March 29, 2023

What is a Dual Degree and Which Dual Degrees Apply to Healthcare Management?

A dual degree is a double-degree program, sometimes called a combined degree, dual degree, or a simultaneous degree program, and it involves a student taking coursework to earn two different degrees concurrently. This can be achieved in a shorter time period than it would be if pursuing the degrees separately and coursework can be taken at two entirely different institutions. The degrees can be in the same subject matter or in two entirely different areas of study.

Is a Dual Degree Really Necessary?

Although it is a personal choice, a dual degree allows more options for working in healthcare management. Having the advantage to diversify skills and knowledge into two areas of study, with a goal of an administrative level position in Healthcare Management, the combination of a dual degree can be the edge that leads to higher level and higher salaried positions.

What Are Some Examples of the Dual Degrees Benefitting Healthcare Management Professionals?

Master of Business Administration (MBA) /Master of Health Administration (MHA)

An MBA degree offers the solid skillset in business while the MHA provides the base knowledge of the healthcare system. The MBA/MHA Dual Degree can be the stepping-stone for working at an administrator in hospital or healthcare organization. The dual degree allows students the vital understanding of the business aspect of healthcare and the solid foundation of the healthcare delivery system.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Master of Health Administration (MHA)

The dual MSN and MHA provides the skills for students for specialization as advanced practice nurses with a concentration in the administration and competence designing, implementing, and evaluating programs they will serve within a variety of healthcare organizations. Courses in this dual degree are structured to provide nurses a clinical depth while providing advanced skills in business and administration. An MSN and MHA dual degree prepares nurses to enter a variety of healthcare settings including hospitals, managers in physician practices, community health centers and health departments, insurance companies, associations, home healthcare agencies, and HMO’s. Nurses with advanced administrative skills and specialized healthcare training can look forward to top-level job opportunities and excellent salary potential.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Although having a graduate degree will provide nurses the opportunity to advance in their careers, a dual degree with a Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration (MSN/MBA) program provides competency in advanced nursing skills with business courses, enabling students to move into executive roles within a wide range of healthcare management positions. Many universities offer a MSN/MBA jointly through their business and nursing schools where students can earn both degrees simultaneously. A typical dual degree program encompasses between 57 and 78 credits, including a practicum, internship, extensive research, and a final thesis. Full-time students can generally finish the program in three years. The MSN/MBA dual degree prepares students for entry into administrative level positions and graduates work in a variety of healthcare settings including corporate office and hospitals.

Master of Health Administration (MHA) and Master of Public Health (MPH)

The MHA /MPH dual degree allows students who are interested in both health administration and public health policy the opportunity to pursue both career interests. Some areas of healthcare will require both skill sets. The dual degree in Master of Public Health and Master in Healthcare Administration can lead to careers in health services administration, health policy, biostatistics, epidemiology, health education/behavioral science, environmental health, international health, nutrition, public health practice, program management, and biomedical laboratories. Students with the dual degree are prepared for success in the healthcare/medical industry by providing essential business knowledge, skills and industry-specific knowledge.

There are many other areas of employment in Healthcare that a dual degree will provides the specific skills needed including:

  • Health Care Management/Information Technology Dual Degree (M.S./M.S.)
  • Master of Business Administration MBA/MPH in Health Care Management
  • Health Care Management/Business Administration Dual Degree (M.S./M.B.A.)