Columbia Business School prides itself on the independence of its students and faculty members, but the School is hardly an island — it’s part of one of the leading research universities in the world. In addition to partnering with other programs at Columbia University to create courses, events, and scholarship that shatter the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines, the School offers students who wish to deepen their expertise in areas outside of business the opportunity to pursue dual degrees. In most cases, a dual degree requires one fewer year than pursuing the degrees separately, though this varies depending on program.
We offer students a wide range of dual degree options. Students can combine a Columbia MBA with one of 11 other professional degrees such as law, engineering, medicine, international affairs, or social work. Interested candidates must apply separately to the Business School and the second school or program. Each school makes admission decisions independently.
Dual degree students register in one school per term. Unless otherwise noted on the list of participating schools, students may begin in either school and tailor their registration in subsequent terms to meet their academic objectives, provided they meet both schools’ course, residence, and sequencing requirements. Students pay the tuition and fees of, and are granted financial aid by, the school in which they are in residence. School-specific scholarships and fellowships are usually not transferable.
The established dual-degree tracks include:
- Architecture: MBA and MS in Urban Planning
- Dental and Oral Surgery: MBA and DDS
- Engineering and Applied Science: MBA and MS in Industrial Engineering
- International and Public Affairs: MBA and MIA
- Journalism: MBA and MS
- Law: MBA and JD
- Nursing: MBA and MS in Nursing
- Physicians and Surgeons: MBA and MD
- Public Health: MBA and MPH
- Social Work: MBA and MS in Social Work
- Teachers College: MBA and MA in Private School Leadership
Applications for admission to Columbia Business School and participating dual degree schools must be filed separately. Each school’s admissions decisions are based solely on that school’s selection criteria and are made independently. Applicants may either apply simultaneously to both schools, or begin their studies at one school and apply to the other school prior to completing half of the coursework of the first school. University students who apply to the Business School after this deadline may still be considered for admission, but will not be eligible for the dual degree program.
Although applicants may apply simultaneously to both schools, they cannot begin both programs simultaneously. Columbia Business School does not defer students to future terms, so dual degree applicants should apply to the Business School for the term in which they plan to enroll. Exceptions may be considered to this policy on a case-by-case basis.
The MBA requirements for degree candidates are quite similar to those for two-year, full-time MBAs. The primary distinction is that dual degree students need to complete a total of 45 over three terms of residency rather than 60 credits over four terms of residency in order to graduate, with the difference being in the number of electives that must be taken. Additionally, dual degree candidates may not count cross-registered courses toward their MBA degree requirements. As each program maintains its own degree requirements, dual degree candidates should also consult the second school or program for more information on what is needed to complete all requirements. Note that degrees are conferred simultaneously once all degree requirements are met for both schools.