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J.D./Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) Program

Enrollment in the joint J.D./M.P.H. Program enables a student to obtain a J.D. degree from Chicago-Kent and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in approximately three and a half years of full-time study.

Lawyers who have a background in public health are more marketable in the field of health law and policy than their counterparts without a health background. And the dual degree expands the variety of career options. Some graduates pursue traditional careers as attorneys at law firms or companies specializing in health care law or related public health specializations such as environmental control or health services delivery. Others work as legal or health care policy advisors for hospitals, governments or health care organizations. And still others pursue a more advocacy-oriented role helping local citizens organize for policy changes to improve the health of their communities.

Eligibility and Requirements

To receive the Juris Doctor, students must complete 87 credit hours. This includes the first year of required course-work, including two semesters in the legal research and writing program. After completing required courses students may pursue a deeper understanding of a particular substantive, health-related area, including disability law, elder law, environmental and energy law, family law, food and drug law, genetics and law, health law, medical malpractice, and reproductive technologies law.

Students in the coordinated program will matriculate into the School of Public Health's Health Policy and Administration Division. To receive the Master of Public Health, students must complete 33 to 38 semester hours of course work, including 18 semester hours of school-wide requirements, and at least 15 semester hours of electives, many of which will likely be in areas of public health law and policy. Students must also complete a field practicum experience and a capstone requirement. These enable students to gain practical experience in whichever area of health law or health policy is of interest to them.

Twelve hours of course-work (roughly one semester's worth of credit) taken at the School of Public Health will count toward elective credit at Chicago-Kent, enabling students to complete both degrees in three and a half years. With proper planning, participation in clinical experiences and/or externships at Chicago-Kent also may satisfy the School of Public Health's field practicum requirement, and participation in health-related legal seminars at Chicago-Kent may satisfy the School's capstone requirement.

How to Apply

Candidates for the J.D./M.P.H. Program must apply to and be accepted by each program separately, and complete a Registration as a J.D./M.P.H. Student form in the Registrar's office. Admissions information for the J.D. program is available from the Chicago-Kent Office of Admissions and for the M.P.H. program from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.

LSAT scores may be substituted for GRE scores as part of the application to the School of Public Health. Students in the coordinated program have the option of starting at either institution, but they can not take courses at both schools during the same semester without special approval.

Students are assigned faculty advisors chosen from among the attorneys on the faculty of the school of Public Health and from the faculty members engaged in health-related issues at Chicago-Kent. Each student will be assigned one advisor from each school.

Why Choose UIC and Chicago-Kent?

The coordinated J.D./M.P.H. program between Chicago-Kent College of Law and the UIC School of Public Health is a unique collaborative effort between two distinguished institutions. Graduates will receive a specialized education that can not be duplicated anywhere else.

The UIC School of Public Health is located on the campus of one of the nation's largest health and medical centers just minutes west of Chicago's downtown Loop. UIC is a vital part of the educational, technological, and cultural fabric of the Chicago metropolitan area. It is one of the nation's top 88 research universities and is the largest institution of higher learning in the Chicago area. Chicago-Kent College of Law is located at the Illinois Institute of Technology's downtown campus in a state-of-the-art building in Chicago's West Loop. Its close proximity to the UIC School of Public Health allows students to travel conveniently between campuses by public transportation.

Financial Assistance

UIC offers a variety of options for financial aid. Students accepted into a graduate program may apply for fellowships, loans, scholarships, or employment. Graduate students may also be appointed to teaching or research assistantships. Assistants receive a monthly stipend and tuition waiver while gaining practical experience in their professional field.

Chicago-Kent College of Law provides a range of scholarships to reward academic performance at the law school and to help reduce financial need. All students are automatically reviewed for available scholarships upon acceptance to the law school. Scholarship support is available to first-year law students with outstanding qualifications through renewable scholarships as well as other rewards. Loans are also available, so financial aid applications should be filled out as soon as possible after January 1 for the year in which loans are being requested.

Tuition

While a student in the J.D./M.P.H. program is attending one school, he or she will be considered on official leave of absence at the other school. Thus, the student will pay tuition and be eligible for scholarship support at only one school at a time. Students in the coordinated degree program save an entire semester of tuition, as completing the MPH and JD programs consecutively would take 4 years.

Questions and Additional Information

For additional information and program requirements, contact Stephen Sowle, Assistant Dean for Academic Administration and Student Affairs (Room 320C; (312) 906-5282; ssowle@kentlaw.iit.edu).