Contact the Combined Degree Program staff

Contact e-mai icon Email

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Littauer Building
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

Broaden your insight with a second discipline

Our combined degree programs allow you to explore how to address the world’s most pressing challenges at the intersection of public policy and business, law, medicine, or design.

You will earn two degrees in less time through reduced coursework and residency requirements. For example, it would take four years to complete an MPA and MBA separately—two years for each degree. Combined degree candidates earn both degrees in three years.

Embarking on two degree programs can be rewarding but also challenging. Combined degree students commit to two programs at two institutions and graduate upon fulfilling the requirements for both degrees.

headshot of Brandon Moore

“By spending three years deeply exploring the public and private sectors, you’ll gain a unique agility to operate across sectors. It’s an incredibly holistic education that adds value to nearly any career path.”

— Brandon Moore MPP/MBA 2025

About our combined degree programs

MPP and MPA/ID students can pursue a joint degree involving carefully crafted and integrated coursework. You can choose between an MBA at Harvard Business School (HBS) or a JD at Harvard Law School (HLS).

HKS/HBS Joint Degree Program

As an HKS/HBS student, you spend your first year at HKS, your second at HBS, and split your final year between the two campuses. You must apply to HKS and HBS separately and be admitted to both in the same admissions cycle.


HKS/HLS Joint Degree Program

As an HKS/HLS student, you spend your first two years completing core courses at HKS and HLS—one year at each school. After that, you will be based at HLS and will take courses at HKS to complete your MPP or MPA/ID degree requirements. You can apply to both schools at the same time or apply to one while enrolled in the other. 

Capstone Seminar

Students in both joint degree programs must complete a capstone seminar, involving the Policy Analysis Exercise or Second Year Policy Analysis for HKS/HBS students and the Integrated Written Project for HKS/HLS students. 

MPPMPA/ID, and MPA students can pursue a concurrent degree in business, law, medicine, design, or another field—as long as it is:

  • A professional degree (for example, an MBA, MD, or JD; not a PhD or an academic master’s degree)
  • At least a two-year program
  • Completed at a partner institution (see our list below)

As a concurrent degree student, you:

  • Weave together the two halves of your learning experience on your own
  • Study at HKS and your other school throughout your degree program
  • Must complete at least three semesters at HKS
  • Cannot complete the course requirements for one degree before beginning coursework for the other
  • Have reduced coursework and residency requirements, but the number and type of courses will depend on your degree program

Partner Institutions

Concurrent degree students pursue a second graduate degree at one of our partner institutions.

HARVARD

If you are an HKS/HDS or HKS/GSD student, you spend a full year at each school in the first two years and one semester at each school for your final year. If you are an HKS/HMS or HKS/HSDM student, you spend a full academic year at HKS; after that, you will be based at HMS or HSDM and will take courses at HKS to complete your MPP, MPA/ID, or MPA degree.

Other Partner Institutions
BUSINESS
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
  • Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
LAW
  • Berkeley Law, University of California
  • Columbia Law School
  • Duke University School of Law
  • Georgetown Law
  • New York University School of Law
  • Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
  • Stanford Law School
  • University of Michigan Law School
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Yale Law School
MEDICINE

United States-based Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredited schools. See the school list here

When to Apply

For most concurrent degree programs, you can apply to HKS and the partner institution simultaneously or apply to one school while enrolled in your first year at the other. If you are applying to the concurrent degree program with MIT Sloan School of Management, however, you must apply for both schools in the same application cycle. If you are already in medical school, you should apply to HKS during the admission cycle before you would like to enroll. 

Splitting Your Time

Concurrent Degree Program with MIT Sloan School of Management

All students enrolled in the concurrent degree program with MIT Sloan School of Management spend their first year at HKS. 

All other concurrent degree programs

MPP and MPA/ID students spend a full academic year at HKS completing the core curriculum during the first or second year of the combined program, then split the final year between the two programs. 

MPA students can decide to split either their first or final year at HKS. If you split your first year, you must be in-residence at HKS for the fall semester.

MC/MPA students can pursue a dual degree with the Geneva Graduate Institute.

You will spend your first year at the Geneva Graduate Institute studying in the Master in International and Development Studies Program. Your second and final year is spent at HKS in the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration Program, where you are part of an extraordinary cohort of accomplished and forward-looking professionals—all sharing the same commitment to public service.

You may apply to both programs at the same time or apply to HKS while enrolled at the Geneva Graduate Institute.

Combined Degree Guide
This guide breaks down the combined degree student experience, assisting you in determining if it suits your specific academic, professional, and personal goals.

Featured combined degree stories

 

LaShyra Nolen MPP/MD 2024 steps into the ring to fight for equitable policies in health care.

 

Jorge Silva MPA/MUP 2018 focuses on the role of housing policy to create cities that thrive.

 

An indefatigable defender of the powerless, Bryan Stevenson MPP/JD 1985 worked for decades to bring justice via the courtroom. 

Applying to a combined degree program

You must apply and be admitted to HKS and the partner institution. Being admitted to one program does not guarantee you admission to the other.

A complete application to HKS includes: 

  • Online application
  • Essays
  • Résumé/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Standardized test scores (varies by program)
    • If you are an HKS/HLS applicant, you may submit LSAT scores only if you are a first-year at HLS; however, you must submit a written request to the HLS admissions office to have your LSAT scores sent to HKS.  You must submit GRE or GMAT scores if you are an applicant not enrolled at HLS.
    • If you are an HKS/HMS applicant, you may submit your MCAT score rather than the GRE or GMAT; however, you must submit a written request to the HMS admissions office to have your MCAT scores sent to HKS. Contact the HKS admissions office if you are applying from medical schools other than HMS and do not have valid GRE or GMAT scores.
    • The MPA/ID Program does not accept LSAT or MCAT scores.
  • Academic transcripts
  • $100 application fee or waiver

Read more about how to apply.

The application for the 2025-2026 academic year will be available in September 2024. There is one admission application deadline and one start date for each degree program per year. You may apply to only one master’s degree program per admissions cycle. 

As a combined degree student, you will be charged HKS tuition and fees for the semesters you are enrolled at HKS. 

The cost of attendance for the 2024-2025 academic year is outlined in Funding Your Master’s Education to help you plan financially for our master’s degree programs. Living expense costs are based on residence in Cambridge. The 2025-2026 academic year rates will be published in March 2025. HKS tuition and fees are subject to change without notice. 

Financing your education is a partnership—we are here to help guide you. You are strongly encouraged to explore all funding opportunities. If you are awarded financial assistance from HKS, this funding can only be applied while you are enrolled at HKS. 


Learn more about the HKS community

How to Apply
Apply to Harvard Kennedy School. Now is the time.
Funding Your Master’s Education
Explore all opportunities to fund your master’s education at HKS.