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    The best JD MBA programs – 2024

    Jeremy Coppock
    Jeremy Coppock

    Jeremy is an education researcher, journalist, and editor for Degreechoices. He majored in Slavic languages and has a master’s degree in Eastern European studies.

    He has previous experience as a fraud analyst, in-house translator, teacher, and truck driver.

    The best JD MBA programs – 2024
    Contents

      A dual JD MBA degree can make you a highly specialized professional with unique expertise.

      However, this challenging, niche dual degree is not suitable for everyone, and it may not be worth the investment unless you have very specific career goals.

      The best JD MBA programs on the market are offered by the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, and Columbia University.

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      The ability to synthesize knowledge from 2 very different fields can make you a hugely valuable asset to your company: while the labor market prizes specialists, it places even more value on cross-disciplinary expertise.

      The intersection of business and law is a classic example. More and more, companies want their lawyers to step up and think about the business side of corporate strategy as they offer legal advice, while executives are expected to have an ever deeper understanding of regulatory issues.

      To answer this demand in the market, some universities are now offering combined JD-MBA degrees. But are they worth the money? Or are there more cost-effective ways to become a lawyer-executive hybrid? Which MBA-JD programs have the best ROI? We discuss.

      Read on to discover the best JD MBA programs in 2024, by value for money.

      What is a JD MBA?

      A JD MBA is a graduate-level dual degree program that grants you a master’s in business administration and a juris doctor (law) degree.

      Note that a JD MBA involves studying for and getting 2 separate degrees. Many universities make you apply to their business school and law school separately.

      How universities make this combination work varies from institution to institution.

      In many MBA-JD programs, students start out taking 1 year of law school followed by a mix of law and business administration courses.

      Students are encouraged to take electives that are relevant to both fields. Think business law, corporate finance law, mergers and acquisitions, etc.

      How long is a JD MBA program?

      Typically, JD-MBA programs are 4 years long, though some are 3.5 or even 3 years long. Shorter programs may be referred to as “accelerated” JD MBAs.

      » Also read: The fastest online MBAs

      Because most MBAs are 2 years, and most JD programs are 3, doing a JD/MBA will save you at least a year of time and tuition versus getting the 2 degrees separately (which would be a half-decade commitment).

      The best JD MBA programs – by value for money

      Below, we rank the best MBA JD programs by value for money, i.e., return on investment (ROI). The ROI of a program is reflected in its Economic Score – and the lower Economic Score, the better. We discuss how we generate economic scores in more detail just underneath this list.

      Because economic outcome data is not available for combined MBA/JD degrees, we have averaged the Economic Scores of each college’s MBA and JD programs together. While this may not be entirely representative of a dual degree’s worth, it should be roughly indicative of which programs offer the best value.

      For each university, we provide average earnings and debt figures for JD and MBA graduates, according to government data. Note that debt figures are for each individual program; the average debt for combined JD/MBA programs will be somewhat lower than their sum.


      1. University of Pennsylvania – Combined Economic Score: 0.16

      MBA earnings: $221,017

      MBA debt: $45,500

      JD earnings: $261,434

      JD debt: $161,363

      The University of Pennsylvania offers the best JD MBA program on the market. This private Ivy League school in Philadelphia is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the U.S. Its world-famous Wharton School is often named among the top business schools in the world.

      Wharton, in conjunction with the Carey Law School, offers the country’s first fully integrated 3-year JD MBA. A 4 year program is also available.

      Students spend the first year studying law, the first summer studying law along with business courses specifically designed for the JD/MBA, and the 2nd and 3rd year taking a combination of law and business courses. There is also a JD/MBA capstone project and internship opportunities. The school offers an optional San Francisco semester, an engaging speaker series, and alumni events that provide invaluable networking experience.

      • Application: Unified JD/MBA application through the Wharton School, comprising an MBA application with a Law School supplement.
      • Program length: 3 years
      • Standardized tests: GMAT or GRE (LSAT not required)
      • On-campus learning

      2. Stanford University – Combined Economic Score: 0.16

      MBA earnings: $242,791

      MBA debt: $51,246

      JD earnings: $247,989

      JD debt: $142,229

      Located in California’s vibrant Bay Area, between San Francisco and San Jose, Stanford is one of the most prestigious private colleges in the world. It is considered an Ivy Plus college in recognition of its rigorous academic reputation. Stanford offers the second-best JD/MBA program according to our economic metrics.

      Its Joint JD MBA degree is offered through the Law School and the Graduate School of Business. This program is well suited for those pursuing a career as a lawyer with general management skills or as an executive with legal competencies.

      There are 3 options for completing the program.

      1. Complete 2 years of law school, 1 year of business school, then 1 year of mostly business classes with some law electives.
      2. Complete 1 year of law school, 1 year of business school, then 2 years of combined courses.
      3. Complete 1 year of business school, 1 year of law school, then 2 years of combined courses.
      • Application: Apply to each program separately and be admitted to both, specifying your interest in the dual degree program.
      • Program length: 4 years
      • Standardized tests: LSAT or GRE for the Law School, GMAT or GRE for the MBA
      • On-campus learning

      3. Columbia University – Combined Economic Score: 0.19

      MBA earnings: $217,887

      MBA debt: $72,314

      JD earnings: $280,926

      JD debt: $188,253

      Another private Ivy League school, Columbia is located in New York City – meaning networking opportunities with the global business elite abound. It offers the 3rd best JD/MBA program by value for money.

      Columbia’s Law and Business schools offer a unique 3-year JD MBA program (as well as a 4-year option) that trains students to become leaders at the intersection of business and law.

      • Application: Unified application through the business school
      • Program length: 3 or 4 years
      • Standardized tests: GMAT or GRE
      • On-campus learning

      4. University of Chicago – Combined Economic Score: 0.21

      MBA earnings: $204,813

      MBA debt: $79,808

      JD earnings: $256,407

      JD debt: $169,731

      University of Chicago is a private research university located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. UChicago’s Booth School of Business and its Law School are internationally renowned for their high academic standards.

      The University of Chicago offers a JD/MBA joint-degree program that can be taken as a 3-year accelerated program or on a more traditional 4-year timeline. The program prides itself on its interdisciplinary and flexible design.

      Students of the accelerated program take 1400 units of Booth coursework and 105 credit hours of Law coursework. Students on the 4-year track complete the first 2 years at the Law School, followed by 1 year at Booth. The final year comprises 1 quarter of Booth classes and 2 quarters at the Law School.

      • Application: Apply through a centralized, joint application process
      • Program length: 3-4 years
      • Standardized tests: GMAT, GRE, or LSAT
      • On-campus learning

      5. Harvard University – Combined Economic Score: 0.22

      MBA earnings: $107,513

      MBA debt: $20,500

      JD earnings: $233,589

      JD debt: $137,424

      Harvard doesn’t need much introduction. Perhaps the most famous university in the world, this private, Ivy League institution is located in the town of Cambridge, a suburb of Boston.

      Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School offer a rigorous joint JD/MBA program that will equip you to become a leader in your field with unrivaled depth and breadth of expertise. The JD MBA is the oldest dual degree program at Harvard.

      Students start the program with 1 year at the Law School plus 1 year at the Business School (or vice versa). The 3rd and 4th years are devoted to electives at both schools. There is also a year-long Joint Degree Program Seminar.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately and be admitted to each
      • Program length: 4 years
      • Standardized tests: LSAT or GRE for law school, GMAT or GRE for business school.
      • On-campus learning

      6. University of Virginia-Main Campus – Combined Economic Score: 0.28

      MBA earnings: $203,181

      MBA debt: $85,595

      JD earnings: $221,601

      JD debt: $166,203

      The first public university on our list, University of Virginia (UVA) is located in the historical town of Charlottesville. It is often considered a Public Ivy due to its excellent academic reputation.

      Its Darden School of Business and School of Law offer an excellent-value JD MBA program that can make you an invaluable asset to any company.

      Students of the program, which takes 4 years to complete, can start out at either the Darden School or the School of Law, where they will spend their first year. First-year law courses must be completed by your second year, while first-year business courses must be completed by your third.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately and get accepted by each
      • Program length: 3-4 years
      • Standardized tests: GMAT, GRE, or LSAT
      • On-campus learning

      7. Northwestern University – Combined Economic Score: 0.28

      MBA earnings: $217,138

      MBA debt: $162,886

      JD earnings: $227,792

      JD debt: $135,060

      Northwestern University is a highly regarded private research university located in Evanston, Illinois, in the Chicago area. It is home to the world-famous Kellogg School of Management and the Pritzker School of Law.

      Its 3-year JD MBA program is one of the best on the market thanks to its fast completion time and excellent quality of instruction.

      Students spend their first year taking law classes, then a summer term taking at least 3.0 credits with the Kellogg School. They devote their 2nd year to business courses and another summer term on a law or business internships. Students spend their 3rd year taking law courses and a few business classes.

      • Application: Single integrated application through the Kellogg School
      • Program length: 3
      • Standardized tests: GMAT or GRE
      • On-campus learning

      8. New York University – Combined Economic Score: 0.31

      MBA earnings: $189,625

      MBA debt: $96,064

      JD earnings: $230,197

      JD debt: $184,028

      NYU is a highly respected private research university with a main campus in Greenwich Village. It is the largest private university in the country.

      The NYU School of Law and the Stern School of Business offer a challenging, but highly rewarding JD MBA program that offers insight into the business and legal sides of commerce.

      Students spend their first 2 years at the NYU School of Law, their 3rd year at Stern, and their 4th year taking combined classes in both fields.

      • Application: Apply directly to the dual-degree program
      • Program length: 4 years
      • Standardized tests: LSAT
      • On-campus learning

      9. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor – Combined Economic Score: 0.31

      MBA earnings: $173,548

      MBA debt: $56,055

      JD earnings: $176,085

      JD debt: $140,369

      Our second public university on this list, the University of Michigan is widely considered to be a Public Ivy. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of Michigan.

      Its Dual Degree in Law and Business Administration (JD+MBA) is offered through the Law School and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. The program provides graduates with professional flexibility that grants considerable economic opportunities.

      Students take the complete sequence of first-year courses from either school in their first year, then the first-year courses of the other school in the second year. Students combine electives in both fields in their 3rd and 4th years.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately and get accepted to both
      • Program length: 4 years
      • Standardized tests: GRE or GMAT scores accepted in lieu of the LSAT at the law school for dual-degree students
      • On-campus learning

      10. University of California-Berkeley – Combined Economic Score: 0.32

      MBA earnings: $233,028

      MBA debt: $60,997

      JD earnings: $182,943

      JD debt: $156,898

      Located in California’s Bay Area, UC Berkeley is often considered one of the top public universities in the country. It is home to the Haas School of Business Administration and Berkeley Law, both of which are top institutions in their respective fields.

      Berkeley Business students can pursue a joint JD+MBA degree in conjunction with either the Berkeley School of Law or the UC Hastings College of the Law. Typically, students spend years 1 and 2 in law school, followed by a year in business school. During the final year you take electives in both fields.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately
      • Program length: 4 years
      • Standardized tests: GMAT
      • On-campus learning

      Runners up

      The programs below round out the top 20 best MBA JD programs in the United States.

      1. University of Texas at Austin
      2. University of Southern California
      3. Boston College
      4. University of California-Los Angeles
      5. University of Iowa
      6. Washington University in St. Louis
      7. Vanderbilt University
      8. Fordham University
      9. University of Alabama
      10. University of Houston

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      How we made this list

      At Degreechoices, we rank programs and colleges by return on investment. To do this, we use trustworthy government data on average net cost, earnings, and debt from College Scorecard and IPEDS.

      IPEDS is a repository of information administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, and College Scorecard is a Department of Education initiative to make data on colleges’ economic outcomes more accessible to the public.

      • Debt – represents the average debt at graduation for program completers, not including any student loans taken out to pay for undergraduate degrees.
      • Earnings – how much the average program graduate earns 4 years after completing their degree.
      • Net cost – how much the average student pays for a degree, after financial aid. This is not the same as tuition.

      We use these figures to generate an economic score and a debt-to-earnings ratio (for grad programs), revealing which programs have the best ROI. Our unique system rewards programs with high-earning graduates as well as highly affordable degrees.

      We encourage you to read more about our objective methodology here.

      To generate an economic score and rank the programs above, we averaged the economic scores of the school’s MBA and JD programs, provided there was enough data. Outcome data for JD-MBA programs is disclosed separately.

      The programs we couldn’t rank

      Not all JD and MBA programs disclose outcome data to the government. This is especially true of law schools.

      As a result, some well-known MBA-JD programs are not featured on the list above, including Yale and Cornell.

      Other popular dual MBA-JD degrees

      We understand that the programs listed above are highly competitive. Therefore, we have provided some other popular JD-MBA programs that may be easier to get into than schools like Harvard and Stanford. These programs are sampled at random to give you a more representative understanding of the MBA-JD market.


      The University of Montana – Combined Economic Score: 0.77

      MBA earnings: $76,330

      MBA debt: $24,794

      JD earnings: $66,479

      JD debt: $69,239

      The University of Montana is a public research university located in beautiful Missoula. It has produced the 5th most Rhodes Scholars in the country among public universities. Its Master of Business Administration has partnered with the Juris Doctorate program to offer a joint MBA JD degree.

      Graduates of both the MBA and JD programs go on to earn satisfactory earnings for comparatively affordable public school tuition.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately and be accepted by both
      • Program length: 4 years (as separate programs) or 3 years (as a joint program)
      • Standardized tests: LSAT only. There is a GMAT waiver for joint-degree applicants.
      • On-campus learning

      University of Baltimore – Combined Economic Score: 0.85

      MBA earnings: $96,541

      MBA debt: $48,505

      JD earnings: $85,639

      JD debt: $102,782

      The University of Baltimore, or Ubalt, is a public university in Maryland. Both its School of Law and Merrick School of Business are highly regarded. It offers a relatively affordable JD/MBA dual degree program.

      Dedicated advisors help students plan their schedules for this rigorous program. Students usually begin their MBA after the first year of law school or interrupt the MBA for 2 semesters to take law classes.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately
      • Program length: 3-4 years
      • Standardized tests: LSAT only, as long as you apply to the Law School first.
      • Online, on-campus, or both

      Wake Forest University – Combined Economic Score: 0.87

      MBA earnings: $110,336

      MBA debt: $57,895

      JD earnings: $87,235

      JD debt: $104,944

      Wake Forest University is a private research university is located in North Carolina. Founded in 1834, its beautiful campus and small class sizes make it a great place to pursue a graduate degree.

      Its School of Business and School of Law offer a JD/MBA Concurrent Degree. It allows JD students to complete an MBA in their final year of law school. Students must notify the law school that they intend to get a dual degree.

      Students can apply 15 credits of MBA coursework towards the JD degree. Likewise, the business school accepts 9 credits of JD coursework to count for an MBA. Generally, the 3rd year of the program is “shared”: students are enrolled part-time in law school and full-time in business school.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately and be accepted by both
      • Program length: 4 years
      • Standardized tests: LSAT or GRE for law school, GMAT or GRE for the MBA
      • On-campus learning

      Boston University – Combined Economic Score: 0.50

      MBA earnings: $132,779

      MBA debt: $49,159

      JD earnings: $132,844

      JD debt: $119,803

      A private university in Boston, Massachusetts, Boston University was founded in 1839. Its illustrious alumni and faculty include 9 Nobel laureates and 23 Pulitzer Prize winners. It was here that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.

      Its Questrom School of Business and the School of Law offers an MBA + Juris Doctor degree. In their first year, students take law classes only. In the second and third years, you take a full-time law program while taking evening MBA courses. In the fourth year, you’ll take business classes full time.

      Alternatively, you can take the accelerated 3 year program, in which you complete the entire MBA and JD programs in just 7 semesters of intensive learning, with some courses taught over the summer.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately and be accepted by both
      • Program length: 4 years or 3 years (accelerated)
      • Standardized tests: GRE or GMAT for the MBA, GRE or LSAT for the Law School
      • On-campus learning

      University of Tennessee – Combined Economic Score: 0.58

      MBA earnings: $124,987

      MBA debt: $41,000

      JD earnings: $82,373

      JD debt: $61,500

      The University of Tennessee is a large public university in Knoxville. Students go there to study from far and wide: over 100 countries and all 50 states. Founded in 1794, it is one of the oldest public universities in the country.

      Through the Haslam College of Business and the College of Law, you can enroll in the prestigious J.D. and MBA dual degree program, which saves you 1 semester of time and money.

      While you can start with either the MBA or the JD program, you can’t mix classes from both in your first year. You can apply for either complementary program at any point in your graduate studies.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately and be accepted by both; submit a letter of application to the Dual Program Committee.
      • Program length: 4 years
      • Standardized tests: LSAT and GMAT/GRE
      • On-campus or hybrid program MBA classes can be taken online, although the online MBA is longer.

      The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa – Combined Economic Score: 0.81

      MBA earnings: $88,479

      MBA debt: $44,702

      JD earnings: $83,916

      JD debt: $93,142

      The University of Hawaii is a public research university in Mānoa, a suburb of Honolulu. Law and business school are pretty rigorous, so why not study in a splendid location to reduce stress?

      UH Mānoa is home to the William S. Richardson School of Law and the Shidler College of Business, which offer a JD/MBA program for full-time law students. This program sets you up for success in legal practice, consulting, public policy, entrepreneurship, and venture capital, all with a unique Asia-Pacific focus.

      Students start out by taking law courses and then take evening MBA courses with part-time students. The final course of the MBA program cumulates in a Consulting Practicum, where students work in small teams to take on a consulting project.

      • Application: Current JD students must apply for the MBA program separately
      • Program length: 4 years (but you can go at your own pace)
      • Standardized tests: LSAT. If you do not have a business-related undergrad degree, you may have to take the GMAT or GRE as well.
      • On-campus learning

      Duquesne University – Combined Economic Score: 0.94

      MBA earnings: $83,625

      MBA debt: $41,000

      JD earnings: $81,365

      JD debt: $83,152

      A private, Roman Catholic-affiliated university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Duquesne University opened its doors in 1878. Its rigorous academic degrees are highly respected by employers throughout the country.

      Its Juris Doctor/MBA program is ideal for business leaders who want legal expertise and lawyers who need a strong foundation in management. Graduates get a degree from the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business or the Thomas R. Kline School of Law. Notably, you can begin the dual degree program with either the MBA or the JD.

      While most students complete this program in 4 years, it is also available to part-time students.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately and be accepted by both. You must also secure special recommendations and submit a Petition for Joint Degree form.
      • Program length: 4 years
      • Standardized tests: LSAT or GRE for the law school; for the MBA program, GMAT/GRE scores are optional
      • On-campus learning

      University of Arkansas – Combined Economic Score: 0.54

      MBA earnings: $122,441

      MBA debt: $41,000

      JD earnings: $78,209

      JD debt: $61,500

      The University of Arkansas is a public research university located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It is variously abbreviated as U of A, UArk, or simply UA. Its first classes were held in 1872.

      UArk’s Walton MBA program partners with the School of Law to offer a concurrent JD/MBA degree. This program comprises 90 hours of law courses and 50 credit hours of MBA courses, where a total of 24 are shared (12 from each).

      You can start out taking courses from either program, but you cannot mix them your first year.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately and be accepted by both
      • Program length: Unclear
      • Standardized tests: LSAT for the law school and GMAT or GRE for the MBA
      • On-campus learning

      University of San Diego – Combined Economic Score: 0.79

      MBA earnings: $119,504

      MBA debt: $48,690

      JD earnings: $109,740

      JD debt: $136,013

      The University of San Diego is a private university affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Home to one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, one of the school’s philosophies is that studying in beautiful surroundings will improve the educational experience.

      The University of San Diego School of Law offers a dual JD and MBA program in conjunction with the Knauss School of Business. This degree is generally completed in 4 years, as long as students plan their schedule properly. Students take law courses in their first year, business in their second year, and a combination of both in years 3 and 4. Internships and a consulting practicum are included in the program.

      Graduates often go on to work as criminal attorneys who catch fiduciary crimes, business lawyers, and wealth managers.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately and be accepted by both
      • Program length: 4 years
      • Standardized tests: LSAT or GRE (for law school); MBA program is test optional

      Tulane – Combined Economic Score: 0.89

      MBA earnings: $112,468

      MBA debt: $83,281

      JD earnings: $95,856

      JD debt: $114,630

      Tulane University, located in historic, vibrant New Orleans, is a private research university that was founded in 1834. It is sometimes called a “Southern Ivy.”

      Its Law School and Freeman School of Business offer a JD/MBA joint degree for those keen on exploring the intersection of law and business.

      This program boasts a hands-on curriculum, courses taught by industry experts, and robust networking opportunities. The first 2 years are devoted to law school, the 3rd year is dedicated to business classes, and the 4th year combines both fields.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately, indicating in the MBA application that you plan on pursuing a dual degree
      • Program length: 4 years
      • Standardized tests: LSAT for law school; GMAT or GRE for the MBA program (waivers available)
      • On-campus learning; online MBA and JD options are available, but it’s unclear if dual-degree learners are eligible

      Indiana University-Bloomington – Combined Economic Score: N/A

      MBA earnings: N/A

      MBA debt: N/A

      JD earnings: $88,474

      JD debt: $86,535

      Indiana University-Bloomington is a public research university and the largest in the state of Indiana. It was established in 1820 in the cozy mid-size town of Bloomington.

      IU Bloomington offers several options to pursue a JD/MBA joint degree through its Maurer School of Law and Kelley School of Business: one in 3 years and one in 4. Besides these traditional JD/MBA options, students can also enroll in a JD/ MBA in Accounting program that takes 4 years. There is also a JD + MS in Accounting dual degree available. Internationally oriented students can choose the SKK JD/MBA program, which includes instruction on the Bloomington campus and the Sungkyunkwan Graduate School of Business in Seoul, South Korea.

      The most economical option is the 3 year program, which is available to students with at least 2 years of work experience. Students can switch to the 4 year program if needed.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately and be accepted by both. Indicate your interest in the dual degree program to both schools.
      • Program length: 3 or 4 years
      • Standardized tests: LSAT and GMAT/GRE.
      • On-campus learning

      University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Combined Economic Score: 0.50

      MBA earnings: $114,688

      MBA debt: $37,505

      JD earnings: $73,448

      JD debt: $51,535

      University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a public university located in the city of Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska, and the state’s oldest university. The school is usually referred to as UNL.

      It offers a JD/MBA degree that is a good fit for students interested in careers as transactional attorneys, corporate in-house counsel, compliance officers, management consultants, investment bankers, and more.

      Students may start off taking either business or law classes. They must maintain high academic standards to continue enrollment in the dual degree program.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately and be accepted by both
      • Program length: Not specified
      • Standardized tests: LSAT; (GMAT/GRE optional for MBA application)
      • On-campus learning

      University of Alabama – Combined Economic Score: 0.48

      MBA earnings: $104,997

      MBA debt: $33,930

      JD earnings: $89,400

      JD debt: $61,500

      The University of Alabama, commonly referred to as Alabama, UA, or Bama, is a public research university in the town of Tuscaloosa, not far from Birmingham. It is the oldest and largest university in the state.

      The UA School of Law and the Manderson Graduate School of Business offer a JD/MBA program that is rich in course offerings and experiential opportunities. Graduates emerge from this cross-disciplinary program with highly marketable skills, which they hone through team and case-based learning.

      Most students spend their first year taking law classes, their second year taking business classes, and their third and fourth year taking a combination of both. Some students enter the program after 2 years of law school.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately and be accepted by both
      • Program length: 4 years
      • Standardized tests: LSAT or GRE for law school; GMAT or GRE for the MBA
      • On-campus learning

      University of California-Irvine – Combined Economic Score: 0.73

      MBA earnings: $129,880

      MBA debt: $71,839

      JD earnings: $118,723

      JD debt: $131,309

      Part of the University of California network, one of the best public university systems in the country, UC Irvine is located in Orange Country, just outside Los Angeles.

      The university’s Program in Law and Graduate Studies offers a concurrent degree program that leads to a J.D. from the School of Law and an MBA from the Paul Merage School of Business.

      The program is perfect for students who wish to pursue a professional or academic career in taxation, corporate reporting and governance, regulation and compliance, securities, real estate, and much more.

      Students work with program administrators to create an efficient course of study.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately and be accepted by both
      • Program length: 4 years
      • Standardized tests: LSAT or GRE for the law school, GRE or GMAT for the MBA program (waiver available for the latter)
      • On-campus learning

      Southern Methodist University – Combined Economic Score: 0.76

      MBA earnings: $129,447

      MBA debt: $105,828

      JD earnings: $120,122

      JD debt: $141,887

      Southern Methodist University (SMU) is a private research university in Dallas, Texas. While it is officially associated with the United Methodist Church, its teachings are secular, and it welcomes students of all backgrounds.

      SMU’s Cox School of Business and Dedman School of Law offer a JD/MBA dual degree program that equips students with a deep understanding of commercial affairs from 2 different perspectives.

      Students will take law courses in their first year followed by a summer law internship. The second year is devoted to business courses and includes a global leadership experience abroad, followed by a business internship. The third and fourth year are a combination of business and law electives, followed by a final summer internship in either field.

      An accelerated 3-year MBA/JD program is also available for students with specific academic backgrounds. 3-year MBA/JD students take MBA courses in the summer in lieu of the first internship.

      • Application: Apply to each program separately and be accepted by both
      • Program length: 4 years or 3 years
      • Standardized tests: LSAT for the law school and GMAT or GRE for the Cox School of Business.
      • On-campus learning

      www.degreechoices.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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      Are JD/MBA programs worth it?

      While a JD/MBA looks like an unbeatable combination on paper, several factors should make you think twice about committing to one.

      First, even though pursuing a dual degree is cheaper than getting the degrees separately, it is definitely more expensive than getting just an MBA or just a JD.

      You will need to take out more student loans to cover an extra year (or 2) of grad school.

      This might be a good investment if you can be sure that the marginal earnings you’ll unlock will be significantly higher than what you would get with just an MBA or a JD. Unfortunately, incomplete data makes it very difficult to verify how often this is the case.

      » Also read: Law schools that don’t require the LSAT

      The truth is, very few jobs require both an MBA and a law degree. Redditors working in these fields suggest that there is little financial benefit to combining these 2 degrees.

      3-year MBA/JD dual degrees may be an exception. While rare, these accelerated programs can help ambitious students decrease their loans.

      Examples of universities with 3-year JD/MBA programs include the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Montana, Boston University, Indiana University-Bloomington, University of Chicago, Northwestern, and Columbia.

      Second, MBA and law programs are highly rigorous and require a great deal of hard work; therefore, you may be better off focusing your efforts on either law or business school.

      Getting sub-optimal grades could cause you to lose financial aid or get kicked out of the dual degree program.

      Remember that while obtaining a JD/MBA dual degree may give you a unique bird’s-eye view of business law, you can also obtain such expertise on the job working in an interdisciplinary context.

      One alternative may be to go to law school, gain experience, and then go back to school for a 1-year, accelerated MBA later in your career. Your employer may even help cover the costs.

      Why go for a JD/MBA?

      Before choosing to enroll in a JD/MBA joint program, you should make sure this aligns well with your career goals.

      JD/MBA programs potentially feed into careers in mergers and acquisitions, corporate compliance, in-house counsel, investment banking, consulting, or even public policy, to name a few.

      » Also read: The easiest law schools to get into 

      How to apply for a JD MBA program

      At most schools, you will need to apply separately for the JD and MBA programs, notifying both schools of your intention to pursue a dual degree.

      In some cases, this may mean taking multiple standardized tests: the JD program may only accept the LSAT, while the business school may want the GRE or the GMAT.

      Some colleges offer standardized test waivers, while others may accept the GRE for both programs.

      In addition, colleges will want:

      • Your undergraduate transcripts
      • Several (usually 3) letters of recommendation
      • Essays or personal statements that address why you want to enroll in a dual degree
      • Your resume.

      Certain programs, especially MBAs, require you to have work experience before applying.

      Paying for a JD MBA program

      Paying for a JD/MBA program works a little differently at each university.

      Tuition fees often change from year to year depending on what classes you’re taking. Typically, this will entail paying law school tuition your first year, then MBA tuition your second year.

      When you’re taking courses from both schools, some universities charge the tuition of the more expensive school (generally law), while others will charge the tuition rates of whichever program you’re taking the most coursework from.

      Yet other schools will charge tuition rates for both programs simultaneously. This could mean paying law tuition plus per-course MBA tuition, for example.

      Read program web pages carefully and make sure you have a firm understanding of how tuition fees are calculated. This could have a big effect on a program’s value for money.

      It’s in your best interest to pay as little as possible for this expensive dual degree, so prioritize 3-year programs that don’t double charge you for tuition.

      Final thoughts

      A dual JD/MBA degree is an expensive investment that may not be beneficial unless you have very specific career goals in corporate law.

      However, the unique perspective they provide will make you a hot commodity on the labor market. If you have the money – and you can handle the workload – you will be well prepared for top positions.

      If you’re not sure a joint degree is such a good idea, take a look at our rankings of the best law schools and the best business schools in the country – ranked by ROI value.

      Alternatively, consider getting a 1-year LL.M. degree in corporate law as an alternative to an MBA.

      www.degreechoices.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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