How many credits are required to complete the program?
Successful completion of the Columbia Three-Year J.D./M.B.A. Program requires a minimum of 73 Law School credits and 45 Business School credits. Classes that are cross-listed at both schools count simultaneously toward both sets of credit requirements. Students in the program will need to take a course load of at least 15 credits per semester (instead of the average 13). Students may choose to take an intensive two-and-a-half-week Professional Responsibility course at the Law School during the latter half of August preceding the third year to fulfill part of this course load, although August offerings may change from year to year. Applicants may wish to view a sample plan of study.
Does this program replace the current four-year dual degree program?
The current four-year J.D./M.B.A. program will remain in place for students interested in a broader course curriculum and additional extracurricular activities in both disciplines, and for whom the desire to enter the workforce one year sooner is not a significant factor.
Do I have to take the foundation curriculum at Columbia Law School? The core curriculum at Columbia Business School?
Students in the Columbia Three-Year J.D./M.B.A. Program must fulfill all the requirements of Columbia Law School. This includes completing the first-year foundation curriculum, a professional responsibility course, both major and minor writing requirements, and the pro bono legal work requirement.
While in residence at the Business School, students have the option to “test out” of certain core requirements by taking exemption exams prior to the start of classes. Exempting out of core classes means that students may take an elective in place of those classes; it does not reduce the number of required credits while in residence at the Business School. In addition, since some of the core curriculum requirements at the Business School are cross-listed courses with the Law School, students must replace any exempted cross-listed core course with another cross-listed course.
Am I limited to taking only business law–related courses?
No. In addition to the required business and law curricula, a wide range of elective offerings provides students with the flexibility to choose the courses that most interest them at both the Law School and the Business School.
What might my plan of study look like?
Please refer to the Coursework page for a sample plan of study.
Does the program require participation during the summers?
To maximize students’ career opportunities, and give them time to explore the diversity of the legal and business fields, the Columbia Three-Year J.D./M.B.A. Program is structured so that students can work during both summers of the program. During the summer between years two and three, students may elect to take an intensive two-and-a-half week Professional Responsibility course at the Law School. This course generally meets in the latter half of August—late enough that it may not interfere with a student’s summer work, although August offerings may vary from year to year.
How do I apply?
Students must apply separately to both Columbia Law School and Columbia Business School, and must indicate on their applications that they are interested in applying to the Columbia Three-Year J.D./M.B.A. Program.
Please review the comprehensive application instructions presented in the Admissions section.
Can I apply as a current 2L?
No, because students accepted into the program must spend the entire second year of study as a member of the Business School community. During the second year, students participate in orientation at the Business School, join a cluster of 70 other entering M.B.A.s, and are placed on a learning team to jointly complete core assignments. While 2L students cannot apply to the three-year program, they can apply to the four-year program. Contact the Business School Office of Admissions for more information.
Are services available for career management and job searches?
Both Columbia Law School and Columbia Business School have active career management and professional development offices. Three-Year J.D./M.B.A. students are encouraged to take advantage of both. Each school offers individualized career counseling and a full complement of career-related activities throughout the year, including on-campus recruiting and interview programs. Students also have access to robust career resources such as online job databases and alumni mentoring.
Please review the detailed information provided in the Career Services section.
How much does the program cost?
Tuition for students in the Columbia Three-Year J.D./M.B.A. Program is based on where a student is in residence during a given semester. Students will be charged standard Law School tuition for their first year. In the second year, students will be charged 150 percent of the standard Business School tuition for that academic year, and in the third year they will be charged 150 percent of the standard Law School tuition for that academic year.
Overall, the tuition for the Columbia Three-Year J.D./M.B.A. Program will be approximately the same as for the four-year J.D./M.B.A. program. The major cost benefit to students in the Columbia Three-Year J.D./M.B.A. Program is the opportunity to enter the workforce one year earlier than students who pursue the standard four-year J.D./M.B.A. Program.
Is financial aid available?
At the time prospective students apply (separately) to the Law School and to the Business School, they will also need to submit all the financial aid documents required by each school. Each school’s financial aid office will award financial aid packages separately, and only for the terms in which a student will be in residence at its school. Students in the Columbia Three-Year J.D./M.B.A. Program will have their financial aid managed by the Law School’s Office of Financial Aid during their first and third years, and by the Business School’s Office of Financial Aid during their second year.
What happens to my financial aid if I enter the program during my first year of Law School?
Law students receive a three-year award shortly after admission. That award can be used only when registered at the Law School and will be adjusted for students who enter this program to 83 percent of the original amount. Forty percent of the original amount will be awarded in the first year, and 43 percent of the original amount will be awarded in the third year. Students in the Columbia Three-Year J.D./M.B.A. Program will have their financial aid managed by the Law School’s Office of Financial Aid during their first and third years, and by the Business School’s Office of Financial Aid during their second year. Please see the previous question and answer.
Is on-campus housing available?
Yes. Columbia Law School guarantees housing for three years to students accepted into this program. Once accepted, students will receive information on housing from the Law School. Students who apply for housing by the deadline (May 1) will receive a housing offer, and they may remain in Law School housing for three years.
What if I have further questions?
Please reach out to the Office of Admissions at Columbia Law School or at Columbia Business School. Those offices may put you in touch with Joel Kosman, Director of Academic Counseling and Student Organizations at the Law School, or Vidhi Desai, Assistant Director of Academic Affairs at the Business School. For career-related questions, please contact the Law School’s Office of Career Services or the Business School’s Career Management Center.