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Health Care Ethics, Ph.D. & J.D. Dual Degree

Students begin their dual degree studies at Saint Louis University School of Law as traditional first-year students. In their second and third years of study, students are primarily law students but take six credits of courses at SLU's Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics

In addition to the six credits in health care ethics, students enroll in a three-credit directed research course cross-listed by both programs. The directed research project is supervised by faculty from both programs and is treated as a traditional law-school-directed research project.

Dual-degree students ordinarily graduate with a J.D. in three years of full-time study. It is recommended that they sit for the bar exam in the summer following their graduation.

Beginning in the fall following their graduation from the School of Law, all academic work is dedicated to the Ph.D. program. The Ph.D. program recognizes nine credits of law school courses towards the Ph.D. (See details below.) Additionally, students will have completed nine Health Care Ethics classes credits during the J.D. program. Thus, it is expected that students will complete their Ph.D. coursework in two semesters following their J.D. program. Comprehensive exams and the dissertation ordinarily require an additional three semesters.

During the entire time that students are enrolled in the dual degree program, it is expected that they will be engaged in both programs. Starting with their second year of law school, students will participate in Ph.D. seminars and other extracurricular programs offered by the doctoral program. Once they have completed their J.D. and are enrolled in the doctoral program, it is expected that they will remain engaged in relevant health law activities at the School of Law.

For additional information, see the catalog entries for the following programs:

Health Care Ethics, Ph.D.

Law, J.D.


Saint Louis University School of Law has been continuously accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) since December 1924. The accrediting body is the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654, 312-988-6738.

Students who wish to enter SLU's J.D./Ph.D. program must fulfill all admission requirements for the School of Law and the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics. They must apply to each separately.

Students may apply to both schools during the same admission period or may wait to apply to the Ph.D. program during their first year in the School of Law.

Students complete the usual curriculum in both the Juris Doctor and Ph.D. programs. However, as indicated below, 18 credits of coursework satisfy requirements in both of the programs.

J.D. Courses Counted toward Ph.D. Degree
LAW 8000Health Care Law3
LAW 8005Bioethics and the Law3
Select one course of the following Health Care Law courses:3
LAW 8010
Health Care Financing and Business Planning
LAW 8030
FDA Law and Policy
LAW 8035
Disability Law
LAW 8040
Elder Law
LAW 8065
Fraud, Abuse and Health Care Regulation
LAW 8075
Health Care Compliance and the Law
LAW 8090
Health Care Regulation
Ph.D. Courses Counted toward J.D. Degree
HCE 6040Interdisciplinary Research in Health Care Ethics3
Select two of the following health care ethics courses:6
HCE 6010
Methods in Philosophical Ethic
HCE 6020
Methods in Religious Ethics
HCE 6050
Philosophical Foundations
HCE 6070
Foundations of Catholic Morality
HCE 6130
Clinical Ethics
HCE 6140
Research Ethics

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.