RWU to offer R.I.’s first joint law, business degree program

ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY CONFIRMED TUESDAY it will commence a land-use-based master plan in the next year. / COURTESY ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY
ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY says it will launch a joint academic program that will allow students to obtain a law degree and a Master of Business Administration in four years. / COURTESY ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY

BRISTOL – Roger Williams University will become the only school in Rhode Island to offer a joint degree program in law and business next fall.

The program, a collaboration of RWU’s School of Law and the Mario J. Gabelli School of Business, will allow participants to obtain a Juris Doctor and a Master of Business Administration in four years instead of five.

RWU is inviting students to apply now for the program, which is expected to launch in the fall.

“This is another example of the way in which our powerful collection of professional programs collaborate to provide our students with the skills to succeed in the rapidly changing workplace,” RWU Interim President Andy Workman said in a news release. “RWU, with the only law school in Rhode Island, is uniquely placed to provide graduates with both legal and business expertise to the cutting edge employers building the new economy of our state.”

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Susan McTiernan, dean of the business school, said the joint program will provide its graduates “boundless opportunities in the many satisfying careers that intersect these two fields and demand expertise in them.”

“Employers have told us that young lawyers can distinguish themselves if they understand how the business clients they represent operate, and we have responded to that market demand…,” said Michael J. Yelnosky, dean of RWU School of Law.

While the joint degree program in law and business will be a first in Rhode Island, numerous other schools in New England and nationwide have such programs.

William Hamilton is a PBN staff writer. Email him at

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