Jun 12, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2022-2023 Graduate Studies Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Public Health (MPH), Joint-Degree Program

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Professor Dolgin, Program Co-Director, 516-463-5873
Associate Professor Hackett, Program Co-Director, 516-463-6517

The JD/MPH program is a joint degree program offered jointly by the Maurice A. Deane School of Law and the School of Health Professions and Human Services . As legal and policy changes increasingly become important tools to improve the health of the public, students in the JD/MPH program will become familiar with the links between law and the delivery of health care, and will focus on issues related to population health.

Public health is an interdisciplinary field that seeks to prevent injuries, illness and premature death, promote health and wellness, and prolong life, at the group, community, and population levels. The MPH degree enables students to understand and apply public health theory and research methods for the purposes of improving community and population health. For Hofstra Law students interested in such career choices, the MPH will give them the training they need to understand why — as well as how — to use the law to improve the health status of populations. The mission of Hofstra University’s Master of Public Health program is to educate engaged, committed, socially aware, culturally competent, ethical public health researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to meet society’s needs to prevent and ameliorate public health problems locally, nationally and globally. Upon completion of the MPH portion of the dual degree program, students will have attained:

  • Expertise in biostatistics, environmental health, health policy and epidemiology (and other areas of public health knowledge).
  • Skills in administration, research methods and analysis related to public health, in addition to the training that they receive in the Law School.
  • Knowledge about the spread of disease, the social determinants of health and the changing structure of health care delivery in general and in emergency settings.

Hofstra’s Master of Public Health (MPH) offers an innovative curriculum and advanced training for the next generation of public health professionals. Drawing on the expertise and resources of Hofstra’s Programs in Health Professions, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the Northwell Health System, the program’s interdisciplinary approach recognizes the contributions of other disciplines, including business, economics, education, law, political science, psychology, public administration and sociology. In addition, program faculty emphasize the interconnectedness of public health and clinical medicine and provide a solid foundation in core skills, such as assessment and research, program planning, evaluation and policy development.

Lawyers trained in public health:

  • Can succeed in public policy positions, working with government agencies or various advocacy organizations.
  • May work in law firms (within health law practices) or as counsel for organizations involved in health care delivery.
  • May serve as experts within think tanks, devising appropriate legal responses to public health challenges.

The MPH program teaches students how to conduct quality health research, participate in essential community service initiatives, and effectively communicate and disseminate public health research to change behavior and shape health policy. The MPH program at Hofstra University recognizes its important role in the local community, and in a broader national and international dialogue related to public health issues and problems.

Additionally, students in the JD/MPH program will be able to integrate both fields in their course work while participating in internships that link legal training and scholarship to public health skills.

The program is typically completed in four years.

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission to the JD/MPH program must first meet the requirements for full-time admission to the Law School and should apply through https://www.lsac.org/.  When completing their JD application, the applicant should select “JD/MPH’ as the type of application. The applicant must then submit a written statement with their JD application explaining interest in the joint degree program.  Applications for the joint program should be submitted by the preferred deadline of April 15.

The Law School will then work with the MPH program to ensure prompt consideration for admission to the joint program. Students may also apply to the joint degree program during their first year of law school. 

All first-year Hofstra Law students accepted into the JD/MPH program must remain in the top 50 percent of their 1L class at the end of their first year of law school as a condition of their acceptance.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Students in the JD/MPH program pay tuition as follows:

  • When they enroll in the first-year curriculum at the Law School, they pay the flat rate of a full-time law student. Similarly, if they take a year of courses only in the School of Health Professions and Human Services , they pay flat, full-time tuition there.
  • After beginning the JD/MPH program, students are charged at a per-credit rate by each school, based on the courses they are taking within each school.

For any student who receives a Law School scholarship, the remaining scholarship after the first year is allocated over the remaining Law School credits and applied equally over the student’s next three years until completion of both degrees. If the student takes longer than four years to complete the joint degree program, the scholarship will not apply after the fourth year.

The packaging of students’ financial aid will be handled by both the Law School Office of Financial Aid and the Hofstra University Student Financial Services office, depending on students’ course load.

Dual Degree Program Requirements

Students must complete all of the requirements of the JD/MPH program within five academic years, although most are able to complete the requirements within four years.

Students must maintain at least 12 credits (in one or both schools) in any semester after the first year to remain enrolled as full-time JD students. In addition, students will be permitted to enroll in summer session courses in both schools.

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required to remain in the joint degree program.

Students must meet all academic requirements of each program in order to earn the two degrees, and will not be bar-certified until both degrees have been conferred.

Juris Doctor Program Requirements

The program requirements for fulfillment of the law section of the curriculum are:

  • Completion of required first-year law courses, 30 credits
  • Completion of required upper-level courses (Constitutional Law I & II, Health Law, Professional Responsibility requirement), 11 or 12 credits
  • Completion of required and approved elective MPH program courses, 12 credits
  • Completion of additional law credits to total a minimum of 87 credits (including the 12 School of Health Professions and Human Services  credits)
  • Completion of Writing Requirements I and II
  • Completion of the Skills requirement

Information regarding all requirements for the JD may be found here.

The Law School will accept 12 credits of approved course work from the MPH program toward the JD degree for all JD/MPH students: MPH 200 - Introduction to Public Health  (3 s.h.) and  MPH 210 - Public Health Policies and Systems  (3 s.h.), plus two additional 3-credit elective MPH program courses.

Students may receive academic credit toward the JD degree only for MPH program courses approved by the faculty of the Law School. The Law School registrar maintains a list of such approved courses.

For the School of Health Professions and Human Services  credits to be accepted by the Law School toward the 87 required credit hours, the student must:

  • Receive at least a B- in the course.
  • Complete the JD/MPH curriculum and receive the MPH degree.

No grades received in School of Health Professions and Human Services  courses will be counted in the student’s Law School GPA.

Master of Public Health Program Requirements

The program requirements for fulfillment of the public health section of the curriculum may be found here .

The School of Health Professions and Human Services  will grant credit toward the MPH degree for any of the health law courses offered by the Law School.

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