The Masters of Public Health – Juris Doctorate (MPH-JD) dual degree prepares students to succeed in the dynamic fields of health law and public health policy through acquiring basic skills in the two disciplines, plus learning how the two link together.
To effectively address public health policy problems and influence policymakers, students will develop various skills in the JD portion of the MPH-JD program. Students will gain a concrete understanding of how public health policies are expressed in laws and regulations, develop the ability to analyze the legal environment and carry out public health programs and activities in compliance with legal requirements, comprehend legal ramifications of proposals for health care and social welfare reform, and gain the skills to advocate for sound public health policy. These skills will be gained through courses such as bioethics and law, disability law, Health law and policy, human rights and global economy, and reproductive and sexual rights and health.
Just as law is central to protecting public health, knowledge of public health disciplines are essential to today’s health law practice. The MPH portion of the MPH-JD dual degree program gives students the training they need to understand why and how to use the law to improve the health status of populations through courses such as biostatistics, environmental health, health policy, research methods, epidemiology, health promotion, and global health. Students will also gain knowledge in the social determinants of health and the ever-changing structure of health care delivery in general and emergency settings.
Obtaining a degree in public health, in addition to a law degree, may expand career opportunities in health, medicine, and law. Graduates from MPH-JD dual degree programs can succeed in public policy positions, working with government or nongovernment organization to develop policy and/or draft legislation and regulations for food fortification, population planning and control, improving the status of women, protecting the human rights of refugees, or other similar public health matters. Additionally, MPH-JD dual-degree holders may work as a lawyer specializing in health care delivery, insurance, biotechnology, human rights; general counsel in a public or private hospital; or serve as experts within think tanks, devising appropriate legal responses to public health challenges.