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
  • Bioethics and Law
  • Bioproperty
  • Current Issues in Health Law and Policy
  • Disability Law
  • Domestic Violence Clinic *
  • Drug Law and Policy
  • Elder Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Global AIDS Policy Seminar
  • Health Law
  • International Human Rights and the Global Economy
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Policy and Advocacy
  • International Health Law: Governance, Development and Human Rights
  • International Human Rights: Legal Research Seminar
  • Juvenile Courts: Delinquency, Abuse and Neglect
  • Law and Economic Development
  • Law and Psychiatry
  • Negotiation
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Poverty Law & Practice Clinic*
  • Private Litigation in the Public Interest
  • Problems in Public Health Law
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Public Health Law Clinic
  • Refugee and Asylum Law
  • Reproductive and Sexual Rights and Health
  • Social Welfare Law
  • Health Care Fraud and Abuse
  • State and Local Government
  • Tufts Applied Learning Experience

Examples of Tufts Courses in the Program

  • Corporate Management of Environmental Issues
  • Determinants of Food Policy
  • Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Ethics and Policy and Food and Nutrition Policy: Institutions, Analysis and Action
  • Global Food and Nutrition Policy
  • Global Nutrition Programs
  • Intro to Global Health and Development
  • 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
  • Health Claims and the Food Industry
  • Public Health Economics
  • Advanced Public Health Economics
  • Public Health and Health Care: Politics, Policies and Programs
  • Race, Culture and Ethnicity
  • Seminar in Government and Family
  • Social Policy for Children and Families
  • Fundamentals of Public Policy
  • Climate Change Policy and Planning?
  • Community Development, Planning and Politics?
  • Negotiation and Conflict Resolution?

* 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.