Posted by: Alison Damast on November 18, 2011
The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School is launching its own version of the dual degree MBA, a program they’ve dubbed the “1+1 MBA Program,” the school announced this week. Starting next fall, students will have the option of tacking an extra year onto their studies, allowing them to specialize in an area that will pertain to their future career, while earning an additional master’s degree. For now, four departments at Oxford are participating in the 1+1 Program: the School of Geography and the Environment, the Department of Education, the Oxford Internet Institute, and the Department of Computer Science.
Allowing a large number of students to customize a multi-year degree program is a significant step forward for both Oxford and Saïd. Previously, the school typically offered this type of opportunity only to its Rhodes Scholars, school administrators said in a press release.
In order to participate in the program, students need to apply and be accepted to both the MBA program and the master’s program. Most students will undertake the specialization during the first year of the program, followed by the MBA program the following year, the school said. In between the two years, students will be required to do an internship in their field of interest. This part of the program is particularly interesting because unlike American students, most MBA students in Europe don’t get the opportunity to do an internship while pursuing an MBA because of the short duration - typically one year - of the program. Participating in this program could give MBA students in this program more of an edge in the job market, and also make them more marketable to employers because of their expertise in a field outside general management.
The program is one of the first major initiatives that the school has announced since Peter Tufano, a former Harvard professor, took over as dean in July. We spoke with him last winter, shortly after his appointment was announced, to discuss his vision for the school. During the interview, he said he was excited about collaborations between the business school and other schools on campus.
"It is a world-class university with a young business school that still has a little bit of growth left in it. There is all sorts of exciting potential waiting to be realized," Tufano said last January.
It will be interesting to follow Tufano and see what other changes he unveils at Oxford in the coming year. For now, the "1+1 MBA Program" seems like a promising start.