Maine Law partners with USM’s Muskie School of Public Service to offer accelerated dual degrees of Juris Doctor and Master of Public Health

Maine Law partners with USM’s Muskie School of Public Service to offer accelerated dual degrees of Juris Doctor and Master of Public Health

The University of Maine School of Law and the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service are proud to announce that they offer an accelerated Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree and a Master in Public Health (M.P.H) degree. This dual degree program enables students to complete both degrees in 4 years (with summer study) rather than 5 years. The program’s combination of law and public health provides invaluable interdisciplinary knowledge and skills for students interested in law and the public health policy sphere.

“Maine Law is proud to partner with USM’s Muskie School of Public Service to offer an interdisciplinary program that focuses on justice issues in the development of public and private health policy and the promotion of optimal health outcomes for individuals and populations,” said Dean Danielle Conway of the University of Maine School of Law. “The range of issues involved – from regulation and best practices, to ensuring access to lifesaving drugs and protecting patient privacy – are today’s challenges that our students, the leaders of tomorrow, will work collaboratively to solve for the benefit of our community,” she added.

“As with the great majority of our programming, the accelerated dual degree program will provide a combination of cutting-edge theoretical inquiry with experiential learning opportunities, all focused on the community. Many of our alumni have stimulating, satisfying careers in health care law, and the dual degree ensures that we sustain the much-needed pipeline to the health law and policy profession,” said Dean Conway.

“We are excited about this program as it adds options for our students, it is interdisciplinary and educates people in fields that are critical to the state of Maine” said Firooza Pavri, Director of the Muskie School.

Students in the program begin by taking the required first year law curriculum. In the remaining years, students take a combined course of study with upper level law courses, public health courses, a health-related externship, and a health-focused writing project. Faculty at both schools work together to create an individualized program for each student.

“The Muskie School M.P.H program offers a wide range of courses and clinical opportunities including a community-based capstone project,” said Elise Bolda, Chair of the Master of Public Health Program.

The M.P.H program includes the course “Health Care Law & Ethics” taught by Professor Jennifer Wriggins to law students, M.P.H students and other graduate students. This interdisciplinary course, first taught in spring 2016, reflects the partnership between the schools. The innovative course includes discussions in the fields of law, public health and business, as well as opportunities for students in all fields to connect outside the classroom with lawyers practicing in the field of health care law. The course will be offered again in spring 2017.

The M.P.H program is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. Maine Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. Candidates are admitted separately to each program.