Top-Ranked Business Schools Launch Dual Degree Master’s Programs To Rival The MBA

Specialized master’s degrees have risen in popularity over recent years. Today, they’re touted as potential challengers to the traditional MBA.

With younger professionals looking to get a global business education fast, b-schools around the world are joining forces to offer dual-degrees that can the maximize student experience.

This month, five top-ranked business schools launched the M2M—a portfolio of double degrees that give recent grads the opportunity to complete two master’s degrees at two top business schools in two different countries over two years.

The five schools taking part in the new initiative include Yale School of Management, UBC Sauder, HEC Paris, HKUST Business School, and Brazil’s FGV Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (FGV).

These heavy hitters of the b-school community aim to give students unique exposure to the globalized economy, while widening access to top-tier business education. With six different study combinations on offer, students will leave with two degrees, each from one of the world’s best schools, and will have access to two school alumni networks.

David Bach, deputy dean at Yale SOM, says the M2M offers a unique educational experience, whatever pathway students choose: “The world needs more globally minded leaders, not fewer, and with this initiative we seek to positively impact organizations confronting challenging issues at the nexus of business and society,” he says.

Yale SOM have linked with each of the other schools to provide four of the programs on offer. HEC Paris have linked with FGV and HKUST for the final two.

Peter Todd, dean of HEC Paris, says: “The innovation here is to go to the market with a range of world class academic partners sharing joint admission processes and aiming at recruiting together a significant number of students.

“We are convinced that this offer meets the demand of growing numbers of extremely talented and globally-mobile students who target prestigious double degree programs as passports for international careers.”

Each of the participating schools are members of the Global Network for Advanced Management, a network of top b-schools committed to business education through collaboration and innovation. Launched in 2012, it comprises of 29 b-schools from diverse regions, countries, cultures, and economies in different phases of development.

Other business schools are coming together to offer similar cross-continent master’s programs too. The University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce has developed a unique master’s in partnership with Spain’s ESADE Business School and China’s Lingnan University.

Over the course of the one-year program, students spend four months at UVA, two months at Lingnan, and four months at ESADE to earn two master’s degrees—in global commerce and global strategic management—as well as a certificate in international business in China.

The program gives graduates access to each school’s career service, meaning that wherever a student wants to find work, they’ll have a top school ready to help in each of the world’s biggest markets.

Increasingly it seems, the scale, international scope, and budgets dedicated to the development of dual degree masters, could make them viable alternatives to the traditional MBA.

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