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Syracuse College of Law, Whitman School launch online joint J.D./MBA degree

By Eric Reinhardt


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse University (SU) College of Law announces the launch of what it says is the “nation’s first” online joint J.D./MBA degree program.

The College of Law is working in partnership with SU’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management on the degree program, Syracuse said in a news release.

The new joint degree combines the College of Law’s JDinteractive program with the Whitman School’s MBA@Syracuse program.

The Syracuse University (SU) College of Law has launched what it describes as the “nation’s first” online joint juris doctor and master of business administration degree program. The College of Law is working in partnership with SU’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management on the degree program, Syracuse said in a news release. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ)

J.D. is short for juris doctor, while MBA is short for master of business administration.

“As we’ve learned from decades of success with our joint residential J.D./MBA with the Whitman School, there is strong demand for a joint law and business education,” College of Law Dean Craig Boise said. “JDinteractive attracts many students whose careers, credentials and ambitions are a natural fit for a dual law and business curriculum. It makes sense to partner with our colleagues at the Whitman School to make this curriculum available online.”

Students admitted to the joint program will earn a J.D. degree through the College of Law’s JDinteractive (JDi) program. JDi courses are conducted primarily online, with each course consisting of both self-paced class sessions and live class sessions taught by the college’s faculty.

In addition, JDi students participate in six “intensive” residencies, which provide them with an opportunity to develop key professional skills. JDi students take all courses required of students in Syracuse’s residential J.D. program, select from elective courses, participate in student organizations, and receive hands-on experiential learning and skills-building training.

Online J.D./MBA students earn a master’s degree in business administration through the Whitman School’s MBA@Syracuse. It includes the same curriculum content as the on-campus MBA program and blends multimedia coursework with live, online classes and hands-on residency experiences.

“In a globalized, interconnected marketplace, business leaders must constantly consider legal and regulatory frameworks. Across the spectrum of daily business transactions, legal considerations increasingly occupy a prominent place in boardroom discussions,” Whitman Dean Gene Anderson said. “An unprecedented option for students who wish to change careers or improve credentials, the new online J.D./MBA provides even greater access to the high-quality legal and business education offered by two nationally ranked schools.”

JDi students will be eligible to apply to the joint J.D./MBA degree program starting in 2020. Before starting the online MBA portion of the joint degree, JDi students must be separately admitted to the Whitman School, have completed 34 credits of law school and meet all defined academic requirements.

“This is a real first for legal education,” Nina Kohn, professor of law and faculty director of online education at the College of Law. “Through the JDi program, we’ve been able to expand access to legal education to remarkably talented students for whom a residential J.D. education was out of reach, whether because of family obligations, military service, or the demands of their careers. Now we are poised to open the door of opportunity even wider — finally making a joint J.D./MBA a real possibility for these students.”


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