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University of Pittsburgh    
2018-2019 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jul 20, 2024
2018-2019 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Human Security, MBA/MPIA

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Joint Degree

Full-time GSPIA students in the MPA, MPIA, or MID programs may pursue two graduate degrees simultaneously, through GSPIA’s partnerships with other professional schools at the University of Pittsburgh (and two foreign universities). Joint programs reduce the number of credits needed for each degree, allowing students to earn two master’s degrees in just three years, or a master’s degree and a law degree in just four years.

To participate in a joint degree program, students apply separately to both schools, and must meet all of the usual admissions requirements. Those applying to the joint JD program with the University of Pittsburgh School of Law may submit an LSAT score as a substitute for GSPIA’s GRE requirement. Those applying to the joint MBA program may submit the GMAT as a substitute for the GRE. If admitted to both schools, students spend one full year in GSPIA followed by a second full year in the other program (or vice versa). During the third and/or fourth year, they spend a minimum of one additional term in GSPIA, earning a total of 36 GSPIA credits.

Although it is possible to apply to both schools at the same time, currently enrolled students may still apply for a joint degree as long as they have not yet completed one year (or, in the case of current law students, two years) of full-time study.

Master of Public & International Affairs and Master of Business Administration

For MPIA and MID students only: Combining a GSPIA degree with an MBA opens many opportunities for a career in international finance, government financial regulation, or multinational corporations. Students with both degrees are highly marketable in the fields of international business and international economic policy.


Joint-degree students take a minimum of 36 credits and must have 3 terms of GSPIA residency. Students must graduate from both schools at the same time. No course may be double-counted.  Any course taken to fulfill a requirement for the degree in one program cannot also count toward the degree in the other program. Joint degree students should contact their GSPIA Graduate Enrollment Counselor once a term for advising. Graduate Enrollment Counselors advise for GSPIA programs only. Joint degree students must meet with an advisor from both schools.

Requirements for the joint degree MPIA/MBA

Student is required to take one of the following depending on major:

     If SIS major:  PIA 2303 Security & Intelligence Studies

     If IPE major:  PIA 2301 International Political Economy

     If HS major:   PIA 2307 Human Security


GSPIA Core Requirements: 12 credits

Major Courses: 12 credits

(see Major-Specific requirements)

Electives: 3 credits

Minimum Required GSPIA Credits: 36 credits

Master of Business Administration requirements: 39 or 40.5 credits

(see Business Administration website for requirements)

Total Number of Credits for Joint Degree: 75.5 or 76

Major Specific Requirements:

Human Security


  • PIA 2xxx - Approved HS Major Course
  • PIA 2xxx - Approved HS Major Course
  • PIA 2xxx - Approved HS Major Course
  • PIA 2xxx - Approved HS Major Course

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