There are no accredited Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Juris Doctor (JD) dual-degree programs available in an entirely online format. A few schools offer both an MBA and a JD in online formats, but they are not a part of a dual-degree system. Students need to enroll in each online program independently, which would negate the convenience of a dual-degree program.
Another option is to earn the JD on campus and the MBA online. The inability of any entirely online JD program to be accredited by the American Bar Association is responsible for their scarcity online. Students should keep in mind that even for MBA programs, it is possible that exams may need to be completed in-person. Depending on the prospective student's state of residence, some additional accreditation may be required before officially becoming a lawyer. MBA programs cover topics in management strategies, business research and finance, while JD programs include classes in subjects like torts, criminal law and legal writing. To be accepted into either an MBA or JD program, students must have a bachelor's degree.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) Program
Master of Business Administration programs are readily available in an entirely online format. Students enrolled in this program learn about business law and strategy, operations management, leadership, economics and marketing. A bachelor's degree is required, along with some coursework in business.
Program Information and Requirements
An MBA program may be completed entirely online, though hybrid online-campus options do exist. Some exams may need be taken at an approved testing site with a proctor. Students can access online materials and turn in assignments at any time day or night. Interaction with instructors and peers is conducted through online message boards, e-mail and phone.
Common Business Administration Courses
The curriculum of an online MBA generally consists of a combination of core business courses, emphasis courses, specialization requirements and specialization electives. Some schools require a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 for graduation.
This course explores the concepts and methods of efficiently administering the connection between consumers and the providers of goods and services. Students gain knowledge in areas such as product development, promotion, market definition and strategic market planning.
Students learn how to build a business from the ground up. Developing a reasonable business plan, coordinating the operation and monitoring the institution using sensible methods are all studied. The necessary thought processes for setting goals, staying motivated and achieving at a high level are highlighted.
Business Laws, Ethics and Regulations
This course focuses more on public law than private law. Students learn about anti-discrimination laws and how to maintain a healthy and unbiased workplace while avoiding problematic employment-related matters. A company's liability and ethical responsibility is examined as it relates to products and contracts.
Students interested in furthering their business administration education can do so through a Doctor of Business Administration or a Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration program. A few institutions offer such programs in an entirely online format.
Juris Doctor (JD) Program
Though scarce, Juris Doctor degrees may be earned entirely online. Unfortunately, they generally only meet the requirements for a single state Bar Association and must be supplemented with additional educational requirements to practice in other states.
On-campus programs are more readily accepted by the American Bar Association and law firms. Candidates for admission into such a program must first have completed an undergraduate degree. Students enrolled in this program learn how to create effective legal documents, navigate the American legal system and become a proficient attorney.
Program Information and Requirements
Online coursework is generally a combination of asynchronous materials, which can be worked on at any time, and live synchronous lectures. Students may contact their professors and fellow students through online discussion boards, chat rooms and e-mail.
Common Juris Doctor Courses
A JD program is made up of required and elective courses. Students use casebooks and other legal texts to further their understanding. Some schools require a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 for graduation.
Students learn how to create a variety of legal contracts. The statute of frauds and breach of contract liability are also studied. Special consideration is given to third-party contracts and how to use them to transfer responsibilities and designate benefits. Other subjects examined include bargained-for consideration, parole evidence and frustration of purpose.
This course focuses on laws involving the state's ability to apply discipline for a variety of criminal offenses. The appropriate punishment for crimes such as homicide, larceny, rape and arson are discussed as well as the rules regulating attempts and conspiracies to commit said crimes. Students are taught to see into the mind of a criminal and distinguish motives for committing wrongdoing.
The differences between federal, state and common law are analyzed as they pertain to evidence-related topics such as admissibility, expert testimony, hearsay and the burden of proof. Students are taught the necessary steps for introducing and impeaching certain bits of evidence. The specific duties of judges and juries are also examined.
Holders of both a JD and an MBA are qualified for careers as general and operations managers, chief executives or lawyers. Lawyers with the supplementary knowledge acquired through the MBA become highly skilled at designing mergers and acquisitions, preparing private equity investments and bargaining for effective settlements of company lawsuits.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in May of 2015, there were 609,930 lawyers with an average yearly salary of $136,260 (www.bls.gov). Similarly, there were 2,145,140 professionals employed as general and operations managers and 238,940 individuals employed as chief executives with average yearly salaries of $119,460 and $185,850 respectively. The BLS also predicted 6% growth in the overall employment of lawyers between the years 2014 and 2024.
As previously mentioned, online JD programs only allow admittance to the Bar Association of the administering school's state. If a student is looking to be admitted to the American Bar Association or the Bar of another state, additional educational requirements must be met. These requirements must be done in-person to allow for a more universally accepted Bar admittance.
While students are unable to complete a dual degree JD/MBA program online, as such programs don't exist, they do have the option of pursuing an online MBA while enrolled in law school or soon after graduating. Having both degrees will likely make graduates very competitive in the job market, as their knowledge of the law combined with their business-savvy is a desirable skill set.