JD and MBA in Three Years?

March 16, 2009

S.G., 1L

A few weeks ago, an email was circulated among the 1L class about a new joint-degree program that would begin its inaugural year this fall. The program is a joint JD/MBA program between Yale Law School and the Yale School of Management (SOM) that would allow students to earn a JD and a MBA in a total of three years. Before now, a similar program has existed between YLS and SOM, but it has been a four year program. I thought it might be interesting to provide a few details about the program for any students that are interested in joint-degrees generally or in this specific program.

The program was designed for Yale Law students who have an interest in corporate law or who are interested in pursuing careers in investment banking or consulting, etc. The program was also created in order to address the increasingly complex intersection between law and business. I am glad that YLS has created this accelerated program to address these practical needs, and I think that many students will benefit from having both perspectives in their educational background.

The program is designed where the first year and third years of your law school experience remain basically the same, as students take only classes in the law school. The second year, however, is mainly spent at SOM, taking the MBA core courses such as Finance, Accounting, Negotiations, and an international leadership course where students travel and experience foreign countries. Many of these classes are able to cross-list for law school credit and will be counted on your law school transcript, enabling both degrees to be completed in three years. The design also does not require that law students commit any of their summers to taking classes, allowing them to pursue employment opportunities like every other law student.

If nothing else, this program gives Yale Law students the ability to explore interdisciplinary interests within the flexibility of the three-year program. This innovation, however, is just one of the many joint-degrees that students can pursue at YLS. If you are interested in Forestry and the environment, there is a joint-degree for you. If you are interested in a masters or doctorate from the Graduate School, we’ve got you covered. Or if you are interested in Public Health and Medicine, look no further. If you’re not looking for a degree but just to take a few classes in another school at Yale, that opportunity is available as well.

The Law School provides the highest caliber of legal education, and for interested students, the joint-degree programs offered in conjunction with other schools at Yale provide the same level of excellence in whatever field you choose. The variety and innovative nature of the joint-degree programs at Yale is another feature that makes YLS such a vibrant and diverse community.