Guide to Graduate Education in Science, Engineering and Public Policy
Guide to Graduate Education in Science, Engineering and Public Policy
Joint Degree Program in Law, Health and the Life Sciences
Joint Degree Program in Law,
- Graduate Degrees Offered
- Admissions Requirements
- Degree Requirements
- Faculty Information
- Financial Information
- Other Information
In 1998, the Human Genome Project was well under way, stem cell controversy was raging, and the reality of global warming was still in debate. It was clear that 21st century problems would cross traditional disciplinary lines and demand a new kind of thinker, deeply versed in multiple disciplines. As yet, however, no university had risen to this challenge. As a major public research institution with enormous faculty strength in the biomedical and life sciences, law, and bioethics, the University of Minnesota determined to create a new kind of training program, research capability, and public dialogue. A University-wide working group met in 1998-99, crafting a proposal for a Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences. In June 1999, the University's Regents approved the program, formed by the Law School and Graduate School, to offer joint degrees in law and science policy, health services research, molecular biology, pharmacology, ecology, conservation biology, and environmental health. In doing so, we linked colleges, programs, and faculty in a trailblazing interdisciplinary effort. We enrolled our first student in the Fall of 1999.
Within a year, it was clear we needed to go even further. In the Summer of 2000, we created a University-wide Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences. The Consortium linked 11 top centers and programs at the University to seek grants for original research; sponsor major national programs debating cutting-edge issues at the intersection of science, law, and policy; and award funds for research on the societal implications of the life sciences. We (together with the Center for Bioethics) were rapidly awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to formulate recommendations on genetic testing and disability insurance. We sponsored our first national conference on gene patenting. We gave away over $50,000 in our first year to fund intramural research.
Ten years later, our accomplishments have exceeded all expectations. The Joint Degree Program and Consortium now cross all colleges at the University of Minnesota. In 2007-08, the Joint Degree Program offers 23 degree combinations and boasts 39 gifted students. The Consortium has expanded to 17 member centers, including the Center for Bioethics, Stem Cell Institute, Biomedical Genomics Center, Institute on the Environment, and Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy. We have received grants from NIH, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and The Greenwall Foundation, publishing groundbreaking research findings and recommendations. We have successfully launched the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology. We have awarded over $600,000 in intramural grants. The University of Minnesota has become the leading institution pioneering interdisciplinary training and research on the societal implications of the life sciences.
The Joint Degree Program is unique in the nation and enables students to combine a JD with a PhD, MS, MPH, MHA, MA, or MD in less time, with more academic support, and with potentially more financial support than if the students were to pursue the 2 degrees separately. Students who show good cause may also create an ad hoc joint degree with a Graduate School program relating to health, environment, or the life sciences that is not formally part of the Joint Degree Program. The ad hoc option is increasingly attractive to applicants. Students pursuing Graduate School degrees have the option of completing graduate minors in Bioethics, Bioinformatics or Human Genetics. The Joint Degree Program spans 8 collegiate units plus the Center for Bioethics and involves more than 400 faculty members. We partner with 14 graduate and professional programs on campus and offer the following degree combinations:
- a JD with an MS or PhD in Pharmacology
- a JD with an MS in Science, Technology & Environmental Policy
- a JD with an MS or PhD in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology & Genetics (MCDB&G)
- a JD with an MD in Medicine
- a JD with an MS or PhD in Health Services Research, Policy & Administration
- a JD with an MHA in Healthcare Administration
- a JD with an MPH in Public Health Administration & Policy
- a JD with an MPH in Epidemiology
- a JD with an MPH in Maternal and Child Health
- a JD with an MPH in Community Health Education
- a JD with an MS or PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
- a JD with an MS or PhD in Conservation Biology
- a JD with an MS, PhD, or MPH in Environmental Health
- a JD with an MS or PhD in Natural Resources Science and Management
- a JD with an MA in Bioethics (Fall 2009)
Students have the option of completing a Concentration on Health Law & Bioethics
You have to be admitted both to the Law School and to the Graduate School, Medical School, or School of Public Health.
- For the JD/MS or PhD, you'll submit 3 applications—to the Law School, Graduate School, and specific graduate program.
- For the JD/MPH, you must submit 2 applications—to the Law School and School of Public Health.
- For the JD/MD, you submit 3 applications—to the Law School, to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), and a supplemental application to the Medical School after the AMCAS application is reviewed.
You do not submit an application to the Joint Degree Program itself. If you are admitted to the Law School and graduate or professional program, you are automatically admitted to the Joint Degree Program. Please e-mail email@example.com and let the Joint Degree Program staff know when you are submitting applications.
See above links for specific programs.
University of Minnesota Law students may complete a Concentration in Health Law & Bioethics.
Law students at the University of Minnesota Law School may declare a concentration in their area of interest. The Health Law & Bioethics Concentration allows students to focus their studies on health care delivery, public health law and ethics, international health, or issues in bioethics. Concentrations are available to all JD and LLM students, including those pursuing dual degrees. Students who have successfully completed the Concentration will receive a certificate of completion upon graduation and a notation will be added to their transcript stating that the requirements of the Concentration have been fulfilled.
These Concentrations build upon and complement the Law School's rigorous standard curriculum and give students access to the expertise of faculty throughout the University. Interested students confer early in their legal education with the Coordinator and Faculty Chair to discuss their intended course of study and how a Concentration can enhance their career development.
The Health Law & Bioethics concentration requires 12 credits, including a combination of required and recommended courses in the Law School, Graduate School, School of Public Health, and Center for Bioethics. Concentration faculty are drawn from across the University, including faculty from the Law School, School of Public Health, Medical School, and Center for Bioethics.
To enroll in the Concentration or to receive detailed information about requirements, contact Carol Rachac, Concentration Coordinator, at 612-625-3356 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consortium Executive Committee 2009-10
Prof. Susan Wolf, JD Director
Prof. Colin Campbell, PhD Associate Director
Jordan Paradise, JD Associate Director of Research & Education
Concentration in Health Law & Bioethics Core Faculty
Affiliated Law Faculty
Affiliated Science & Health Faculty
From the Law School:
Funding for your Law School studies is available from several sources. The Law School awards one full scholarship annually to a Joint Degree Program student (which may be split among more than one student), covering tuition. The Law School also awards a limited number of merit scholarships and all students may apply for federal financial aid. Law faculty also employ selected students after their first year as Research Assistants (RAs).
From the Joint Degree Program:
The Joint Degree Program awards additional scholarships. The Harold M. Fredrikson Memorial Scholarship was established by the law firm of Fredrikson & Byron to provide partial support for Law School tuition. The Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association (MIPLA) has provided partial scholarships since 2000. Rotary District 5950 provided a partial scholarship in 2002-03. The Consortium and Joint Degree Program also hire law students as Research Assistants. The Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences is pleased to announce that we have created a Scholarship fund for Joint Degree Program Students.
From the Graduate School:
Support available for your Graduate School studies varies by graduate program and whether you are seeking a MS or PhD degree. Check with the Director of Graduate Studies of your graduate program. Most graduate programs fully support their PhD candidates through some combination of financial awards and assistantships. Programs vary more in their support for Master's candidates. Joint Degree Program students are eligible to be nominated by their department for the Graduate School's prestigious Graduate Fellowships and Dissertation Fellowships.
Under current Graduate School rules, graduate students who hold at least a 25% time appointment as a Teaching or Research Assistant get tuition benefits equal to twice the percentage of their appointment. For example, those holding a 25% appointment get a 50% tuition benefit while those holding a 50% appointment get a 100% tuition benefit.
Graduate School students are also eligible to apply for the Mark and Judy Yudof Fellowship. This award is for graduate students (Master's or PhD) pursuing interdisciplinary work whose content is focused in the areas of science policy and ethics. One award is made annually, granting full resident tuition plus a stipend of $18,000 for the academic year. For more information, see www.grad.umn.edu/fellowships/endowed/
From the School of Public Health
The School of Public Health makes available at least one scholarship per year (amounting to a full tuition waiver for up to 3 years) to support a Joint Degree Program admittee throughout the course of the student's joint degree study in the JD/MPH (which may be deferred for 1-2 years while attending Law School in first and second years). When possible, the School will also provide opportunities for assistantship positions that are of clear educational value to the student. MPH students who hold at least a 25% time appointment as an RA or TA pay resident tuition rates.
From the Medical School
The Medical School, through the Minnesota Medical Foundation, will give scholarship priority to exceptional students accepted in the MD/JD program, as well as providing at least 3 nonresident tuition waivers per year for nonresident MD/JD students, bringing their tuition down to resident levels.
From the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
Each year the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and the Center of Science, Technology & Public Policy award one Graduate Assistantship in Science, Technology and Public Policy. This assistantship is competitive and is only awarded to the most qualified candidate. For more information on financial aid and graduate assistantships at the Humphrey Institute, visit www.hhh.umn.edu/admissions/index.html
The Joint Degree Program makes funding available to assist Joint Degree Program students with their research, writing, and publication. Publication is a critical way for Joint Degree Program students to make their expertise known and to enter the professional conversation and is important throughout any career. Each year, the Joint Degree Program awards up to $1000 per applicant. Funds can be used to reimburse research-related expenses (e.g., software, library services, etc.) not covered by any other source of funding or to help cover the expense of traveling to a professional meeting to present a paper.
The Consortium also awards funds to University students through the Request for Proposals (RFP) process. All graduate and professional students at the University of Minnesota are eligible to apply to the Consortium for stipends and research-related expenses. For more information on the RFPs, visit www.lifesci.consortium.umn.edu/rfp.
The staff of the Joint Degree Program can help you work with the Law School, Graduate School, School of Public Health, Medical School, and your graduate program to seek the financial support you need.
The University of Minnesota's Joint Degree Program in Law Health, & the Life Sciences offers:
- a unique program that allows students to combine a JD with an MA, MS, MHA, MPH, PhD, or MD.
- the benefit of "cross-counting" courses which shortens the time to degree completion by about one year, typically.
- scholarships designed specifically to support Joint Degree Program students.
- a community of Joint Degree Program student scholars formed by required attendance to a one-credit, Fall semester proseminar each year.
- the opportunity to be mentored by a member of our distinguished Advisory Board.