JD-Master of Public Health Program
Earning a combined JD-MPH will open doors for you, both as a student and as a professional.
You’ll gain a deep understanding of the interplay between law, health and policy from different angles, increasing your marketability to law firms, hospital networks, insurance companies and government agencies that regulate the delivery of health care.
Issues in health care affect consumers, providers and regulators in different ways. Professionals who understand the law as well as the concerns of these diverse stakeholders can provide the best guidance and direction to employers and clients who operate in this environment.
The JD-MPH program features courses at the Kline School of Law and Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health, earning degrees from both.
Students take their first year of study at the Law School where they complete the standard first-year curriculum. They leave the law school for one academic year to pursue the MPH full-time, and this “leave” can occur after their first or second year of Law. Depending on the pace of coursework they select, students finish the two degrees in either three-and-a-half or four years. Both degrees are awarded simultaneously.
Faculty at both schools include nationally recognized experts in public health and health law. Those at the Law School include scholars specializing in health system structure, health care finance, patient rights, bioethics and patient safety. Those at the Dornsife School of Public Health include scholars specializing in health disparities, public health systems, and health policy. Program Director Robert Field, (JD, MPH, PhD) holds appointments at both schools.
Students concentrate their public health studies in the Department of Health Management and Policy and select a focus on either policy or management. They may choose to complete the Health Law concentration at the Law School, but it is not required.
Applicants to the JD-MPH Program must possess a baccalaureate degree and must meet admission criteria at both schools. These include a satisfactory score on the LSAT or GRE, a superior undergraduate grade point average, personal recommendations and an essay describing their background and career interests.
The Value of a JD-MPH
Viren Doshi, ’16
Health Care Attorney at Stevens & Lee, Philadelphia, Pa.
Completing both a JD and an MPH helped Viren Doshi realize his goal of becoming a health care attorney.
As a student, his commitments to both law and public health helped him get internships in diverse settings: a health care system, an insurance company and a community-based health care center, where he learned to think about health care from different perspectives and to speak the language of health lawyers and health care providers.
Now, Viren works at a law firm where his knowledge of both fields enables him to effectively navigate mergers and acquisitions of health care companies and hospitals as well as smaller physician practices. He understands how regulatory issues affect the institutions his firm represents and how their patients may perceive them.
“I can look at it through a different lens,” he said. “I’m able to get into their minds better and help our clients anticipate and understand the implications for them.”
Pursuing both degrees worked out very well for Viren.
“By the time I graduated,” he said, “I had five different job offers.”
Catherine David, ’16
Associate at Reed Smith, Washington, D.C.
Cate David credits Drexel’s JD-MPH curriculum with giving her knowledge tailor-made for the work she does in Reed Smith’s Life Sciences Health Industry Group.
Professor Robert Field, the program director, infused the program with insights he garnered over decades of experience in law, public health and health care financing and policy, David said.
“His time in practice really shaped this curriculum,” David said.
David gained an immersion in professional practice through co-op placements at Drexel University’s Office of General Counsel, which provides legal services to the College of Medicine, and at Reed Smith.
Now, David is able to dispense meaningful advice to health care providers Reed Smith represents because she understands their desire to bring services to market quickly and cheaply to meet community needs. But she’s just as able to help her clients grasp the legal and regulatory realities that apply.
Earning the dual degree was instrumental in getting the permanent job at Reed Smith, David said, noting that the firm exclusively hires associates with JD-MPHs for its health care practice.
“They’re definitely looking for that joint degree,” she said.