An overview of the most common graduate business degrees in the US.
There are a number of different graduate degrees in business offered at US universities. Some of these are:
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
The MBA is a professional degree programme generally lasting two years. The MBA is designed as a generalist course of study in management rather than for intensive specialisation. If you want to focus very closely on a particular management area you should consider a specialised master’s degree programme such as a Master’s in Applied Finance (MAF).
Master of Public Administration (MPA)
The MPA like the MBA is a generalist professional degree that prepares individuals to manage effectively in a variety of public environments. The programme generally lasts two years.
Joint degree programmes
An option for students with specialised and interdisciplinary interests is a joint degree programme. Students earn an MBA or another management degree, plus an additional degree, in less time than it would take to earn both degrees separately.
Joint degree programmes usually last three to four years. They commonly include such combinations as business administration and law, business administration and engineering, or business administration and international affairs.
Doctoral management programmes usually lead to either a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) or a PhD. The PhD is more common.
A doctoral degree prepares students for an academic or research career. Graduates often move on to faculty positions in colleges or universities, though some go into specialised staff positions in government or industry.
Students may enter a doctoral programme after completion of a Master’s degree or directly following undergraduate study. PhD programmes generally take three to five years of full-time study. To complete a PhD, students must design, research, write and defend a dissertation based on original research.