Schools with Healthcare Law Programs: How to Choose

Healthcare law is the study of legal issues related to all aspects of the healthcare industry. Graduate certificates and master's degrees are available in healthcare law through several law and medical schools. Students and working professionals may benefit from the flexibility offered by online coursework. Keep reading for more info about your program and school options for studying healthcare law.

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Healthcare law programs are available at the graduate level at many 4-year colleges and universities. Students interested in becoming practicing healthcare lawyers require a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, and they may find elective graduate programs in healthcare law beneficial to beginning legal practice in the field.

Top 10 Health Care Law Schools

According to the 2016 rankings of U.S. News and World Report, the following schools offer the top ten health care law programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
St. Louis University St. Louis, MO 4-year, private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $39,195
Boston University Boston, MA 4-year, private not-for-profit Doctoral $49,330
University of Houston Houston, TX 4-year, public Master's, Doctoral $29,784 in-state, $44,044 out-of-state
University of Maryland Baltimore, MD 4-year, public Master's, Doctoral $30,177 in-state, $43,657 out-of-state
Georgetown University Washington, DC 4-year, private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $55,255
Georgia State University Atlanta, GA 4-year, public Master's, Graduate Certificate, Doctoral $16,858 in-state, $36,466 out-of-state
Harvard University Cambridge, MA 4-year, private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $58,242
Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL 4-year, private not-for-profit Master's, Graduate Certificate, Doctoral $45,288
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH 4-year, private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $48,760
Seton Hall University Newark, NJ 4-year, private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate $51,018

Source: *U.S. News and World Report

School Selection Criteria

Here are some things to consider when choosing between healthcare law programs:

  • Practical application of the subjects learned within a supervised environment can enhance the academic experience, so students may want to consider the field experience opportunities offered by different schools.
  • Look for schools that offer esteemed guest lecturers in the field, providing relevant information for current healthcare concerns and issues.
  • The level of integration between the legal and medical departments of prospective schools may be of interest to prospective health law students.
  • Some schools provide interdisciplinary teaching within a joint program, giving students the opportunity to earn dual degrees in relevant fields.

Certificate in Healthcare Law

Certificates in healthcare law are commonly offered in conjunction with another legal degree, such as a Juris Doctor or Master of Laws, or as a stand-alone program for legal professionals.

Some programs require an experiential learning component, such as paid assistantships which may provide credit toward the certificate requirements. Evening and online courses may be available, providing convenience and flexibility for working students.

Master's Degree in Health Law

Medical practitioners, administrators and legal professionals may find a master's degree in healthcare law provides awareness and instruction on healthcare policies, legislation and regulations. A bachelor's degree in an allied health, legal or medical field may be required prior to enrollment. Students are often required to gain practical experience through externships or clinical experiences. Some schools offer online classes, though an online program is usually presented in a hybrid format, requiring some on-campus attendance, on-site practicum participation or both.

Students who are interested in studying healthcare law can benefit from a program at a highly ranked university that integrates legal and medical studies and includes both practical training and a wide variety of academic opportunities in the field.

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