USC Marshall Offers Expansive Array of Dual Degree MBA Programs


Earning an MBA is a great way for grad students to master business, management and leadership skills. But some prospective MBAs enter grad school with a clear idea of which industry they want to enter following graduation. For students who want to focus toward a particular industry or discipline, dual degree programs offer the chance to pair a general MBA education with a specialized degree that’s tailored to their needs.

The Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California (USC) offers an assortment of dual MBA degree offerings. Founded in 1920 as the College of Commerce and Business Administration, the school was renamed in 1997 after a $35 million donation from alumnus Gordon S. Marshall. USC’s business school is also the oldest AACSB accredited school of business in Southern California.

In addition to the full-time and part-time MBA programs, Marshall offers Executive, Online, IBEAR and Global Executive MBA programs. However, the school also offers the following dual degree MBA programs:

Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration (J.D./MBA)

Offered in conjunction with the USC Gould School of Law, this program leads to the degrees of Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration. Prospective students must apply to both schools individually and take both the GMAT and LSAT exams to qualify. The school recommends that applicants apply either simultaneously to both programs or during the first year in the USC Gould School of Law. Students take their core law courses in the first of the program, followed by core business courses in their second year. The third and fourth years of the program are spent taking various law and business electives.

Master of Business Administration/Master of Arts in East Asian Area Studies (MBA/M.A.)

This dual degree is offered in conjunction with the East Asian Studies Center, combining graduate business education with training in the cultures and societies of East Asia. In addition to the course requirements for the MBA program, students must take various East Asia-related coursework, as well as write a Master’s thesis or pass a comprehensive examination at the end. Students may concentrate on one country (China, Japan or Korea) or develop region-wide expertise.

Master of Business Administration/Master of Planning (MBA/MPL)

Offered in conjunction with the School of Policy, Planning and Development, this program leads to the degrees of Master of Business Administration and Master of Planning. Students must complete a total of 84 units to earn both degree (48 units of work in the Marshall School of Business and 36 units from the School of Policy, Planning, and Development).

Master of Business Administration/Master of Real Estate Development (MBA/MRED)

This dual degree program was designed for students pursuing careers in real estate finance and development. Coursework focuses on planning, land development, marketing, decision sciences, accounting, management, finance and economics. Application must be made to both the Marshall School of Business and the School of Policy, Planning and Development.

Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Gerontology (MBA/M.S.)

This dual degree pairs the Marshall MBA with the USC Davis School’s flagship gerontology program. According to the Davis School, the program is designed for graduate students who want to assume executive positions that deliver direct services to older people and their families or teach older adults and service providers.

Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering (MBA/M.S.)

This dual degree program was designed for students who want an extended graduate program looking at both business and engineering. This special dual degree option only requires 66 units to complete. Students must be admitted into both the Epstein ISE Department and the Marshall School of Business in order to pursue the dual degree option.

Master of Business Administration/Doctor of Education (MBA/Ed.D.)

Held in conjunction with the Rossier School of Education, this dual degree program emphasizes educational leadership and management competencies across the wide variety of education related organizations. According to USC, the program is designed to prepare students to assume executive leadership positions at schools, universities, educating businesses, regional, state and federal education agencies, education research institutions and private foundations with education missions.

Master of Business Administration/Doctor of Medicine (MBA/M.D.)

This program was developed by the Keck School of Medicine of the Marshall School of Business as a response to the growing awareness of the impact of business decisions on health care. The innovative program spans five years and is designed to prepare its graduates to take leadership in the design and management of health care systems. Students can apply during their second or third year of medical school and begin required MBA courses following successful completion of the first two or three years of medical school. The remaining time is devoted to the clinical clerkships of the Keck School of Medicine and completion of elective courses in the Marshall School.

Master of Business Administration/Doctor of Pharmacy (MBA/Pharm.D.)

The USC School of Pharmacy introduced the dual PharmD/MBA in 1988, creating one of the first degree programs of its kind. The program allows for students to complete all pharmacy and business school requirements in a total of five years, which is one year less than would be required if each degree were completed independently. Graduates of this program position themselves well for high-demand jobs such as director of hospital pharmacy operations, departmental director in state and federal health care agencies, department head in pharmaceutical manufacturing corporations, administrator in research and managed care departments and leadership position in pharmaceutical distribution organizations.

Master of Business Administration/Master of Arts in Jewish Nonprofit Management (MBA/M.A.)

According to the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, this dual degree­ provides a solid academic and experiential foundation in Jewish studies, Jewish communal dynamics and nonprofit management.

Master of Business Administration/Master of Social Work (MBA/MSW)

The MSW/MBA offers preparation for careers focusing on human resources, philanthropic and corporate social responsibility, organizational development and information management. The program can be completed in three years and is available only to students in the Department of Community, Organization, and Business Innovation.


About the Author

Max Pulcini

Max Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.

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