Saint Louis University School of Law and College for Public Health and Social Justice have joined forces to offer the Juris Doctor and the Master of Health Administration (J.D./M.H.A.) dual degree program. This specialized program offers highly motivated students the chance to design a career in the combined fields of law and health administration. This degree option opens a number of doors to its recipients including the practice of health law within large, private firms or top-level executive positions in health care organizations. Students receive a wealth of benefits from participation, including the chance to enact change in the health care industry as a lawyer and a health care administrator.
Another benefit is that students obtain both degrees more quickly than if obtained separately, roughly four years compared to five. Students also are required to complete an administrative internship during the summer between their 4th and 5th semesters to complete the program requirements.
The summer internship lasts 13 weeks and helps students coordinate their classroom education with practical experience gained in the field. This experience is vital to teaching students to become sensitive to the environment, needs and functions of the health care industry. During the internship, students will use their extensive training and practice their administrative skills under direct supervision. Students receive their placement in a health care facility after consultation with their faculty advisor.
Participants in the dual degree program must first complete the basic first-year requirements for the School of Law. This practice gives students a firm foundation for their legal education. After completing the first-year law school requirements, students will attend classes simultaneously in both the School of Law and College for Public Health and Social Justice for a total of 14-16 hours per semester.
Students wishing to enter the dual program must fulfill all admission requirements for the School of Law and the College for Public Health and Social Justice. They must apply to each separately. Students can apply during the same admission period, or they can wait and apply to the M.H.A. program during their first year in the School of Law.
Students complete a total of 127 hours of academic work, including the internship, in order to obtain the J.D./ M.H.A. degree. A list of the required M.H.A. courses is available at the College for Public Health and Social Justice's J.D./M.H.A. website.
In summary, the dual-degree student will find plentiful opportunities to employ their expert training and extensive education in health law or health care related fields. For additional information about the M.H.A program, contact Bernie Backer, Director of Admissions, Admissions Coordinator, College for Public Health and Social Justice, Salus Center, 3545 Lafayette Ave., St. Louis, MO 63104-1399, (314) 977-8144.