Dual Degrees

At Columbia Business School, students can develop interdisciplinary expertise with a wide range of dual degree options. Students can combine a Columbia MBA with one of 10 other professional degrees such as law, engineering, medicine, international affairs, or social work.

In general, a dual degree requires one year fewer than it would take to pursue the two degrees separately. Interested candidates must apply separately to the Business School and the second school or program. Each school makes admission decisions independently.

Dual degree students register in one school per term. Unless otherwise noted on the list of participating schools, students may begin in either school and tailor their registration in subsequent terms to meet their academic objectives, provided they meet both schools’ course, residence, and sequencing requirements. Students pay the tuition and fees of and are granted financial aid by, the school in which they are in residence during a given semester. School-specific scholarships and fellowships are usually not transferable.


Applications for admission to Columbia Business School and other dual degree schools must be filed separately. Each school’s admissions decisions are based solely on that school’s selection criteria and are made independently. Applicants may either apply simultaneously to both schools, or begin their studies at one school and apply to the other school prior to completing half the coursework of the first school. Although applicants may apply simultaneously to both schools, they cannot begin both programs simultaneously. If admitted to the Business School, students must begin in the term for which they applied; the Business School does not grant deferrals.

Degree Requirements

MBA dual degree students must complete a minimum of 45 academic credits in the Business School and spend three terms in residence here. (All 45 credits must be Business School courses; courses from other schools at the University cannot be counted toward the MBA degree.) Due to the fact that dual degree students only spend three terms in residence at the Business School, they are not permitted to participate in the exchange program. Dual degree students may include a combined maximum of three credits of independent study and field studies in their required 45 credits. 

Dual degree candidates must fulfill Columbia Business School’s core curriculum requirements. Dual Degree students must also be in residence at CBS while taking first-semester core classes. Courses from other schools are not accepted as a substitute. However, students may be exempt from core courses by passing an exemption exam. This does not reduce the total number of credits required for the MBA degree (45); it enables students to take additional electives. Dual degree students must complete their first two Business School terms of residence consecutively to receive the full benefit of our core curriculum and cluster system. After those two terms, students may take courses in either school, regardless of where they are in residence.

MBA and Dual-Degree students who are accepted into the J-term cohort must take classes in the summer as this is their regularly scheduled second semester.

In addition, students must complete the degree requirements specified by the other school. Neither diploma is granted prior to the completion of both schools’ degree requirements.

Information regarding other dual degree schools’ requirements can be found under Academic Programs on the Columbia University website.

Prospective dual degree students who have questions about the application and/or admissions process are encouraged to reach out to the Office of Admissions at [email protected]

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Participating Schools

Dual degrees are offered at the following schools:

Architecture →

Dental and Oral Surgery →

Engineering and Applied Science →

International and Public Affairs →

Journalism →

Law →

Nursing →

Physicians and Surgeons →

Public Health →

Social Work →

Teachers College →