Law, J.D. and Health Care Ethics, Ph.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 class 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 SLU 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 from the following Health Care Law courses:3
Health Care Financing and Business Planning
FDA Law and Policy
Disability Law
Elder Law
Fraud, Abuse and Health Care Regulation
Health Care Compliance and the Law
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
Methods in Philosophical Ethic
Methods in Religious Ethics
Philosophical Foundations
Foundations of Catholic Morality
Clinical Ethics
Research Ethics
Total Credits18

Continuation Standards

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

For additional information about the health care ethics program, please contact:

Harold Braswell, Ph.D. 
Graduate program coordinator, health care ethics