In 2007, Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) created two joint degree programs in business and government: the Master in Business Administration/Master in Public Policy (MBA/MPP) and the Master in Business Administration/Master in Public Administration-International Development (MBA/MPA-ID). The first cohort accepted to these joint degree programs matriculated in fall 2008.

By participating in the HBS/HKS joint degree programs, structured to be completed in three years, candidates will have demonstrated exceptional aptitude in the complementary areas of policy expertise and cross-disciplinary management.  Graduates are prepared for complex issues that call for the collaboration of the public, nonprofit, and private sectors—and for leadership effective in each. 

If you have a career vision that spans the public and private sectors and want to have a greater impact on the world, you should consider the HBS/HKS joint degree programs.

Student Backgrounds

Students enrolled in the HBS/HKS joint degree programs represent a diverse range of demographic, professional, and academic backgrounds. That diversity is one of the key strengths of the joint degree programs. We are looking for exceptional people who can meet the challenges of two highly competitive schools, operate effectively in both the public and private sectors, and provide the leadership skills needed to bridge those different worlds.

See profiles and backgrounds of some of our joint degree students.  

Curriculum Overview

The MBA/MPP and MBA/MPA-ID are three-year programs that combine the core curricula of the HBS MBA and HKS degrees with a wide range of elective options from both schools. The two joint degree programs are structurally similar and differ largely in the HKS courses required and in the elective options in the final year.

The curriculum includes three courses that are exclusive for students in these two programs: the HBS/HKS Joint Degree Seminar (first two years), the Business-Government Integrative Course (fall, third year), and the Capstone Exercise (spring, third year).

Participants generally complement their required and elective studies with two summer internships: either a policy, international development or social enterprise internship in the first summer, and a business-related internship in the second summer.

A typical candidate will follow the sample schedule outlined below.

MBA/MPP Curriculum

  • Harvard Kennedy School

    Fall Term

    • Markets and Market Failure
    • Quantitative Analysis & Empirical Methods
    • Negotiations and Leadership
    • The Strategic Management of Public Organizations
    • One HKS Elective Course
    • Joint Degree Program Seminar taught by HBS faculty

    Spring Term

    • Economic Analysis of Public Policy
    • Empirical Methods II
    • Mobilizing for Political Action
    • The Responsibilities of Public Action
    • Spring Exercise
    • Joint Degree Program Seminar taught by HBS faculty

    Summer

    • Policy-related or international development-related summer internship (recommended)
  • Harvard Business School

    Fall Term

    • Financial Reporting and Control
    • Finance I
    • Marketing
    • Technology and Operations Management
    • Leadership & Organizational Behavior
    • FIELD (Field Immersion Experience for Leadership Development)
    • Joint Degree Program Seminar taught by HKS faculty

    Spring Term

    • Business, Government, and the International Economy
    • Finance II
    • Strategy
    • Leadership and Corporate Accountability
    • The Entrepreneurial Manager
    • FIELD (Field Immersion Experience for Leadership Development)
    • Joint Degree Program Seminar taught by HKS faculty

    Summer

    • Business-related summer internship (recommended)
  • Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School

    Fall Term

    3 Elective Courses*

    • Business-Government Integrative Course
    • Policy Analysis Exercise (PAE) Seminar and Exercise

    Spring Term

    4 Elective Courses*

    • Policy Analysis Exercise (PAE) Execution
    • *Students are required to take 8 elective courses (typically 1 elective course in Year 1 and 7 elective courses in Year 3) during the Joint Degree Program. Of these 8 elective courses, 4 must be HBS classroom-based elective courses, 3 must be HKS or other HKS-approved graduate course offerings. The remaining required elective can be an HBS elective course or HKS-approved graduate course offering.

MBA/MPA-ID Curriculum

  • Harvard Kennedy School

    Fall Term

    • Advanced Microeconomic Analysis I
    • Advanced Macroeconomics for the Open Economy I
    • Advanced Quantitative Methods I: Statistics
    • Getting Things Done: Management in a Development Context
    • Applications and Cases in International Development
    • Joint Degree Program Seminar taught by HBS faculty

    Spring Term

    • Advanced Microeconomic Analysis II
    • Advanced Macroeconomics for the Open Economy II
    • Advanced Quantitative Methods II: Econometrics
    • Economic Development: Theory, Policy & Evidence
    • Democratic Governance Elective (5 course options available)
    • Applications and Cases in International Development
    • Joint Degree Program Seminar taught by HBS faculty

    Summer

    • International development-related summer internship (required)
  • Harvard Business School

    Fall Term

    • Financial Reporting and Control
    • Finance I
    • Marketing
    • Technology and Operations Management
    • Leadership & Organizational Behavior
    • FIELD (Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development)
    • Joint Degree Program Seminar taught by HKS faculty

    Spring Term

    • Business, Government, and the International Economy
    • Finance II
    • Strategy
    • Leadership and Corporate Accountability
    • The Entrepreneurial Manager
    • FIELD (Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development)
    • Joint Degree Program Seminar taught by HKS faculty

    Summer

    • Business-related summer internship (recommended)
  • Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School

    Fall Term

    • 2 HKS Elective Courses
    • Getting Things Done: Management in a Development Context
    • Applications and Cases in International Development II
    • Business-Government Integrative Course
    • Democratic Governance Elective (if not taken previously)
    • Second-Year Policy Analysis (SYPA) Seminar

    Spring Term

    • 4 Elective Courses at HBS
    • Second-Year Policy Analysis (SYPA) Execution

Admissions

Students interested in the MBA/MPP or MBA/MPA-ID joint degree programs must apply to HBS and HKS separately and are evaluated and selected independently within the same application cycle of a given year. When applying, students must identify their interest in the joint degree program in each school's application and submit a joint degree program application essay to both schools.

While each school will maintain its separate admissions application timetables, all applicants interested in a joint degree program are required to apply to HBS in the first or second round of admissions and apply to HKS by the December deadline.

Tuition and Financial Aid

In Year 1, a student pays full HKS tuition and fees. The student applies to the HKS Financial Aid Office for financial aid and follows standard HKS financial aid policies and procedures.

In Year 2, a student pays full HBS tuition and fees. The student applies to the HBS Financial Aid Office for financial aid and follows standard HBS financial aid policies and procedures.

In Year 3, in the fall term, a student pays one term of tuition and fees at HBS, and applies for financial aid from HBS. In the spring term, a student pays one term of tuition and fees at HKS, and applies for financial aid from HKS.

Students in the joint degree program will be limited to a total of three years of financial aid from HBS and HKS toward the MBA/MPP or MBA/MPA-ID degrees.

See the MBA student budget for the Class of 2016 and the HKS student budget (domestic and international) for 2014-15.

For More Information

Watch this webinar to learn more about the joint degree program and hear from students.

Additional information about admission requirements can be obtained by contacting both the HBS and HKS Admissions offices.