinary classes in finance, sociology, and economics. You’ll also be able to choose elective courses for further specialization.

After graduation, some students choose to continue their educations by pursuing a Doctor of Public Administration degree.

Public Administration Careers & Salaries

Public Administration Careers & Salaries

There’s a wide range of career opportunities in the field of public administration, and an MBA can increase your job options in the private sector as well. Many graduates of on-campus or online public administration degree programs take on senior positions in government agencies or nonprofit organizations that promote the common good.

For example, these organizations might focus on human rights, environmental protection, or international relations. Alternatively, graduates might work for private companies with products and services that are socially conscious. Aside from management, graduates can also engage in public policy research and analysis.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many public administration careers will continue to be in demand in the years to come.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Chief Executives $179,520
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers $133,380
Human Resources Managers
Political Scientists $122,510
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $119,860
General and Operations Managers $97,970
Management Analysts $93,000
Urban and Regional Planners
Emergency Management Directors $76,730
Social and Community Service Managers $74,000

Your actual salary will depend on a number of factors, including the exact market, your chosen industry, your employer, and your level of experience.

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Many of the careers listed are predicted to see either average or above-average job growth over the next few years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’s especially high demand for social and community service managers (12% job growth) and management analysts (11%).

Joint MPA-MBA Curriculum & Courses

Joint MPA-MBA Curriculum

Every program is different, but here are some of the typical courses that you can expect to see in an MPA-MBA curriculum:

  • Accounting for Management: Going beyond basic accounting, this course shows how a company’s accounting statements can be used to make business decisions about budgeting, investments, hiring, and more.
  • Business Laws and Ethics: You’ll learn about the regulations and doctrines that businesses of all types have to deal with, including consumer protection, tax laws, and litigations.
  • Managerial Marketing: This course delves into the theory and practice of marketing, from how to spot marketing opportunities in different markets to implementing marketing plans.
  • Advanced Operations Management: You’ll analyze the issues and processes behind a company’s operations and learn tools and frameworks for optimizing them.
  • Corporate Finance: This course has a heavy focus on valuation, with topics such as risk management, investment criteria, debt and equity structures, and capital structure choice.
  • Policy Analysis and Decision-Making: You’ll examine different approaches and procedures for assessing policies, and you’ll practice predicting the consequences through case studies.
  • Organizational Theory and Behavior: This course looks into how people act inside organizations and how to encourage more effective behavior and better performance.
  • Economics in Public and Nonprofit Sectors: Also called public economics, this course studies how government policies affect the economy, from education and social insurance to taxes and incentives.
  • Statistics for Public Policy: You’ll learn how to use statistical tools, design research questions, and build your own data sets to understand the effects of public policies.
  • Principles of Public Administration: This course dives into the concepts, trends, and research behind public administration so students will be able to critique real-life situations and propose solutions.

In addition to these core courses, you might also be able to choose electives and work toward a specialization.

How to Know If a Dual MBA/MPA Degree Is Right for You

Dual MBA/MPA Degree

You might be wondering if a dual MBA/MPA degree is the right fit for you. To help you decide, you can go over these questions:

  • Are you interested in pursuing a leadership role? A dual MBA/MPA degree can train you to lead a team or even an entire organization.
  • Do you want the flexibility to work in both private and public sectors? One of the benefits of this dual degree is that you can often qualify to work in a variety of industries, such as private companies, government agencies, or nonprofits.
  • Are you willing to devote more time to have more career opportunities? You’ll have more coursework with a dual MBA/MPA degree, but it can also give you more exposure to different industries. You may also develop a more unique combination of skills.

If you’d like to combine being business-savvy with public service, then an MPA and MBA dual degree may align with your goals.

Dual MBA-MPA Degree Program Admissions Requirements

Dual MBA-MPA Degree Program Admissions

The requirements vary for each school, but it’s common for dual MBA-MPA programs to ask you to submit the following:

  • Essay. You’ll likely have to write one to three essays about your career goals, achievements, and experiences.
  • Official transcripts. These transcripts usually include all undergraduate and graduate institutions that you’ve attended.
  • CV or resume. Schools will use your CV to assess your work history, extracurricular activities, and volunteer initiatives.
  • Recommendations. You might have to submit two to three recommendations from academic and professional sources.

Some schools will also look for your test scores on the GMAT or GRE, though a growing number of schools no longer require standardized test scores.


MBA & MPA Dual Degree Programs accreditation

You can make the most out of your MBA MPA degree by studying at a school with regional accreditation. For a school to be regionally accredited, it must show to a board of experts that its curriculum matches quality standards. Even when accredited, schools have to renew their accreditation periodically.

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Going to an accredited school can reassure you about the credibility of your program. In addition, some employers may screen for accredited schools in the hiring process. You can visit the US Department of Education’s website to check if an MBA-MPA program is accredited.

MPA MBA Licensure and Certifications

Here are some common certifications among MBA MPA graduates:

  • Project Management Professional: This is considered the gold standard of certification for those who want to prove their project leadership capabilities.
  • Certified Management Consultant: If you have a specific area of expertise, you can pursue management consultant certification, which is recognized in more than 40 countries.
  • American Institute of Certified Planners: Certification is one of the main hiring considerations for urban planners, so employers often check for credentials from the AICP.

Going through the process of earning any of these certifications could expand your expertise and give your CV a boost.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

MBA & MPA Dual Degree Programs financial aid

Whether you’re taking an online or on-campus program, financial aid opportunities may help lighten the costs of tuition fees. As a potential graduate student, you can still fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The most common federal student aid opportunities come in the form of loans and grants. Student loans are more widely available, with the Department of Education as your lender. You can also look into federal work-study programs, which offer part-time jobs to graduate students. Scholarships are also awarded every year by schools as well as outside organizations.

MPA or MBA, Which Is Better?

Both a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) are well-regarded graduate programs. Here are some major differences between the two fields to consider.

Master of Public Administration Master of Business Administration
  • More community-minded, with a focus on service and societal issues
  • Trains students specifically to lead government organizations and nonprofits
  • Has a more interdisciplinary curriculum that includes social sciences and policy analysis
  • Focuses on solving business problems
  • Teaches versatile skills that can be applied to various industries
  • Has more classes on finance, marketing, and operations

 Whichever one is better for you depends on your work background and career goals.

Can I Have Dual Masters Degrees?

Dual Masters Degrees programs

Yes, many colleges and universities offer dual master’s degree programs. With a dual master’s degree program, you’ll typically follow a set curriculum that involves courses from both disciplines involved. When you finish the program, you’ll graduate with two master’s degrees.

Admission tends to be more challenging and competitive for dual master’s degree programs because you usually have to apply to both departments separately. To get approved, it’s necessary to be accepted by both. Dual degree programs are actually becoming more common now as more people want to pursue specialized courses.

What Is a MPA?

An MBA MPA dual-degree is a graduate degree program that consists of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Public Administration (MPA).

This type of program trains students to become change agents and effective leaders in both public and private organizations. A combined MBA and MPA program can help you develop core business skills, such as strategic thinking, problem-solving, and project management.

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At the same time, you can also become knowledgeable in local and international regulations and public policies. Because of this broad training, you may be well-suited for managing collaborations between different sectors.

What Can You Do with an MPA and MBA Dual Degree?

An MPA and MBA dual degree can open up many possible career paths. The most standard track for graduates would be management roles. Because of the flexibility of the dual degree, graduates may become managers, executives, or supervisors in private firms, nonprofits, or government organizations.

Some graduates enter into analyst, research, and regulatory roles. Another option would be entrepreneurship or consultancy. Finally, professionals who have business and public administration expertise may have an edge in highly regulated fields, such as energy, finance, and pharmaceuticals.

How Long Does It Take to Get an MPA MBA Dual Degree Online?

MPA MBA Dual Degree Online

Earning MBA MPA dual masters degrees online generally takes 2 to 3 years to complete with full-time enrollment. Many students choose this online business administration degree combined with one in public administration, though, if they’re juggling other commitments, such as work. If you enroll only part-time, you will likely extend your time to completion.

With a dual MBA MPA degree, you’ll usually have to finish around 50 to 80 credit hours, with some programs reaching up to 90 credit hours. In comparison, a standard MBA or MPA will each require 30 to 60 credit hours.

What’s the Difference Between an MPA vs. MPP Degree?

Here are some key differences between a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and a Master of Public Policy (MPP):

  • Master of Public Policy: An MPP is focused on policy-making, with emphasis on designing and evaluating policies. This degree is more specialized, with additional classes on research and data analysis.
  • Master of Public Administration: An MPA is more about carrying out policies and managing programs and projects. This degree has a wider scope, emphasizing collaboration and communication skills.

MPA programs are more common, though MPP programs are gaining ground. Some universities also offer MPP and MBA dual degree programs.

What’s the Difference Between an MPA vs. MBA in Public Administration?

MPA vs. MBA in Public Administration

Here’s how a Master of Public Administration (MPA) is different from a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Public Administration:

  • MBA in Public Administration: This degree track prepares students for roles in both public and private organizations. It can also offer a more diverse set of classes, including topics on public policy, marketing, finance, and entrepreneurship.
  • Master of Public Administration: An MPA specializes in the public sector. Classes in an MPA are more social science-oriented, with topics such as research, program evaluation, and economic development.

Students settled on pursuing government or nonprofit work might be well-suited for an MPA. If you’d prefer more diverse career options, then you might consider earning an MBA.

Is a Dual MBA/MPA Degree Worth It?

Yes, an MBA-MPA dual degree is worth it for many students. The most common benefit to this dual graduate degree is that it can pave the way for more senior roles. Because of the extensive training in leadership and problem-solving, many graduates can more easily qualify for management positions.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management occupations are expected to see 8% job growth over the next ten years. A dual MPA/MBA degree can also lead to career flexibility, as graduates often quality to work for both the public and private sectors.

Universities Offering MBA and MPA Dual Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Hamline University

Hamline University

Hamline University offers a dual degree program in business administration and public administration. It is designed for working professionals. Scheduling is flexible, and both online and evening classes are available. The program aims to provide students with hands-on training across sectors and help them develop the advanced skills and experiences employers want.

Hamline University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Harvard University

Harvard University

Harvard University’s dual MBA and MPA program typically takes 3 years to complete. It combines core curriculum and electives from both individual programs. Courses include Advanced Microeconomic Analysis, Financial Reporting and Control, Advanced Macroeconomics for the Open Economy, Advanced Quantitative Methods, and more.

Harvard University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Jackson State University

Jackson State University

Jackson State University offers a dual MBA and MPA degree program. Students must satisfy general business and accounting undergraduate prerequisites in order to apply. The program requires the completion of 48 credit hours. It includes courses such as Managerial Accounting, Advanced Production and Operations Management, and Business Statistics.

Jackson State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University offers a dual MBA and MPA program. It includes 27 credit hours of coursework in business administration and 24 credit hours in public administration. Courses include Accounting Insights for Managers, Fundamentals of Public Administration and Public Service, Resource Allocation and Decision Analysis, and more.

Kennesaw State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

New York University

New York University

New York University’s dual MBA and MPA degree program features over 20 different specialization areas. Options include Policy Analysis, International Development, Nonprofit and Public Management, and Public Finance. Students are required to enroll full time and can typically complete the program in 3 years. The MBA is 51 credits, and the MPA is 33 credits.

New York University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Ohio State University

Ohio State University

Ohio State University’s dual MBA and MPA program typically takes 3 years to complete. Students usually spend their first year taking MBA classes, their second year taking MPA classes, and their third year taking a combination of both. Classes are small and can be started each fall. The program has nearly a 100% placement rate after graduation.

Ohio State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Persidio Graduate School

Persidio Graduate School

Presidio Graduate School offers a dual MBA and MPA in Sustainable Solutions. The program requires the completion of 73 credits and can typically be completed in 2.5 years of full-time study or in 4.5 years of part-time study. Coursework includes Economics for Sustainability, Systems, Sustainability, and Social Justice, and Multisector Strategic Partnerships and Financial Solutions.

Presidio Graduate School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.

University of Massachusetts – Amherst

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

The University of Massachusetts—Amherst offers a dual master’s degree program in business administration and public policy. It is designed to help prepare students for careers at any level of government or in the private and nonprofit sectors. Students can begin their coursework with either program. The program also offers summer internship opportunities.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of New Haven

University of New Haven

The University of New Haven has a dual MBA and MPA degree program. It requires the completion of 68.5 credits. Students have the option to complete either a thesis or a capstone project to graduate. Coursework includes Managerial Accounting, Principles of Public Administration, Business Analytics, Public Policy Formulation and Implementation, and more.

The University of New Haven is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

University of Texas – El Paso

University of Texas El Paso

The University of Texas El Paso offers a dual MBA and MPA. It requires 66 credit hours of graduate study. Courses include Accounting for Management, Introduction to Research Methods, Financial Accounting, Qualitative Research Methods for Public Administration, and more.

The University of Texas at El Paso is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Getting Your MBA MPA Dual Degree Online

MBA MPA Dual Degree Online

If you’re driven to become an exceptional leader and would enjoy working across both public and private organizations, then you may want to consider earning a MPA MBA dual degree.

Through a dual degree MPA/MBA program, you could potentially advance your career, widen your network, and gain valuable, hands-on experience even before you graduate.

Aside from the standard on-campus format, it’s also possible to get your MPA MBA dual degree online from accredited schools. Why not start exploring your program options today?

Ready to start your journey?
Ima Ocon
Ima holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Ateneo de Manila University, with a minor in Philosophy. She also participated in the Global Summer Program at Singapore Management University. Currently, she is pursuing a graduate certificate in counseling.