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Instituted in 2003 by the School of Law, the School of Medicine, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the dual degree in public health, offered in conjunction with the Department of Public Health Sciences, offers concentrations in generalist practice and research and in health policy, law and ethics. The M.P.H. program features close collaboration with the federal Centers for Disease Control and with state and local public health offices in Virginia.
Administration of the Program The program is administered by a Program Committee, consisting of one or more members of the Law faculty appointed by the Dean of the School of Law, one or more members of the faculty of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences appointed by the Dean of the Graduate Faculties, and one or more members of the faculty of the School of Medicine appointed by the Dean of the School of Medicine.
Admission to the Program The student is required to secure admission separately to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Law through the normal admissions processes of the two schools. The applicant will be held to the same standards as any other applicant, and the fact that s/he is a candidate for the dual degree program will not be considered in the admissions process. Once admitted to the two schools, the student may apply for admission to the dual degree program. Students may seek admission to the Graduate School and initiate the dual degree program after matriculating in the School of Law.
Curriculum The J.D.-M.P.H. program takes four years to complete and requires a minimum of 116 credits. In effect, the program consists of the complete first-year program at the School of Law and at least three years of courses taken from the curricula of the two schools and, when appropriate, from other graduate offerings at the University. The student is required to meet all of the requirements set by the respective Schools for the award of both the J.D. and M.P.H. degrees. In the School of Law, this means the student must complete the required curriculum, meet minimum academic standards, and earn a minimum of 86 credits and six residency semesters in the School of Law. In the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, minimum requirements for the M.P.H. degree include two residency semesters; 42 credits in an approved program, including at least 30 course credits; and completion of a six-credit thesis under the supervision of a faculty advisor. NOTE: In accordance with ABA standards, J.D. degree candidates may not enroll in more than 17 credits total in any semester.
With the approval of a School of Law representative on the Program Committee, a student may receive up to 12 of the 86 credits required for the J.D. degree in appropriate graduate-level work in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences or other departments at the University. In all cases, the School of Law representative must approve credit for any course taken outside the School of Law to be applied towards the J.D. degree before the student enrolls in the course. NOTE: Credit towards the J.D. degree cannot be granted for course work completed prior to matriculation at the School of Law. Similarly, with the approval of the M.P.H. program director and the associate dean for graduate programs in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, a student may receive up to 9 of the 42 credits required for the M.P.H. degree in appropriate work in the School of Law. No student, however, may have more than 12 credits applied toward both degrees.
Change of Status At any point in the program, the student may terminate plans for the dual degree program and continue towards a single degree at either school. The student then must satisfy the normal requirements of the school elected, which may include credits completed in the other school, as determined by the appropriate officials.
Financial Aid Financial aid will be provided by the school to which the student is paying tuition in a given semester. Financial aid is not guaranteed and is subject to individual school and University regulations and availability. Students must meet the satisfactory academic progress standards of the school providing the financial aid in a given semester.
Tuition and Fees J.D. degree candidates must complete six residency semesters in the School of Law and pay School of Law tuition and fees. For any semester in which a student is in full-time residence in the Department of Public Health Sciences, the student must pay tuition and fees as a regular student in that department.
Extracurricular Activities Students are eligible to participate in the extracurricular activities of both schools to the extent that time permits, but should be alert to the possibility of over-commitment.
Grading Standards Students are required to meet the grading standards of both schools independently to remain in good standing. Each school retains the right to drop students from its degree program following its usual academic standards and procedures. Grades will be recorded on the student’s transcript in accordance with the grading system in effect at the school in which the course is offered.
For More Information Contact the School of Law faculty advisor, Professor Richard J. Bonnie.