Stanford, my MBA experience & my MS

Update (Jan 2015). I finished with a joint MBA-MS. The MS was a blend of energy engineering (building, wind, resources) & computer science (java, c++, ruby, OOP). I continue to be delighted with the relationships my wife and I built there and how useful that experience has been to us since graduation.

Mike & Joan Dorsey
Mike Dorsey & Joan Dorsey at Stanford Graduation

Well, Stanford has been an amazing ride.  I’ve now completed 2 years and have 1 more to go.

Friends: gotten to know some of the most energetic, friendly, and efficient people I’ve ever met.

MBA-MS Joint Degree – I’ve now finished my two years here, but I haven’t yet officially graduated.  I’m now starting a third year, at which point I will have both an MBA and an MS.  I’m splitting the MS between Energy Engineering & Computer Science.

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Entrepreneur, technologist.

13 thoughts on “Stanford, my MBA experience & my MS”

  1. Dear Mike Dorsey,

    I intend on pursuing a joint degree in MBA and MS in Computer Science, which it seems like it’s possible according to Stanford’s policies and verification from your post. If I’m reading this correctly, you’re essentially triple concentrating?

  2. Hi Con. That’s an interesting plan! So it is a little bit complicated. In order to truly get both degrees, you would have to apply separately to each program, and complete all of the separate requirements. There is not, currently, a true joint-degree program (with courses double-counting, or dual enrollment, etc). In this case, you would require 4 years or so (2 for each).

    So…how to take CS classes as an MBA? There are three joint-degree programs (E-IPER, Public Policy, JD, and possibly other less well-known ones). What I did was enroll in the most Interdisciplinary program among the joint-degree programs, called E-IPER. This one allowed me do a concentration in Clean Energy Engineering. Then, for all of my electives for the Interdisciplinary MS (I had 5), I chose to take all Computer Science classes.

    So in the end, I got an MBA-MS joint degree in 3 years. It so happened that the MS had 1/2 classes relating to clean tech engineering, and the other 1/2 was CS classes. For me, this more than satisfied my CS goals, as I was able to take core classes in Java, C++, OOP, Ruby On Rails, and iOS. In addition, i you were to take a CS degree, you could probably also dual-enroll in business classes.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Hi, Mike!  Thanks for responding to my post.  I apologize for not getting to it sooner.  After doing more research, I understand now the difference between the joint and dual degrees.  So, you essentially you did the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, which is an additional 45 units of science-related coursework approved by E-IPER; one half of these units happened to be your CS coursework if I’m understanding this correctly.

    You have an interesting plan as well.  Do you think you efficiently scheduled your coursework considering your interest in CS?  Should I consider a similar route?  The Stanford GSB came to NYC (where I’m situated) earlier this December, and I was afforded the opportunity to speak to Mr. Derrick Bolton.  He had told me that for my plan, I would most likely have to apply in my first year to the CS department, which would need additional approval, then my coursework would probably take me approximately 3 and 1/2 years to complete or slightly longer.

    Of the 4 joint degrees, the E-IPER seems the most relevant.  While clean tech engineering sounds interesting, I don’t know if I’m effectively designing my schedule to at least cover my secondary interest beyond the GSB general MBA interest, which is the CS degree.

    Thank you, again, for your time and advice!

  4. You are an inspiration! I’ve been pondering this joint degree with the EXACT triple-concentration you’re pursuing and I had no idea that Stanford would allow this. Do you have any advice for a current college student? I’m majoring in physics and economics and presently have a 3.8 GPA.  I’ve started an internet company too (I’m a bit older – 26 – I worked several years before entering college to pay for it). Do you feel I’m at least on the right track? What else would help me get into a joint program so I could do exactly as you’ve done?

  5. Thanks Scotty.  Awesome – your great GPA is an excellent way to start  :).  Also, nail the GMAT (ie class average).  Then, tell your story to get into GSB.  Then the joint-degree part is relatively easy to get into.  Best of luck!

  6. Hey Mike,

    Thanks for the quick response and advice! It’s always priceless to get information from people like you who have already been through the process. It’s even more priceless when someone has been through the path you’re trying to follow!

    Did you end up with two or three degrees since you split your MS?

    Also, I know the typical route of a business student is to work between college and B school. Do you believe taking an alternative route (as I did to pay for my education) and starting a successful internet company that’s been open for a few years would make me competitive to the GSB or should I still expect to pursue the typical two years of work experience?

    Thanks again for any advice you can give me!


  7. Glad it’s helpful.  2 degrees (MBA + one MS).  Most do have a few years in between though some (perhaps 10 or 15?) from each year are straight from undergrad.  Meanwhile, GSB is definitely a place that respects the road less traveled.  The entrepreneurial experience (especially if full time and successful) certainly is helpful.

  8. Hey!
    Thanks for the post. I’m a second year engineering student majoring in CS from India. How competitive is the admission to the joint degree program? ANd what can I possibly do to increase my chances of getting in? Also, I’ve heard Stanford now accepts GRE scores as well. Would you suggest me to appear for the GRE or GMAT? 🙂

  9. First of all, one of the best things you can do nowadays is be an engineer – so you are on the right track 🙂 The MBA is around a 7% acceptance rate. I don’t know how GRE vs GMAT compares – but since most people use GMAT, I would assume the priority is to get an excellent score on GMAT – so that it’s easiest to compare. Stanford really cares deeply about your story and why you want to do what you want to do…

  10. Hi, Mike. Thanks for the posting.
    I’m a graduate student of business administration B.A from S.Korea. I’m currently working as an investment professional in a venture capital firm in S.Korea. And I wanna know that the graduate student majoring in business administration can apply the MBA/MS in CS course. The website of Stanford CS said that the major of each applicant doesn’t matter. But technically, I wanna know that whether it is possible or not. Have you ever saw any students who majored other major in B.A?

  11. Hey, nice blog post!
    I was wondering about the job prospects or kind of opportunities one might get after the completion of degree?

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