Master's Program - Juris Doctor / Master of Public Health (JD/MPH) Joint Degree
The MPH portion of the JD/MPH Joint Degree Program is housed within the Department of Health Policy & Management. The Department offers a joint degree program with the School of Law, the JD/MPH Program in law and health policy. Graduates of this four and ½ - year program receive the Juris Doctor (JD) degree and the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. In pursuing the Graduate School of Public Health portion of the JD/MPH degree, students have the option of selecting between two areas of concentration: 1) health policy & management and 2) public health sciences.
The joint degree was established in recognition of the extensive and increasing connections between law and health services, both public and private, in the United States. In recent years, due to the threat of bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases, the need to balance individual rights and public protection has made public health law an even more vital professional focus for attorneys. The objective of this specialized educational program is to provide graduates with an interdisciplinary background in law, public health science, and health policy, to prepare them to address issues and situations affecting personal and public health. Graduates of this joint-degree program are academically prepared for roles in the public or private sector, advising policymakers, or in the practice of law with private clients, serving as in-house counsel for health organizations and systems, or as attorneys representing state, county, and local health departments.
Students enrolled in the JD/MPH program receive integrated training in law and public health. To be eligible to receive both the JD and MPH degrees individually, students would have to earn a combined credit-hour total of 133 credits (88 for the JD, usually completed in six full-time semesters, and 45 for the MPH, usually completed in three semesters). However, students enrolled in the JD/MPH joint degree program are permitted to apply 12 GSPH credits toward their School of Law credit requirements and may apply 8 School of Law credits toward the 45 credits required at GSPH. Typically, the student completes the first year of law school before registering for courses in public health. Neither degree is granted prior to the fulfillment of all requirements for the joint degree program.
The purpose of this joint degree program is to provide students enrolled in the School of Law the opportunity to complete a tailored MPH degree while completing the JD. Upon completion of this joint program, the graduate will have the academic foundation to pursue a legal career with a specialization in health care or public health law. Specifically, upon completion of the MPH component of this joint degree program, the student will be able to:
- Use the concepts and tools of epidemiology and biostatistics in (1) the analysis of the health status and health care needs of the target community or service population and (2) the development of appropriate public health interventions and/or health services to address those needs
- Understand the other core disciplines of public health (behavioral and community health, environmental and occupational health, epidemiology, human population genetics, and infectious diseases) to enhance decision-making in managing the health of the population or community to which the public health or health care organization is accountable
- Describe the basic structures and processes of the U.S. system of health and medical care
- Apply knowledge of the context and process of health policymaking at the federal and state levels of government in the U.S. in informed policy discussions
- Demonstrate understanding of selected contemporary federal and state health policy issues
- Understand how the legal system interacts with the health care services and public health systems
- Apply legal principles and precedents relevant to health law to the analysis of specific cases
- Understand the basic concepts and tools of financial and managerial accounting and finance as they are relevant to legal and regulatory compliance of the health care or public health organization
- Apply economic theory and tools to better understand the organization and delivery of health care in the U.S.
- Understand the logic of the Medicare administrative pricing system in assessing alternative health financing arrangements