JD-MBA Programs in Illinois

Apr 26, 2019

The worlds of law and business are growing ever closer. Those who wish to pursue careers that combine these disciplines might consider earning a dual JD/MBA.

Those who are interested in working in fields that intersect the legal and business worlds may consider earning a JD (law) and MBA (Master of Business Administration) as a joint degree program. Within the state of Illinois, there are a range of options to pursue these graduate degrees concurrently. Read on to learn more about some specific programs, admission requirements, and courses students might encounter.

JD/MBA Programs in Illinois

Northwestern University

According to its website, the JD/MBA program at Northwestern University was the first dual JD/MBA program in the country. The program is completed in three years of study. Students enrolled in the program take their first year of study at the law school, take business classes that summer, complete their second year of full-time enrollment at the business school, and then complete their studies at the law school. A legal or business internship is expected in the summer after the second year. Experiential learning may include providing consulting for international corporations through the Global Lab. Applicants submit one application directed to the MBA program. They should expect to provide GMAT or GRE scores, undergraduate transcripts, essay responses, a video essay, and recommendations. Interviews will be scheduled after the application is submitted.

Loyola University Chicago

Students at Loyola Chicago can pursue a JD/MBA. Students will complete the MBA portion with a concentration in business law. Students can gain experience at the law school's Center for Business Law, where they will work directly with clients on transactional issues. Students may apply jointly to each program and separately gain admission or they may apply to one program and the other at a later date. Students who begin with the JD, complete the first year of law studies with a 3.0 GPA and have an LSAT score of at least 158 can skip taking the GMAT normally required for admission to the MBA program.

Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University offers the opportunity to pursue the JD/MBA. The program can be completed in three years and two summers, or in four to five years of study. Joint degree students may be interested in participating in the law school's negotiation competition or participating in an externship. Students should apply separately to the law school and to the business school.

Illinois Institute of Technology

A dual-degree program between the Illinois Institute of Technology's MBA school and its Chicago-Kent College of Law allows students to complete the JD/MBA in three and a half to four years of study. Students may be interested in the Institute for Compliance, which hosts courses, speakers, and externship opportunities. Students must apply and gain admission to each program.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champlain

The University of Illinois provides students the opportunity to pursue the JD/MBA. The course of study is individualized, but students will earn both degrees in a reduced time. Those who are interested in international business law may wish to take advantage of the wide selection of study-abroad programs. Multiple case-competition opportunities are available at the business school. Students must apply separately to each program, and then receive pre-approval to be recognized as a dual-degree student.


Several of the above-referenced programs have specific requirements for applying to the dual-degree program. For those where students must apply separately to each program, students can expect to provide a range of information. To the law schools, applicants typically apply through the credential service of the Law School Admission Council. This service requires prospective students to take the LSAT and submit transcripts and recommendations. MBA programs typically require transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, a personal statement, and recommendations.

Program Description

Completing a JD/MBA often allows students to complete both degrees in a reduced period of time. Foundational courses will be required at both the JD program and the MBA program. For the law school, this may include courses in contracts, torts, or civil procedure. Core MBA classes may include business analytics and introductory finance. After completing this core coursework, students will choose a series of electives that can develop their competencies in both business and law. Read on to learn more about some courses JD/MBA students may choose.

Antitrust Law

An antitrust course may provide students with an understanding of antitrust issues in U.S. law, and also help them to understand the fundamentals of applying economic reasoning to legal questions. Topics to be considered may include boycotts, monopolies, and price-fixing. Specific statutes including the Sherman Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act, as well as how these statutes have been interpreted by the courts, could also be covered.

Employment Law

An employment law course will provide an overview of the laws and regulations governing hiring and employment relationships. The course is likely to review specific statutes, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and other anti-discrimination laws. Other specific topics might be independent contractors, drug testing, and wrongful discharge.

Entrepreneurship Law

A course in entrepreneurship law could cover various legal topics that are encountered by entrepreneurs and start-up ventures. These topics might include raising money for ventures, management of closely held corporations, and employment law. In addition, trademark and intellectual property concerns may be reviewed.

Securities Regulation

This course typically focuses on the Securities Act of 1933, but it may also look at other regulations, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The course may review the definition of securities, as well as a range of federal reporting and disclosure acts. Students could be exposed to penalties involved in failures to register or securities fraud.


This business course may review the fundamentals of negotiation strategy. Theories of conducting negotiations, including game, prescriptive, and descriptive might be covered. Often, simulation exercises will develop student's skills in this arena.

International Finance

This course may provide students with an understanding of how international businesses are managed, and the challenges they face. Students might be introduced to foreign exchange markets and risk. Other themes may include country debt, capital budgeting, and international financial instruments.

Earning a JD/MBA can provide students with an excellent credential to promote their success in law and in business. There are many programs in Illinois from which to choose this dual-degree program.

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