Dual MPH-JD Program – Public Health Major, Health Policy and Management concentration
The College of Law and the Department of Public Health (College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences) offer a dual-degree program that reflects the interrelationship between the legal system and the protection and promotion of the public’s health. In particular, the program emphasizes the role that policy, public and private, plays in creating the conditions in which people can be healthy.
Typically, the Juris Doctor (JD) degree requires a minimum of 89 semester credit hours and is completed in three years of full-time study. The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree requires 42 semester credit hours and can be completed in two to three years, depending on full-time or part-time study. The dual-degree program offers students the opportunity to pursue both degrees simultaneously and to complete all requirements in four years, rather than in the longer period required to obtain each degree independently. Students pursuing the dual degree should plan to be enrolled in course work or an internship for 1-3 summer terms in addition to taking normal course loads for four academic years.
By combining the programs, students develop specialized knowledge in public health-related legal issues while retaining the flexibility of professional training in the broad disciplines of law and public health. For example, a graduate of the dual-degree program may work as a public health professional with an acute awareness of legal and policy issues, while another may work as an attorney focusing his or her practice on health care issues. Yet others may go on to teach at schools of law or public health.
The Health Policy and Management (HPM) concentration of the Public Health Major, MPH degree provides students with the skills necessary to manage an array of human, capital, and material resources and to provide leadership within a guiding framework of established organizational goals to achieve positive outcomes related to health. In addition, HPM students develop the ability to understand policy formulation and policy impacts, a necessary skill for health managers and policy planners seeking to address important issues, such as access to care, quality improvement and assurance, cost containment, and partnerships with others to improve the health of the public.
To be admitted to the dual-degree program, an applicant must have received a baccalaureate-level degree. The applicant must also apply and be admitted separately to the College of Law, the Graduate School, and the MPH Program.
For purposes of admission to the JD-MPH dual-degree program, the applicant only needs to take the LSAT (Law School Admission Test), but must submit the test scores to the College of Law, the Graduate School, and the MPH Program. Applicants are welcome to submit their GRE scores if they so wish.
- All students are expected to be full-time students. A student may not work in excess of 20 hours per week while attending school on a full-time basis.
- Students are required to complete a minimum of 89 semester credit hours for the JD degree and 42 semester credit hours for the MPH degree.
- During the first year of study, students will be solely enrolled in the prescribed curriculum for the College of Law.
- The College of Law will accept nine credit hours from approved Public Health courses as electives and the Department of Public Health will accept six credit hours from approved Law courses as electives.
- The required MPH Field Practice requirement (PUBH 587 , PUBH 588 ) may be fulfilled by placement in an approved legal or community organization.
- Students are required to pass a MPH comprehensive exam.
Dual degree students who withdraw from the program before completion of the requirements for both degrees will not receive credit toward either the JD or the MPH for courses taken in the other program, except as such courses qualify for credit without regard to the dual-degree program.
Law Courses Approved as Electives for the MPH Degree
Students must plan carefully when selecting electives that count toward the MPH degree (a total of six credit hours), as these electives may not be offered every year. Additional electives may also be selected with approval of the College of Law advisor and the MPH Program Director.
Awarding of Grades
For grade recording purposes in the College of Law and the Department of Public Health, grades awarded in courses in the other unit will be converted to either Satisfactory/No Credit and will not be computed in determining a student’s GPA or class standing. The College of Law will award a grade of Satisfactory for an approved Public Health course in which the student earns a grade of B or higher and a grade of No Credit for any lower grade. The Public Health Department will award a grade of Satisfactory for an approved law course in which the student earns a grade of 2.7 or higher on a 4.3 scale and a grade of No Credit for any lower grade. The official academic record of the student maintained by the Office of the University Registrar shall show the actual grade assigned by the instructor without conversion.
Different rules apply to students enrolled in the dual JD-MPH, JD-MBA, or JD-MPA Programs. Grades must be earned according to the grading system of the respective college, e.g. numerical grades for law courses but letter grades for graduate courses. Refer to the grading policy of the College of Law and the Department of Public Health, respectively, for the grading scale acceptable toward meeting degree requirements. Cumulative GPA for law courses only will be carried until graduation, at which time both graduate and law cumulative GPAs will be shown on the student’s permanent record.