Joint Master of Public Health and Juris Doctor or Master of Laws Degree Programs and Joint Graduate Public Health Certificate and Juris Doctor or Master of Law Programs

Program Contact  J. Teitelbaum

The Milken Institute of School of Public Health (SPH), through its Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program, cooperates with the Law School to offer public health and law students multiple programs that foster an interdisciplinary approach to the study of health policy, health law, public health, and health care. Available joint programs include the master of public health (MPH) and juris doctor (JD); MPH and master of laws (LLM); and JD or LLM and SPH certificate in offered various subject areas. LLM students may be enrolled in either the general or environmental law program at the Law School.

Application of credits between programs

For the JD/MPH, 8 JD credits are applied toward the MPH and up to 12 MPH credits may be applied toward the JD. For the LLM/MPH, 8 LLM credits are applied toward the MPH and up to 6 MPH credits may be applied toward the LLM. For the JD or LLM/SPH certificate programs, each school allows 6 credits to be applied toward the other’s program.


Applicants to joint programs may apply for admission to SPH at the same time they apply to the Law School or after admission to the Law School.  JD candidates who do not apply to both schools simultaneously are encouraged to apply for the MPH degree or certificate program by the end of March of their first year of law school.  LLM candidates are encouraged to apply to SPH when they apply to the Law School or during their first semester of study.

Applicants to a joint program must complete the application processes for both the Law School (JD or LLM degree) and for the School of Public Health (MPH degree or certificate).  Admission to the joint degree program requires admission to both schools. However, because admission to each school is separate and distinct, applicants who are accepted by one school but not the other are free to enroll in the school to which they have been accepted.

SPH and Law School applicants may apply online. Applicants must complete the SOPHAS application as indicated at the SPH admissions site, whether applying simultaneously to both schools or as a current GW Law student.

Program Costs

SPH coursework taken while enrolled as a full- or part-time law student is charged at the Law School tuition rate. The SPH tuition rate and fees  are charged for semesters when no Law School courses are taken, including summer sessions. 

Visit the Hirsh Program website for additional information.

MPH Requirements

The course of study for the MPH degree consists of 45 credits in one of several focus areas, including a supervised practicum. Because the Milken Institute SPH accepts 8 Law School credits toward completion of the MPH degree, juris doctor (JD) and master of laws (LLM) students need only complete 37 credits of coursework through SPH to obtain an MPH degree.

Depending upon the focus area in which a JD student chooses to study, the joint degree can be earned, as a general rule, in three-and-a-half or four years of full-time study, including summer enrollment. JD candidates selecting joint degree studies in one of the more science-oriented areas, such as epidemiology or biostatistics, should anticipate a four-year course of study. Candidates selecting a less scientific area, such as health policy or health management, can expect to complete their joint degrees in three-and-a-half years. Full-time LLM/MPH candidates should anticipate completing the joint degree in approximately two years. Part-time JD and LLM candidates pursuing joint degrees, of course, have longer courses of study.

Certificate Requirements

The course of study for the graduate certificate consists of 18 credits in one of several focus areas. However, because the Milken Institute SPH accepts 6 Law School credits toward completion of the certificate program, JD and LLM students need only complete 12 credits of coursework through the SPH to obtain a graduate certificate in public health. Upon an individual's subsequent acceptance to the MPH degree program, credits from the graduate certificate may be transferred to the MPH degree program. Full-time JD candidates can complete a graduate certificate during their regular course of study in the Law School. Full-time LLM/certificate candidates typically complete the program in one-and-a-half years.