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Cornell Law School: Joint Degrees

Joint Degrees

As part of a large research university, the Law School is able to offer many avenues for students interested in multidisciplinary academic pursuits.

Cornell University offers numerous academic disciplines and over 4000 courses ranging from professional degree programs in graduate management and public affairs to more than 90 fields of study at the University Graduate School.

The Law School offers formal joint degrees in the following areas:

General Application Procedures


  • Students wishing to pursue a joint degree program at the Law School and another program at Cornell University must apply to each program separately and follow the application procedures of each respective program.
  • Applicants can apply to each program concurrently or apply and be admitted to one program and later apply to the second program the next admissions cycle.
  • Successful applicants to a joint degree program must be admitted to each program.
  • Each academic program reviews applications and renders admissions decisions completely independently of other academic programs at the university.

J.D. and M.B.A. Degrees (Three-Year Program)

Cornell Law School and the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell will offer a program for combining law school education with graduate management training. Students receive both the J.D. and Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degrees in three years, rather than the normal five years.

Applicants must apply and be accepted to both schools, although a joint coordinating committee of the two schools will consider the applications. Also, an applicant may apply to the business school during the first year of law school


Student Schedule:


  • The students' first year is spent entirely in the Law School, totaling 32 credits.
  • The summer after the first year and the entire second year are spent primarily in Johnson. During the second year, students must also take a minimum of 9 credits of Law School course work each semester, which may include courses cross-listed between Johnson and the Law School. Students should expect to take a total of 18 credits for the summer and 30 credits for the second year.
  • Third year is spent mainly in the Law School, taking at least 9 Law School credits per semester. Students should also take one course in Johnson each semester (which can include a cross-listed course). Students should expect to take a total of up to 30 credits or more for the year.


Requirements/Additional Information:

  • Students who apply to enter the three-year JD/MBA program must have a minimum 3.30 grade point average during the fall semester of their first year in the Law School.
  • In total, students must take (i) 20 credits of core courses and 25 credits of elective courses at Johnson and (ii) a minimum of 9 credits per semester and a total of 72 credits at the Law School.
  • As part of the Law School curriculum, students are required to take Business Organizations during the fall or spring semester of the second year. Students must also take Federal Income Taxation in the Law School, which can be during the second or third year.
  • All courses for credit must be taken at either Johnson or the Law School. Students are eligible to graduate with honors at both Johnson and the Law School; the grades used to determine honors will be only those for classes taken at the school granting the honors (cross-listed courses count for both Johnson and the Law School).
  • Students will graduate from the Law School with their entering Law School class. Graduation from Johnson will be at the same time as graduation from the Law School.
  • During the summer after the first year and through the entire second year, students will be registered with and pay tuition to Johnson; financial aid including scholarships and loans will be determined by Johnson during those semesters.
  • During the first and third year, students will be registered with and pay tuition to the Law School; financial aid including scholarships and loans will be determined by the Law School during those semesters. Law School tuition will be calibrated so that it matches the credit-hour cost of the existing 4-year JD/MBA program (i.e., the equivalent of 5 semesters of Law School tuition will be charged during the 4 semesters that the student is registered at the Law School – the first 2 semesters at the normal Law School tuition rates, and the second 2 semesters at 150% of the normal Law School tuition rates).

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J.D. and M.B.A. Degrees (Four-Year Program)

Cornell Law School and the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell offer a program for combining law school education with graduate management training. Students receive both the J.D. and Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degrees in four years, rather than the normal five years. Applicants must apply to, and be accepted by, both schools.


Student Schedule:

  • First year is spent entirely in one school.
  • Second year, entirely in the other school.
  • Third year is divided between the two schools. Requirements for the award of the M.B.A. degree must be completed by the end of the third year.
  • Fourth year is devoted entirely to Law School studies and qualifies student for the J.D. degree.

Requirements/Additional Information:

  • Students in the program must satisfactorily complete 84 credit hours of Law School credit. A student must earn a minimum of 72 of the 84 credit hours in the Law School. During six of the eight terms, a student must register for at least 9 credits in the Law School. In total, a candidate in the program will need a minimum combined total of 117 credits for receipt of both degrees.
  • Students may take up to 12 credits of courses related to legal training taught by members of the university faculty outside the Law School, which may include Management courses, subject in each case to the approval of the Law School's associate dean for academic affairs. As with other joint degree programs offered by the Law School, those particular Management courses may be "double counted" toward the J.D. and M.B.A. degrees.
  • Tuition is paid to the Law School for five semesters and to the Johnson Graduate School of Management for three semesters.
  • Students enrolled in the joint law and management program need take only 86 hours if they wish to pursue the J.D. with the Berger International Legal Studies Specialization, but may not count management courses for the program’s total-hours or course requirements.

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J.D. and M.P.A. Degrees

Cornell Law School and the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) offer a four-year program that leads to a J.D. degree and a Master of Public Administration degree. Applicants must apply to, and be accepted by, both schools.


Student Schedule:

  • First year is spent entirely in one school.
  • Second year, entirely in the other school.
  • Third year and fourth years are spent mostly in the Law School, but students must generally take at least one course each semester to fulfill CIPA requirements.
  • Applicants to the MPA program from the Cornell Law School may apply up to twelve (12) credits from the Law School toward their MPA degree, subject to approval of the Director of Graduate Studies of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA).

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J.D. and M.R.P. Degrees

Cornell Law School and the Department of City and Regional Planning in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning offer a four-year program that leads to a J.D. degree and a Master of Regional Planning (M.R.P.) degree. Applicants must apply to, and be accepted by, both schools.


Student Schedule:


Option 1


  • First year is spent entirely in the Law School.
  • Second and third years are spent in the Law School, but students take one course each semester in the Department of City and Regional Planning.
  • Fourth year is spent entirely in the Department of City and Regional Planning and completes the requirements for an M.R.P. degree.

Option 2


  • First year is spent entirely in Department of City and Regional Planning.
  • Second, third and fourth years are spent in the Law School, but students are required to take certain Law School courses that have a direct bearing on Planning.

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J.D. and M.I.L.R. Degrees (Sequential Degree)

The School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University offers a two-semester program for outstanding Law School graduates that leads to the Master of Industrial and Labor Relations (M.I.L.R.) degree. Both recent graduates and those working in the field of law may apply.

The program provides general coverage of industrial and labor relations and is suitable for those having little prior course work in the field. The M.I.L.R. program is normally completed in four semesters; however, law graduates who enter the special program can complete the program in one year.

An applicant must be a graduate of a school of law and meet the normal requirements for admission to the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. A candidate deficient in preparation in the social sciences is advised to do additional work before entry. Read more about the M.I.L.R. degree.

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J.D. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology Degree

Cornell University’s dual J.D./Ph.D. program in Developmental Psychology and Law will prepare the next generation of scholars who work on the interface between the law, psychology, and human development. Education at the Law School combines inspired teaching with cutting-edge scholarship in a close-knit and collegial intellectual community. Located in the College of Human Ecology, the Department of Human Development provides graduate students with world-class training in the general discipline of psychology, as well as focused training in one or more of its sub-areas of research: cognitive, social-personality, biological, infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. The dual degree will provide Ph.D. students with the legal education that is necessary to conduct research and teach in this field at the highest level, and will provide J.D. students with the research training that is necessary to practice and teach scientifically-based law. Read more about the J.D./Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology degree.

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J.D. and Ph.D. Degrees in Other Fields

The Law School also maintains joint J.D./Ph.D. programs with the Department of Economics and Sage School of Philosophy. As with other joint programs, students are required to be independently accepted by both the Law School and the relevant Ph.D. field.

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