Business Law PhD Programs Overview

Doctoral degree (Ph.D.) programs in business law are designed for students who want to study advanced law and business administration. However, schools usually offer joint law and business degrees with courses such as financial and cost accounting.

Essential Information

Instead of offering a Ph.D. in business law, many universities offer a joint degree program that awards a Juris Doctor and a Master of Business Administration (J.D./MBA). Similar to a Ph.D., the J.D./MBA is a terminal degree for business law. This joint degree program prepares business professionals for advanced legal and management careers in business operations.

A J.D./MBA program requires 4-6 years of study and awards the joint degree when requirements are met for both disciplines. In most cases, the J.D./MBA joint degree program is a collaboration between a university's law and business schools. To be eligible for a joint J.D./MBA program, students must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Some programs require students to have one year of relevant work experience prior to enrollment.

J.D./MBA in Business Law

J.D./MBA programs are ideal for individuals who want to study business law but who seek a balanced curriculum that also includes business administration principles. Students examine business laws and legal processes and learn to apply legal research to business operations. Because many courses involve legal case studies, coursework is research-intensive. Course topics may include:

  • Advanced economic concepts
  • Organizational leadership
  • Criminal law
  • Civil procedures
  • Legislation and regulation
  • Legal research and writing

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

With a J.D./MBA, students can pursue business law careers with legal agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, business consulting firms, financial institutions, insurance companies and business and trade regulation organizations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a 6% job growth for lawyers from 2014-2024, which is as fast as average for all occupations. The median annual salary for all lawyers was $115,820 as of May 2015.

A J.D./MBA joint program is now more commonly offered instead of Ph.D. programs in business law. But it is also considered a terminal degree that provides students with enough coursework and research in applying legal processes to business operations.

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