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J.D./Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.)

Penn State Law (University Park) and Health Policy and Administration (HPA) offer a joint degree leading to a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Master of Health Administration (M.H.A).

Admission Requirements

Students applying to the joint degree program must be admitted separately into both Penn State Law and HPA. Students must first be admitted to the law school and must complete the required first-year curriculum in the J.D. program before commencing the M.H.A. component.  Application to the MHA program must take place through the Graduate School Application. Formal admission to the M.H.A. program would normally take place during the student’s first year of law school, but HHD may extend provisional admission to the M.H.A. program at the time an applicant applies to Penn State Law particularly where an applicant’s law school choice depends upon admission to the J.D./M.H.A. joint degree program.

College Specific Admission Requirements

Penn State Law

Health Policy and Administration (Note: At the student’s request, the LSAT may replace the GRE for joint degree admissions purposes)

Application Process

Students must complete the following Penn State applications, along with any other requirements in the college specific admissions requirements section above. These applications may be completed simultaneously.

Penn State Law Admissions Application

Graduate School Application

International Applicants

International applicants for the joint degree who do not qualify for the English exemption will also need to provide a satisfactory TOEFL or IELTS score. All joint degree applicants will be required to achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 575 on the paper test, 230 on the computer-based test or 88 on the internet-based test (with a minimum speaking score of 20); a minimum of 6.5 on the IELTS will also be acceptable.

College Liaisons

The director of the HPA M.H.A. program and the Penn State Law Associate Dean for Academic Affairs are designated program advisors and liaisons between the programs. Students will need to work with these designated program advisors and their individual faculty advisors from both programs to build an individual program.

Inter Program Transfer of Credits

Courses cannot be transferred or shared until the applicant is officially admitted to the joint program.  Retroactive transfers of courses taken prior to admission to the joint program are not permitted.

Penn State Law: Penn State Law will accept the transfer of twelve (12) credits from the M.H.A. program's required core curriculum as elective credit towards the J.D. students must obtain a grade satisfactory to the program in order for the credits to be transferable.

Health Policy and Administration: HPA will accept the transfer of twelve (12) credits from the Penn State Law curriculum towards the M.H.A. in lieu of (i) two M.H.A. electives, (ii) a required M.H.A. course in health law, and (iii) one other required M.H.A. course as determined by the student and their advisors.  Specific law course selection for transfer to the M.H.A. will be dependent on course offerings available at Penn State Law.  Students must obtain a grade satisfactory to the program in order for the credits to be transferable.

Sequence of Study

Students enrolling in the joint degree may choose to conduct their study in either of two sequence options below. Each "Year" refers to the traditional academic year beginning in late August and concluding in May. In compliance with ABA Standards and Rules law students may not enroll for more than 17 credits per semester at Penn State.

J.D./ M.H.A.  Joint Degree Sequencing Options

OPTION 1

Year 1

J.D. Required First-Year Curriculum (32 credits)

Summer Semester: HPA 595 - M.H.A. Residency Requirement. This requirement may be satisfied with a J.D. externship, as coordinated between Penn State Law and the M.H.A. program. (1-3 credits)*

Year 1 total credits is 32-35*

Year 2

Fall Semester:  HPA 503 (3), HPA 447 (3), HPA 520 (3), HPA 523 (3)  (12 credits)

Spring Semester:  HPA 524 (3), HPA 835 (3), HPA 551 (3), HPA 855 (3) (12 credits)

Summer Semester: HPA 595 - M.H.A. Residency Requirement, if not fulfilled between year one and two of program. This requirement may be satisfied with a J.D. externship, as coordinated between Penn State Law and the M.H.A. program.  (1-3 credits)

Year 2 total credits is 24-27*

Penn State Law does not have a required number of credits for the second and third year of the J.D. program. Students are required to complete 88 credits to earn the J.D. Twelve (12) credits is full-time. J.D. students may enroll in a maximum of 17 credits per semester. J.D. students will complete a minimum of 56 credits in their second and third year of law school.

Year 3

Fall Semester:  HPA 850 (3), HPA 805 (3), HPA 556 (3), elective credits from J.D. Program (minimum 3), substitution credits for HPA 836 or HPA 556 (12 credits)

Spring Semester:  Capstone (3), HPA 545 (3), elective  credits from J.D. Program (minimum 3), substitution credits for HPA 836 or HPA 556 (12 credits)

Year 4

J.D. Upper Level Coursework:   If not already satisfied, students must successfully complete the upper-level course/credit requirements for the J.D. Degree.

Penn State Law does not have a required number of credits for the second and third year of the J.D. program. Students are required to complete 88 credits to earn the J.D. Twelve (12) credits is full-time. J.D. students may enroll in a maximum of 17 credits per semester. J.D. students will complete a minimum of 56 credits their second and third year of law school.

Total credits required for the J.D. degree is 88.

Total credits required for the M.H.A. degree is 49-51.*

*Variable credit totals depend on which year M.H.A. Summer Residency requirement is met and whether it is met with HPA 595 (1 credit) or J.D. externship (3 credits).

OPTION 2

Year 1

J.D. Required First-Year Curriculum (32 credits)

Year 2

J.D. Upper Level Coursework:   Students should consider fulfilling the upper-level course/credit requirements for the J.D. Degree.

Penn State Law does not have a required number of credits for the second and third year of the J.D. program. Students are required to complete 88 credits to earn the J.D. Twelve (12) credits is full-time. J.D. students may enroll in a maximum of 17 credits per semester. J.D. students will complete a minimum of 56 credits their second and third year of law school.

Year 3

Fall Semester:  HPA 503 (3), HPA 447 (3), HPA 520 (3), HPA 523 (3) (12 credits)

Spring Semester:  HPA 524 (3), HPA 835 (3), HPA 551 (3), HPA 855 (3) (12 credits)

Summer Semester: HPA 395 - M.H.A. Residency Requirement. This requirement may be satisfied with a J.D. externship, as coordinated between Penn State Law and the M.H.A. program.  (1-3 credits)*

Year 3 total credits is 25-27*

Penn State Law does not have a required number of credits for the second and third year of the J.D. program. Students are required to complete 88 credits to earn the J.D. Twelve (12) credits is full-time . J.D. students may enroll in a maximum of 17 credits per semester. J.D. students will complete a minimum of 56 credits their second and third year of law school.

Year 4

Fall Semester:  HPA 850 (3), HPA 805 (3), elective credits from J.D. Program (minimum 3), substitution credits for HPA 836 or HPA 556  (12 credits)

Spring Semester:  Capstone (3),HPA 545 (3), elective credits from J.D. Program (minimum 3), substitution credits for HPA 836 or HPA 556  (12 credits)

J.D. Upper Level Coursework:   If not already satisfied, students must successfully complete the upper-level course/credit requirements for the J.D. Degree.

Penn State Law does not have a required number of credits for the second and third year of the J.D. degree program. Students are required to complete 88 credits to earn the J.D.  Twelve (12) credits is full-time. J.D. students may enroll in a maximum of 17 credits per semester. J.D. students will complete a minimum of 56 credits their second and third year of law school.

Total credits required for the J.D. degree is 88.

Total credits required for the M.H.A. degree is 49-51.*

*Variable credit totals depend whether M.H.A. Summer Residency requirement is met with HPA 595 (1 credit) or J.D. externship (3 credits).

Important Note:  If the joint degree student is using law (900-level) credits toward the graduate degree during their last semester of enrollment, they should be prepared to extend their graduate degree graduation to a subsequent semester (the following semester at a minimum).  This is due to the graduate degree approval deadline falling before the law (900-level) course grading processes are complete. 

Residency

Students in the program will spend six semesters in Penn State Law and two to three semesters in HPA.

Recommended Program of Study and Advising

The director of the HPA M.H.A. program and the Penn State Law Associate Dean for Academic Affairs are designated program advisors.  In addition, students will have individual faculty advisors in both programs.  Periodic interaction between the two advisors will be encouraged.  A program of study will be developed for each student.

Fulfillment of Degree Requirements and Graduation

A student in the program may complete the requirements for one of the degrees and be awarded that degree prior to completing all the requirements for the other degree; provided, however, that the student shall have successfully completed at least two semesters of work towards the other degree.  All courses in one program that will count towards meeting the requirements of the other must be completed before the awarding of either degree.  Students will be required to fulfill all requirements for each degree in order to be awarded that degree, subject to the inter-program transfer of credits.

Tuition

Students will be charged the applicable Penn State Law tuition to cover the J.D. program and the applicable graduate tuition to cover the M.H.A. degree program. Penn State Law tuition will be paid for the semesters in which the student is registered for Penn State Law courses, and graduate tuition will be paid for the semesters in which the student is registered for graduate courses in the M.H.A. program. A student may take up to one course (3 credit hours) per semester in the program where the student is not primarily registered without any change in tuition, but must pay additional tuition to the program that the student is not primarily registered if he or she wishes to take additional course work pursuant to that program during the semester.  Questions regarding tuition should be directed to the law school Bursar.

Financial Aid and Assistantships

Decisions on financial aid and assistantships will be made by each school according to that school’s procedures.  Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load policy listed in the Bulletin.  Information on Graduate Assistantships. Questions regarding financial aid should be directed to the law school Financial Aid Director.

 

Penn State Law J.D. Degree Requirements

Master of Health Policy and Administration Degree Requirements