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USC JD MBA Program: What You Need To Know | Inspira Futures

January 19, 2024
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Overview of the USC JD/MBA ProgramUSC JD/MBA CurriculumAdmission Requirements and How to ApplyTips to Get into the USC JD/MBA ProgramFAQs

The degree pathway of JD/MBA is an excellent choice for anyone looking to go to law school and wanting more from their education, particularly in a business direction. The University of Southern California in Los Angeles offers its unique JD-MBA program, which gives students access to the highly ranked Gould School of Law and the Marshall School of Business.

To join the USC JD/MBA, the student will have to apply to the MBA program and JD program separately and gain acceptance into both. In this guide, we’ll go over what these applications entail, the suggested amount of work experience for an MBA, and how to position yourself as the best candidate!

Overview of the USC JD/MBA Program

The USC JD/MBA program starts with applications to both the schools of Law and Business. The student must be accepted to both schools to join this dual degree program. Typically, the program begins with a year of law classes, followed by a year focused on the MBA side of the degree, and then the remaining courses required to graduate. Let’s dive into this deeper. 


Source: USC Marshall

USC JD/MBA Curriculum

For their first year, JD/MBA students focus entirely on the early required law classes. USC lists these subjects as “Constitutional Law Structure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Ethics, Legal Research, Writing and Advocacy, Procedure, Property, Torts,” all to be done in the first year. 

From here, the JD/MBA students branch out to exclusively focus on the MBA side of the degree for the second year.  The MBA at USC takes individual terms into account for its overall curriculum. 

The first two terms include microeconomics, management, professionalism, strategy, accounting, statistics, finance, and problem-solving. Classes like this prepare students for the business world. 

After the first two years, the JD/MBA student must finish whatever remaining courses they have for both degrees. Notably, USC does not award one degree without the other, so the students must complete all of their requirements to graduate. USC Gould School of Law enables students to pick areas of study for their last two years. 

USC also assigns a master’s committee to guide the student towards graduation and ultimately decide if the student has passed. They may advise students on classes and personal decisions on the path. The committee will include MBA and Law advisors from USC’s body of professors. 

USC Gould

Source: USC Gould

Admission Requirements and How to Apply

To apply for USC, students use the online application portal. Students must submit separate applications to both schools.

JD Requirements

To apply to the Gould School of Law, students will require the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • GRE or LSAT scores
  • A personal statement explaining how your background led you to study law
  • At least 2 and up to 3 letters of recommendation
  • A resume
  • Qualifications for admission to the bar
  • English proficiency test (if applicable)

MBA Requirements

For your Marshall School of Business application, you’ll need to submit the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • GRE or GMAT scores (or a waiver)
  • 2 required essays (1 optional)
  • A professional resume (typically one page)
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (if applicable)

Tips for Getting into the USC JD/MBA Program

Applying for graduate school can quickly become a daunting task for potential applicants. Graduate school is an important step that can be critical to a successful career path and lifelong goals. To quell some potential worries, here are a few tips that may be helpful:

Prepare Early

Deadlines for USC applications occur on December 15th for fall terms and September 15th for spring. Make sure to have all required testing done well in advance, but before the five year expiration rate. Keep in mind that the application will take some time to complete and that having all of the required papers and scores beforehand will save an enormous amount of time. 

Gain Work Experience

The average successful USC MBA applicant has over five years of work experience. Take the time to expand your resume and build your business-related skills to prove you have what it takes to thrive in this program. 

Write Thoughtful Essays

USC’s mission statement says "the development of human beings and society as a whole through the cultivation and enrichment of the human mind and spirit." To that end, USC will prioritize applicants who fit into this mold and add value to those around them. It is essential to consider this while building an application or writing essays. 

Strong Letters of Recommendation

Another way to stand out is through the required letters of recommendation. While the MBA program does not accept letters of recommendation, the JD program does. 

Ensure these letters come from academic and professional sources that can attest to your preparedness for such a rigorous program and field.

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1. Does USC offer any other Dual Degrees?

The University of Southern California has many more Dual Degree options, such as their renowned Accounting and Law (MACC/JD) and Human Resources and Law (MHR/JD) degrees. They also offer a couple other MBA dual degrees, including International Business and Law (IMBA/JD) and Sport and Entertainment Management and Business (MSEM/MBA). 

2. Does USC offer a three-year JD/MBA pathway?

USC’s School of Law, in cooperation with the Darla Moore School of Business, offers a joint degree program that allows students to complete an accelerated MBA and JD in three and a half years. Students must be admitted to both schools to join this program. 

3. How likely am I to get into USC?

Getting into USC is challenging. The acceptance rate for the USC Marshall School of Business is around 23% and the acceptance rate for the USC Gould School of Law is around 13%. Having a high GPA, high test scores, and a robust resume will increase your chances of admission. The average MBA student at USC has about five and a half years of real-world work experience.  

4. What does USC offer over other schools?

The University of Southern California is known for its Marshall School of Business and the MBA program that comes with it. It is ranked 15th in the nation. Similarly, USC’s law school ranks 16th. The resource of having two well-known and highly acclaimed programs on campus for this dual degree is a fantastic feature for USC.

5.. How much does the JD/MBA at USC cost?

Any JD/MBA is going to be expensive. USC Gould places the cost of attendance at around $95,000-$105,000 for a full year of law school. The addition of the MBA does not require paying tuition again. It will, however, cost all the books and extra fees for those courses. Overall, the JD/MBA price at USC should come out to over or around $110,000 for an entire school year. 

6. Will a JD/MBA save me money?

Not only will the JD/MBA save students money, but it will also save them a lot of time. An MBA typically takes two years, or more if it’s part-time, while a JD takes three. While taking a year less, the JD/MBA takes a year less and will ultimately cost less tuition. By taking a JD/MBA at USC, students will save up to $60,000 worth of tuition or more.


The JD/MBA at USC is one of the best options in California and the nation. From here, the applicant must start by getting ready to apply online, including maintaining a high GPA, gaining significant work experience for their MBA application, and preparing for their tests.

Students who have a background in business or law-related courses will stand out more on the Marshall and Gould applications. Make sure to apply early and give your applications your all. USC is looking for those ready and eager to succeed!


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