Both the School of Law and Tufts University School of Medicine have long traditions of emphasizing the relationship between public policy and public health, offering students exposure to faculty members who have extensive experience. Our two schools’ shared global perspective and commitment to active citizenship and interdisciplinary scholarship translate into a rich intellectual milieu in which to engage in critical thinking and focus on complex, population-based approaches to health. All law students must complete four co-ops in different legal settings to graduate; students in the JD/MPH dual-degree track must complete at least one co-op related to public health. The program takes 42 months to complete.

Examples of Northeastern Courses in the Program

  • Administrative Law
  • Affordable Housing
  • Battered Women and the Law
  • Bioethics and Law
  • Children's Law**
  • Disability Law
  • Law and Development
  • Employment Law: Safety and Health
  • Domestic Violence Clinic
  • Hazardous Waste Law
  • Health Law
  • Human Rights in the Global Economy
  • International Human Rights: Legal Research Seminar
  • Juvenile Courts: Delinquency, Abuse and Neglect
  • New Approaches to Environmental Protection
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Poverty Law and Practice Clinic
  • Problems in Public Health Law
  • Public Health Law Clinic
  • Private Litigation for Social Justice**
  • Refugee and Asylum Law
  • State and Local Government
  • Welfare Law 

Examples of Tufts Courses in the Program

  • Air Pollution Control
  • Community Health and Drugs
  • Corporate Management of Environmental Issues
  • Determinants of Food Policy
  • Environmental Justice
  • Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Ethical Issues in Health Communication
  • Food and Nutrition Policy: Institutions, Analysis and Action
  • Global Food Business
  • Global Health Services
  • Hazardous Materials Safety
  • Health Care Organization: Budgeting & Management
  • Humanitarian Aid in Complex Emergencies
  • International Environmental Policy
  • International Nutrition Programs
  • Management, Planning, and Control of Nutrition and Health Programs and Organizations
  • Philosophy and Public Affairs
  • Public Policy of Health Claims
  • Public Health Economics
  • Public Health and Health Care: Politics, Policies and Programs
  • Race, Culture and Ethnicity
  • Seminary in Government and Family
  • Social Policy for Children and Families
  • Fundamentals of Public Policy

* only available to students matriculating for their JD

Examples of Co-ops in Public Health

  • Breakstone, White, Leif, Boston
  • Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services Elder Law, Cambridge
  • Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Cetrulo & Capone, Boston
  • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Indian Child Welfare Program, Eagle Butte, S.D.
  • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Legal Department, Eagle Butte, S.D.
  • Citizens For Juvenile Justice, Boston
  • Community Catalyst, Boston
  • Community Legal Services, Inc., Philadelphia
  • Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston
  • Greater Boston Legal Services, Asian Battered Women's Project, Boston
  • Harvard School of Public Health, Boston
  • Health Care For All, Boston
  • Higgins, Cavanaugh, Providence, R.I.
  • Justice Now Network on Women, Oakland, Calif.
  • Juvenile Rights Project, Portland, Ore.
  • Mass. Department of Industrial Accidents, Boston
  • Mass. Department of Public Health, Boston
  • New York State Office of Attorney General, New York
  • Public Advocates, Inc., San Francisco
  • Public Health Advocacy Institute, Boston
  • Ropes & Gray, Boston
  • Rosenfeld & Rafik, Boston
  • San Francisco County Public Defender, Behavioral Health Court Unit, San Francisco
  • Thornton & Naumes, Boston
  • US Attorney's Office, Domestic Violence Unit, Washington, DC
  • US Dept. of Health & Human Services, Civil Rights Branch, Boston
  • Washington State Nurse's Association, Seattle
  • Winchester Hospital, Winchester, Mass.
  • Women's Law Project, Philadelphia

JD/MPH Reflective Paper

In order to receive both degrees, all students in the JD/MPH program must complete a reflective paper. In the paper, the student should reflect upon his or her experiences in the program, especially in the ALE and co-ops, paying particular attention to the distinctions and similarities that the student has experienced between being a lawyer and being a public health professional. Among the questions to be addressed are the following:

  • Do the two professions analyze, understand, and resolve problems in a compatible or distinct manner?
  • What differences and tensions have you experienced between the two roles?
  • Are there ways in which your training and/or experiences in one profession has enhanced or interfered with your ability to practice the other profession?
  • How do you expect to reconcile and integrate your two professional roles?

Responses to these questions should be based largely upon personal experiences in the program, although students may also draw from experiences prior to the start of graduate study as well as course work. This is not, however, meant to be a research assignment, but rather a personal reflection.

Copies of the paper should be submitted simultaneously to the program directors at both the law school and school of medicine.

Program Sequence

The following schedule represents a typical progression through the JD/MPH dual-degree program:



To be admitted to the dual-degree program, students must be admitted to both Northeastern University School of Law and Tufts University School of Medicine. Students should apply online to Northeastern through LSAC. The application for the MPH program at Tufts University is available at

The JD/MPH dual-degree program also accepts applications during a student’s first or second year of law school at Northeastern or from students transferring to Northeastern. Admission to Northeastern University School of Law does not guarantee admission to the Tufts MPH program. Both applications must be at each institution by March 1 for those applying to the dual-degree prior to entering Northeastern. Once admitted to the dual-degree program, the student should confer with the Office of Academic and Student Affairs about credit transfers.

Transfer of Credits

Students who are enrolled in the JD/MPH dual degree and who take certain designated Tufts University School of Medicine courses are awarded up to 12 credits towards their JD. Students who are not enrolled in the JD/MPH program may take up to 4 credits in certain designated Tufts University School of Medicine courses with the advance permission of the Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Affairs.

For information about the transfer of credits, contact the Office of Academic and Student Affairs

Additional information is available on the Tufts website.