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Sydney Trupp

The Cornell JD MBA Program: What You Need To Know

December 10, 2021
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IntroductionWhat is a JD MBA Degree?Overview of the Cornell JD MBA ProgramCornell JD MBA CurriculumAdmission Requirements and How to ApplyTips to Get into the Cornell JD MBA ProgramJD MBA Career Outlook and SalaryFAQsConclusion

If you have a passion for law and business and want to earn an MBA and Juris Doctor degree, you may have already thought about a JD/MBA Program. You may want to consider applying to the Cornell JD/MBA Program?

You can earn your JD/MBA degree in three or four years, depending on which path you take. With this shortened  time frame, you can apply what you have learned in a professional setting in no time.

This guide will further review what the JD/MBA degree is and provide an overview of the dual degree program, the curriculum, admission requirements and how to apply, tips on how to get into the Duke JD/MBA program, JD/MBA career outlook and salary, and frequently asked questions.

What is a JD MBA Degree?

A JD MBA degree is a dual-degree program incorporating a curriculum to receive a Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA). This degree usually takes about four years to complete, but it depends on which school you plan on attending.

How this joint degree works is you earn your JD with the law department and your MBA with the business department, meaning you are achieving two separate degrees simultaneously.

Ideally, this program was created for students who desire to learn about how law and business intertwine.

Overview of the Cornell JD MBA Program

You can complete the JD/MBA program in three years when you earn the One-Year MBA or four years with the Two-Year MBA. 

If you are enrolled in the Two-Year MBA (Four-Year MBA), you can start your studies at Samuel Curtis (SC) Johnson School of Business or the Cornell Law School. However, if you opt-in taking the One-Year MBA (Three-Year JD/MBA), you will begin your studies at the Law School. 

No matter where you start, you must fulfill both schools’ admissions requirements.

Cornell JD MBA Curriculum

Cornell University offers a great JD/MBA curriculum, which varies depending on which specific JD/MBA program you are enrolled in, like the Three-Year joint degree program or the Four-Year joint degree program.

Three-Year Joint Degree Program

In the Three-Year JD/MBA dual-degree program, you can combine the JD program with the One-Year MBA program or the Two-Year MBA program. Keep in mind, the application timing and length of the degree vary with the previously stated options.

You can apply simultaneously to both programs or you can apply to the business school during the first year of law school. The following is how the Three-Year Joint Degree Program is laid out:

  • Enroll in JD courses the first year
  • Enroll in Johnson core courses during the summer of the first year with One-Year MBA students
  • Take an assortment of courses from the Law School and Johnson spanning the remaining two years, fulfilling both programs’ degree requirements in three years
  • The program is for three years, which is broken down into seven semesters.

Cornell’s Juris Doctor Program

Cornell University is home to a highly rated national law curriculum in its JD program, following the American Bar Association Standard 302 for Approval of Law Schools. Proceeding graduation, students will:

  • Know the existing and procedural law necessary for effective involvement in legal careers
  • Be involved in legal research, examination, and problem-solving
  • Communicate and engage effectively in oral and written mediums as not only counselors but as advocates
  • Have practical skills that are invaluable when being a lawyer and representing clients
  • Hold the highest moral and ethical standards

Students will also be engaged in great opportunities, such as:

  • Live-client or real-life practice experiences
  • Participation in pro bono activities

Small group work through seminars, supervised research, small class sizes, or collective work

One-Year MBA Program

The fast-paced One-Year MBA program is STEM-designated, where you will learn about foundational business principles and gain related skills through required courses and electives.

With the STEM-designated program, students will understand management science, emphasizing data analytics, technology, and other related disciplines necessary to today’s business leadership.

You will be full-time resident of Ithaca, NY from May to May during this program.

During your summer semester, you will enroll in a 13-week crash course on business foundation included in the One-Year MBA core curriculum, along with leadership training and a case competition.

When fall semester rolls around, you will take MBA electives and NYC weekend courses. You can take electives from the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and weekend courses at Cornell Tech.

You will be involved in MBA Immersions, NYC intensives, and additional electives for the final spring semester. Depending on your career goals, you could be eligible to participate in some of the Two-Year MBA immersion curricula!

Two-Year MBA Program

Through the Two-Year MBA program, you will have opportunities to immerse yourself in student organizations, build your leadership possibilities, and all through an MBA program that is flexible.

Your two-year (four-semester) studies will be in Ithaca, NY, with course options in NYC. You will also have the opportunity to be involved in a summer internship.

First Semester

In your first semester, you'll work on MBA courses and core curriculum.. You will learn necessary business management concepts, such as:

  • Leading Teams
  • Financial Accounting
  • Microeconomics for Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Critical and Strategic Thinking
  • Managerial Finance
  • Strategy

During your fall semester, you will learn necessary business management concepts, such as:

  • Managing Operations
  • Data Analytics and Modeling

Second Semester

During your second semester, you will complete the two first semester fall courses alongside your immersion. You choose one of seven MBA Immersions

In these career- and industry-based courses you will dive into projects and cases, fieldwork, and, overall, experience a hands-on semester. The following are the Johnson immersions:


 Over the summer, you will partake in an MBA internship. Your immersion will help prepare you for this. Your odds will also be higher of receiving full-time employment.

Third Semester

During the third semester, you will enrol in MBA electives, co-curricular activities, and NYC weekend courses. You will choose from over 120 electives when selecting the classes you would like to take.

Cornell University’s intensives are customized classes that offer collaborative opportunities and close partnerships with industry. Cornell offers the Fintech Intensive, Digital Marketing Intensive, and Sustainable Global Enterprise Intensive.

Final Semester

To finish your last semester, you will be involved in MBA intensive opportunities and final electives.

Four-Year Joint Degree Program

You can apply simultaneously to both programs. If you are enrolled in one program, you can apply to the other program before graduation.

Here is how the Four-Year Joint Degree Program is laid out:

  • Dedicate one year solely in the JD program taking the first-year JD curriculum
  • Dedicate another year, particularly in the MBA program for the first-year MBA curriculum
  • Take an assortment of courses across the Law School and Johnson spanning the remaining two years to fulfill the degree requirement of both programs in four years.
  • Duration is four years, broken down into eight semesters.

Admission Requirements

Each school has its own admission requirements. It is important to know what each school is asking of you when trying to be accepted into both schools.

Johnson Business School

When applying to earn dual degrees, you must be accepted by both schools, in this case, the Johnson and Cornell law school or department which is offering the other degree. You will also be responsible for notifying both schools of your intent to become involved in a dual-degree program.

One-Year MBA candidates must have a professional certification or an advanced degree. Eligible certificates and advanced degrees include,, but are not limited to:

  • Chartered Financial Analyst
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Institute of Chartered Financial Accountants (UK and India)
  • Society of Actuaries
  • Project Management (PMP)
  • JD
  • MD
  • Meng
  • MPA
  • Med
  • MA
  • MS
  • PhD

If you are unsure if this MBA program is a good match for you, you can feel free to run a Johnson One-Year Ithaca MBA program eligibility check

If you want more information on the MBA programs, you can schedule an Ithaca MBA admissions consultation. Speaking with an admissions consultant will help you understand the application process, program prerequisites and outcomes, professional opportunities, and the numerous resources offered to and accessible within the Johnson community. 

It is highly recommended to check your eligibility before scheduling your admissions consultation. You can then decide if you would like to proceed with a one-on-one or group consultation based on your application process.

Another way to learn more about Cornell’s MBA program is by attending an admissions event. You can always take a trip to the campus, join an online information session, or even connect with current students. 

If you choose to visit Cornell University, you can get a taste of campus life and culture in various ways, such as:

Cornell Law School

Regarding eligibility requirements, you are expected to have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. International applicants need the international equivalent. You must also take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). If you have more questions concerning your eligibility, feel free to reach out to the Admissions Office.

To ensure you have all the application components fulfilled, reference the following application checklist:

  • Register with the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
  • Finish the LSAT, GRE, or GMAT
  • Send in an electronic application through LSAC
  • Pay the $80 non-refundable application fee through an online charge
  • Send in transcripts to LSAC for its processing
  • Send in letters of recommendation to LSAC for its processing

You will be responsible for keeping Cornell Law School up to date on changes that occur after submitting your application.

Tips to Get into the Cornell JD MBA Program

  1. Know the application requirements. The earlier you know this information, the better, because you will not have to worry about rushing to prepare and gather necessary documents. As a result, you can spend more time on the details in your application.
  2. Get in contact with graduates. Connecting with Cornell graduates can open the door to opportunities and many benefits. Perhaps you develop a professional relationship with a graduate who would love to be a reference for your school or a job. Or maybe they know of a job in their company you would excel in. Graduates could also offer you valuable tips for courses you are enrolled in and tips on your application.
  3. Use great letters of recommendation. It is essential to submit letters of recommendation from people who know your character and performance in school. You want someone who you share a good relationship with because they can write detailed, personal letters for you that can make your candidacy stand out.
  4. High GPAs matter. Having a high GPA matters, as it says a lot about your determination when it comes to your academic endeavors. It can show your versatility regarding the many courses you have taken over your educational career because it shows you can excel in a spectrum of classes and grasp several concepts and ideas.

JD MBA Career Outlook and Salary

You can land various jobs with a JD/MBA. Some of the possible careers include, but are not limited to:

  • Corporate Lawyer
  • Management Consultant
  • Business Lawyer
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Attorney
  • Member of a law firm
  • White-collar criminal advocates
  • Business law professors
  • Politicians

Source: SimplyHired

The average salary for JD/MBA professionals is $61,090 per year, according to SimplyHired. The graph below depicts the salary for those in the bottom 10% to those in the top 10%.

The average salary for those in the bottom 10% is $30,510, while the bottom 25% rises to $42,391. The typical salary for professionals in the top 25% is $88,037, while JD/MBA professionals in the top 10% earn at least $122,321.

SimplyHired also offers a great tool to compare various salaries for jobs a JD/MBA degree-holder may land.


Applying to Cornell University’s JD/MBA program can leave you with some questions. If you are not getting answers to your questions or would like more clarification, feel free to get into contact with Cornell’s staff. Scroll to the bottom of this page for contact information.

1. What careers could you pursue after graduation?

You could get into a wide range of careers, including politics, academia, international development, domestic and international business, in-house corporate practice, and many more jobs.

2. What are the benefits of participating in the JD/MBA program?

This program offers priceless training and knowledge for careers where having a deep understanding of law and business is crucial. Knowing law as a business executive can positively impact your ability to evaluate risk or make strategic choices.

3. What are the benefits of earning an MBA and a JD?

There are numerous benefits to earning an MBA and a JD, including being aware of legal constraints regarding new business ideas, understanding dense material and concepts and seeing the bigger picture, honing in one critical and logical thinking skills, having many opportunities for a lot of different kinds of jobs, and more.

4. What makes Johnson and Cornell University Law School good schools?

These top-tier schools are small by design, resulting in a lower acceptance rate. Having smaller class sizes allows students to interact with the world’s leading experts in many fields. Ultimately, Cornell provides a rich mix of academic studies with research at the primary brink in science and technology.

5. How do I apply for the JD/MBA dual degree?

You must apply separately to each school, the Samuel Curtis (SC) Johnson School of Business and Cornell Law School. Always follow admission requirements for each school, as  you need admission to both. You will also be responsible for notifying the schools of your intent to become involved in a dual-degree program.

6. Can the GRE be accepted in place of the LSAT?

Yes, Cornell Law School will accept the GRE in place of the LSAT.


The Cornell University, JD/MBA dual-degree program offers convenience and flexibility. There are multiple pathways you can take to earn this joint degree, such as choosing a three-year or four-year joint-degree program.

Participating in the JD/MBA program will develop a strong understanding of business and law. It will separate you from other candidates when applying to jobs and give you an edge with legal and business knowledge. 

Overall, this program will sharpen necessary and invaluable career opportunities, like domestic and international business or management consultant.

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