Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School

Structure of Coursework
Tuition and Financial Aid
Additional Academic Information
Career Resources
Administrative Matters
Contact Information

Harvard Law School (HLS) and Harvard Business School (HBS) offer a joint degree program in law and business. Completion of the program leads to the degrees of Juris Doctor and Master in Business Administration (JD/MBA). The program is designed for students who have the background that will enable them to handle the rigorous and concentrated course of study. It allows students to gain expertise in both the law and general management practices. The program prepares students for careers in which an understanding of both legal and business principles is essential.

Professor Guhan Subramanian is the faculty director of the joint degree program at the Law School.


Prospective students must apply to and be separately admitted to both the Law School and the Business School, each of which will independently review and admit applicants. Questions relating to the admissions process at each school should be addressed directly to the individual admissions offices:

Prospective JD/MBA students may apply to both schools concurrently or they may apply during the first year of study at either the Law School or the Business School.Students interested in applying to either school for matriculation in September should note the Law School deadline is February 1 while the Business School has a rolling admission process (HBS application deadlines). All Law School applicants are required to submit an LSAT score, in accordance with application guidelines. All Business School applicants are required to submit a GMAT or a GRE score.

Structure of Coursework

Students in the program complete the joint degree in four academic years. In the first two years of the program, students are required to enroll for one full year of study at the Law School and for one full year of study at the Business School; either can come first. In the third and fourth years of the program, students are enrolled in, and take courses at, both schools. Both schools have upper level requirements that are described in more detail below.

Course and Credit Requirements

First-Year Program

Law School

The first year at the Law School consists of (1) Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, a 1L International/Comparative Law course, Legislation and Regulation, Problem Solving Workshop, Property, and Torts; (2) First-year Legal Research and Writing; (3) Problem Solving Workshop; and (4) a spring upper-level elective at HLS of a minimum of 2 classroom credits and a maximum of 4 classroom credits.

Business School

The first year at the Business School 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, Field Foundations and Field 2. Term 2 courses: Business, Government and International Economy, Strategy, The Entrepreneurial Manager, Finance II, Leadership and Corporate Accountability, and Field 3.

Upper-Level Program

Students in the joint degree program are enrolled in and take classes at both schools during each of their upper-level semesters of the third and fourth years (with the exception of the Law School Winter Term) of the joint degree program. The requirements for each school and the program are as follows:

Law School

Joint degree students must earn no fewer than 52 additional credits including 36 Law School classroom credits of which no fewer than 18 must be earned in the first year of combined upper-level study. The total number of classroom credits includes the required minimum of two credits to satisfy the Professional Responsibility Requirement, credits from the required winter term (provided that the course chosen offers classroom credits) and credits from the Joint Degree Program Seminar, if applicable. Classroom credits include those connected to courses, seminars and reading groups, but not writing or clinical credits.

In addition, Business School credits equivalent to 10 Law School credits may count toward the total Law School credit requirement. The remaining six required Law School credits may be earned in classroom, writing or clinical courses.

Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 10 total credits each semester in Law School, Business School, or other authorized courses. It is recommended that no fewer than six of these be Law School classroom credits toward the requirement of 36 classroom credits. Students should complete a minimum of 20 total Law School credits each year in order to ensure a balanced program of study.

Students enrolled in the JD/MBA program are permitted to waive one of the winter terms. The remaining Winter Term requirement may be completed through HLS classroom or clinical credits or participation in the Winter Term Writing Program. Further information is available from the Law School Registrar’s Office.

Joint degree students must also complete the HLS of 40 hours of public service and the J.D. Written Work Requirement (see below for more information).

Business School

Joint degree students must enroll in eight three-credit Elective Curriculum courses at HBS during the third and fourth years including: (1) at least 18 classroom credits in total and (2) a minimum of 4.5 and a maximum of 7.5 HBS MBA credits each semester to meet the required 12 total credits per year in each of the third and fourth years. In contrast, traditional MBA candidates must complete 30 credits in the second year Elective Curriculum.

Other Requirements

Joint Degree Program Seminar

Joint degree students must complete the year-long Joint Degree Program Seminar that is taught by Law School and/or Business faculty members and confers two Law School credits. The Joint Degree Program Seminar is held every other year.

J.D. Written Work Requirement

Joint degree students must complete the J.D. Written Work Requirement. Students may satisfy the Requirement through either Option 1 or Option 2.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees

During the first two years, students will pay full tuition at the school in which they are enrolled. During the upper-level years, students will pay tuition equal to the sum of (i) 65% of the then current Law School tuition and (ii) 40% of the Business School tuition paid in the students’ first year at HBS.

In addition to tuition and associated fees, students in the joint degree program are required to pay a $750 annual fee to the Law School during each of the upper-level years of combined study.

Financial Aid

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

Joint degree students should apply for financial aid through the Law School for the first year there and for the fourth year of the program. Students should apply for financial aid through the Business School for the first year there and the third year of the program.

Additional Academic Information

Course Overlaps

Students will not be permitted to enroll in Law School and Business School courses with time overlaps. Students should consider the required travel time between the schools in order to ensure compliance with this policy.

Exam Schedules

Students will be expected to complete all Law School and Business School exams at the times they are scheduled; exceptions are at the sole discretion of each school, in accordance with their respective policies.

Honors Calculations

Grades earned in Business School courses are not included in Law School honors calculations or in the consideration of grade-based Law School prizes. Likewise, no Law School credits or grades are included in the calculation of Business School honors.

Withdrawal from the Joint Degree Program

Once enrolled, a student intending to leave the joint degree program must petition the Law School Administrative Board for permission to leave the program and complete only one of the two degrees. Continuing Law School students must then complete all of any remaining JD requirements in order to earn the JD degree. Continuing Business School students must complete the required number of Elective Curriculum courses for the MBA.

Career Resources

Joint degree students may take full advantage of the career resources available at the Law School during their first year there or similarly may use the MBA career resources when in their first year at the Business School. Students will then have access to career services at both schools when they are in their third and fourth years of the Program. At the Law School, students have 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 the Business School, students have access to the HBS Job Bank, a variety of workshops and recruiting events and individual career coaching by the MBA Career Services Office.

Administrative Matters

Each upper-level semester, students should submit course enrollment information and their completed course information to both the Law School and Business School Registrars.

Students will be assigned mailboxes and remain on student e-mail lists at both schools for the third and fourth years of the joint degree program.

Contact Information

Law School

Admissions: 617-495-3109
Financial Aid Office: 617-495-4606
Low Income Protection Plan: lipp@law.harvard.edu
Program Information: Jessica L. Soban, Assistant Dean and Chief Admissions Officer. (jsoban@law.harvard.edu)

Business School

Admissions: 617-495-6128
Financial Aid Office: 617-495-6272
Program Information: Jill Fadule, HBS Admissions Board Member (jfadule@hbs.edu)