MPH requirements in the joint degree programs

The course of study for the standalone MPH degree, in one of several focus areas, consists of 45 credits, including a supervised practicum. In the dual degree programs with the Law School, the Milken Institute School of Public Health (GWSPH) accepts 8 Law School credits toward completion of the MPH degree. Therefore, Juris doctor (JD) and master of laws (LLM) students in the dual program complete only 37 credits of coursework through GWSPH to obtain an MPH degree.

Depending upon the focus area in which a JD student chooses to study, as a rule, the joint degree can be earned 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 will have longer courses of study.

Graduate certificate requirements in the joint program

The course of study for the standalone graduate certificate in health policy requires a total of 18 credits. In the dual program, 6 credits taken in the JD or LLM curriculum may be counted toward graduate certificate requirements. This allows law students to complete the certificate program by taking only 12 credits in GWSPH coursework.

The graduate certificate in public health—a generalist certificate—requires 15 credits as a standalone program. In the dual program, 2 credits taken in the JD or LLM curriculum may be used to replace in the certificate curriculum. This allows law students to complete the certificate program by taking only 13 credits in GWSPH coursework.

As degrees in joint programs are awarded simultaneously, requirements for both programs must be met before either degree is awarded.


Applicants to joint programs may apply for admission to Milken Institute 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.

Milken Institute SPH and Law School applicants may apply online. Applicants must complete the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS) application as indicated at the Milken SPH Graduate Admissions website, whether applying simultaneously to both schools or as a current GW Law student.