With the announcement Wednesday of the new 22-month joint degree MBA/MPH program from the Yale School of Management and Yale School of Public Health, the University is the first in the nation to offer the degree in such a short amount of time.
While Yale currently offers the same degree in 34 months, the new track is geared at students who do not have the flexibility to spend nearly three years and around $170,000 in tuition for the current program. The inaugural class size will likely be around 2-3 students with a long-term target of 10-12 students, said Howard Forman, director of the health care management program at the School of Public Health.
“This is a program that will embrace the principles of the three-year program, add an extra summer, and ask students to carry a slightly [heavier] workload,” Forman said. “I don’t want to deceive anyone and say there’s magic happening, but it’s worth the extra effort you put in.”
In the current 3-year program, students spend one year at the School of Management, one year at School of Public Health, and the final year taking elective courses from both schools. In contrast, students in the new program will spend a summer semester at the School of Public Health, the academic year at the School of Management, the summer interning in the field, and the final academic year taking electives at both schools, said senior associate dean of the School of Management Anjani Jain. Applicants for both dual-degree programs must be accepted to both the School of Public Health and School of Management programs.
Forman said the three-year program can be costly for students both for its tuition and amount of time out of the workforce. The cost of the two-year program will be “substantially less” than that of the three-year program, he said. However, Forman said students have less flexibility in choosing electives their final year, must spend a summer in classes when they could work, and manage a more intense workload.
The MBA/MPH degree is aimed at students pursuing careers in health care management, where they can help expand access to health care across the nation and work to keep costs down, Forman said.
“People say ‘management is management,’ but that’s not really true with the health sector,” said dean of the School of Public Health Paul Cleary.
In the past, Jain said students in the three-year program who arrive without strong analytical skills have had to complete additional quantitative training to prepare for the work at the School of Management. Jain said the 22-month program will benefit this kind of student because many of the quantitative courses they take during the first summer at the School of Public Health will prepare them for the statistics, economics and modeling courses at the School of Management in the following academic year.
Cleary said many students without the ability to complete a three-year program have had to decide whether to pursue an MBA or MPH, each of which take two years to complete individually. Now, these students can pursue both degrees in a shortened amount of time.
“By subtracting, we may be adding,” Cleary said.
The three-year joint program was originally established in the early 1980s, Jain said.