Joint degree programs at Akron Law

Akron Law offers joint degree programs in business, applied politics and intellectual property law.

School of Law

Our joint JD/LL.M. in Intellectual Property degree program enables you to obtain two degrees in streamlined fashion. To earn a JD degree, you need to obtain 88 credits.  If you want to focus on intellectual property law, you can earn a master's degree in intellectual property by taking only 12 additional credits (total 100 credits).

School of Law and College of Business

The School of Law and the College of Business offer three dual-degree programs. The programs permit students to transfer courses between the law school and the business school to reduce the total amount of time and credits required to complete both degrees. 

These combined programs offer insight into the business and legal aspects of commerce. A joint degree can help distinguish you from your peers and serve as a springboard for a successful career in a law firm, corporate counsel office, investment firm, accounting firm, nonprofit organization, or governmental institution. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in any field of study are eligible to apply for these programs.

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For starters, tax lawyers report being the most satisfied with their jobs compared to all other practice areas.

Through careful course planning, you can complete a J.D./MBA in four years as opposed to the five years of study normally required when each degree is pursued independently. The J.D./M.Tax joint degree can be completed in three and a half years of full-time study, including summers. Similarly, a full-time student with an undergraduate background in accounting could complete the J.D./M.S.A. joint degree in three and a half years of full-time study.

See details about our joint degrees in business.

The J.D./MBA has given me the ability to provide practical, timely, and business-minded solutions to complex legal problems. The skills I gained have accelerated my career as an in-house attorney.

J.D./MBA ' 18
Associate Legal Counsel Dwellworks, LLC

University of Akron engineering student Rogelio De Las Casas

UA’s College of Business

The College of Business (CoB) is a nationally ranked business school with dual accreditation from the AACSB in both business and accounting. A graduate degree from the CoB is one of the best ways to prepare for the challenges of the global economy, whether you have an undergraduate degree in business or in some other discipline. The graduate business program offers flexible evening classes, a diverse student body, and accessible and expert faculty who focus on student learning and professional development.

Learn more about the College of Business

How to apply for the J.D./MBA, J.D./M.S.A. or J.D./M.Tax

Students interested in pursuing one of these joint degree programs must first apply to and be admitted to the School of Law. Students then apply to the joint business program at the CoB during the spring of their first year of law school.

Students who are admitted into the law program may use their LSAT or GRE scores in place of the GMAT for their CoB application. If a student’s LSAT or GRE score is at an acceptable level, the appropriate graduate admission exam is waived. If the LSAT score is not at an acceptable level, the student may be required to take the GMAT. Students interested in pursuing one of the joint degrees should speak with both the School of Law and the CoB before applying.

School of Law and the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics

The Master of Applied Politics (MAP) program at The University of Akron is one of the few professional master's degree programs in the United States focusing on practical politics and efforts to influence political decisions. This includes winning elections, influencing legislation and strengthening political organizations.

Career opportunities for J.D./MBA, J.D./MTax, and J.D./MPA may include areas such as corporate law, business, academic development, tax accounting, human resources and employment, corporate finance, insurance and risk management, international affairs, trade and investment, or legal practice in government.

How to apply for J.D./MAP:

To pursue this joint degree program, the student must be admitted to the School of Law and the Graduate School for the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics.

Most law students apply for admission to a joint degree program during the summer before the first year of law school or during the fall semester of the first year of law school. In order to apply, the student must fill out a joint degree program application, as well as an application to the graduate department offering the joint degree (here, the Political Science department). 

Students who are admitted into the law program can use their LSAT scores in place of other graduate admission exams for joint degree application purposes. If a student’s LSAT score is at an acceptable level, the appropriate graduate admission exam is waived. If the LSAT score is not at an acceptable level, the student may be required to take the appropriate graduate admission exam. Joint degree students are almost never required to take graduate admission exams apart from the LSAT.


Joint-degree program structure

A joint degree program allows a student to obtain a J.D. and a master’s degree at the same time. Joint degree programs save students time and money due to credit transfer agreements between the law school and the graduate school. The table below summarizes how this works.

Program Degrees pursued separately Degrees pursued jointly
Juris Doctor
Master of Applied Politics
Joint Course
Juris Doctor
Master of Business (Foundations)


Juris Doctor
Master of Science in Accountancy (Foundations)



Juris Doctor
Master in Taxation (Foundations)



The numbers shown in parentheses in the JD/MBA and JD/MTax rows in the table above include the College of Business’s foundations courses (e.g., basic accounting, basic finance, business statistics, marketing, etc.) in addition to the core degree credits. Foundational or gateway courses are required for students who do not have a business background. Students who have a business-related degree (accounting, finance, marketing, etc.) will likely waive out of all of these courses. Students who have not taken these courses but who have practical experience may take exams to attempt to waive out of these courses.

Joint degree mapping documents:

  • JD/LLM
  • JD/MAP
  • JD/MBA
  • JD/MSA

Joint degree programs typically require year-round attendance and add a semester on to the standard J.D. course of study. For example, a full-time student pursuing a joint degree would likely take three and a half years of year-round study to complete both programs, as opposed to three years with summers off for the J.D. program alone.

For full-time students, the law courses for fall and spring semesters of the first year are all required and may not be substituted or changed. Therefore, full-time students may begin taking joint degree courses in the summer term following the first year.

For part-time students, the law courses for fall, spring and summer semesters of the first year and fall and spring semesters of the second year are all required. However, there can be some flexibility with part-time students who are unemployed or only working part-time to enroll in graduate courses beginning the first semester of Law School.

Our joint degree programs are structured to keep students on pace to graduate with the J.D. in the standard amount of time for their chosen program. Returning to the example of the full-time student, that student would finish the J.D. in three years, take the bar exam in July following graduation, and then return to Akron in the fall semester to finish the graduate portion of the joint degree.

In the vast majority of cases, students pursuing a joint degree program begin law school before beginning the graduate school portion of the joint degree. Students may start graduate school prior to law school, but this is not recommended for two reasons. The first reason is that this plan might require a leave of absence from graduate school, especially for full-time law students, in order to complete the core requirements of the J.D. program.

The second reason is that any credits earned prior to matriculation in the J.D. program CAN NEVER be counted toward the J.D. program. For example, if a student were to take 12 credit hours in the MBA program in the spring semester and then start law school the following fall semester, none of these 12 hours would count toward the J.D. program. There is nothing wrong with this, necessarily, but this plan could weaken the credit-transferring benefits that occur as a result of joint enrollment.

Students may not create their own joint degree programs. The only available joint degree programs are the ones listed above. However, students may take up to SIX (6) hours of graded, graduate-level credit in another unit within The University of Akron to count toward the J.D. degree. Students not enrolled in joint degree programs must secure written permission from the Assistant or Associate Dean at the School of Law before enrolling in any graduate courses. 

See all graduate programs offered by UA

Students who already have graduate degrees may still pursue joint degree programs, as long as the joint degree program is different from the graduate degree they have already obtained. For example, if a student who already has an MBA would be permitted to pursue a J.D./MTax. Some of your MBA coursework may count toward the MTax program, but, as stated above, no coursework completed prior to matriculation in the J.D. program will count toward the J.D. program.