GSB, CS department to launch three-year joint degree program

Oct. 14, 2013, 2:56 a.m.

Stanford’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) and the Computer Science (CS) Department have launched a three-year joint degree program that will allow students to earn both MBA and M.S. degrees.

Courtesy of Colleen McCallion
Courtesy of Colleen McCallion

Recently approved for the 2014-15 academic year, the program will combine two of the University’s most in-demand degrees into one curriculum–a combination never been seen before at peer institutions.

The program targets students who have interests in going into technology yet also want to develop skills in management and finance.

“Stanford’s really well known as being an incubator for new technology ventures,” said Mary Oleksy, associate director of joint and dual-degree programs at the GSB. “Our hope is that this degree is going to foster innovation that springs naturally from two of our world-class programs, the GSB and our Computer Science Department.”

Students interested in Stanford’s Computer Science M.S./MBA program must apply for the master’s programs in CS and the GSB in two separate applications. Students accepted into the joint degree program will ideally spend the first year of their three-year program taking MBA courses. They will then spend their remaining two years taking courses in both programs.

Over two dozen of Stanford’s GSB courses, including “Creating a Startup,” “Strategic Management of Technology” and “Innovation and Stochastic Networks,” may count towards M.S. requirements. The program demands a total of 129 units, with 84 taken in the GSB and 45 taken in the CS Department. The computer science curriculum also offers the opportunity for students to specialize in various concentrations, such as artificial intelligence and biocomputation.

The Computer Science M.S./MBA program is notably Stanford’s first joint degree program with the School of Engineering. The CS department offers one other joint degree, a J.D./M.S. with the Stanford Law School.

The GSB already offers joint degree programs with other schools, such as a J.D./MBA with the Stanford Law School, an M.A./MBA with the Graduate School of Education and an MPP/MBA with the Public Policy Program in the School of Humanities and Sciences. The GSB also offers a dual degree M.D./MBA with the Stanford Medical School and the chance to pursue degrees with other universities.

Nevertheless, the GSB has plans to continue combining business with other graduate technology programs, such as electrical engineering.

“Increasingly, it’s very hard to think of technology as its own industry,” said Madhav Rajan, senior associate dean for academic affairs at the GSB, discussing the GSB’s technology focus for future joint degree programs.

“Technology really goes across every industry. For example, finance is going to be disrupted by a lot of tech-based startups,” he added. “We’re not thinking of this degree as simply being for corporate positions in technology companies but as preparation for going into any industry that will be affected or disrupted by technology in the near future.”

Contact Elizabeth Davis at elizabethdavis ‘at’

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