Penn State to offer joint M.D./M.B.A. program

February 22, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Smeal College of Business and Penn State College of Medicine have teamed up to offer a five-year joint doctor of medicine (M.D.)/master's of business administration (M.B.A.) program beginning in the 2012-13 academic year. Designed to appeal to highly qualified and motivated medical students who have an interest in the business of medicine, the program is now accepting applications for admission in the fall 2012 semester.

The program's goal is to train medical doctors as both good clinicians and skilled business analysts. Such graduates may decide to be in clinical practice, but possessing the additional M.B.A. degree opens up myriad possibilities, including managing hospitals and working for firms in biotechnology, consulting, insurance, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, venture capital, and other industries.

"There is a clear demand in our economy for managers and leaders who are able to understand both the scientific side of an industry and the business models that drive that industry," said James B. Thomas, the John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal. "Graduates of the M.D./M.B.A. program will be experts in medicine who have credibility with both their health care and business constituents, allowing them to lead their organizations and the industry to new levels of success on both fronts."

The first three years of the joint M.D./M.B.A. program will be spent at the College of Medicine completing the standard medical school curriculum. During the fourth year, students will move to the Penn State Smeal MBA Program to participate in the standard first-year M.B.A. curriculum. The fifth year will consist of a mix of work in both business and medicine. This is the first of several dual-degree programs that will involve the University Park Regional Campus; students will do their third and fourth year clinical rotations at the regional campus and Mount Nittany Medical Center.

"The new MD/MBA program is a valuable addition to our innovative programs aimed at training physicians who are prepared to practice medicine and play leadership roles in a rapidly changing health care system," said Harold L. Paz, chief executive officer of Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Penn State’s senior vice president for health affairs, and dean, College of Medicine. "Our regional medical campus at University Park is making it possible for us to offer new dual-degree programs such as this one, enabling us to continue to attract exceptional students and prepare them for success while also addressing the health care workforce needs of the commonwealth and the nation."

M.D./M.B.A. students must be accepted to both Smeal and the College of Medicine. Interested students will be encouraged to identify themselves as candidates for the joint degree program upon application to the College of Medicine, however, they can apply at a later date.

For more information about admissions to the Penn State Smeal MBA Program and the College of Medicine, respectively, visit

The M.D./M.B.A. program is not the first joint degree program for either college. Smeal offers a four-year J.D./M.B.A. program with the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. The College of Medicine offers an eight-year M.D./Ph.D. program to prepare students for careers as physician scientists and an M.B.A./Ph.D. in Pharmacology program with Penn State Harrisburg.






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Last Updated February 24, 2012