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Joint-Degree Options

Penn State offers three joint-degree opportunities in conjunction with the Penn State Smeal MBA Program.


Earn a law degree from Penn State Law, located at either the University Park campus or in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This is a four-year program in which students typically begin the first year of study in law followed by a year in the MBA program. Year three is a combined year of study between the JD and MBA programs. Year four concludes the joint program with the final law classes. Students must apply to and be accepted to each program independently to pursue the joint degree. Law classes may be taken at University Park or Carlisle with MBA classes offered at University Park only.

Current MBAs in the JD/MBA Program 

Portrait of Stephen Ashurst

Stephen Ashurst
Class of 2016

Stephen is a 2012 graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he received a degree in history. Immediately following graduation, he enrolled at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law.  Upon completion of his first year, Stephen worked as a summer intern at North Penn Legal Services, where he aided in representing low income individuals in custody, divorce, credit collection, disability, and landlord tenant matters. Stephen has also served as an associate editor for the Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs. Stephen plans to use both the JD and the MBA to pursue a career in corporate law.

Joint Degree MBA StudentAndrew Fillmore
Class of 2016

Andrew is a 2009 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where he received a bachelor of science degree in business administration with concentrations in management and marketing.  After graduating, he returned to his family’s business, a leading sand and aggregate supplier in New Hampshire, where he worked into a managerial operations role. Upon completion of his first year at Penn State Law, Andrew worked as a summer law clerk at the Hillsborough County Superior Court in New Hampshire, where he drafted judicial orders for multiple judges. He currently serves as the inter-school relations chair for the Student Bar Association and social chair for the John Reed Inn Chapter of Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society. Andrew has also accepted an associate editor position with the Penn State Law Yearbook on Arbitration and Mediation. Andrew plans to use both the JD and the MBA to pursue a career in corporate law where he hopes to one day serve as in-house counsel for a Fortune 500 corporation.

Portrait of Alyssa LooneyAlyssa Looney
Class of 2016

Alyssa is a 2012 graduate of Texas A&M University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in agribusiness with a minor in German, minor in economics, and certificate in international trade and agriculture.  Immediately upon graduation, Alyssa decided to pursue a law degree at Penn State Dickinson School of Law because of the school's opportunities in agricultural and energy law.  After her first year of law school, Alyssa interned under the general counsel for the Texas Department of Agriculture.  She interned in the land department at Chesapeake Energy in Oklahoma City after her second year of law school.  Alyssa hopes to combine both of her degrees in order to work in a government or corporate law capacity in the agriculture or oil and gas industries.

Portrait of Matt ReganMatthew Regan
Class of 2016

Matt is pursuing a JD/MBA in order to prepare for a career practicing corporate law. He is interested in M&A, business planning, and financing matters. At Penn State Dickinson School of Law, he is a senior editor of the law review, and is concentrating in business law and intellectual property. At Smeal, he is concentrating in finance and entrepreneurship. Matt has a wide range of diverse professional experience through internships, including working with boutique Boston law firms, a global investment management company, and the Singapore office of one of the world's largest international law firms—Baker & McKenzie. Most recently, Matt interned with the Legal & Business Affairs Team at DreamWorks Animation in California. He is a 2012 graduate of Northeastern University, where he graduated magna cum laude with a BS in criminology.

Joint Degree MBA StudentFrank Sourbeer
Class of 2016

Frank is a 2008 graduate of Lehigh University where he majored in supply chain management. After graduation, Frank moved to Boston to work for Anheuser-Busch InBev where he worked in various capacities including marketing, operations, and sales. After completing his first year of law school, Frank held a brief internship with the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. While broadening his career options, Frank firmly believes that the joint graduate degree program will prepare him for long-term success in the business world.


The Medical Degree/Master of Business Administration (MD/MBA) joint degree is designed to fulfill a growing demand in managers and leaders who understand both the scientific part of an industry and the business models driving that industry. The joint degree provides highly motivated students the opportunity to combine a medical degree from the Penn State College of Medicine with an MBA Smeal. Candidates must apply to and meet admission requirements for both the College of Medicine and Smeal separately. Students already enrolled in the MD program may apply to the MD/MBA during the first three years of study by applying for admission to Smeal.

Current MBAs in the MD/MBA Program

Portrait of Michael AbendrothMichael Abendroth
Class of 2016

Michael graduated from Dartmouth College in 2011 with a degree in Human Biology. He chose Penn State College of Medicine for its exceptional faculty and strong sense of community. He quickly grew an appreciation for hospital operations and strategic leadership, and realized that an MBA would be invaluable. He chose Smeal for the same distinguished faculty and close-knit community that originally drew him to Penn State. He ultimately hopes to integrate his medical and business backgrounds through academic administration or private practice.

Portrait of Chris KalmarChristopher Kalmar
Class of 2016

Chris graduated from the University of Virginia in 2010 with High Distinction in Neuroscience.  He has been focused on a career in Surgery and has a passion for ethics and education.  After completing his surgical residency, he hopes to be involved with leadership in academic medicine.  He is excited to pursue an MD/MBA degree to be an asset in harnessing the collaborative potential of his future surgical team and medical institution, as well as capitalizing on financial prospects to further advance surgical innovation and patient care.

Portrait of Ali KhakuAliasgher Khaku
Class of 2016

Aliasgher Khaku, who is currently a 4th year in the Penn State M.D. / M.B.A. joint degree program. Aliasgher, or as he is more commonly known as “Ali,” was born in London, Ontario and was raised in Allentown, PA. He majored in Biochemistry at Temple University, where he graduated in 2010 with Distinctions.
Ali is very active and involved within the college and the community. He has served as President for the Class of 2015 for the past three years and will begin his MBA year in August 2014. He also served a term as the Vice-President of the Penn State Student Assembly, which is the largest governing body at the College of Medicine (incorporating all four medical classes, the graduate student body, and nursing student body). During his 1st three years in medical school he realized fully caring for a patient not only involved understanding the biological, molecular, and pathologic basis for disease but also involved an understanding of hospital policies, regulations, and the cost of health care. Ali decided that a MBA would greatly enhance his knowledge and skill set in order to achieve these future goals. The Penn State Smeal College of Business was an obvious choice to help him fulfill his goals.
He will be applying to a surgical residency and wishes to pursue a career in academic medicine with research interests in education and surgical outcomes.

Portrait of Christopher OtteniChristopher Otteni
Class of 2016

Christopher originally from Raleigh, NC graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 2008 with a degree in Information Science and Technology.  Upon graduation, Christopher worked as an IT Consultant for KPMG LLP in Charlotte, NC. Christopher eventually decided to pursue other endeavors and enter the field of medicine, leaving KPMG to attend medical school at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, PA. Christopher recognizes the need for physicians with strong business acumen in addition to the wealth of opportunities that comes along with this unique skill set. With completion of the MD/MBA, Christopher hopes to become involved in hospital administration as well as electronic medical record implementation and development, as he hopes to be positioned to provide insight into medicine, business and technology.

Portrait of Peggy SchwartzPeggy Schwarz
Class of 2016

Peggy is a 2010 graduate of Penn State, where she majored in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and minored in History. Following graduation, she worked for one year in an Emergency Department in Wilkes Barre, PA, where she helped physicians record patient information. She then matriculated at the Penn State College of Medicine.  Her previous work experience prompted her to pursue an MD/MBA degree from the newly minted joint program offered by Penn State. She hopes this joint degree will allow her to provide additional patient care at a variety of levels.

Science BS/MBA

Earn an undergraduate degree in science from the Penn State Eberly College of Science and then pair it with a Smeal MBA. The joint-degree program prepares highly qualified and motivated students to be the future leaders of the world's scientific organizations. Students apply to the Eberly BS degree program during their last year of high school and then to the MBA program during their final year of the undergraduate portion of the science program. Science BS/MBA students have the option of completing both degrees in either five or six years, depending on how they tailor their course of study and co-op experiences.

Current MBAs in the BS/MBA Program

Portrait of Victor CottonVictor Cotton
Class of 2016
Why Victor chose the Science BS/MBA Program:
"I chose the BS/MBA program because it allows me to merge my passion for chemistry with my desire to enter the business world. Combining these different viewpoints will place me in a competitive position where I can leverage my analytical skills toward a career in healthcare management. The co-op experiences in the BS/MBA program have allowed me to practice these analytical skills in a hospital environment, uniquely preparing me for a healthcare career."

Portrait of Mark JoanowMark Joanow
Class of 2016
Why Mark chose the Science BS/MBA Program:
"I chose the Science BS/MBA because it was an amazing opportunity to combine my love for science and business. This program through its vast resources and unbelievable advisers has allowed me to meet very influential people from numerous science based industries, as well as allowing me to leverage my technical background to land a co-op in the pharmaceutical industry. The value that this program has given me is priceless and has propelled me for a career in the healthcare/pharmaceutical industries."

Portrait of Matthew LeeMatthew Lee
Class of 2016
Why Matthew chose the Science BS/MBA Program:
"I chose the Science BS/MBA program because it put me on a fast track to pursue both a science and business degree. Ultimately, I am interested in working in the healthcare field. I am confident that this unique program will give me a great foundation for a successful career in healthcare and will provide me with the tools to make a difference in the challenging healthcare industry we face today. I am honored to be a part of such a great program at an amazing university like Penn State."

Portrait of Alex MurdochAlex Murdoch
Class of 2016
Why Alex chose the Science BS/MBA Program:
"I chose the BS/MBA program for the future prospective it had as well as the doors that it opened up. Very quickly, I realized I was in a unique program when I was attending symposiums with former and current presidents and CEOs of major companies within the pharmaceutical industry. This degree opportunity really allowed me to see the true application of the sciences beyond just research and gave me the opportunities to meet important people in those industries. Moreover, the program allowed me to thrive amongst a close-knit , ambitious yet collaborative group of peers."

Portrait of Cory RundleCory Rundle
Class of 2016
Why Cory chose the Science BS/MBA Program: "
I chose the BS/MBA program because it gave me the ability to balance my passion for science and my desire to work in business.  I have been able to achieve that balance through rigorous coursework in the undergraduate science-dedicated portion and through several internships and Co Ops."


Portrait of Ritu Saxena

Ritu Saxena
Class of 2016
Why Ritu chose the Science BS/MBA Program:
"I chose the BS/MBA program because coming from a family with a heavy background in the pharmaceutical industry; my natural love has always been science. However from a very young age, I knew I did not want my career to be confined to the four walls of a lab. This program solved that issue by allowing me to get a background in science, and then an MBA. Thus, I could pursue a career in management in the pharmaceutical industry, combining both passions."

Portrait of Danielle SchleigDanielle Schleig
Class of 2016
Why Danielle chose the Science BS/MBA Program:
“As a person with many varied interests, the BS/MBA program gives me the unique opportunity to explore my passions for both science and business and has helped to provide me with valuable opportunities outside the classroom. I believe the technical and business skills I’ve learned throughout this program allow me to be competitive in the job market and combine my interests perfectly to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry.”

In the News: "There's a huge value in teamwork in medicine, and learning the science of teams and how they work has been incredibly enlightening. Also, learning and thinking about leadership issues from a business perspective has provided me a completely different way of thinking." --Alison Thompson, Class of 2015, Penn State Smeal MBA Program