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
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
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
“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 KASO@depaul.edu or (312) 362-1219.