Texas Tech University

Board of Regents Approves Biomedical Sciences-MBA Dual Degrees

George Watson

August 6, 2015

Students will now be able to earn an MBA and doctor of philosophy in biomedical sciences or master of science in biotechnology.

M. Duane Nellis
M. Duane Nellis

The Texas Tech University Academic, Clinical and Student Affairs Committee approved Thursday two new dual degree programs between the Rawls College of Business and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC)Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Pending approval Friday by the Texas Tech Board of Regents, students will be able to enter two dual degree programs: doctor of philosophy in biomedical sciences/master of business administration or a master of science in biotechnology/master of business administration. The proposal then goes to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College for approval.

“Collaboration between researchers at Texas Tech University System institutions enables each to maximize resources, location and academic collateral efficiently for the benefit of our students,” Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis said. “The unique result of this program will be students entering the workforce with a business acumen that enhances successful opportunities for valuable contributions to medicine and the health industry.”

Doctoral students in the program are estimated to graduate within four to five years, while master's students are expected to graduate in 2.5 years. TTUHSC students will be overseen and administered by faculty and staff in the biotechnology program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Tedd Mitchell MD
Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D.

Administrators estimate no additional faculty or staff will be required for the program, nor will there be a need for additional space, facilities or resources, as all those are in place.

“As a collaboration between the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the Texas Tech University Rawls College of Business, these new dual degree programs promise to attract the most qualified and diverse students seeking careers in business or academia with the objective of establishing strong bridges between these two sectors,” TTUHSC President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., said. “The five-year goal is to cultivate a dual degree program that affords students with new avenues for career development and employment as well as enrollment growth for both the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Texas Tech.”

According to the presentation to the Board of Regents by Nellis and Mitchell, the doctoral/MBA dual degree program has been frequently requested as a degree plan option among current biomedical sciences graduate students who hope to use their time in school to better their competitive advantage in the job market. Biotechnology graduate students also have requested the dual degree program.

Bill Pasewark
Bill Pasewark

“The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the Rawls College of Business have a long history of successful dual degree programs,” said Bill Pasewark, the Webster Professor of business and associate dean of graduate programs and research at the Rawls College of Business. “We have offered MBAs to medical and pharmacy students for many years.  Offering a dual degree program to those in the master of science in biotechnology and the doctorate in biomedical sciences is a new initiative with very exciting possibilities.”

The proposal's five-year plan is to make the dual degree programs essential in providing new avenues of academic and research growth while preparing students for future employment after graduation.

“The students we receive from biomedical sciences are amazing researchers who are laden with innovative ideas,” Pasewark said. “When these researchers come to the Rawls College, our job is to assist them in getting those ideas to the marketplace.”