Dual JD/Master of Public Health (MPH)

Boston University offers highly motivated students a unique opportunity to combine professional training in law and public health through this dual degree program offered by the School of Law (LAW) and the School of Public Health (SPH). Candidates must be accepted to both schools. Successful candidates receive both the Juris Doctor (JD) and a Master of Public Health (MPH). Student must successfully meet the requirements of both programs.

Graduates of the JD/MPH program enter careers in federal and state government agencies and legislative offices, private law practices, universities, hospitals, insurers, biotechnology companies, and nonprofit organizations.

Program Requirements

Master of Public Health

The MPH is a 48-credit degree. JD/MPH students must complete a minimum of 40 credits in residence at SPH and 8 credits are completed at LAW. All courses completed in residence at SPH and counted to the MPH portion of the JD/MPH must be numbered SPH XX 700 and above. No courses taken outside of the School of Public Health will count toward the MPH, including courses taken at other Boston University schools and colleges.

Foundations of Public Health

Effective public health requires expertise from many disciplines, and students need to have a broad foundation of knowledge across these diverse disciplines in order to collaborate effectively with other health professionals.

SPH PH 700 Foundations of Public Health (0 credits) is an online course designed to provide students with foundational knowledge in the profession and science of public health and factors related to public health. PH 700 meets the foundational knowledge criteria (as outlined by CEPH) for all SPH students.

SPH Core Courses

  • SPH PH 717 Quantitative Methods of Public Health (4 cr)
  • SPH PH 718 Leadership and Management (4 cr)
  • SPH PH 720 Individual, Community, and Population Health (4 cr)

JD/MPH students are waived from SPH PH 719 Health Systems, Law, and Policy upon successful completion of JD 856 Health Law. Students must adhere to the SPH grading policy for their MPH coursework.

MPH Certificate & Elective Courses

JD/MPH students complete one functional area certificate as their interdisciplinary, professional skills base (16 credits):

  • Health Policy and Law

All JD/MPH students must successfully complete SPH LW 850 in addition to their certificate requirements. This course cannot be double-counted to the Health Policy and Law certificate requirements.

JD/MPH students earn 8 credits toward the MPH by completing courses required for their JD from the following list. Note that this list changes each year to reflect new course offerings, and not all courses and seminars are offered each year:

  • JD 717 Health Law Research
  • JD 784 Legislation Clinic/Health & Environmental (subject to prior approval of health-related topic)
  • JD 795 Globalization & Health
  • JD 796 Global Climate Change
  • JD 801 Administrative Law
  • JD 802 Food and Drug Law
  • JD 833 Environmental Law: Basic
  • JD 844 Nonprofit Organizations
  • D 910 Medical Research and the Law
  • JD 924 Legal Externship/Legal Ethics (subject to prior approval of health-related topic)
  • JD 933 Biotechnology Law and Ethics
  • JD 954 Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights (taught as LW 840 at SPH)
  • JD 962 Forensic Mental Health Issues
  • JD 975 War on Drugs
  • JD 977 Health Care Reform and the Constitution
  • JD 998 Health Care Transactions

MPH students have the option to also complete a context certificate (focused on key populations or areas of interest in public health, 12 credits) or additional functional certificate (16 credits). It is anticipated that JD/MPH students would not complete a second certificate, unless they wish to extend their public health credit hours.

Professional Development and Practical Experience

  • SPH PH 746 Career PREP (0 cr)
  • SPH LW 951 Directed Studies in Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights (4 cr)
  • SPH PH 845 Integrated Learning Experience (0 cr)