Student Pursues Joint Online JDi/MBA Program Offered by Whitman, College of Law
I had a decision to make on whether I wanted to stay local and pursue degrees in the Washington D.C. area in-person or do the hybrid law program at Syracuse and get the MBA through the joint program offering. Syracuse seemed like the perfect fit for me.
After graduating from Rowan University in 2014, Brette Cox knew his academic journey was not over. Now, he is halfway through his time at Syracuse University, pursuing a joint MBA through the Whitman School and Juris Doctor (JD) through the College of Law.
Currently living in northern Virginia, Cox enrolled in Syracuse University’s JDInteractive (JDi) program in 2021 after several years of professional experience within the insurance industry. JDi is an accredited online juris doctor option designed for students who want to pursue law school virtually. It combines real-time classes with self-paced instruction, all taught by College of Law professors. Cox says, “It really gives me the flexibility that I need to be successful and continue working full time in a demanding industry.”
However, Cox was looking for more than a law degree. Cox decided that he was interested in pursuing both a law and business degree. He explored various programs to accommodate both of his interests. “I had a decision to make on whether I wanted to stay local and pursue degrees in the Washington D.C. area in-person or do the hybrid law program at Syracuse and get the MBA through the joint program offering. Syracuse seemed like the perfect fit for me,” says Cox of his decision.
The College of Law offers the nation’s first online joint JD/MBA degree in partnership with the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. Before starting the online MBA portion of the joint degree, J.D. students must be separately admitted to the Whitman School, have completed 34 credits of law school courses and meet all defined academic requirements. Students in the joint degree complete a total of 114 credits. Since its inception, Cox has been the first student to participate in the joint program.
The skills that Cox has gained during his time at Syracuse have also given him an upper hand at the current organization where he works a full-time job. For example, Cox says, “This current semester, I’m taking a strategic management course, and I was able to use some of those tools and frameworks to be more knowledgeable at my job and offer better solutions to problems we face.”
Even though Cox pursued his undergraduate entirely in-person, he says there is no lack of student experience through his time pursuing his degrees virtually. The JDi/MBA program has various opportunities for students to visit campus and residency programs in other U.S. cities and even other countries. For example, he was able to visit Sweden in August 2023 for an in-person residency on entrepreneurship coordinated by the Whitman School.
Cox says that although he wishes he had begun pursuing his JDi/MBA sooner, he is grateful for all of the opportunities and resources that the University has provided him. He says, “The quality of the professors, the quality of the materials, my peers in the program, and the class interactions have been excellent on both the MBA and JD side.”
After graduation, Cox hopes to be a valuable employee at his organization who is knowledgeable about the intricacies of laws pertaining to tax and insurance.
“All of the tools that I’m learning throughout these programs are easily applicable today and to whatever is next for me,” he says.
By Charlie Wenig