Best Online Colleges that Offer Dual Degree Programs

dual degree colleges

Earning a dual degree isn’t for the faint of heart – or intellect, for that matter – but the rewards make the hard journey worth it! If you pursue a dual degree, you can diversify your competencies in two distinct fields. Doing this can boost your competitiveness in career advancement opportunities. You can also engage in intensive interdisciplinary learning.

Here are ten universities with online dual degree programs in either the bachelor’s degree or the master’s degree level. Many also offer accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s degree programs that are also considered dual degrees.

Best Online Colleges that Offer Dual Degree Programs - fact

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

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Fields Where Dual Degree Programs Are Available: Business with a choice in Design Leadership, Communication or Applied Economics

The Carey Business School’s dual degree programs combine an interdisciplinary approach and rigorous curriculum with the innovative mindset for which JHU is known. 

  • The MA in Design Leadership/MBA degree combines creativity in decision-making with business savvy.
  • The DNP/MBA degree prepares students for leadership positions in the healthcare industry and others.
  • The MBA/MA in Communication degree prepares students for the rigors of business leadership with strategic communication skills.

Other dual degree options are MBA/MA in Government, MBA/MS in Biotechnology, and MBA/MSN in Healthcare Organizational Leadership.

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ

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Fields Where Dual Degree Programs Are Available: Management information systems and cybersecurity

Offered by the AACSB-accredited Eller College of Management, the MS MIS/MS Cybersecurity dual degree program can be learned in less than three years and features 63 units of total coursework. The rigorous coursework covers both MIS and cybersecurity with course titles like Data Mining for Business Intelligence, Information Security Risk Management, and Information Security in Public and Private Sectors. Each course runs for seven weeks. Weekly assignments are provided.

If you’re already a working professional in a non-IT-related job but want to venture into cybersecurity, then it’s a good choice, particularly if you don’t have the required technical background.

University of North Carolina – Wilmington

Wilmington, NC

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Fields Where Dual Degree Programs Are Available: Business combined with either business analytics or finance and investment management

The AACSB-accredited Cameron School of Business offers two online Dual Degree Graduate Programs, namely:

  • The MBA/MS in Business Analytics degree consists of 57 credit hours and features courses in both fields, many of which are overlapping. Students develop their quantitative and qualitative skills for successful business management as well as the technical skills vital in business analytics to arrive at data-driven decisions.
  • The MBA/MS in Finance and Investment Management program prepares students for success in the CFA exam.

Benedictine University

Lisle, IL

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Fields Where Dual Degree Programs Are Available: Business, nursing, public health, and management and organizational behavior

Graduate students at Benedictine University can choose from several online dual degree programs that meet their personal interests and career goals.

  • The MSN/MBA degree program welcomes Registered Nurses who want to transition into leadership positions in the healthcare industry. RNs can complete the 23-course dual degree program in four years and start with nursing courses.
  • The MBA/MPH degree program prepares students for leadership positions in public health organizations. The 21-course curriculum can be completed in 3.5 years; when earned separately, there are 33 total required courses.
  • The MPH/MSMOB degree program features 19 courses. It takes 3.5 years to complete. When earned as two separate degrees, students complete a total of 39 courses.

Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, LA

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Fields Where Dual Degree Programs Are Available: Library and Information Science combined with a choice in Records and Information Management or Archival Studies

LSU Online offers among the best dual degree programs in library and information science, a relevant field in our digital times. The 36-credit, non-thesis, fully online Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree can be combined with a master’s degree in history, a Doctor of Design (DDes) in Cultural Preservation, or other approved academic disciplines. Students can also earn a graduate certificate (e.g., Archival Studies or Records & Information Management).

Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, AZ

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Fields Where Dual Degree Programs Are Available: Business and Leadership

The ACBSP-accredited Colangelo College of Business offers an online MBA/MS in Leadership dual degree program. The accelerated format of the 66-credit program features eight-week courses. Students learn advanced Business Administration and Organizational Leadership concepts. The courses include Leadership and Organizations, Accounting Practices, and Finance Principles. There is also an introductory Graduate Studies course.

Colorado Christian University

Lakewood, CO

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Fields Where Dual Degree Programs Are Available: Clinical Health Counseling and School Counseling

Colorado Christian University offers an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree and MA in School Counseling through the College of Adult and Graduate Studies. Both feature a rigorous 75-credit curriculum. If you’re looking for time and cost efficiency, then it is the best choice! When earned separately, each master’s degree requires completion of a 60-credit program or a total of 120 credits.

Time-to-completion is three years but can be shorter with up to 12 graduate-level transfer credits. While the classes are conducted online, students must complete three in-person, on-campus residencies.

Check out the online bachelor’s-to-master’s dual degree programs, too, in Applied Psychology and Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Biblical Studies.

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

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Fields Where Dual Degree Programs Are Available: Engineering and Data Science

UPenn Online’s prestigious MSE-DS dual degree program features Engineering and an MS in Engineering in Data Science degree. Current students must apply during their final semester. If you earned your degree at Penn within the last five years, you may also apply. Admission is highly selective. Applicants are only considered if they have a 3.5 GPA and are in good standing. 

The time-to-completion is three years, although a leave of absence is allowed.

University of Maryland Global Campus

Adelphi, MD

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Fields Where Dual Degree Programs Are Available:

The dual degree online programs at UMGC undergo yearly evaluations to see if they comply with rigorous academic standards. If you earn an MBA degree, you can earn a second master’s degree in management. You can transfer 12 credits at most to your second degree from your MBA degree. However, you should start your second degree within two years after completing your MBA.

Your second degree will be an MS in Management with a choice of concentration in three areas:

  • Human resource management
  • Marketing
  • Project management

Every specialization requires completion of the Strategic Management Capstone course.

Eastern Washington University

Cheney, WA

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Fields Where Dual Degree Programs Are Available: Business and Accounting

Offered by EWU’s AACSB-accredited School of Accounting, students in the MBA and MPAcc dual degree programs can earn it in as few as 14 months! The rigorous 64-credit curriculum with an accelerated format is for those who want it in a short timeframe.

Students can also use at least 28 credits to be eligible for the CPA exam. You can tailor your program of study according to your career goals. You also participate in an optional internship.

Tips for Success in Dual Degree Programs

Being in a single-degree online program while meeting personal and professional commitments is challenging enough. Imagine the next-level challenges that come with pursuing a dual degree! You must master time management and flexibility. You should also be financially savvy. 

Check out these these tips:

Plan.

It’s cliche, but it’s true – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Understand the dual degree requirements and plan your finances on these requirements. Evaluate your progress for possible changes. Get into a dual degree program with realistic expectations. Pay attention to your physical and mental health and intellectual capacity.

Manage your time and stay organized.

Dual degrees push your time management and organizational skills to their limits. It can be harder if you’re in an accelerated program. You can cope by keeping these tips in mind:

  • Prioritize your tasks.
  • Use manual and digital organizational tools. Use Trello for your to-do lists. Keep track of your assignments and other matters.
  • Break large tasks into manageable chunks.
  • Create a schedule with specific time blocks, but review and change your schedule if necessary.
  • Create a conducive learning environment.
  • Take regular breaks.
  • Practice self-discipline.

Maintain good communication with your peers, professors and advisors.

Hold regular meetings with your professors and advisors to check your progress. You can also request guidance and support. Your classmates are also vital for your mental health, social interactions, and academic progress.

Maximize overlaps between programs.

The beauty of pursuing a dual degree is that there are overlapping courses. These are courses with credits that count toward both degrees. You will not only save on time and effort, meaning less time to earn your degree, but save on tuition, too.

Use student support services to your advantage.

There’s no shame in seeking support, even if you’re an overachiever! Your online program will likely have 24/7 tech support, health and wellness services, and academic advising services. Maximize them because they are intended for your academic success!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common dual degrees?

The most popular combinations of academic disciplines include:

  • Business and Public Health, Finance and Accounting, or Public Administration
  • Management information system and cybersecurity
  • Public Administration and Juris Doctor (JD) Or Public Health

Can online college students do a dual degree?

Yes, of course, and the abovementioned examples are proof of the popularity of online dual degree programs.

Can students complete a dual degree program in four years?

Yes. Many online dual degree programs take 3.5 to 4 years for part-time or full-time study. It usually depends on their curriculum.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a dual degree?

Advantages:

  • Improved career advancement opportunities
  • Increased opportunities for specialization in two different fields of study
  • Time and cost efficiency 

 Disadvantages: 

  • Increased course load
  • Limited flexibility in your choice of electives
  • Longer time-to-degree

Is it better to double major or do a dual degree?

It depends on your unique personal interests, professional goals, and financial capacity, among other factors. If you’re interested in two subfields within the same academic discipline, then a double major is the better choice. But if you’re more interested in pursuing two different fields of study, then a dual degree is the way to go.