Campus & Community

HBS, KSG announce new joint degree program

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Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (KSG) announced Tuesday (April 3) the creation of a fully integrated joint degree program in business and government that represents an innovative approach to preparing leaders for a growing area of practice of critical importance to global society.

Armed with the skills required to manage complex organizations and shape innovative public policy, students will be prepared to work in positions of influence at the interface of business, government, and nonprofit organizations, dealing with challenges in such critical areas as health care, the environment, economic development, and government regulation.

“Graduates of this new program will be able to address some of the world’s most pressing issues — issues that call for collaboration between the public and private sectors and that require leaders who can effectively operate in both areas,” said Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood.

The program, which was approved by the Harvard Corporation on April 2 after endorsements by votes of the faculties of both Schools, will admit its first students in fall 2008. It will take three years for candidates to complete, and they will earn degrees from both Schools upon graduation.

“From tax policies and trade agreements to a wide range of laws and regulations, the interaction between business and government for the greater good of society has never been more important,” said Harvard Business School Dean Jay O. Light. “Students in this new program will benefit from the strong practical focus that is the hallmark of both Schools.”

The program will blend offerings from the current required and elective curricula of both Schools along with new, specially designed courses and seminars, and a program of two summer internships.

The program will offer students the choice of two degree options: master in business administration/master in public policy (M.B.A./M.P.P.) or master in business administration/master in public administration-international development (M.B.A./M.P.A.-I.D.). To pursue either of the new joint degrees, students must be admitted independently to both the Business School and the Kennedy School.

For the first two years of the integrated programs, the course of study will focus primarily on the required core curricula at the Kennedy School and the Business School. It will also include an HBS-KSG Joint Degree Seminar developed by faculty from both Schools.

In their third year, students will take courses chosen from the electives offered by both schools along with two additional integrative courses developed for the program. These courses include a business-government integrative course taken in the first term of the third year, and a business-government capstone exercise supervised by faculty from both Schools in the final term that will provide students with an opportunity to assimilate and apply what they have learned by working on an actual practical challenge presented by a client.

Students must also complete two separate summer internships during the program.

“There is no academic program in the world that can match the theoretical, analytical, and practical elements offered in this new program,” said Robert Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government at the Kennedy School, who co-chaired the HBS/KSG Joint Degree Faculty Task Force with W. Carl Kester, deputy dean for Academic Affairs and Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Harvard Business School.

The new programs will replace an existing concurrent degree program at KSG and HBS — an arrangement that enabled students to earn both degrees separately. Both schools will continue to support all concurrent degree students until they have graduated. Harvard Business School also offers joint degree programs with Harvard Law School and Harvard Medical School. The M.B.A./J.D. was launched in 1969. The M.D./M.B.A. program began in 2004. The Kennedy School offers a joint degree program with Harvard Law School.