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Juris Doctor and Master of Public Health (JD/MPH)


Emory Law and the Rollins School of Public Health cooperate in a program that enables a student to receive the Juris Doctor and Master of Public Health (JD/MPH) degrees in three-and-a half years rather than the usual five. Candidates for this program apply to each school independently and must meet the criteria for admissions to each school to be admitted to the joint degree program. On admission, students consult with the program director in each school to plan their respective programs. The graduate of the program will be equipped to work either as a public professional having an acute awareness of legal and policy issues or as a lawyer specializing in health care issues or in a public health or quasi-public health setting. For example, a graduate might work for a government or non-government organization developing policy and/or drafting legislation and regulations for food fortification, population planning and control, improving the status of women, protecting the rights of refugees, or other similar domestic or global 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. Because the program is oriented toward the public interest, a graduate working as a lawyer probably would not find him or herself working in a traditional private law firm rather in a public health or health care setting.

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

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

Students are required to complete 79 credit hours for the JD degree and 32 for the MPH degree. Eleven credit hours of electives are waived by Emory Law and 10 are waived by the Rollins School Public Health. While pursuing coursework in the Rollins School, students may choose to concentrate their studies in any of the following departments: Behavioral Science and Health Education, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Global Environmental Health, Global Epidemiology, Global Health, or Health Policy and Management. Students must establish a cumulative grade point average of no less than 2.7 in the Rollins School and 2.25 in the law school. Students must complete all courses prescribed for the JD program, with not fewer than five semesters of residence in the law school. Enrollment in a least two semesters in the Rollins School 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 remain the same for public health applicants. Academic standing in the law school is determined solely on the basis of course work completed in the law school. Candidates should consult the Rollins School of Public Health website for additional requirements applicable to that school.