Law and Public Health

JD/MPH, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

The joint Juris Doctor and Master of Public Health in Health Law Policy and Management (JD-MPH) program has been established in recognition of the extensive and increasing connections between law and the broad range of health services, both public and private, in the United States.

This joint degree program between Pitt Law and Pitt Public Health provides students with an interdisciplinary curriculum in law and public health, health policy, and management.  Students in this integrated joint degree program learn to address the legalities and challenges affecting individual health care and the health of entire populations.

Our graduates are academically prepared to:

  • Pursue careers serving governmental agencies at the federal, state, and local levels;
  • Practice law representing private clients;
  • Serve as in-house counsel or on the management team at health care organizations and systems; and
  • Working with non-profit and community-based organizations.

Many contemporary issues – ranging from the threat of bioterrorism, to health care reform, to the opioid epidemic – create a need to balance individual rights with public protection and demand expertise in both law and public health, making public health law an exciting and important focus for attorneys.

Faculty Advisors

Tomar Pierson-Brown
Assistant Professor of Law
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Ave, 521
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Cindy L. Bryce, PhD
Associate Dean for Enrollment
Associate Professor, Health Policy & Management
Medicine, and Clinical & Translational Science 
University of Pittsburgh
Graduate School of Public Health
130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Curriculum & Requirements

Students enrolled in the joint-degree program take classes at both Pitt Law and Pitt Public Health. In the ordinary course, the first year of law school must be completed in a single academic year before embarking on studies in public health. Students must complete 76 credits in the JD curriculum. Neither degree may be granted prior to the fulfillment of all requirements for the joint-degree program. 

Joint degree students earn their credentials faster (8 semesters instead of 10) and with fewer course requirements  than if each degree were completed separately.

Application Instructions

Admission to the JD/MPH joint degree program requires admission to both the GSPH and the School of Law. Admission to the joint-degree program can be granted prior to attending either the GSPH or the School of Law, or prior to completion of the first or second year of study at the law school. Students who have begun their studies at GSPH and are later admitted to the School of Law may seek permission to enter the joint degree program by transfer into the Department of Health Policy and Management. Applications can be completed through the online application process.