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What is an Integrated Dual Degree?

Dual degrees usually seem attractive to students because they are earned in less time in contrast if a student intends to obtain each of the two degrees independently.

And, if for a moment you feel confused, then it’s time to know that unmistakably a double major is wholly different from a dual degree

integrate dual degree intro

Dual degrees may not appeal to every student, yet it’s a great pick for those who wish to keep the cost of attending college and earning their degrees quite low while studying discrete disciplines.

As you tread along, you’d understand- what is a dual degree, the difference between a dual and a double major degree, types of dual degrees, benefits, popular degree combinations, and some time management tips.

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What is a Dual Degree?

what is dual degree
A dual degree, also known as a double degree program, involves a student studying 2 (usually distinct) fields at the same time, enabling the student to earn separate degrees for both the disciplines.

The two degrees might be in the related subject area or two unrelated subjects.

For instance, if you studied a BA/MS dual degree program, you’d be graduating and receiving degrees, i.e., one for BA and other for MS.

Moreover, you may study for each degree either at the same institution or at two different institutions that have a partnership agreement, depending wholly on the school and the type of combined program that you plan to undertake.

Since it’s a dual degree, it’s obvious that the program credits would also differ.

Dual degrees entail more credits than single degrees. However, the cumulative credits you’ll need would again depend on the university you plan to attend and whether it follows the semester or quarter system. But to give you an estimate, you’ might need the total credits somewhere from 140 to 225 credits to graduate.

Apart from studying for two degrees simultaneously, and striving to get more credits than you would for a single degree, quite likely you would spend a bit longer time in college (usually around five to six years).

This further steers us to the point that you may require to keep a check on your pocket and spend money cautiously during your entire college tenure as you’ll have to chart out your monthly expenses pay for additional courses, books, living, or accommodation, expenses, and the like.

Integrated Dual Degree vs Double Major

Having an idea about what a dual degree is, it’s further even more crucial to have a clear picture and understand the distinction between a Dual Degree and a Double Major.

Although both these academic assortments enable you to study two fields at once, yet the two paths are considerably different from one another.

integrated dual degree vs double majors

Here’s the key difference between the two :

In a dual degree program, you get to study two (likely different) fields and eventually earn two separate degrees, whereas, with a double major, you get to study two related fields, and ultimately you earn a single degree.

More precisely, typically for a double major, you study two fields in a one-degree program, and for a dual degree, you study two fields in two separate degree programs.

There are other factors too that quite likely distinguish these two degrees, but you must know, this is the most prominent factor that uniquely separates the two options from one another.

Types of Integrated dual degrees

types of integrated dual degree
Just like any other categorization of degree, it’s hard to determine how many types of dual degree programs are there.

Because there’s such a wide assemblage of majors and fields you can choose from for your dual degree, it’s certainly not feasible to list everything here because that would involve a lot of hair-splitting.

Therefore, the easiest way to classify them and understand their fundamental basis of categorization is to have a glance at the types of degrees they bestow.

Hence, we can say that there are 3 main types of dual degree programs, namely programs that confer :

1.Two Bachelor’s Degrees

Where you earn a combination of bachelor’s degrees. For instance, some of the most popular bachelor’s degrees awarded in undergraduate dual degree programs include the following-

dual bachelors degrees


  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)

  Common degree combinations include-

  • BA/BS
  • BA/BA
  • BS/BS
  • BA/BFA
  • BA/BM
  • BS/BFA
  • BS/BM
  • BA/BFA in Art
  • BA/BS in Engineering

2. A Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree

This attractive combination will reward you with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree within a span of 5 to 6 years, and this can also save you a lot of time and money.

The most common bachelor’s and master’s degrees types combined in dual degree programs include the following-


  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS)
  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Master of Engineering (ME)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Popular examples and combinations of bachelor’s/master’s dual degree programs include-

  • BA/MA
  • BA/MS
  • BS/MS
  • BS/ME, MBA
  • Engineering/MBA
  • BS/MS in Engineering

3.Two graduate/professional degrees

integrated dual degree two masters degrees

Where you usually pursue a combination of two distinct master’s degrees or a master’s and a professional or doctoral degree.

Many universities offer and prescribe formal dual-degree graduate programs where you can earn your two graduate degrees, whereas other universities allow students to compose their graduate-level dual degree programs.

Some common graduate and professional degrees that can be combined in dual degree programs include the following:


  • Juris Doctor (JD)
  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Master of Public Policy (MPP)
  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Popular examples of degree combinations include-

  • MA/Ph.D.
  • MS/Ph.D.
  • MA/JD
  • MBA/JD,
  • JD/Ph.D.
  • JD/MD,
  • MPH/MD.
  • MA/MBA
  • MS/MBA
  • MA/MA
  • Master’s/Master’s

Where you usually pursue a combination of two distinct master’s degrees or a master’s and a professional or doctoral degree.

Many universities offer and prescribe formal dual-degree graduate programs where you can earn your two graduate degrees, whereas other universities allow students to compose their graduate-level dual degree programs.

Some common graduate and professional degrees that can be combined in dual degree programs include the following:

Benefits of Earning an Integrated dual degree

integrated dual degree benefits

It’s always better to have rather than just one

You will get to learn and gain extensive knowledge in more than one field of study. This would equip you with a broader knowledge base and sound skillsets.

Open doors to potential career paths

Having studied two fields fairly indicates you can acquire comprehensive knowledge of both of them, and as a result, you can increase your chances to seek relevant and fruitful job prospects while keeping your career path open to various fields/functions.

Time and money saver 

Dual degrees are a time-saver because you get to study two programs collectively as a whole without any pause in between. Also, you save money because you’d quite likely spend much more money if you plan to earn those two degrees separately.

Top Integrated Dual Degree Programs and Universities

integrated dual degree columbia university

Columbia University

Juris Doctor + Master of Business Administration

Average Program Length: 3 or 4 years.

harvard university and massachusetts

Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Doctor of Medicine + Doctor of Philosophy

Average Program Length: 7 to 10 years

Dartmouth University

Dartmouth University + Home College

Dual bachelor’s degrees in engineering (from Dartmouth) and a science-related degree (from home college)

Average Program Length: 5 years

integrated dual degree southern california university

The University of Southern California

Doctor of Pharmacy + Master of Public Health

Average Program Length: 5 years

drexel university

Drexel University

Bachelor of Science in Nursing + Master of Science in Nursing

Average Program Length: varies (however consists of 60-63 quarter credits)

Who should pursue a dual degree?

Now, if you are wondering if the dual degree is a right fit for you, below are a few points listed for which you must contemplate upon and evaluate whether or not you shall pursue the degree-

  1. Ask yourself are you truly and equally exhibit interested in 2 (Different) fields of study
  2. Are you psychologically ready to stick to the dual degree’s long duration?
  3. Do you feel you have adequate financial resources?
  4. Do you have a clear picture of your goals and have a ready with your career plan?
integrated dual degree is for whom

Also, you need to reflect upon your capacity to tread with an intensive and fast-paced course and your zeal to put in the extra time.

It’s essential to know and remember that the coursework of a dual-degree program is assuredly challenging, thus, and you would want to be able to find an optimal balance between your academic and personal life.

If you are curious about dual-degree programs and feel shaky as to how to go about finding a dual program, the best thing you can do is explore schools that specifically offer dual degree programs, study their eligibility requirements and for some schools, you may even see their previous graduates’ career path and placement statistics as well.

Alternatively, you may think and analyze factors such as-

  • Appraising the dual degree academic and career path
  • Pick two dual degrees from different schools and compare
  • Consider their eligibility and requirements
  • And, lastly, compare costs

Time management tips while studying a dual degree program

  • Chart out a smart study plan

  • Don’t just be present rather understand your classroom lectures

  • Sleep! Being sleep deprived you take a toll on your academic performance and your overall routine

  • Don’t overexert. It would be nearly unattainable or extremely tiring to do a part-time job alongside your dual-degree program studies. In such a case, you may opt to gain professional exposure before enrolling into the program

  • Prepare yourself to network

  • Stay focused, and seek comfort and emotional support whenever needed

After perusing all from the top, you must have perceived that Dual degree programs are unique academic programs that present two degrees at the same time and that there is a subsequent blend of two bachelor’s degrees, a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, or two graduate/professional degrees.

Also, a dual-degree program can be referred by several other names depending on the university.

Thus, to some, the mere idea of pursuing a single degree is fascinating, while for some fast-paced and highly driven individuals, the thought of studying a dual-degree program might seem quite fruitful and rewarding.


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