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Point Park University's School of Communication and School of Business have teamed up to offer a joint M.A.-M.B.A. degree program oriented toward public relations and advertising management, starting in Fall 2009.

The program allows students to obtain both degrees in as little as two years of full-time course work. The joint degree program's initial curriculum has been designed for students who plan to, or already work in, management and executive positions in the public relations, advertising, integrated marketing communications, or comprehensive marketing professions and industries.

Point Park University becomes one of only six (6) universities in the United States offering a joint M.A. (or M.S.) in journalism/mass communication and M.B.A. degree program. The others are: Boston University (television management); Columbia University (media management and business communications); Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (mass communication/media arts); the University of Illinois-Urbana/ Champaign (general); and the University of Texas at Austin (advertising or journalism or radio/television/film).

In Point Park's joint degree program, students will complete a set list of nine (9) required courses in the School of Business, and a total of nine (9) courses, composed of some requirements and choosing between a variety of electives, in the School of Communication. Students will complete at least 54 credits to earn both degrees. Each degree separately is a 36-credit program, but three courses in the M.B.A. program will count as electives toward the M.A. degree and vice versa.

Students will be able to take courses in any order they like, assuming that they have met prerequisite requirements (if any) for each course. In other words, students may complete their M.B.A. courses first, or their M.A. courses first, or simultaneously take courses in both degree programs.

The co-directors of the joint M.A./M.B.A. program are Dr. Dane S. Claussen, Professor & Graduate Program Director, School of Communication; and Dr. Dimitris Kra-niou, Professor & Graduate Program Director, School of Business.

"As public relations, advertising, and other marketing personnel are increasingly involved in strategic planning, budgeting, new product/service research, legal issues, and more, we have seen more students and potential students tell us they are having to decide between obtaining a graduate degree in public relations and/or advertising and the M.B.A.," said Dr. Claussen. "Now students can earn both degrees by completing only six more courses than either degree by itself."

Dr. Kraniou pointed out, "The joint degree program is a very rational and constructive approach to add value to a student's educational investment. Moreover, the M.B.A. classes will enable students to deal effectively with the whole spectrum of busi-ness issues, both domestic and international in nature."

Applicants to the joint degree program must complete admissions applications for both the M.B.A. degree program and the M.A. in journalism and mass communication degree program, and students must be accepted by both programs to pursue the joint degree option. Students already in the M.B.A. program or the M.A. program in journalism and mass communication and who now want to pursue the joint degree program must apply to the other program and their situations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Point Park University's M.A. program in journalism and mass communication was the first graduate degree program offered almost 30 years ago by what was then Point Park College. In recent years, total enrollment in the M.A. program has varied from just over 70 students to nearly 90 students.

Point Park's M.B.A. program is the largest, and second oldest, graduate degree program offered by the university. It is offered in both standard and accelerated formats, and currently enrolls nearly 300 students.

The joint degree program is envisioned to eventually include several additional and different curricula: one for print mass media management/economics, one for elec-tronic mass media management/economics, and one for business, financial, and economics journalism (in business publications and/or general-interest news media).

More information is available by calling Point Park University's Office of Graduate and Adult Admissions (412-392-3808), Dr. Kraniou (412-392-3447), or Dr. Claussen (412-392-3412).