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JD/MPH Agreement with the School of Medicine

  1. Overview
    1. The JD/Masters in Public Health (MPH) is a joint degree program sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Graduate Program in Public Health Studies (GPPHS) at the University of Pennsylvania. The aim of the joint degree program is to train leaders in the field of public health law.
    2. Students will have the opportunity to earn both degrees in four years (more on the sequencing of these years follows, below).
    3. This program is intended to:
      1. Provide valuable tools for state and local health departments and state, local, national and international policy makers.
      2. Expand the range of frameworks applicable to decision making in public health policy, health law and to the practice of law, public health, or a related field.
      3. Develop new tools and strategies applicable to emerging areas of prevention and disease control.
      4. Stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration in research planning and implementation.

 

  1. Application Process
    1. Students will apply independently to each department through each program's specified admission process. The Law School and the Penn MPH Program will make independent judgments about each candidate.
      1. While the Law School and the Penn MPH Program will make independent admissions decisions, each application will invite the student to indicate that they have applied, or been admitted, to the other program.
    2. Applicants will have three options as to applying for the joint degree program:
      1. They may make contemporaneous applications to both programs prior to being accepted at either,
      2. They may apply to the MPH program in the first or second year of the Law program, or
      3. They may apply to the Law program in the first year of the MPH program.

 

  1. Degree Completion Requirements
    1. In order for a student to receive both degrees, he or she must complete the independent degree requirements
      1. For Law
        1. For the JD class of 2013 and beyond students must complete a minimum of 86 credits, 52 hours of which must be advanced credit completed in the second and third years of Law study. Students in the joint program may apply twelve semester hours (four courses)[1] taken in the MPH program or elsewhere in the University while in their 2L and 3L years of the Law program toward that requirement, reducing their upper level credit requirement to 40 credits. These four courses are the total number of non-Law courses that a Law student can take in other departments of the University. Law students enrolled in the MPH program are not eligible to participate in Study Abroad Programs.
        2. Students must also satisfy the Law School's pro bono requirement via the Public Service Program and fulfill senior writing and professional responsibility requirements (more on these requirements can be found in the Law Student Guide to Policy and Procedures).
      2. For the MPH program
        1. Students must complete 16 course units for the Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree. Of these, 8 cu are core requirements and must be taken in the MPH Program; 6 cu are electives and may be taken from the university-wide pool of public health related courses.
        2. Students are also required to complete a 2 cu Capstone experience. The Capstone experience is an integrating experience required for graduation for students in the Master's Program in Public Health. The Capstone course combines a seminar with a supervised research or service project that involves 108 hours of field experience in public health. To meet the requirements of the Capstone, the student must participate in seminars, complete an oral presentation of their project and submit a written project report.
        3. Students may satisfy the elective requirements via public health related courses offered in the Law School. Electives must be approved in advance by the MPH Program Advisor.
      3. Combining non-course requirements from both programs
        1. Students may combine the Law School's senior writing requirement and public service requirement with the Public Health Capstone requirement, with prior written approval of and ongoing supervision by a Law faculty member (for senior writing) and the Assistant Dean for Public Interest (for the public service requirement) and the Program Advisor and the Capstone Supervisor from the MPH Program. It is anticipated that this approval will be granted by the Law School if the proposed project is at least in part an examination of legal issues and of the requisite quality and nature to satisfy Law School expectations and requirements.

 

  1. Program Sequencing
    1. The joint degree can be earned in one of three sequences:
      1. Year 1 spent at the Law School, completing the standard and required 1L curriculum, Year 2 spent at MPH Program, completing the standard first year MPH curriculum, Years 3 and 4 spent in residence[2] at the Law School but taking courses in both Law and in MPH, or
      2. Year 1 spent at MPH Program, completing the standard first year MPH curriculum, Year 2 at the Law School, completing the standard and required 1L curriculum, Years 3 and 4 spent in residence at the Law School but taking courses in both Law and in MPH, or
      3. Year 1 spent at the Law School, completing the standard and required 1L curriculum, Year 2 spent at the Law School, taking upper level JD courses, Year 3 spent at MPH Program, completing the standard first year MPH curriculum, and Year 4 spent in residence at the Law School but taking courses in both Law and MPH.
        1. Option (iii) is the least desirable, as it leaves only one year for students to take joint programming in both departments.

 

  1. Tuition and Financial Aid
    1. Law School tuition is paid when the student is enrolled and in residence at the Law School and MPH tuition is paid in the year when the student is enrolled at in residence at MPH.
    2. While the student is in residence at the Law School, the Law School transfers tuition to MPH for up to four courses taken at MPH toward the completion of the joint degree.
      1. The Law School will not be responsible for courses taken in MPH over and above the four courses that are counted toward the JD degree.
      2. The Law School will not be responsible for any tuition or fees incurred for courses taken during the summer months.
    3. Financial aid decisions are made independently by each school. Financial aid decisions are typically made by the school in which the student is in residence for that year.

 

  1. Scheduling Courses
    1. Students register for courses in one program in that program's registration period and according to that program's registration rules and procedures.
    2. Students must be aware of the differences in these procedures:
      1. For the fall semester, the two programs pre-register at different times and using different systems: the MPH course schedule is published and students pre-register in the spring, while the Law course schedule is published and students pre-register in the summer.
      2. Accordingly, students taking courses in both departments in a fall semester will have to pre-register for MPH courses without knowledge of the Law courses being offered.
      3. Oftentimes, students are able to resolve any issues which arise due to the registration differences during the drop/add period.
    3. The timing and location of course scheduling must also be considered so that students are best able to attend all classes.

 

  1. Communication Issues
    1. Students with questions about the JD/MPH program can address them to the following persons:
      1. Prospective students with questions about the JD program: Law School Office of Admissions, contactadmissions@law.upenn.edu
      2. Currently enrolled JD/MPH students with questions about Law course selection, scheduling, tuition concerns, etc.:  Gary Clinton, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, gclinton@law.upenn.edu
      3. Currently enrolled JD/MPH students with questions about financial aid:  Anthony Henry, Director of Financial Aid, henry2@law.upenn.edu and Nam Narain of the MPH Program Finance Office, narain@mail.med.upenn.edu
      4. Questions about the MPH program: Prospective students with question about the MPH Program:  Jackie McLaughlin, Associate Director of the MPH Program, jmclaugh@mail.med.upenn.edu
      5. Currently enrolled JD/MPH students with questions about MPH course selection, scheduling, tuition concerns, etc:  Jackie McLaughlin, Associate Director of the MPH Program, jmclaugh@mail.med.upenn.ed
    2. Each year, this document will be reviewed and re-approved by representatives of both departments. Currently, that review will be handled by:
      1. For the Law School:  Jo-Ann Verrier, Vice Dean for Administrative Services
      2. For MPH: Margaret Cotroneo, Co-director, MPH Program

 

  1. Issues Particular to the Program
    1. Students in the joint degree program may have particular career interests and goals. They are encouraged to meet individually with a counselor in the Career Planning & Placement Office at the Law School and with their assigned program advisor in the MPH Program or with Dr. Shiriki Kumanyika, Director of the MPH Program.

 

Adopted, Penn Law Faculty, December 19, 2004
Adopted, Penn Graduate Program in Public Health Studies, December 19, 2004

Administrative Update, Law and Public Health, Oc

[1] A note on classes and credits: the Law School operates, in order to comply with accreditation standards, on a semester hour basis, while courses in the MES program are typically worth 1.0 course units (some ½ semester courses may be worth 0.5 course units). In converting between the two programs, a Law course will count as 1.0 course units (or c.u.) in the MES program, and a 1 c.u. course in MES will be worth three semester hours at the Law School.

[2] Law School accreditation requirements require that JD recipients be "in residence" at the Law School for six semesters.