SU launches first online JD/MBA degree in the nation – The Daily Orange

Posted: January 27, 2020 at 5:49 am


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A cross-discipline degree gives graduates a leg-up in todays ever-changing employment market, Kohn said.

Syracuse University launched the nations first joint online law and business degree, allowing students to earn two degrees at once without attending classes on campus.

SUs College of Law and Martin J. Whitman School of Management offer a juris doctor degree and a masters in business administration through the program. Students earning the joint degree take all required on-campus courses, taught with the same material from in-person classes.

The College of Law currently offers an on-campus joint J.D./MBA with Whitman. The college separately launched an online J.D. program, JDinteractive, in January 2019. After launching JDi, the College of Law discussed offering the joint J.D./MBA online as well.

Once we had an on-campus and online J.D. program and an online MBA program, we had this opportunity to bring them together, said Nina Kohn, director of online education at the College of Law.

Online courses include live sessions in which faculty present lectures in real-time, allowing students to interact with both the professor and their classmates.

Our standards are the same, whether you are in our residential program or our online program, said Kathleen OConnor, associate dean of online education at the College of Law. Its our professors that maintain the rigor in their courses.

Students pursuing the joint degree first apply for an online J.D. After completing a number of JDi courses, they can apply for an online MBA. The MBA applications will open in fall 2020 and will also be available to current JDi students.

Online degrees make graduate-level education accessible to students who are unable to attend on-campus classes for personal and professional reasons, such as military status or caretaking responsibilities, Kohn said. A cross-discipline degree also gives graduates a leg-up in todays ever-changing employment market, she said.

Alexander McKelvie, associate dean for undergraduate and masters education at Whitman, said having a business background is useful for attorneys, especially those looking to start their own private practice or become legal counsels for corporations.

Its really what were trying to achieve as a university, McKelvie said. When you have two separate colleges on campus that are collaborating on a joint program, thats really big.

The online MBA market is just emerging for many schools, McKelvie said. SU was among the earlier players to offer a high-quality online MBA, he said. These courses use interactive tools to keep students engaged, answering questions and reflecting on course material rather than just watching pre-recorded lectures, he said.

Both the JDi and the online MBA programs draw students from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds. Many are returning to their education with some level of professional experience, McKelvie said.

Students pursuing the online J.D./MBA can anticipate challenging coursework, OConnor said. The JDi program underwent a lengthy accreditation process from the American Bar Association to ensure the online curriculum was as rigorous as the on-campus classes.

Im excited for us at the university that were leading an innovative program on the cutting edge of legal education and combining it with an MBA program, OConnor said. We feel confident that we are bringing a very valuable degree and valuable education to these students.

Published on January 26, 2020 at 8:40 pm

Contact Sarah: scalessa@syr.edu

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SU launches first online JD/MBA degree in the nation - The Daily Orange

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January 27th, 2020 at 5:49 am

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