Michigan Ross iMpact

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Dual Degree Opportunities : Higher Education

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and the School of Education within the Rackham School of Graduate Studies offer a dual degree program enabling a small number of qualified students to pursue concurrent work in business administration and higher education leading to the MBA and MA degrees. 

The program is arranged so that all requirements for both degrees are completed in two and one-half to three years of enrollment. The degrees are awarded simultaneously.

This combined degree program is not open to students who have earned either the MBA or a Master’s degree in Higher Education. Students enrolled in the first year of either program may apply.

Graduate work in the M.B.A. program teaches students the technical, managerial and financial skills in business management. Graduate work in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education in the School of Education provides a theoretical and conceptual grounding in higher education and a deeper understanding of the complexities of management, administration and leadership in these organizations. Higher educational institutions have numerous managerial positions requiring this combination of skills. The Higher Education M.A. degree provides dual degree students with a deep exposure to educational theory and programmatic flexibility that complements the M.B.A. experience. This dual degree provides an opportunity for students to design a program of study that is appropriate to their academic and career interests.

Students admitted to this dual degree program must satisfy the following degree requirements:

1) The MBA 57 credit hour degree program including:

  • 45 Business Administration Credits, made up of:
    • Roughly 30 credit hour MBA core (no credit is awarded for Business Administration core courses successfully waived: credit must be earned with Business electives);
    • Roughly 15 elective hours in Business Administration;
    • MBA Communication Requirement.
  • Up to 12 credit hours of transferable electives from Education;

2) The Higher Education M.A. requires 30 hours of coursework, including:

  • 9 hours of core courses
  • 12 hours of specialization courses
  • 9 hours outside the School of Education (cognate in Business)

The total credit hours for the dual degree program must be at least 66.

The dual program may begin with studies in either school. However, because of the sequenced nature of the core courses in the MBA program, most students will find it advantageous to start with year one in the Business School. During years two and three, courses may be taken in both schools. Students who wish to begin with Education should see a counselor in the Business School to arrange an appropriate plan of study. No course work completed prior to admission in either program may be counted toward the MBA requirements of the dual program.

Applicants interested in the MBA/MA combined program must file separate applications to and be admitted by both programs. Applicants must indicate on both applications that they are applying for this specific dual degree program.

For basic information about the dual degree in Higher Education (MA) and Business (MBA), please visit the School of Education web site.

Please see below for a sample plan of this dual degree program.

Starting at Business School
Year 1
Fall Term Courses Credits
Accounting 502 2.25
Marketing 503 2.25
Business Economics 502 2.25
Corp. Strategy & Int’l Bus 502 2.25
OMS 502 2.25
Finance 503 or 513 2.25
MO 503 2.25


Winter Term Courses Credits
Accounting 552 2.25
Operations Mgt 552 2.25
MAP – BA 553 7.5
Business Elective 2.25
Total 14.25
Year 2
Fall Term Courses Credits
Strategy 503 1.5
Business Law or Ethics 1.5
Business Elective 3
ED 561 Intro to Higher Ed 3
ED 761 Complex Organizations 3
Total 12
Winter Term Courses Credits
Business Electives 9
ED 777 Administrative Practicum 3


Year 3
Fall Term Courses Credits
Education Elective 3
Education Elective 3
Education Elective 3
Education Elective 3


Note: At least three terms of full-time enrollment must be completed in Business Administration. Full-time enrollment is defined as 9 credit hours or more of coursework per term.

Sample Note: Credits per term will vary. Your credits per term will likely differ from sample. Please consult with the School of Education for a complete set of possible electives.