UGA to offer three-year J.D./M.B.A. program

Published 5:35 pm Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The University of Georgia is now offering an option for students to graduate with both a law degree and a Master of Business Administration in three years.

The J.D./M.B.A. program, a joint effort between the School of Law and the Terry College of Business, equips students with the skills needed for successful careers combining law and banking, entrepreneurship, finance, international business or commercial interests.

“Students participating in this three-year dual degree will have a distinct competitive advantage when they graduate,” Georgia Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said. “In only three years, students will earn a law degree and an M.B.A., saving both time and money while gaining the necessary knowledge to succeed in today’s marketplace. This program is another way that UGA is demonstrating its commitment to leadership in higher education and to serving our students in a world-class manner while maintaining our commitment to overall value.”

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UGA is one of the pioneers in higher education by offering a three-year J.D./M.B.A. option. Students enrolled in the program will have one year devoted exclusively to legal studies, one year focused primarily on the business school curriculum, and the third year will be comprised mainly of law school courses.

“While UGA will continue to offer the four-year program for students who seek broader training in the law, the three-year J.D./M.B.A. is ideally suited to meet the needs of the highly differentiated student whose career aspiration is corporate law,” said Suzanne E. Barbour, dean of the Graduate School.

“This program is an excellent opportunity for students to take advantage of two exceptional programs at UGA,” said Terry College Dean Benjamin C. Ayers. “Our M.B.A. students benefit from an experiential curriculum that focuses on leadership development with hands-on learning through courses such as Lean Six Sigma and innovative business projects. The new dual-degree program is a tremendous opportunity for highly motivated students to advance their careers.”

The law school has noted a recent increase in the percentage of its graduates securing employment in the business sector. Since 2008, the percent of law school graduates in business-related employment has approximately doubled.

“I believe this new offering will be a game changer,” said Carol E. Morgan, law school’s business law and ethics program instructor. “Georgia Law’s collaboration with the Terry College offers students the chance to work with two nationally recognized programs and to earn two marquee graduate degrees in three years that will give them a great advantage when moving into the workplace. Lawyers need more than ever to understand their clients’ businesses and what affects their bottom line. This dual degree positions our students to do just that.”

James R. “Jim” Borders, president of the real estate development firm Novare Group who earned both his J.D. and M.B.A. from UGA, said this dual degree will make a profound difference to the highly focused student who would like to manage both the time spent in graduate school as well as the cost of the education, while maximizing the skill and knowledge set that the student will leave with. “I am very proud of the leadership of both colleges in thinking through this and then making it happen.”