Top 10 Cheapest Joint MBA/JD Programs 2021

All JD/MBA joint degree programs have one thing in common: they’re intense. Most allow the student to earn both degrees in just four years, and even when you factor in the elimination of up to 30 credits through credit-sharing between the degrees, you will be going to school year-round and taking 18 credits per semester to pull this off. It’s not easy. However, for students who are driven enough to complete their dual JD/MBA degree program, they will be rewarded with saving tens of thousands of dollars, if not a hundred thousand dollars or more. This is because, generally speaking, the MBA and law degree are the two most expensive graduate degrees. Therefore, combining them and reducing the amount of time and credits it takes to earn each degree means that you really maximize the amount of money you can save.

We ranked the programs below according to which was most affordable, according to in-state tuition prices. Because these programs are not available online, the cheapest joint MBA/JD degrees can be found by attending a public university in the state you live in. We calculated, to the best of our abilities with all the information provided by each college’s website, the full cost of each dual MBA/JD. This is including attempts to factor in the reduced credit load and the often unique tuition pricing each program uses. The tuition below is our best estimate and does not include living expenses, the cost of books, or additional fees.

Reviewing Your Cheapest MBA/JD Options

#1. University of South Dakota

Program Website

In the joint MBA/JD program at the University of South Dakota, students save 18 credits by sharing nine credits from each program as electives with the other program. For residents of South Dakota, the cost of the full program is less than the cost of one year of the program at many schools. Students will have the opportunity to participate in Moot Court, South Dakota Law Review, Student Bar Association, Trail Team, and other activities and organizations.

  • Total In-State Tuition: $37,504
  • Total Out-of-State Tuition: $93,887

#2. University of Wyoming

Program Website

Students in the University of Wyoming’s dual MBA/JD program tend to start their MBA after putting in one year of law school. The program allows a selected nine hours of the law program to be credited to the MBA degree. Students will complete almost the entirety of the MBA program in two semesters, taking seven courses in each of those semesters, which makes for a fairly intense year.

  • Total In-State Tuition: $65,232
  • Total Out-of-State Tuition: $131,640

#3. Georgia State University

Program Website

According to Georgia State University, graduates from this dual MBA/JD degree program will find themselves particularly well-positioned to handle issues like governance, risk management, and compliance responsibilities in the medical, insurance, and financial sectors, as all of these are experiencing increases in regulations. The program can be completed in four years of full-time study.

  • Total In-State Tuition: $67,432
  • Total Out-of-State Tuition: $145,824

#4. Florida International University

Program Website

The dual MBA/JD program offered by Florida International University allows students to use 12 law credits in the MBA program, and nine MBA credits in the law program, cutting a total of 21 credits (roughly two semesters) off the time and cost of earning the two degrees separately. It’s important to note that once enrolled in the dual degree program, a student must complete both of the degrees, which will be awarded simultaneously once both are completed.

  • Total In-State Tuition: $70,078
  • Total Out-of-State Tuition: $119,828

#5. Louisiana State University

Program Website

LSU has one of the most aggressive credit-sharing plans between the JD and MBA in their dual degree program. Students can put 12 MBA credits toward the JD and 18 JD credits toward the MBA, reducing the number of total credits required to earn both degrees by 30. Each degree is awarded separately. This means that if you finish your MBA first, you will graduate from the MBA program and be able to begin reaping the rewards of having an MBA.

  • Total In-State Tuition: $72,375
  • Total Out-of-State Tuition: $131,975

#6. University of Kentucky

Program Website

Students applying to the joint JD/MBA program at the University of Kentucky can use their LSAT score instead of the GMAT/GRE for the purposes of applying to the MBA program. Students can combine the JD with either the one-year MBA or the professional MBA programs. The structure of the program means that your first year is law courses, your second covers all but one MBA course, and the third covers the last MBA course and the final law courses. This program seems to be one of the only JD/MBA programs that can be finished in three years instead of four.

  • Total In-State Tuition: $84,407
  • Total Out-of-State Tuition: $163,580
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#7. University of Houston

Program Website

The specific goal of the joint MBA/JD program at the University of Houston is to prepare students for careers in which law and business commingle closely. These areas are public service, investment banking, commercial banking, accounting, tax law, international trade, industrial relations, energy law, corporate law, real estate law, the entertainment industry, and some areas of management consulting. Students can apply 15 credits of the business degree to the law degree, and 12 credits of the law degree to the business degree, for a total reduction of 27 credit-hours between the two programs.

  • Total In-State Tuition: $108,750
  • Total Out-of-State Tuition: $159,840
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#8. University of Colorado-Boulder

Program Website

The University of Colorado at Boulder offers a four-year J.D./MBA dual degree program where students will study topics like constitution, criminal, and contract law; economics; management; and corporate finance. Graduates from this program have specialized in areas like shareholder relations, labor relations, real estate, business policy and general strategy, risk analysis, lobbying, international relations and trade, and intellectual property, among many other things.

  • Total In-State Tuition: $127,176
  • Total Out-of-State Tuition: $154,320
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#9. Regent University

Program Website

Regent University is a Christian school, and the dual MBA/JD degree program fits with their values when it comes to multidisciplinary education. While the website does state that the dual degree program reduces the overall number of credits that would be necessary to earn both degrees separately, the exact details of how many credits are something you will have to ask your advisors about when you contact the admissions department to create your degree plan.

  • Total Tuition: $132,300

#10. Creighton University

Program Website

Creighton University’s JD/MBA dual degree program allows you to choose to specialize in areas like business law, criminal law and procedure, health law, international and comparative law, and litigation. Law students will be able to work with the Creighton Law Review and the Creighton International and Comparative Law Journal. 12 credits can be carried from the MBA into the JD, and six credits can be carried from the JD into the MBA, for a total reduction of 18 credits between both of the programs.

  • Total Tuition: $155,133

Frequently Asked Questions

Are these really the cheapest joint MBA/JD degrees? Why are they still so expensive?

There are a few reasons behind the expense of these degrees. The first one is that both the MBA and JD are premium graduate degrees with a high return on investment. For this reason, and others, it’s often the case that these are the two most expensive degrees in any graduate school. The second reason is that JD programs tend to be 90 credits, where most graduate programs are between 30 and 60 credits. Most of the MBA programs that combine with the JD in the joint programs above are between 30 and 42 credits. So even with the most aggressive credit-sharing arrangements, which essentially eliminate 30 credits (some from each program credited toward the other program), you’re still looking at 90-100 credits for both degrees. This is almost as many credits as a bachelor’s degree, which is why it takes four years to complete both degrees together in most cases. However, you’re also paying premium graduate degree prices.

The most expensive degree featured in this ranking is a little over $163,000 for out-of-state students at a state university. However, the most expensive joint MBA/JD degrees you can find run upwards of $400,000. Also, most cost over $200,000, so it’s important to keep in mind that cheap and affordable are relative terms.

Can I still do concentrations in my joint MBA/JD program?

In some cases, you might still be able to choose concentrations and not have them add any credits to your already full schedule. Those cases are rare. Most of these degrees limit the concentrations you can choose from. In some cases, they actually require specific concentrations in order to complete the degrees on time. In order to achieve the highest levels of efficiency with the credit-sharing curriculum between the two degrees, electives are used for that purpose, where normally electives are used for concentrations. So essentially, in most joint MBA/JD degrees, your MBA concentration will be business law and your JD concentration will be business or corporate law

If I complete my MBA before my JD and decide I don’t want to finish the JD, can I still graduate with my MBA?

It depends on your school. Many of the schools featured here require you to complete both degrees in order to be awarded either of them, once you are enrolled in the joint MBA/JD program. However, there are some schools (LSU is an example) where the degrees are awarded separately. This means if you complete your MBA during the second year of the MBA/JD program, you will be awarded your MBA at that time, and you don’t have to wait another two years. Some students may find this flexibility comforting, while others may find that having to complete both degrees together helps motivate them to fully finish the program.

How am I supposed to pay for such expensive degrees?

Well, there will be some financial aid, but probably not enough to cover the bulk of the costs of taking a JD/MBA program. If you get a good job right out of college, you could spend a few years working and saving up money to help defray the cost. But most students are going to finance their degrees through student loans. One of the great things about the JD/MBA is that even if you don’t become a practicing lawyer, your law education will greatly enhance your value in the business world, and you should be able to get a job that pays well enough to pay off the student loans relatively quickly.

Of course, just because you won’t get as much financial aid doesn’t mean you won’t get any. So make sure you apply to FAFSA early and contact your company’s HR department or benefits manager to see if there is any financial aid for employees who want to go to graduate school.

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GCD Staff
June 2021

This concludes our ranking of the top 10 cheapest MBA/JD programs of 2021.