Curriculum Overview

The JD/MBA is a four-year program that offers the core curricula of the HBS MBA and HLS JD with a wide range of elective options at both schools. In the first two years of the program, students complete the first-year core curricula at HLS and at HBS in the order they choose. In the third and fourth years, students complete elective courses at both schools. All students participate in a year-long Joint Degree Program Seminar taught by HLS and/or HBS faculty in either Year 3 or Year 4.

The typical candidate is expected to follow the sample schedule outlined below. Joint degree students must also complete the Professional Responsibility Requirement, the HLS Pro Bono Requirement of 40 hours of public service, and the JD Written Work Requirement.


Prospective students interested in the JD/MBA joint degree program apply to HLS and HBS separately and must be admitted independently by each. HBS applicants interested in the joint degree program can apply in either of the two rounds of admission. All HLS applicants interested in the joint degree program must apply by February 1.

Prospective JD/MBA students may apply to both schools concurrently, or apply during the first year of study at either HLS or HBS.

Financial Aid

Joint degree students will apply for financial aid at HLS for the first year there and for the fourth year of the joint program. Students will apply for financial aid at HBS for the first year there and for the third year of the joint program.

Students in the joint degree program will be limited to a total of four years of financial aid from HLS and HBS toward the JD/MBA degree.

Students should consult with financial aid officers at both schools before enrolling in the program.

Student budgets are available for the HBS and for HLS.


What are the benefits of the JD/MBA program?

The JD/MBA program is designed to provide valuable training and knowledge for careers where expertise in both law and business is essential. For example, business lawyers benefit greatly from an in-depth understanding of the management and financial challenges faced by corporations, start-ups and nonprofits. Business executives find that an understanding of the law enhances their ability to evaluate risk, make strategic decisions, and conduct day-to-day operations.

How is the program structured?

During Years 1 and 2, students complete the core first-year curricula at both HLS and HBS; either may come first. During Years 3 and 4, students take elective courses at both schools and must also participate in a Joint Degree Program Seminar taught by HLS and HBS faculty during one of these years.

How do I apply for the joint degree program?

The application process is summarized on the MBA Admissions and JD Admissions pages.

Are there advantages to starting the JD/MBA program at one school or the other?

For the most part, your experience in the JD/MBA program will not be greatly affected by your choice of school for the first year. However, if you start at HBS, you will graduate with your HLS class at the end of the four-year program.

What are the core course requirements at both schools during the first two years?

HLS: The first year at HLS consists of (1) courses in Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, Property, Torts, Contracts, International or Comparative Law, and the Problem-Solving Workshop; (2) First-year Legal Research and Writing; and (3) a spring elective course of a minimum of two and a maximum of four HLS classroom credits.

HBS: The first year at HBS consists of the Required Curriculum with the year divided into two terms. Term 1 courses: Finance 1; Financial Reporting and Control; Leadership and Organizational Behavior; Marketing; and Technology and Operations Management. Term 2 courses: Business, Government and International Economy; Strategy; The Entrepreneurial Manager; Finance II; and Leadership and Corporate Accountability. FIELD Immersion takes place in the spring term, at the end of which students travel to their immersion location to develop a new product or service for partner organizations.

How do JD/MBA students typically spend their summers?

One of the benefits of the JD/MBA program is that students have an extra summer to spend exploring career options. JD/MBA students, after their first year at HLS, will typically work either at a law firm or at a law-related public interest employer. After their first year at HBS, students often spend the summer in a business-related job, either in a for-profit or nonprofit company. After the third year in the program, students choose from a variety of legal and business summer internship opportunities.

What career advising resources are available to JD/MBA students?

During the first two years of the program, JD/MBA students typically make use of the career offices at the school they are attending. At HLS, that includes access to printed and online resources, information sessions and workshops, as well as advising by both the Office of Career Services (OCS) and the Office of Public Interest Advising (OPIA). At HBS, students have access to career resources such as the HBS recruiting platform, a variety of workshops and recruiting events, and individual career coaching by MBA Career & Professional Development. For employment during the third summer, students choose whether they want to take advantage of the HLS on-campus interviewing process (OCI), OPIA job search resources, or HBS resources.

What types of careers have Harvard JD/MBAs pursued after graduation?

Harvard JD/MBA alumni have chosen careers in politics, academia, international development, domestic and international business, and in-house corporate practice.