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How to Make the Most out of Graduate School

Sep 27, 2013
  • Education
How to Make the Most out of Graduate School
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For those who are into their chosen field of study, the undergraduate program that lasts for four years may not be enough. Applying for a graduate school program that would cover more advanced topics may be a great idea. Besides, there is no doubt that those who hold graduate school degrees have a better chance to a more successful career. People who completed a Master program, MBA, EMBA, or PhD tend to be promoted faster compared to others, for they are perceived to have a higher level of expertise in a particular field of study.

There are several options when it comes to choosing a graduate program, but there is a way to make the most out of it: taking a dual degree.

1. What is a dual degree?

Known also as “double degree”, “conjoint degree”, “combined degree”, and “simultaneous degree program”, the dual degree gives the opportunity for students to take in parallel two different university degrees. A dual degree can be obtained either by taking two fields of study at the same school or in different universities. When obtaining a dual degree, the student can help lower the cost that may be spent on tuition and reduce the time involved in school. A very systematic and well-organized program is developed by the schools: many times they will have core, or prerequisite classes that are the same for a multitude of degrees and can overlap. To make this work better, many students adjust to take the full credit load of classes each semester/quarter. This way, they can work in all the classes needed without having to take on additional semesters in order to obtain those two degrees. Careful! A double degree program is not a double major, as double major counts as one degree earned while a double degree gives two degrees simultaneously.

2. What kind of dual degrees are out there?

There are many different types of dual degrees:

1) The JD/MBA is one example of this blending of degrees. A combination of law degree with a business degree is a great way to spread out your chances of getting gainful employment after graduate school. An MBA degree helps set off the new lawyer while the JD aspect helps lend serious credibility to the MBA. Many JD/MBA dual degrees can be found in the US (New York, New Jersey, California, Connecticut, North Carolina, etc.) but also around the world (Hong Kong, Canada, etc.)

2) The MBA/MA dual degree is another example. In this case, an MBA is combined with a Masters of Arts in fields such as international relations, economics, politics, etc. For instance, an MBA/MA in Human Resources Management will enable students to be part of the company’s discussions about economics, finance, and marketing while preparing them for managing HR departments.

3) The MBA/MSc is a combination of an MBA with a range of Masters of Science programs. For example, a student could earn both a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Finance, or an MBA and an MSc in Management of Information Systems. The possibilities are endless, and there are plenty of advantages to such a dual degree.

4) Other combinations of Dual Degrees exist. For instance, there are some schools that offer dual degree programs that will allow students to obtain a PhD and become a medical doctor as well. Besides, dual degrees such as MPH/MBA or MBA/EMBA can be found in many universities as well. Read more about MBA dual degree programs here.

3. What is an international dual degree?

In some cases, a dual degree will be granted to a student by two universities of different countries. This type of degree is called an international dual degree. The knowledge that will be gained will not be limited to the local perspectives and ideas on that particular field of study, but instead, the experience will be more global in nature. Aside from that, a student who was granted two degrees by various international universities will be more recognized on other countries. Universities all around the world offer interesting combinations of dual degree: Hong Kong/USA, France/Hong-Kong, Italy/France, etc. Sometimes a particular country is known for a specific market, and you may want to get a dual degree from this country. Many universities abroad will allow for international dual study, such as Germany. Germany is known for its tech industry and students studying dual degree programs there are able to stay abreast of cutting edge techniques, padding the resume to its peak. Read more about studying in Germany here.

Attending graduate school programs entails a lot of responsibility and challenges. It can also cost you a lot of money and time. Taking a dual degree is one way of maximizing graduate school: not only does it diminish the time required for the completion of these degrees, but it decreases the amount of expenses. In order to get the most out of it, make sure that you are efficiently utilizing the resources offered in your particular graduate school program and try to absorb all the information that are being presented to you. In this way, you will surely be able to get your money’s worth.

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