Fisher College of Business and John Glenn School launch three-year MPA-MBA degree program  
Fisher College of Business and the John Glenn School of Public Affairs have joined together to offer a rare new degree program. Starting this fall, students at the two schools will be able to earn a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Business Administration in three years.

“Through executive education programs and other initiatives, Fisher has provided classes and programs for managers working in the public and not-for profit sectors,” said Karen Hopper Wruck, associate dean for Graduate Programs. “However, it became increasingly apparent that there was a need to provide a more comprehensive program for Ohio State students pursuing this career path.”

Administrators at the Glenn School and Fisher College of Business began planning a curriculum for the joint degree program last spring. The joint degree will help students navigate the increasingly complex world in which it can be hard to tell where the public sector ends and the private sector begins.

Trevor Brown, professor and associate director of academic affairs and research at the Glenn School, said the MPA-MBA program will reflect the “increasingly blended nature of the public and private sectors,” which is often seen in areas like workforce management and business-government contracts.

Brown said integrating the two degrees was made easier by the fact that both schools already cover common themes of management, leadership and finance, although students still need to understand them in public and private contexts.

School officials also asked current students to weigh in on the program’s design. One of those students was Jamie Levine, a doctoral student at the Glenn School who recently received an MBA from Fisher.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for both schools. It’s a great selling point,” she said.

As a student at Fisher, Levine sought out opportunities to enhance her private-sector studies with a public-sector perspective. She enrolled in an organizational management course at the Glenn School, where she learned more about the potential benefits and challenges of government-business interactions.

Understanding both public and private organizations can appeal to a variety of people, Levine said. Whether you’re a public manager working with private businesses, or a business leader sitting on board of a public or nonprofit agency, it helps to understand the similarities and the unique contexts of all kinds of organizations.

“And again it makes you more marketable, especially if you’re looking at companies that are emphasizing corporate responsibility,” she said.

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