What Is A Dual Degree?

Are you undergraduate thinking about graduate education or MBA? Joint and dual degree options present a great opportunity to combine areas of study and broaden your knowledge base.Learn more about what is a dual degree program?

TCM Staff

22nd May 2023

Some may wonder if dual major, and dual degree programs are the same. No, they are not. In a dual degree program, you will study and work for two university degrees at the same time. This can be done from the same institution or different institutions. Dual degree programs are otherwise called conjoint degrees, double graduation degrees, and joint degrees. 

 Going further in this article, you will learn more about dual degrees, different types of dual degrees. Along with the advantages and disadvantages of dual degree and the universities that offer dual degree programs. Besides, you will find a few questions that you should consider while planning to enroll in a dual degree program. And whether or not it is suitable for you.

Features of A Dual Degree Program

 Features of a dual degree program are quite impressive. Let's have a look at them below,

  • Design Of A Dual Degree Program: A dual degree program is very efficiently designed. It is quite impressive to see the courses under each degree program are segregated in such a way that you learn and develop the required skills in the given time to complete the program.

  • Wide Learning Spectrum: A dual degree provides you with an opportunity where you can learn and acquire multiple skills. You will not feel restricted to just one stream. 

  • Flexibility To Student Life: In a dual degree, unlike other degree programs, you cannot take a gap in between the two degrees. Not even for gaining work experience. As a student pursuing a dual degree you might feel out of place being a fresher. However, this has its positives as well. You will not find it difficult to adjust to a student's life, and also your study skills are going to be sharp.

Above mentioned are some major features of a dual degree program that makes it demanding amongst other degree programs. Subsequently, as a student pursuing a dual degree, you will come across many other interesting features of a dual degree program. 

Dual Degree Vs Double Major

Most often we confuse double degree programs with a double major. Well, the difference is no rocket science to understand. A dual degree program is when you do two separate programs that are not of the same stream. For instance, B.E., and MBA, this will gain you two separate degrees. Whereas, a dual major is when you study two courses of the same stream as an MBA with a double major in marketing and operations management. This will get you a single degree with dual majors.

Generally, a double major is when you pursue two specializations in a single degree program. On the other hand, a dual degree program is when you study two different fields in two separate programs.

Now you know the major difference between a dual degree program and a double major. Subsequently, there are other ways in which the two programs can be differentiated. Such as the course work required to complete the program. Most of the time, a double major program can be completed within the duration of the program and does not require extra coursework. Whereas, a dual degree program demands extra and longer hours. Another difference between the two is that the double major is generally housed in the same college/school. But, a dual degree program can be held in two different colleges/universities.

Process Of Choosing A Dual Degree Program

The process is fairly simple when it comes to choosing a dual degree program.

1 - Perform thorough research and draw a career path: This means you should have a professional goal if you are opting for a dual degree. Whether or not a dual degree is the best option for you. In some cases, a few years of work experience before pursuing a Master's degree adds more weightage. Hence, draw a career path.

2- Select your combination wisely: It is important to pick your combinations wisely. Even though a dual degree refers to two separate degrees in two different fields, it doesn't necessarily mean you pick combinations that do not align with your profession in the future.

3- Reconsider budget: Be logical. There is nothing wrong with reconsidering your budget. You do not want to drain all your finances to gain a dual degree. Compare other options and see what works the best in your favor.

4- Analyze the academic requirement: Do you have the time that a dual degree demands. Are you planning to work and take up the dual course together? If yes, then how will you manage your time. In short, perform an in-depth analysis of the scenarios that you will be in.ad

Here are a few critical questions that you should consider asking yourself if you are planning to pursue a dual degree course in the future. You will certainly figure out whether to or not should you take up a dual degree course.

  • How will you manage your finances well even if you take a dual degree course?

  • Will you be able to commit long hours if the course demands extra working hours?

  • How will strike a balance between your personal and student life so that nothing is affected?

  • Is your professional career aligned with the dual degree course that you are planning to pursue?

So, you saw how simple that was? A dual degree has its own pros and cons, but want matters the most is not signing in for the course. It is how well can you do justice to the course. Perform the above-mentioned steps wisely and you shall end up making the right decision. 

Types Of Dual Degree Programs

Since there are several programs and degrees, to understand different types of dual degree programs can get complex. The easiest way to classify it is by the type of degree that they grant. Learn more about the types of dual degree programs. In the infographic below, the types of programs under each type of dual degree programs are mentioned.

  • Two Bachelor's Degree Program

  • A Bachelor's And A Master's Degree Program

  • Two Professional Degree Program

As shown in the infographic, dual degree programs are broadly classified into three categories. However, it can be broken into more categories depending on the combinations that you choose. 

List Of Universities Offering All Types Of Dual Degree Programs

As previously mentioned, sometimes, the dual degree program is housed in different colleges and universities. You need to apply and get selected in both the colleges to pursue dual degrees. Additionally, you will also need to consider the various combinations of degrees that the universities are offering. 

Here is the list of a wide range of colleges and universities that offer dual degree programs. If you wish to know more about other universities that offer a dual degree program of various kinds, then visit their official websites. 

Universities Offering Dual Bachelor's Degree Programmes 
Colleges/Universities Dual Bachelor’s Degrees
Brown University BA-BS
Stanford University BA-BS
University of Michigan BA-BS| BA-BFA| BA-BMA*| BA-BTA**
Boston university BA-BS| BA-BFA| BA-BM| BS-BFA| BS-BM
Northwestern University BA-BS| BA-BM
University of Alabama BA-BS


Universities Offering Dual Bachelor's/Master's Degree Programmes 
Colleges/Universities Dual Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees
University of Georgia BS-MS| B.E.,-MBA| BBA-MAcc***
University Of Chicago BA-MA| BA-MAT**| BA-MPP| BA-MS| BS-MS
Boston University BA|MA|BA|MS
Northwestern University Differ
Harvard University Degree of Liberal Arts (BA|BS|MA|MS)


Universities Offering Dual Master's/Professional Degree Programmes
Colleges/Universities Dual Master’s/Professional Degrees
University of Illinois Differ, includes combos with MA, MS, MArch, MBA, MPH, MSW, JD, Ph.D., MD, etc.
Stanford University JD/MBA, MA/MBA, MPP/MBA, MS/MBA, MD/MBA
University of Arizona MAcc/MBA, MS/MS, MS/MBA, MS/JD, MA/JD, Ph.D./PhD, Ph.D./MD, Ph.D./JD, etc.
University of Duke Masters/Master’s, MBA/Master’s, Master’s/JD, Ph.D./JD, Master’s/Ph.D., Master’s/MD, Ph.D./MD
Georgetown University Masters/Master’s, MBA/Master’s, Master’s/JD, Ph.D./JD, Master’s/Ph.D., Master’s/MD, Ph.D./MD
University of Michigan Differs, includes combos with MA, MS, MPH, MPP, MUP, MBA, JD, Ph.D., MD, etc.

Some colleges and universities offer, both their own combination of dual professional degree programs as well as the customized combination of dual professional degree programs. Certainly, this chart is far from comprehensive. Since you can see several programs are offered under a dual degree. It is always advisable to perform thorough research before applying for a dual degree program. 

Benefits Of A Dual Degree Program

Ever thought what is the need for a dual degree program? Well, the answer is very simple you get a competitive edge over others if you have a dual degree.

The World Economic Forum forms the opinion that young people will change careers at least seven times in their lifetime and 35% of skills required today will be different in the next five years. (source: idp.com)

Below listed are some reasons you should consider choosing a dual degree program. 

  • You will gain valuable knowledge and a highly transferable skill set - You gain additional knowledge and become an expert in more than one field

  • Job Opportunities - Learning more than one field gets you exposure to two different subjects. This helps you to get into the job that you always wanted to get into

  • Save Money - If you are doing a combined bachelor’s/master's or graduate/graduate dual program, you’ll actually be saving a lot of money on what you would have spent if you had pursued each degree separately

  • Networking - Your networking abilities and connections will flourish. Networking helps you get better career opportunities and build connections in the industry you want to make a career in. Besides, it helps in learning fresh ideas.

  • Opportunity to learn many languages - You can learn a new language. Multilingual is a skill, not many have. If you are multilingual then you are creating a positive impression, and it also proves your flexibility and interest in learning new things and welcoming new opportunities.

  • Helps you stand out in the crowd - Demonstrates your commitment and international outlook. This also helps in getting you a chance to prove your skills and achieve success in the future. 

Apart from these, it is observed that skills attained from diverse learning and that are of multidisciplinary will have greater demand in the future. Hence now you have all the reasons in the world to consider pursuing a dual degree. 

Drawbacks Of A Dual Degree Program

No Short-Term Cost

Getting a double degree will be more costly than getting a solitary degree since it takes more and rigorous coursework. Regardless of whether a joint degree program keeps going through a similar measure of time as a single certificate program, graduates will be taking heavier course stacks, just as classes throughout the summer.

Longer study hours

Studying and completing a single degree is very tough and will have a heavy workload. Taking double degrees makes the students feel difficult for those who maintain a part-time job.


To summarize, in this article, you have come across different types of dual degree programs, pros, and cons of dual degree courses. Along with the list of various universities that provide various dual degree programs and things to consider while choosing a dual degree program. Taking a dual degree course can be hard, but it can be a smooth ride if you choose your combination wisely aligning it with your interest, and managing your time well. 

Hope this was useful! All the best

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