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Law/Health Care Ethics

The Saint Louis University School of Law and the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics work together to administer our dual-degree program in law and health care ethics.

About the Program

Saint Louis University offers a dual-degree program through which students can earn both a law degree and a Ph.D. in Health Care Ethics after roughly five years of full-time study — faster than if earned separately.

Curriculum and Program Details

This program requires a minimum of 121 credit hours, followed by a doctoral dissertation, including:

  • 85 credits of law course work
  • 9 credits in the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics (including a three-credit directed research course fulfilling a law course requirement)
  • 30 credits of Ph.D. coursework in biotechnological, medical, organizational or research ethics

It should take about five years to complete both degrees, using the following structure:

  • Year One: Core courses for the J.D.
  • Year Two: Combination of J.D. and Ph.D. courses
  • Year Three: Combination of J.D. and Ph.D. courses. Complete requirements for J.D.; it is recommended you sit for the bar exam at this time.
  • Year Four: Complete the course requirements for Ph.D.
  • Year Five: Comprehensive exams, and dissertation research and writing. (This usually takes two or three semesters.)

You’ll complete the usual curriculum in both programs, with the following 16 credits counting toward both degrees:

  • Law: Health Care Law; replaces Topics and Scholars elective
  • Law: Bioethics and the Law
  • Law: Research Ethics; replaces Research Ethics offered through the Center for Health Care Ethics
  • Ph.D.: Directed Research in Health Law and Ethics

Plus two of the following courses:

  • Ph.D.: Interdisciplinary Research in Health Care Ethics
  • Ph.D.: Philosophical Foundations of Ethics
  • Ph.D.: Psychosocial Foundations in Ethics
  • Ph.D.: Catholic Foundations in Morality
  • Ph.D.: Health Care Reform
  • Jeffrey P. Bishop, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Michael J. Kolnik, J.D.

After earning a J.D. and Ph.D. in health care ethics, you’ll be qualified to work in academic, clinical and corporate positions.

Application Requirements

You must apply and be accepted into both the Saint Louis University School of Law and the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics and meet our requirements for both the law program and health care ethics program.

Two separate graduate school applications are required. You may apply to both programs concurrently, or you may begin law school and apply to the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics within your first year.

Apply to the School of Law

Apply to the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics

Application Deadlines

The application deadline for the health care ethics program is Dec. 1. The deadline for the law school is Feb. 1.