Dual-degree programs: What they are and why they’re worth it

December 13, 2023

students sit around a table and work on their laptops

Pursing higher education is an investment in your future. For those who are interested in accelerating their studies, dual-degree programs offer a fast-track toward completing an undergraduate and graduate education to prepare you for a rewarding career. Here’s a closer look at what dual-degree programs entail and why they could be beneficial for you.

What is a dual-degree program?

A dual-degree program is a course of study that allows a student to pursue and complete the requirements for two separate degrees simultaneously. These programs typically involve a specific plan of study that integrates the requirements of both degrees, and they may take longer to complete compared to a single degree. The goal is to offer students a broader skill set and a more diverse academic experience.

Dual-degree versus double major

When exploring different academic pathways, two options that commonly appear are dual-degree programs and double majors. The main difference between a dual-degree and a double major lies in the depth and structure of the course of study.

Dual-degree programs enable you to earn two different degrees, for example a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, in an efficient and economical way. This means that by enrolling in a dual-degree program you’ll complete the requirements for two separate degrees, allowing you to graduate with two distinct diplomas.

On the other hand, a double major entails completing the requirements for two majors within the same degree program. While it allows for a broader academic focus, you'll receive a single diploma indicating your proficiency in both areas. In essence, a dual degree is more comprehensive and may take longer to complete, whereas a double major is a way to explore two areas of interest within a single degree framework.

How long goes a dual-degree take?

The duration of dual-degree programs can vary depending on the program and institution. Quinnipiac University offers different options to earn a dual-degree, depending on your area of study. Most programs offer an accelerated 3+1 or 4+1 path both leading to a bachelor’s and master’s degree. As a result, students enrolled in a dual-degree program are able to complete their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just 4 or 5 years total.

Is a dual-degree worth it?

The value of a dual degree depends on your individual goals, career aspirations, and the specific dual degree program you’re interested in.

Students who choose to accept an invitation to enroll in a dual-degree program at Quinnipiac will save time and money, have access to special career development programming and partner with a personal academic adviser who will support you throughout your academic journey. You will study alongside like-minded classmates deepening community and peer connections.

Graduating with a master’s degree in your field will gain the attention of potential employers. Hands on experience, learning abroad programs and multiple internship opportunities paired with challenging coursework prepares you to become part of the work force a year before your peers. Quinnipiac’s dual-degree programs offers a customized educational plan building on your passion and turning it into a profession that makes an impact in the world around you.

  • Benefits of enrolling in a dual-degree program
  • Accelerated dual-degree and dual-degree programs focus on rigorous, interdisciplinary and experiential learning. Other benefits of enrolling in a dual-degree program at Quinnipiac include:
  • Graduate at least one year early, saving time and money.
  • Live with others in your dual-degree program in our Living-Learning Community.
  • Dedicated adviser is the program director in your school.
  • Scholarships continue throughout your master’s degree program.*
  • A dual-degree stands out on your resume, making you a more desirable candidate.

*This only applies to the one graduate program associated with your chosen dual-degree.

The benefits of enrolling in a dual-degree program are far-reaching beyond the classroom. Students have the opportunity to study-away and study-abroad, complete multiple internships, join organizations and clubs and still have time to enjoy college life with their friends! Through rigorous coursework and participating in real—world scenarios, a dual-degree program helps teach valuable skills proving to be an excellent training ground for their future.

“Being in the accelerated dual-degree program, gave me the education and necessary skills to successfully complete two internships before my third year of school,” said Anya Grondalski ’23, MS ’24.
Get ahead with a dual-degree from Quinnipiac

The accelerated dual-degree (3+1) program begins in a student’s first year at Quinnipiac. Some students will enter the dual-degree (4+1) program in their junior year, providing different pathways to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree. A dual-degree program inherently builds confidence and the necessary skills to enter the workforce ahead of your peers. At Quinnipiac, we provide the knowledge and resources you need to make an impact in your chosen field experiencing life-changing opportunities and learning how to work in your community and around the world.

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