WSU, UI Cooperation Leads to Concurrent Law/MBA Degree

PULLMAN, Wash. — Students will be able to earn a law degree and an MBA,
in as few as seven semesters, thanks to a new cooperative program between
Washington State University and the University of Idaho.

Representatives from the two land-grant universities, located just eight miles
apart on the Washington/Idaho border, have worked for the past year ironing
out details of the agreement. It has been approved by both institutions and will
be up and running for students this fall.

“Our relationship with Washington State University is unique in the country,”
said Neil Franklin, interim dean of the UI College of Law. “To have two state
universities work this closely together is unusual and mutually beneficial. This
concurrent JD/MBA program just strengthens that relationship.”

Val Miskin, director of graduate programs in the WSU College of Business and
Economics, said, “We are excited that students at both universities will be able
to study both business and law concurrently at the graduate level.

“Several U.S. universities that have both law and business in their courses of
study can offer joint degrees, but the new concurrent degree involving two
universities is unique. Graduates of this new program will earn a juris doctorate
degree from the University of Idaho and a master’s of business administration
from Washington State University.”

Applicants to the new program must meet the requirements of, and be
accepted by, both the law school and the graduate business program.
According to the agreement, the UI College of Law will accept up to 12 credits
in specific courses from the WSU College of Business and Economics toward a
law degree — after a student completes his or her first year of law school. The
WSU College of Business and Economics will accept up to nine credits in
specific courses from the UI College of Law toward an MBA.

“The bottom line is that a student can get a JD/MBA in as few as seven
semesters,” Franklin said.

He noted that the agreement also opens the door for development of new joint
course offerings, seminars and even clinical experiences for students. “This
builds the bridge,” Franklin said. “What crosses that bridge is up to our
students and faculty.”

A recent report by a “blue ribbon panel” appointed to evaluate legal education
in Idaho said one strong advantage of the current location of the state’s only
law school in Moscow is the opportunity for interdisciplinary cooperation with
other colleges and universities.

“This new offering is a perfect example of what the panel was supporting,”
Franklin said.

The new concurrent JD/MBA degree is just one of several ways the two
universities work together to promote learning opportunities to constituents in
Washington and Idaho. There are nearly 800 cross-listed courses between
WSU and UI. The two universities also are among the seven university
partners in the Inland Northwest Research Alliance, formed in spring 1999.