Master of Public Health in Health Policy Management (PHPM) and Juris Doctor (JDLW) Combination Degree Program

The School of Law and the School of Public have combined to offer students the ability to receive both a Juris Doctor (JDLW) degree and a Health Policy & Management (PHPM) Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in four years. Law is one of the most powerful public health tools, making this a potent degree combination. Laws shape cities, neighborhoods, and individual behavior. Whether it is chronic disease, harmful consumer products, disease outbreaks, environmental pollution, traumatic injury, or structural racism, law can be a solution to the various factors harming the health of populations or, alternatively, contribute to those harms. Students will learn how laws simultaneously empower governments to respond to public health threats to promote the common good and place limitations on those powers to preserve individual liberties. Students will also explore how the law shapes individual and organizational behavior in ways that impact population health and well-being.

In this combined JD/MPH program, students follow a semi-structured curriculum, to be able to complete all of the requirements for both degrees (which normally requires a combined five years) in this shortened time frame. Students must satisfy the requirements of both degree programs; however, students are permitted to have up to 15 credits (from qualifying courses) count toward both degrees. The MPH practicum course may also qualify as a JD experiential learning opportunity (e.g., a clinic or externship) and vice-versa, if the subject is sufficiently aligned with each degree’s requirements.

Students in this program will finish the first two years of the law curriculum at the School of Law (Ft. Worth, TX) before completing an accelerated MPH program at the School of Public Health (College Station, TX) during the third year. The final year of the combined program is flexible depending on a student’s choice of electives and course scheduling. 

Master of Public Health in Health Policy Management

Juris Doctor

Master of Public Health in Health Policy Management

Program Requirements

Student Advisory Committee

The Student Advisory Committee for the MPH consists of an assigned faculty advisor. After receiving admission to the program and before enrolling for coursework, the student will consult with their assigned faculty advisor to receive additional information related to curriculum and processing of the degree plan. The faculty advisor must have graduate faculty membership in the academic program. If at any point of the student’s time in pursuit of the degree the assigned advisor is no longer available, the department will assign a new advisor and require a comprehensive advisory session to ensure the student is making progress according to degree program requirements.

Degree Plan

The student’s advisor, in consultation with the student, will develop the proposed degree plan. The degree plan must be completed and filed with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies prior to the deadlines imposed by the student’s college, and no later than the dates announced in the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies calendar of deadlines for graduation.

The proposed/final degree plan should be submitted through the online Document Processing Submission System located on the website https://ogsdpss.tamu.edu.

Additional coursework may be added to the approved degree plan by petition if it is deemed necessary by the advisor to correct deficiencies in the student’s academic preparation.

Credit Requirement

A minimum of 45 hours of coursework is required for the Master of Public Health degree. To demonstrate integration and application of subject matter learned and the development of written and oral communication skills, a student will be required to take SOPH 680 as part of the culminating experience requirement to graduate. Concentration and elective courses vary among the core disciplines and will be addressed during advising and creation of the degree plan. Electives may be taken upon approval/advice from the student’s assigned advisor and will be listed by rubric, section, and description in the degree plan.

In the case of established collaborative degree programs, a minimum of 42 hours of coursework is required for the Master of Public Health degree.

Transfer of Credit

A student may transfer up to 9 hours of graduate credit to the Master of Public Health degree program on the advice and approval of the student’s advisory committee, department Chair, and school Academic Affairs Dean, and with the approval of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. Courses taken in residence at an accredited U.S. institution or approved international institution with a final grade of B or greater may be considered for transfer credit if, at the time the courses were completed, the courses would be accepted for credit toward a similar degree for a student in degree-seeking status at the host institution. Otherwise, the limitations stated in the preceding section apply. Coursework in which no formal grades are given or in which grades other than letter grades (A or B) are earned (for example, CR, P, S, U, H, etc.) is not accepted for transfer credit. Courses appearing on the degree plan with grades of D, F, or U may not be absolved by transfer work. Credit for coursework submitted for transfer from any college or university must be shown in semester credit hours or equated to semester credit hours. An official transcript from the university at which the transfer coursework was taken must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions.

Courses used toward another degree at another institution may not be applied for graduate credit. If the course to be transferred was taken prior to the conferral of a degree at the transfer institution, a letter from the registrar at that institution stating that the course was not applied for credit toward the degree must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Grades for courses completed at other institutions are not included in computing the GPA.

Limitations on the Use of Transfer, Extensions, and Certain Other Courses

If otherwise acceptable, certain courses may be used toward meeting credit-hour requirements for the master’s degree with the following limitations.

  1. The maximum number of credit hours allowed toward the MPH as transfer credit is 9.
  2. Courses previously used for another degree are not acceptable for credit.
  3. A zero credit 684 or 685 course is only allowed for non-thesis option master's students. A zero credit 681 course can be used for either thesis or non-thesis option master’s students. Other courses, including 691 research hours, are not eligible for zero credit.
  4. A maximum of 6 hours of 684 (Professional Internship/Practicum), and 9 hours of 685 (Directed Studies), if approved on the degree plan.
  5. Undergraduate courses are not allowed to transfer to the MPH degree program.
  6. Continuing education courses may not be used for graduate credit.
  7. Extension courses are not acceptable for credit.
  8. For non-distance degree programs, no more than 50 percent of the credit hours required for the program may be completed through distance education courses.
  9. To receive a graduate degree from Texas A&M University, students must earn one-third or more of the credits through the institution’s own direct instruction. This limitation also applies to joint degree programs.

Exceptions will be permitted only in unusual cases and when petitioned by the student’s advisory committee, department Chair, school Academic Affairs Office, and approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.


Juris Doctor 

The JD degree is conferred on students who satisfactorily complete a minimum of 90 credit hours with a cumulative grade point of 2.33 or better. In addition, each student must complete an upper-level rigorous writing requirement, a six-hour experiential requirement, and a 30-hour pro bono requirement. Students must complete their degree requirements within 72 months of starting law school.

Below is the degree plan for the combination program.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
LAW 7001 Analysis, Research, and Writing I 3
LAW 7005 Civil Procedure 4
LAW 7042 Torts 4
LAW 7110 Professional Identity .5
LAW 7418 Legislation and Regulation 3
 Semester Credit Hours14.5
Spring
LAW 7002 Analysis, Research, and Writing II 3
LAW 7007 Alternative Dispute Resolution Survey 1
LAW 7017 Contracts 4
LAW 7021 Criminal Law 3
LAW 7032 Property 4
LAW 7110 Professional Identity .5
 Semester Credit Hours15.5
Second Year
LAW 7010 Constitutional Law 4
LAW 7091 Professional Responsibility 3
LAW 7318 Health Law 3
Upper level electives 1,2,3 20
 Semester Credit Hours30
Third Year
Fall
SOPH 601 Thinking in Populations: The Public Health Mindset 2
SOPH 602 Investigation and Control: Acute Public Health Events 3
SOPH 603 Assessment and Intervention: Wicked Problems in Public Health 3
PHPM 605 Introduction to Health Policy and Management 3
PHPM 633 Health Law and Ethics 3
PHPM 661 Introduction To Health Economics 3
 Semester Credit Hours17
Spring
SOPH 604 Framing and Persuasion: Public Health in the Public Sphere 1
PHPM 614
Strategic Planning and Marketing
or Health Care Financial Management I
3
PHPM 643 Health Policy Analysis 3
PHPM 654 Health Insurance and Managed Care 3
PHPM 680 Health Systems Leadership 3
 Semester Credit Hours13
Fourth Year
PHPM 684 Practicum 3 3
Upper level electives 1,2,3 27
 Semester Credit Hours30
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

The program includes a total of 135 hours which up to 15 hours may be applied toward both the Master of Public Health in Health Policy Management and the Juris Doctor.

Additional Requirements

Residence

No residence requirement exists; however, attention is directed to the rules regarding Limitations on the Use of Transfer, Extension and Certain Other Courses.

Time Limit

All degree requirements for a master’s degree must be completed within a period of seven consecutive years. Coursework which is over seven calendar years old may not be applied to master’s degree. Time limits for coursework on the degree plan may also apply to transfer coursework.

Scholastic Requirements

To maintain good academic standing, a MPH student must maintain a minimum cumulative 3.000 GPA. If a student fails to attain a cumulative 3.000 GPA, he or she is placed on academic probation. A student on academic probation must raise his/her cumulative GPA to a 3.000 or above according to requirements to be set forth in the probation letter. Typically, this means raising the cumulative GPA to a 3.000 or higher by the end of the next long semester (fall/spring). If this requirement is not met, the School of Public Health’s Academic Affairs Office will recommend that the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies block the student from further enrollment. If a student is blocked from further enrollment in the MPH program, he or she shall not be permitted to enroll in other MPH courses.

Foreign Languages

No specific language requirement exists for the Master of Public Health degree program.

Internship or Practicum

Students in the MPH are required to fulfill a practicum requirement. Specific course names and numbers by department are PHEB 684, PHEO 684, PHPM 684, and HPCH 684. Instructions on submission and successful completion of the practicum are posted on the School of Public Health practicum website as well as with the department’s practicum coordinator. Students are to work specifically with their department practicum coordinator on meeting this curriculum course requirement. Students must be in good academic standing, have completed all core public health courses, or be enrolled concurrently in no more than one core course at the time they enroll in the 684 course, and have no registration or university blocks related to enrollment.

Application for Degree

For information on applying for your degree, please visit the Graduation section.