Juris Doctor / Master of Public Health

Program Description

The purpose of the JD/MPH joint-degree program is to prepare and train students in applying law and policy to public health problems. The program allows the law student to combine in-depth advocacy and policy skills learned in the Tulane JD program with the population health perspective gained in the CHS program to address policy and advocacy needs at the community level. The student enrolled in this program will receive an MPH in Community Health Sciences and a JD.  


Program Competencies

It is expected that students will acquire the core public health competencies through successful completion of the school core courses. The expected terminal knowledge and skills provided by the program and expected of the student in Community Health Sciences will vary by student because of the self-direction inherent in this program.  It is expected, however, with the guidance by an advisor, that students will be well-versed in planning and evaluating community programs (GCHB 6110 and GCHB 6120), have the knowledge and skills required for community-based work, and obtain hands-on experience in community-based work by completing a community-based practicum.

Upon completion of the program, the graduate should be able to:

  1. Incorporate knowledge of the Public Health core areas of epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health systems management, and the biological, social, and cultural aspects of health and disease in addressing and solving problems. (EPID 6030; BIOS 6030; GEHS 6030; GHSD 6030; TRMD 6010; GCHB 6030)
  2. Assess individual and community needs for public health programs. (GCHB Courses: 6110, 6120, 7130, 6610, 6750, 6270)
  3. Demonstrate competence in planning community-based public health programs and research projects. (GCHB Courses: 6110, 7130, 6210, 6270, 6750; 4LAW528)
  4. Implement and manage preventive strategies, interventions and programs at the community level. (GCHB Courses: 6030, 6110, 6210; Law Courses: 3LAW345, 4LAW528)
  5. Acquire the ability to identify and use various methods of evaluating community-based public health programs. (GCHB Courses: 6120, 7130, 6750)
  6. Communicate and advocate for community health programs and policies. (GCHB Courses: 6100, 6120, 7130, 6140, 6210, 6220, 6260, 6270, 6770; Law Courses: 4LAW431,3LAW345, 4LAW528, 4LAW547)
  7. Serve as a resource person for community-based programs in public health. (GCHB Course: 6030, 6120, 6140; SPHL Course: 9980; Law Courses: 4LAW431, 3LAW345, 4LAW528, 4LAW547)
  8. Promote cultural competence within diverse community settings. (GCHB Courses: 6030, 6100, 6460, 6140, 6510; Law Courses: 4LAW431, 3LAW345)
  9. Apply legal policy to address public health problems. (Law Courses: 4LAW431, 3LAW345, 4LAW528, 4LAW547)
  10. Advocate for public health policies and/or programs using legal skills. (Law Courses: 4LAW431, 3LAW345, 4LAW528, 4LAW547)

Admission Requirements

Candidates must apply separately to each Tulane degree program, fulfilling the application requirements of each. Candidates must also petition the Joint Degree Programs Committee of the Law School, even if they are already enrolled at the Law School. The petition is initiated by contacting the Associate Dean for Admission at the Law School. All applicants must take the LSAT in order to be considered for admission to the Law School. The School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine requires the GMAT or the GRE.

After the candidate has been offered admission to each program, a Joint Degree Programs Committee determines whether admission to the joint program should be offered. This process is initiated by contacting the Associate Dean for Admission at the Law School.  


Program Requirements

A total of 45 credits will be required at the SPHTM.  38-39 academic credits will be completed within the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine over 18 to 24 months, and 6-7 credits will be applied from coursework at the Tulane Law School in consultation with the student's GCHB advisor.  Example courses from the Tulane Law School which can be taken for credit at the SPHTM include: Bioethics Seminar; Family Law; Health Care Law & Regulation; and International Human Rights. The program requires the satisfactory completion of the Law School requirements, the SPHTM core courses, the courses required by the Department of Community Health Sciences, a 300 hour practicum, and a culminating experience.

The specific Tulane Law School requirements include the following:

  • Six full-time semesters in academic residence
  • 88 semester hours of law school with at least a 2.0 or C average
  • Complete all of the required, first-year courses (Introduction to Civil Procedure, Contracts I, Criminal Law, Torts, and Legal Research & Writing I & II, Constitutional Law I, one of the two introductory Property courses, and either Contracts II or Obligations I)
  • Complete the 3-credit Legal Profession course
  • Complete the upper class writing requirement and the professional skills requirement
  • Fulfill the 30-hour pro bono requirement
  • Satisfy all financial obligations to the Law School and the University
  • Be recommended for the degree by the faculty

Course Requirements

The specific SPHTM/GCHB requirements include the following:

SPHTM Core Requirements (18 credits) 

BIOS 6030

Introduction to Biostatistics


GEHS 6030

Survey of Environmental Health Sciences


EPID 6030

Epidemiologic Methods I


GHSD 6030

Principles of Health Systems Admins. & Mgmt


TRMD 6010

Biological Basis of Health and Disease


GCHB 6030

Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health


SPHL 9980



GCHB Core Requirements (6 credits)

GCHB 6110

Planning of Health Education Programs


GCHB 6120

Monitoring and Evaluation of Health Education and Communication Programs





GCHB Electives (14-15 credits)

Choose four of the following courses:

GCHB 6140

Developing Leadership & Communication Skills
in Community Health


GCHB 6210

Health Communication Theory and Practice


GCHB 6220

Community Organization


GCHB 6260

Introduction to Social Marketing


GCHB 6270

Mass Communication


GCHB 6410

Introduction to Obstetrics and Gynecology


GCHB 6460

Child Health and Development


GCHB 6510

Contemporary Issues in Maternal and Child Health


GCHB 6610

Community Nutrition


GCHB 6750

Nutrition Assessment and Monitoring


GCHB 6770

Food and Nutrition Policy


Law School Applied Credits (6-7 credits)


Health Care Law and Regulation



Family Law



Bioethics Seminar



International Human Rights



Total SPHTM Credits = 



Law School Applied Credits =












Graduation will also be contingent upon successfully completing a culminating experience: either the Public Health Analysis or a two-part comprehensive exam (Part I to be administered by SPHTM and based on competencies acquired through the school core; Part II to be administered by GCHB and based on competencies acquired through the required departmental core.)


Sample Course Schedule

Please visit the Tulane University Law School website for more information.



A 300-hour advanced field experience (practicum) that allows students to develop competencies in advanced practice skills, under the direction of a qualified preceptor in the practice setting, is required. This practicum should focus on developing advanced leadership skills in public health disciplines. The advisor works with each student to develop measurable learning objectives prior to their practicum experience. Self assessment and reflection as well as assessment of teams, peers and supervisors are important skills in future public health leaders.  Here are some examples of locations where this might be performed: 

Here are some examples of locations where this might be performed:

Culminating Experience

Students in the Department of Community Health Sciences can choose one of two options for their culminating experience: 

1. Culminating Examination

The Comprehensive Examination consists of two parts: Part A – a school-wide examination based on core competencies, as well as cross-cutting competencies, established by the American Schools of Public Health; and Part B – a departmental-specific examination based on principles and concepts of Community Health Sciences, as covered in the required departmental core courses.

2. Public Health Analysis

The Public Health Analysis is an in-depth written report that considers a topic of relevance to public health practice. It involves a thorough review of the literature, discussion, and recommendations for public health policy and practice. The content and format of the report are described in school and departmental guideline documents.

Information on both options can be found from the link listed below as SPHTM Policies, Guidelines, and Procedures.

Please visit the links below for details:

PHA Sample 1

PHA Sample 2

School of Public Health Policies, Guidelines, and Procedures

For more information, contact us at 504-988-5391 or



GCHBS, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2301, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-988-5391