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JD/MHSA (Health Services Administration)

The Juris Doctor/Master of Health Services Administration program combines into four years of full-time study the Juris Doctor (JD) Program offered by the School of Law and the Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) Program offered by the Department of Health Policy and Management in the School of Medicine. The JD/MHSA is designed to offer students who plan to practice health law or health services management a thorough academic grounding in both disciplines.

The complexity of current national debates on health care suggests that an important relationship exists between health administration and the law. It is therefore not surprising to find individuals with law degrees holding managerial and executive positions in health care organizations or an increasing number of attorneys specializing in health care law. Lawyers who counsel health care executives must have a broad knowledge of the health care field to serve their clients well. Career opportunities for individuals with training in the law and health administration are available in a variety of settings including law firms, health services delivery organizations, insurance and managed care organizations, and government.

If you are a prospective law student, contact the KU Law Office of Admissions, 785-864-4378, admitlaw@ku.edu; or Deborah Lewis, health services administration, 913-588-3763, dlewis4@kumc.edu.

If you are a current KU student, contact Professor Elizabeth Kronk Warner, law school, 785-864-1139, elizabeth.kronk@ku.edu; or Deborah Lewis, health services administration, 913-588-3763, dlewis4@kumc.edu.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the joint JD/MHSA Program, an applicant must hold an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, and be admitted by both the School of Law and the MHSA Program no later than the end of the first year of study in either program. Prior academic achievement should indicate a high likelihood that an applicant has the capacity to complete the curricula in law and health services administration. Full-time study is required for the joint JD/MHSA Program.

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is the only standardized test required for an applicant to the joint degree program. An applicant or student who is interested in entering the joint degree program should discuss his or her plans with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Law and the MHSA Program Student Services Manager in the Department of Health Policy and Management as early as possible. No student may enter the joint degree program after completing more than the equivalent of two semesters of full-time enrollment in either the JD or MHSA curriculum.

Degree Requirements

To receive the JD/MHSA, a student must successfully complete a minimum of 123 credit hours. Of these, at least 80 credit hours must be from courses offered by the School of Law and 43 must be from the MHSA Program. Students in the joint degree program should note that while the School of Law requires a 2.0 grade point average in JD coursework to remain in good standing and for graduation, the MHSA Program follows the Graduate School regulation requiring a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for coursework that is counted toward the MHSA portion of the joint degree. In planning their enrollments, students should inform themselves of course prerequisites and plan their course schedules accordingly.

J.D. Requirements

All candidates for the J.D. must complete the following required courses:
First Year
Law 804 Civil Procedure (4)
Law 806 Intro. to Constitutional Law (4)
Law 809 Contracts (4)
Law 814 Criminal Law (4)
Law 820 Lawyering Skills I (2)
Law 821 Lawyering Skills II (3)
Law 826 Property (4)
Law 831 Torts I (4)
Upper Class
Law 873 Commercial Law: Secured Transactions (3) OR
Law 874 Commercial Law: Payment Systems (3)

Law 908 Evidence (3)
Law 972 Professional Responsibility (2)

Students must complete all required first-year courses (29 credit hours) during their first year of law school enrollment. In addition to these course requirements, the School of Law has an upper-class writing requirement, a residence requirement, and a time limit for completion of the degree. Please refer to the current School of Law Catalog for details.

In addition to the 37-38 credit hours of coursework (described above) required of all law students, students in the joint JD/MHSA program must complete the following coursework:

LAW 850 Administrative Law (3)
LAW 920 Health Law and Policy (2-3) OR
Law 919 Healthcare Financing and Regulation (3)
Two of the following three courses
LAW 903 Employment Discrimination Law (3)
LAW 925 Employment Law (3)
LAW 939 Labor Law (4)
Two of the following courses
LAW 860 Alternative Dispute Resolution (2-3)
LAW 898 Disability Law (3)
LAW 942 Law and Bioethics (2)
LAW 993 Public Health Law (2–3)
LAW 921 Food and Drug Law (2–3)
LAW 885 Medical–Legal Partnership Clinic (6)
LAW 899 Elder Law Seminar (2)
LAW 901 Elder Law Externship (3)
LAW 931 Introduction to Elder Law (2)
LAW 926 Insurance (3)
LAW 973 Public Benefit Law (3)
LAW 955 Legislative Clinic (3)
LAW 976 Public Policy Clinic (3)

All courses must be taken as Law School courses from Law School faculty, except that on a showing of extreme hardship the Law School Academic Committee may grant a waiver of this requirement. The Academic Committee shall also have the authority to make changes or substitutions to this list upon showing of changed circumstances, such as changes in the fundamental nature of a course or the discontinuance of a course.

Students choose other Law School courses to complete the remaining hours necessary to reach the 80 hours of law school credit needed for the joint degree.

MHSA Requirements

Students entering the MHSA program must have completed a 3 credit hour course in statistics, with a grade of B or better prior to matriculation. This coursework must be completed in an accredited college or university. Applicants should consult the Student Services Manager to determine if the coursework they have taken or plan to take fulfills these requirements.

The MHSA portion of the joint degree totals 43 credit hours of coursework.

All of these courses
HP&M 810 The Healthcare System (3)
HP&M 819 Research for Health Care Leaders (3)
HP&M 822 Healthcare Economics (3)
HP&M 825 Financial Concepts in Health Management (3)
HP&M 831 Reimbursement and Fiscal Policy (2)
HP&M 837 Health Policy (3)
HP&M 846 Managing Info. Systems & Technology (3)
HP&M 850 Introduction to Operations (3)
HP&M 858 Health and Social Behavior (3)
HP&M 860 Internship (1)
HP&M 861 Capstone Seminar (2)
14 credit hours
HP&M 827 Financial Applications in Health Mgmt. (3)
HP&M 832 Governance and Health Law (2)
HP&M 833 Ethics (2)
HP&M 840 Organizat'l Foundations for Leading Change (3)
HP&M 848 Designing Healthcare Organizations (2)
HP&M 852 Strategic Marketing (2)
HP&M 853 Strategic Management (2)
HP&M 854 Human Resources & Workforce Development (3)
HP&M 874 Statistics for Decision Making (3)
HP&M Elective (3)

Waivers, substitutions, and all other degree requirements are governed by Department and Graduate School policies. Students should consult the Student Services Manager if they have questions about MHSA degree requirements.

Typical Program Format

The following scheduling of MHSA courses is recommended for years two, three, and four in the JD/MHSA Program, with year one devoted to law school coursework.

Fall Two Spring Two Summer Two
HP&M 810 The Healthcare System (3)
HP&M 858 Health & Social Behavior (3)
Group II Course
HP&M 822 Healthcare Economics (3)
HP&M 850 Introduction to Operations (3)
Group II Course
Fall Three Spring Three Summer Three
HP&M 825 Financial Concepts in Health Management (3)
Group II Course
HP&M 846 Managing Information Systems & Technology (3)
Group II Course
HP&M 860 Internship (1)
Optional: Group II Course (HP&M 853)
Fall Four Spring Four Summer Four
HP&M 837 Health Policy (3)
HP&M 819 Research for Health Care Leaders (3)
HP&M 831 Reimbursement and Fiscal Policy (2)
HP&M 861 Capstone Seminar (2)
Group II Course
Typical Program Format Law School HP&M Total
First Year 29 0 32
Second Year 14 17 31
Third Year 17 13 30
Fourth Year 17 13 30
Total Credit Earned 80 43 123


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