Yale has announced the launching of a new program that will enable students to complete a J.D. and MBA in just three years. Although similar joint-degree programs usually take four years to complete, the new program will be spread over six semesters. Students in the program will spend their first and third years at the law school and the second year at the business school, enabling them to graduate at the same time as their J.D. counterparts.
Northwestern and Penn both offer three-year, combined MBA-JD programs, however those programs require summer classes that preclude summer internships. The Yale program does not require summer classes and participants in Yale's program will have two free summers so they can work in one or both of their chosen fields.
Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh explains that the accelerated program, “Will prepare students for the increasingly complex intersection of business and law. Students will master analytical and quantitative skills that will be of value for a business law-related practice but also more broadly for careers as entrepreneurs and managers in business and non-profit organizations.”
It will be interesting to see how Yale squeezes what is most commonly completed in five years (when studied separately) into three years. If successful, one has to ask why does the JD and the MBA typically require three and two years respectively.