Two of Boston University’s most prestigious professional schools have joined together to offer interested students the option for a  six-year Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Doctor of Law (JD) degree.

The new program, set to begin in fall 2014 will give students the opportunity to earn two degrees in 6 years rather than the 8 years it would normally take. “From the implementation of the  Affordable Care Act to patenting innovations in biotechnology to managing the growing complexities of health care organizations,  the legal and medical fields have become increasingly intertwined,” said B  School of Law Dean Maureen A. O’Rourke. “We want to prepare future leaders who can manage the rapid changes that are happening in these interdisciplinary fields.”

The program is structured so that students can complete the first three years of the medical school’s curriculum, then spend the next two years fully immersed in BU’s School of Law. Lastly, the complete their remaining medical school and law courses requirements in the sixth year of the dual program.

“By collaborating across the University with our outstanding law school colleagues, we have designed an  outstanding comprehensive MDJD programs to prepare students for leadership roles in hospital or health care systems, medical policy or academic administration,” said BU School of Medicine Dean and Medical Campus Provost Karen Antman, MD. To gain acceptance to the program, students must first apply to both the medical school and the law school and be accepted into both  rograms. For more information about the new program, visit www.bu.edu/law/central/jd/programs/dual/medicine.