New JD/MPH set to launch in partnership with St. Mary’s University

The new dual degree will be available in fall 2025

Staff members pictured in front of classroom.

UTHealth Houston School of Public Health is launching a new dual degree program in collaboration with St. Mary’s University. St. Mary’s University was founded in 1852, located in San Antonio. The Doctor of Jurisprudence/Master of Public Health (JD/MPH) program is offered in varying modalities, including online and/or in-person.

The JD/MPH program, scheduled to launch in fall 2025, will cater to students interested in specializing in law and health policy, providing students with a comprehensive understanding and skills in the field.

Students will learn to address the emerging complex challenges where law and public health intersect, such as healthcare policy, environmental regulation, city and state legislature, and public health law.

This program streamlines the completion of both degrees, requiring fewer total credit hours than pursuing each independently.

“Health policy and public health law are increasingly important disciplines as new diseases and societal problems emerge while new treatment and technologies are developed,” said Jack Tsai, PhD, regional dean, and professor at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health in San Antonio. “The new program provides dual training in law and public health that would equip students to be leaders in shaping law, policy, and society at large.”

This dual degree program allows students to explore nuanced issues at the nexus of the two fields. Graduates of the program will be positioned as leaders to craft policies and laws poised with the perspective of how to improve population health.

With a skill set encompassing legal analysis, policy advocacy, and public health strategy, graduates will be well-prepared to make meaningful contributions to improving health outcomes and advancing social justice initiatives.

“Graduates would be well-positioned to develop careers in more specialized careers in health policy, public health law, and many other careers in which health and law intersect,” Tsai said.

The St. Mary’s University School of Law is an accredited American Bar Association program, which prepares students for the ethical practice of law. This new partnership on the JD/MPH continues a long-standing relationship with St. Mary’s and UTHealth Houston through the current accelerated Master’s partnership and offers new and unique opportunities to students at both institutions.

“The JD/MPH program is an exciting cross-institution interdisciplinary initiative that will prepare lawyers seeking to impact health policy, including ensuring health outcomes for the underserved,” said Patricia Roberts, JD, St. Mary’s Law Dean and Charles E. Cantú Distinguished Professor of Law. “This joint degree is consistent with St. Mary’s commitment to educating students to advance the common good.”

Prospective students interested in learning more about the JD/MPH through St. Mary’s Law and UTHealth Houston School of Public Health can contact the admissions team at [email protected] or 713-500-9032.

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