JD/MPH: Law and Public Health

The Rollins School of Public Health offers dual-degree programs with the business school, the medical school, the nursing school, and the law school. Those in the dual-degree program are required to enroll in the RSPH (i.e. to register in the university as a student in the school of public health) for no fewer than 30-32 hours, depending on the requirements of the degree program. Detailed descriptions of each program are available on request from the school. Dual degree students should note that they will be required to pay tuition in an amount equivalent to the cost of 30 credit hours. (The cost of the MPH portion of the degree.)

This program offers students the opportunity to pursue JD and MPH degrees simultaneously. By combining the programs, students are able to develop a special expertise in public health-related legal issues.

The graduate of the dual-degree program will be equipped to work either as a public health professional having an acute awareness of legal and policy issues or as a lawyer specializing in health care issues who may practice law in a public health or quasi-public health setting. For example, a graduate might work for a government or nongovernment organization developing policy and/or drafting legislation and regulations for food fortification, population planning and control, improving the status of women, protecting the human rights of refugees, or other similar domestic or global public health matters. Alternatively, the graduate might work as a lawyer specializing in protecting the rights of disabled individuals, as general counsel in a public or private hospital, as a lawyer or legal adviser for a state or federal public health agency, or in a similar capacity.

Persons possessing the knowledge and skills that flow from the dual degree will have:

  1. a special ability to solve public health problems using legal tools;
  2. a concrete understanding of how public health policies are expressed in laws and regulations;
  3. an ability to analyze the legal environment and carry out public health programs and activities in compliance with legal requirements;
  4. special skills to advocate for sound public health policy; and
  5. the ability to comprehend the legal ramifications of proposals for health care and social welfare reform.

As is evident from the above descriptions, a graduate of the dual-degree program will have a unique ability to deal with policy issues related to public health.

Students are required to complete seventy-nine credit hours for the JD degree and thirty-two credit hours for the MPH degree. Students must enroll for a minimum of thirty-two hours while in residency in the School of Public Health. Eleven credit hours of electives are waived by the School of Law and ten credit hours of electives are waived by the RSPH. While pursuing course work in the RSPH, students will concentrate in the Department of Health Policy and Management, the Department of International Health, or the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. Students must establish a cumulative grade point average of not less than a 2.7 in the RSPH and a 2.25 in the School of Law.

Students must complete all courses prescribed for the JD program, with not fewer than five semesters of residence in the School of Law. Enrollment in at least two semesters in the RSPH is also required. Candidates for the JD/MPH program must apply separately to each school. LSAT scores may be substituted for GRE scores as part of the public health application. Other evaluation criteria remains the same for public health applicants.

Emory University School of Law Admissions

Rollins School of Public Health Admissions    sphadmissions@emory.edu