Will opting for a Dual Degree help you get into a leading Business School?

Several potential MBA applicants have asked me whether pursuing a dual degree program would help their chances for admissions to Business School. Now there are iseveral good reasons for pursuing a dual degree, however it won’t necessarily help you get into a leading MBA programs. Since then I have heard several different ‘myths’ about about dual degree programs and so I thought I would write this article to bust some of these myths.

But, first let me briefly discuss what a dual degree program is. A dual degree program is simply a program where you apply, pursue and gain 2 degrees at the same time. A dual degree may involve you getting either  a Bachelors and Masters in the same program or getting two Masters degree at different universities. If it is the latter, then you will pursuing these degrees either at different schools in the same university or perhaps across 2 different universities . There are several dual degrees programs you can pursue along with an MBA such as a masters in urban planning, international relations, law, nursing, public health, journalism and engineering amongst others.

Myth 1: Getting into a dual degree program is easier

You need to apply to and be accepted by both programs to be able to purse a dual degree program. Hence, you will need to put in more work into the dual degree application than if you are applying to one program. Further, you will need to meet the high standards of two admissions committees and not one. Importantly, you will need to explain why you want to pursue a dual degree program.
Myth 2: Pursuing a dual degree program is always better than an MBA alone

I speak to several potential applicants who believe that a dual degree program is always s better than pursuing an MBA alone. It's actually really important to assess if it is the right program for you. Assess your background to determine what skills you already possess and what skills you need to gain. Then assess whether the MBA alone could help you to gain through requisite skills. For example, during your MBA you could chose to cross register at another school for a couple of classes to help you build specific knowledge and skills  - if that is sufficient given your background and goals then the dual degree may not be right for you.  

Myth 3: You would only pursue a dual degree if you have a very specific career goal

In general, it's a good idea to assess if you have a very specific career goal and whether or not a dual degree will help you  to enhance your skill set significantly compared to other people in the field. However, you may still chose to pursue a dual degree if you do not have a very specific career goal. For example with a dual MBA/Law degree you will gain knowledge of both disciplines as well as experience two complementary intellectual cultures: the problem-spotting, analytical culture of law, and the problem-solving, practical culture of business. The combination is of these two cultures can help you whether you decide to pursue a career in law or business. What is important to assess is whether the additional skills you will gain from that extra year of  study is worth it - i.e. weigh it against what skills/experiences you would gain if you were in the work force for that additional year.

About Kavita Singh

Kavita Singh has over 13 years of experience working in the U.S. and India. Kavita is the CEO of FutureWorks Consulting. She is an MBA graduate of Columbia Busness School and holds a BA (Hons) from Oxford University. She has worked for leading companies such as Mars, Colgate-Palmolive and Web MD at higher management and consulting roles.
Kavita writes for elite publications like the Hindustan Times


FutureWorks Consulting offers array of services for both undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at leading institutes abroad. FutureWorks Consulting also runs NDTV.com’s study abroad center.

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