A quality and reputable postgraduate course gives your portfolio of academic qualifications a sharper edge. But what about adding a double-edged programme to boost your career? The JD/MBA Double Degree Programme jointly organised by both the law and business schools of Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) aims to furnish students with both legal and management training.
Juris Doctor is known as JD for short. In Hong Kong it is a postgraduate degree in law which those who already have a non-law undergraduate degree or a law degree from a non-common law jurisdiction are eligible to apply for. Those applying for admission to CUHK’s JD programme must have a degree not normally lower than second-class honours. CUHK is one of three universities in Hong Kong offering a JD programme, whereas its MBA has long been established in the territory. The double degree programme requires three years to complete in a full-time mode, and five years part-time.
The JD/MBA programme is based on what has been offered to students in distinguished foreign institutions. “This JD/MBA is modelled on the arrangements established by top business schools in the United States such as Harvard, Columbia, Yale and others,” says Lawrence Chan, administrative director (marketing and student recruiting) of MBA Programs at CUHK Business School.
The programme also aims to provide students with professional legal and management knowledge in one go. According to Chan, senior executives on the joint course are expected to possess skill sets not only in their own fields of expertise such as marketing and finance, but also in other areas or functions like general management, operational and legal. “Those engaged in legal matters can understand more about the management level,” he adds.
The dual degree programme covers a broad student population and welcomes students from diverse backgrounds such as information technology, banking, finance, business development and human resources.
“All short-listed candidates will be invited to attend an interview with the admissions panel comprising representatives from the law faculty and the MBA Programs. Assessment criteria including working experience, academic achievement, interview performance and GMAT scores are equally important in terms of selection,” Chan says. The majority of the students admitted have generally eight to nine years of working experience.
According to Chan, graduates of the JD/MBA programme have no specific direction concerning their job prospects and do not necessarily embark on a career on the legal profession on completion of the programme, he says. For example, graduates often work as bankers, fund managers and consultants to Big 4 accounting firms.
The rewards of the course are two-fold. Those wish to qualify as lawyers in Hong Kong after the programme can progress to the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL), but only on completion of all the elective courses required for admission to the PCLL after finishing their JD/MBA. Admission to the PCLL is based on academic merit and is incredibly competitive. For aspiring executives, the JD/MBA is recognised by top management for posts such as CFO, COO and CEO. Big projects such as IPOs always involve legal knowledge and the JD/MBA can help its graduates advance to the top, Chan says.
The tuition fee for the entire JD/MBA programme is HK$625,380 (full-time mode) and HK$480,780 (part-time mode).