Professionals who earn their MBA and MPA in dual degree program have an unusual and in demand skill set. They have the skills to excel in a nonprofit or government workplace environment, where profits are not a primary motivator. Yet these organizations still must manage either taxpayer or member dues funds effectively and efficiently, so having an MBA and a business background can be very helpful.
What We Do
Professionals with a dual MBA/MPA degree usually work in nonprofit organizations or government agencies. While a public entity, government agency or nonprofit is not motivated by making a profit, these organizations still rely on accurate accounting and proper management of funds and business operations to operate efficiently and fulfill their mission.
Why It’s Hot
Earning an MBA is a proven way to increase your salary and degree of responsibility in your organization. Given how intense competition is today in our global marketplace, organizations always want to find qualified professionals who can add efficiency to business operations.
Also, government organizations and nonprofits need to manage their money, taxpayer dollars and dues more efficiently than ever, given the fact that there have been so many budget cuts in recent years after the economic downturn.
By earning a dual degree where you will have advanced skills both in business and in public administration, you will be well positioned to find challenging and rewarding work in many public or nonprofit fields.
A recent article on Bloomberg Businessweek.com states that many large employers in the US are planning to hire MBA grads in 2013, with their study showing 76% of those companies planning to hire them. This news is positive for those considering getting an MBA degree to advance their own professional careers, especially at a time when nearly every other study shows stagnant hiring or even losses of jobs.
This new outlook on employment after graduation has led many recent grads away from the traditional fields of finance and accounting and marketing towards more modern specializations. In US News and World Report, there is a story citing a career center director from University of Minnesota, that graduates of today are “seeking–and finding–work with start-ups, nonprofits, and companies whose products and services benefit the world in some way.” These are the kinds of jobs that can be in line with an MBA degree and the Public Administration chosen as the specialization field.
For the most part, a professional who has both an MBA and MPA will work in a nonprofit or government office environment. He or she will need to work well both with government and nonprofit professionals who are serving taxpayers and/or dues-paying members, as well as with administrative staff who are concerned with the efficient business operations of the organization.
How to Do It
To earn your dual MBA/MPA degree, you must complete your bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts or business in most cases, and then apply to the best dual degree program that you can find. Competition to enter this type of dual graduate degree program is quite intense, so you will most likely need to scope out more than one MBA/MPA program.
Some universities will require you to take the GRE or GMAT examination before you can be considered for admission. However, you can take many online classes and read many books about how to get high scores on these examinations.
Today there are many online and on campus MBA/MPA programs from which you can choose without the GMAT or GRE requirements. Many of these programs can be completed in two years, which means that you can earn two esteemed graduate degrees at the same time. This is a tremendous advantage in terms of time and cost savings.
Online MBA/MPA Programs
To find a solid dual degree program online to earn your MBA/MPA, we have already done much of the homework for you. All of these degree programs below are of high quality and fully accredited:
- *Online MBA in Public Administration – Northcentral University – (Highly Recommended & 100% Online!) – This online degree program is designed for current public administrators interested in advanced skill and training in all relevant areas. There is no requirement for a GMAT test score when applying to this school. The 30 total credit hours are made up of half foundation courses and half specialization courses.
- *Online MBA in Public Administration – Liberty University – (Highly Recommended & 100% Online!) – This degree requires 45 total credits for completion, and allows up to 12 credits to be transferred from previous completion. They do not require a GMAT test score at this school. The broad perspective of the MBA core courses provide a thorough understanding to the graduates as they enter into the business workforce into positions of increased authority and responsibility.
- *Online MBA in Government and Policy – Grand Canyon University – (Highly Recommended & 100% Online!) – This concentration deals with the public arena and covers all necessary topics of public administration. These include public governance, public budgeting, intergovernmental relations, as well as others. They do not require a GMAT test score. The 38 total credit hours make up the degree requirements.
- *Online MBA in Multidisciplinary Studies – Post University – This degree program is designed to be completed in 2 years, and their website claims that 87% of their students complete the program in that amount of time. They do not need a GMAT test score to apply. The multidisciplinary options allows the student to select their courses from all courses the school offers, and that includes from their master degree in public administration.
- *Online MBA in Public Administration – South University – This program provides options under non-profits, public policy, and criminal justice. The highly customizable program can be designed for each student and their particular interests. The GMAT is required under certain circumstances but not for most.
- *MBA in Public Administration – Columbia Southern University – Working professionals are the target for this program and is meant to work around the working schedule while they continue working during the course of their education. This part-time basis will take an estimated three years to finish. 12 of the 37 credits are involving the specialization material of public administration.
- MBA in Public Administration – Eastern Washington University – The offerings under public administration will prepare graduates for positions in the area of their interests. The GMAT test score is needed to apply to this school. The curriculum involves case studies as well as experiences with businesses in the area to apply their knowledge. It is possible to earn this degree in one year under the right circumstances.
- *MBA in Public Administration – Concordia University Wisconsin – Designed to prepare government workers with a better understanding of business and how the business world functions. There is no need to take the GMAT for this school. The degree is made up of 39 total credits, with 15 of them being for the specialization.
- *MBA in Public Administration – University of Texas-Pan American – This no-GMAT school offers this program for working professionals to gain the knowledge of the business world and how it functions in various public sector positions. The degree takes 12 months to complete and is made up of 36 credit hours.
- *MBA in Public Administration – University of Findlay – The GMAT test score is required for students applying to this program. The expected time to earn the degree in 24 months, and is made up of at least 33 credit hours. Taking courses on a full-time basis does allow degree completion in one year. An interesting benefit at this program, that they estimate to be worth $2,000 to each student, is the free textbook rental program.
- *MBA in Public Administration – The University of North Dakota – This school has a unique policy on pricing, by offering in-state tuition to each student no matter where they live. All functions of business are studied in terms of planning, organizing, operating, and controlling. The 33-34 total credits can be completed in two years on an online only basis. UND is ranked in our America’s best Online MBA degree program report including over 200 schools.
- *MBA in Public Administration – Old Dominion University – Looking into public sector policy making, analysis, and decision making provide a clear understanding to students of the particular components of public administration that differ from regular enterprise. It is possible to transfer up to 12 semester hours towards the 48 total semester hours needed to graduate. The GMAT is required from applicants in most circumstances.
- *MBA in Public Administration Leadership – Belhaven University – By selecting the concentration of leadership, the courses offered touch on much of what is included in a public administration specialization, but can be combined with electives that coordinate with their master of public administration degree in order to fulfill the needs of students interested in the MBA with a public administration specialization. The GMAT is not required for this school.
- *MBA in Public Administration – University of La Verne – This program contains the same teachers and curriculum as their campus program. They call their concentrations under the MBA “possible through on the ground options,” and since they also have a master’s degree in public administration available, it is that coursework that would qualify as a public administration focus. There is no GMAT required for this program.
- *MBA in Public Safety Leadership – Herzing University Online – This school does not require a GMAT test score if certain undergrad GPA and/or previous relevant work experience have been satisfied. The 39 credit hours include nine hours of coursework relative to the public safety leadership concentration, and include administration, resource management, and managing organizational performance. This degree is only available to those applicants with a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field.
- *MBA in Organizational Leadership and Corporate Citizenship – Ferris State University – Each session in this degree program is seven weeks long, allowing more flexibility in scheduling for students with outside commitments. The curriculum is built around the seven criteria of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Performance Excellence. This focus ensures that coursework addresses the necessary skills and abilities that each graduate needs to have in order to adequately serve the business world as a leader. There is no GMAT required here.
- *MBA in Public Administration – Fitchburg State University – The program at this school is a 30 credit hour, ten class program that can be completed online in 17 months. Applicants without an undergraduate degree in business can still be admitted here, but they will be required to complete business prerequisites before beginning the degree courses. They do require a GMAT test score for admission to this school.
- *MBA in Public Administration – National University – The five core themes incorporated into all aspects of this program are relevance, accessibility, specialization, application, and technology. GMAT test score is only required from applicants that earned between 2.0 and 2.49 GPA on their undergraduate degree.
- *MBA in NonProfit Management – Drake University – This degree program is made up of 39 total credit hours, with nine of them relating to their specialization field. The GMAT test score is required at this school. This specialization is the one with the public administration coursework similar to other programs, and can be highly specialized for each student’s individual interests by selecting from their wide variety of classes offered.
- *MBA in Public Administration – Tarleton State University – The totally online option at this school is geared towards busy working professionals. Email, chat, and discussion boards are used to provide the learning environment of each student learning from each other’s experiences and opinions. 15 of the 36 total credit hours needed to graduate are from electives. This gives the students a lot of choice in the kinds of subjects they get advanced training in. A GMAT test score is needed for application to this school.
- *MBA in Public Administration – Suffolk University – This online program allows for either part-time or full-time scheduling of classes. Part-time students who work outside of class will be able to bring their workplace experiences into classroom discussions for everyone to be able to learn to apply the ideas learned in class. There is no GMAT requirement for this program.
- *MBA in Public Administration – University of Delaware – This school requires a GMAT for admission, but does provide waivers for certain circumstances involving previous degrees, work experience, or GPAs. The specialization chosen by each student fives them 12 hours of classes to provide expertise in their field. Courses develop skills through creative analysis and decision making by applying tools to real world company situations.
- *MBA in Public Administration – University of North Carolina – This well regarded on campus MBA now offers an online MBA with the same curriculum and same teachers as the on campus option. The online courses combine open timed lectures that can be done at your own pace, as well as live class sessions that must be completed at a pre-determined time. Classes are designed to use modern video technology in order to create the most real classroom experience possible from wherever you are. The GMAT test score is required of all applicants.
- *MBA in Public Administration – Lindenwood University – The GMAT test score is required for admission to this school. They also require a GPA of 3.0 or higher from the applicant’s undergraduate degree. The coursework for the emphasis on public administration are chosen from the relevant electives available.
Pros & Cons
Earning your dual MBA/MPA degree will open many doors for you in the public and private sector. Some of the pros and cons of this type of degree are:
- Earning a dual degree will make you stand out from other applicants in a highly competitive field.
- You will be able to earn a higher salary and move into higher earning positions.
- Having both a public administration and a business background can provide you with ample advantages in the workplace.
- Earning two degrees at the same time takes a great deal of time and dedication.
- The fields of public administration and business administration are very different and you can find it challenging to do both equally well.
- Working full time and completing two graduate degrees is something that some professionals have a very difficult time doing.
Below are some scholarships that can help to fund your MBA/MPA program:
- Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship: This $35,000 scholarship will help to cover the tuition costs for finishing a two year MPA or MBA degree.
- Clarence E. Ridley Scholarships: This program is supported by the Texas City Management Association and is open to any graduate students completing graduate degrees in TX. The award is for $3000.
- George A. Nielsen Public Investor Scholarship: This is a $2500 annual award that is provided to a graduate student who is studying public administration, finance or business administration.
- Michael Lindberg Scholarship: This is an award of $2000 provided to any graduate student who is studying public administration, and has lived in Oregon for at least four years.
- National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) Scholarship: Scholarships are given to African American or other minority students for $10,000 who are studying public administration, public policy, urban affairs or political science.
There are many excellent career paths available to a professional with an MBA/MPA dual degree:
- Policy Management: Most government agencies and nonprofit organizations must have strong public administration and business skills. You will need to be able to properly assess critical public policies for how effective they are and whether they need to be revised or replaced. You also may need to use your business skills to determine how to obtain funding.
- Budget Management: Almost all government agencies and nonprofits must have highly skilled and experienced budget directors that ensure that taxpayer funds and member dues are managed effectively. You may use statistical analysis that you learned in business school to determine how to save money.
- Public Affairs Management: With a dual degree in public administration and business, you will have the leadership and management skills to appropriately represent your organization in the media.
- City Management: As a city manager, you will need to have exemplary public administration and business management skills. Local governments have very limited dollars at their disposal and it is vital to be certain that all public monies are being properly spent.
- Economic Development: A skilled public administrator is always needed to oversee many programs that promote growth and development in local communities around the US. These types of positions may be found at the local, state and federal levels.
Here are several publications that can address your questions about business administration and public administration:
- Public Administration Research. This is a double blind, peer reviewed international journal that promotes the exchange of ideas between professors and researchers in public administration.
- Public Administration Review. This is the top professional journal in the US that is dedicated to the field of public administration research, practice and theory. It serves both practitioners and academics.
- Journal of Business Administration Research: This peer reviewed journal regularly publishes scholarly work on business administration, and it encourages information exchange on business administration related academic research.
- Future Business Journal. This is a peer reviewed journal that publishes both conceptual and empirical research in management, accounting, marketing, microeconomics and finance.
- Small Business Administration Data: This federal agency releases annually documents that relate to the operation of the SBA.
Below are websites that can be valuable to professionals earning their dual MBA/MPA degree: