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Save Time and Money with Combined Degrees

Prima Bautista was a sophomore in the Driehaus College of Business when she decided she was going to continue her education with a master’s degree in audit and advisory services. Through one of the college’s combined degree programs, Bautista was able to enroll in three graduate-level courses during her senior year and enter graduate school directly after receiving her bachelor’s degree.
“One of the reasons I decided to get my master's degree at the same time as my undergraduate degree is that it will be beneficial for my career,” says Bautista. As an accountancy student, Bautista wanted to earn enough credit hours to be eligible to take the Certified Public Accounting exam. “Not only do I save time and money by earning two degrees at once, but also the program will make me eligible to sit for the CPA exam and therefore more marketable and attractive to recruiters.”
While combined degrees are particularly useful for accounting majors, DePaul offers opportunities for almost all undergraduate and graduate students to save time and tuition dollars by earning combined degrees. DePaul undergraduates with any major can earn both a bachelor's and Kellstadt Graduate School of Business specialized master's degree in as little as five years. Graduate students can earn their DePaul MBA and a specialized master's degree option at the same time to combine more than one area of business expertise.
“As our society moves to employability being more on the shoulders of the employee, a master's degree has become as common as the bachelor's degree used to be,” says Christa Hinton, assistant dean of the Kellstadt Graduate Business School.  “Many employers already expect that people have master's degrees coming in. The combined degree option at DePaul is a way to shorten the time and reduce the cost, providing graduates with a marketable dual credential.” 

Undergraduate-Master's Combined Degrees

The undergraduate combined degree allows students to begin taking graduate courses in their senior year at the undergraduate tuition level. This means that by the time students graduate from their undergraduate program, they have already begun taking their master’s level courses. Once they begin their master’s program, the Double Demon scholarship kicks in, which takes 25 percent off graduate tuition. This can mean an overall savings of 40 percent or more for a master’s degree.
“When you decide to enroll in a combined degree program, you have to have some knowledge of how you would like to apply it to your future career,” says Karen Burgard, assistant dean of the Driehaus College of Business. “This is an investment of time and money. You have to be certain whether you are continuing the course of study from your undergraduate major or you are choosing a complementary master's degree.”

Burgard recommends that undergraduate students commit to a combined degree program by their junior year and speak with an advisor to start planning their senior year graduate level coursework.

MBA and Specialized Master's Degrees

The dual DePaul MBA and specialized master's degree option gives students the opportunity to combine more than one area of business expertise, providing graduates with a marketable dual credential. Students can complete the Kellstadt MBA and a specialized MS degree with as few as six additional courses.
“A general business degree like an MBA is much sought after in the marketplace,” says Hinton. “However, if someone is really thinking of specializing in an area like accounting, finance or economics, it makes sense to have two degrees. You will get a general business degree from the MBA and a deep dive into a technical discipline with the MS degree.”

DePaul makes it easy for students to earn both degrees simultaneously or sequentially. Courses taken during an MBA program can apply toward a specialized master's degree, and vice versa. Hinton notes that the unemployment rate is lower for individuals with advanced degrees and there is a greater earning potential and career stability.

Learn more about the Driehaus College of Business's Combined Degree Programs.
For more information on applying for any combined degree programs, contact the Kellstadt Academic Success Office at or (312) 362-1219. ​​​​​​