The Health Law Certificate Program is intended to give students interested in health law a basic grounding in the field, complemented by clinical experience and more in-depth study of advanced topics and closely related areas of law. Students are expected and encouraged to obtain the same broad background in law expected of all graduates for the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Students must elect to enter the Program by the beginning of their second year of law school. Only in rare situations (such as when a student is in the Flex Program or a joint degree program) will exceptions be made.
Core Courses (required)
|Bioethics¹||3||Parker||Fall||Required Fall 2d year|
|Required Fall or Spring 2d year
|Current Issues in Health Law I||1||Meisel||Fall & Spring||Required Fall & Spring 2d year|
|Current Issues in Health Law II||1||Meisel||Fall & Spring||Required Fall & Spring 3d year|
|Health Law & Policy||3||Crossley||Spring||Required 2d year|
(1) This is an Arts and Sciences course, offered by the Center for Bioethics and Health Law. Please register through the Law School’s Registrar Office. The course number is 2664. This course meets on Thursdays from 6:00-8:30p.m. Permission of the instructor is required. See http://www.law.pitt.edu/resources/registration/faq#reg13 for more information regarding non-law registration.
Required Electives (register for at least two)
|Bioethics and Law||3||
|Not offered 14-15|
|Food and Drug Law||1||McSherry/ Schneider||Spring|
|Law of Disability Discrimination||2||Hornack||Spring|
|Reproduction Sexuality and the Law||2||Frietsche/ Pfeifer||Not offered 14-15|
Clinical Experience (register for at least one)
|Civil Practice Clinic (Elder Law)||7||Mannix||Fall & Spring|
|Civil Practice Clinic (Health)||7||Not offered 14-15|
|Health Law Practicum – Alternative Dispute Resolution||4||Turner | Teeter||Spring|
|Health Law Externship||4||With Prior Approval of Program Director||2d or 3d Year or Summer|
|Medicare and Medicaid Practicum||4||McKendree||Fall & Spring|
Electives (register for at least three)
|Bioethics & Law||3||Not offered 14-15|
|Business Planning, Entrepreneurship & Technology||2||Schreiber||Fall|
|Civil Practice Clinic (Elder Law)*||7||Mannix||Fall & Spring|
|Civil Practice Clinic (Health)*||7||Not offered 14-15|
|Clinical Bioethics and Law||3||Meisel||Not offered 14-15|
|Commercializing New Technologies||3||Not offered 14-15|
|Elder Law Seminar||3||Frolik||Not offered 14-15|
|Emergency Preparedness Law||2||Bjerke||Not offered 14-15
|Employee Benefits||3||Frolik||Not offered 14-15|
|Food and Drug Law§||1||McSherry/Schneider||Spring|
|Health Care and Civil Rights Seminar||3||Crossley||Not offered 14-15|
|Health Care Antitrust**||2||McClenahan/Scheuermann||Fall|
|Health Care Business Transactions & Finance||3||Schreiber||Spring|
|Health Care Compliance||3||Spring|
|Health Care Fraud & Abuse**||1||Ramsey||Fall|
|Health Law Moot Court**||1||Fall|
|Health Law Practicum: Alternative Dispute Resolution*||4||Turner | Teeter||Spring|
|Health Reform in the U.S.: Past, Present and Future||2||James||Not offered 14-15
|Law of Disability Discrimination§||2||Hornack||Spring|
|Medicare and Medicaid Practicum*||4||McKendree||Fall & Spring|
|Mental Health Law||2||Rozel/Zottola||Spring|
|Nonprofit Tax Exempt Organizations||2||Lieber||Spring|
|Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law***||1||Fall/Spring|
|Philosophy of Medicine2||3||Lyne||Fall|
|Physician Disclosure to Patients Seminar||3||Meisel||Not offered 14-15|
|Public Health Law||3||Bjerke||Fall|
|Reproduction Sexuality and the Law§||2||Frietsche/ Pfeifer||Not offered 14-15|
|Reproductive Rights Seminar||3||Frietsche/Brake||Not offered 14-15|
|Right to Die Seminar||3||Meisel||Spring|
|Theoretical Foundations of Applied Ethics3||3||Wicclair||Spring|
|US Reproductive Rights Seminar||3||Garrow||Not offered 14-15|
|Other Graduate Level Courses||Students may take up to 6 credits of graduate level courses outside the School of Law for credit toward the Health Law Certificate Program with permission of the program director. Courses that are especially relevant are those offered by the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Graduate School of Public Health, the Center for Bioethics and Health Law, and the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie-Mellon University.|
* If used to satisfy Clinical requirement, may not be used to satisfy Elective requirement.
** Counts as one-half course for purposes of satisfying required number of electives.
***Counts as one course if two or more semester’s credit; count as one-half course if one semester’s credit.
§ If used to satisfy the required elective requirement, may not be used to satisfy this requirement.
2 This is an Arts and Sciences course, offered by the Center for Bioethics and Health Law. Please register through the Law School's Registrar Office. The course number is 2658. This course meets on Tuesday from 6:00-8:30pm.
3 This is an Arts and Sciences course, offered by the Center for Bioethics and Health Law. Please register through the Law School's Registrar Office. The course number is 2661. This course meets on Wednesday from 4:00-6:25pm.
All students at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law must satisfy the Faculty Supervised Writing Requirement (including students who are members of a law journal). For a full explanation of this requirement, consult the Student Handbook. Students in the Bioethics Track of the Health Law Certificate Program must satisfy it by writing on topic in bioethics and law, using any course, clinic, seminar or practicum which may be used in satisfaction of this requirement. (Courses taught by adjunct professors ordinarily may not be used.) Prior approval of the topic by the HLCP Director is required prior to the paper’s being written, in addition to approval by the course instructor. This requirement may be satisfied by an independent study only with prior permission of the HLCP Director which will be given only in extraordinary cases.
The HLC Program Office keeps track of your fulfillment of requirements and periodically notifies you of your status. However, you are ultimately responsible for knowing whether or not you have met all the program requirements in a timely fashion.
The sequence of the curriculum is designed to allow students maximum flexibility. Students may either take the entire first-year School of Law curriculum intact, or they may take one bioethics course — Theoretical Foundations of Applied Ethics — in place of Criminal Law (which would then be taken in their second year of law school). Students should discuss this plan of study with Prof. Alan Meisel, Director of this joint program.
The writing requirements for both degrees are simultaneously satisfied by completion of the master's thesis requirement in a subject in the field of law and bioethics.
The Clinical Practica ensure that students will be comfortable in and knowledgeable about the clinical setting by learning how to identify the normative issues in clinical cases and to be able to give practical advice regarding difficult bioethical dilemmas. Students are scheduled for six credits of clinically-based work, which may be reduced to three for students with previous health care training. In Clinical Practica I and II students acquire familiarity with the clinical setting by
- rounding in specified services with residents, attending physicians, and other health care professionals, including one night on call per service
- participating in twice weekly seminars on medical sociology and clinical ethics and to fulfill those seminar requirements of reading, writing, discussion, and case presentations
- observing ethics consultations and clinical ethics teaching sessions
- completing a self-paced programmed text covering basic medical terminology
In Clinical Practicum II, students participate in an intensive four-week rotation in the clinical area of their choice, allowing in-depth development in an area of clinical medicine. Students should relate this intensive clinical experience to their thesis topic.
Go directly to http://www.bioethics.pitt.edu/academic-programs/jd-ma-bioethics.php for detailed information about this program.
In addition to meeting the specifically required coursework for the JD degree and the MA degree, students will select electives from among an array of courses available in the two separate degree programs and in other parts of the University. For an up-to-date list of law school courses considered to be especially appropriate for students in this joint degree program, students should consult the courses listed as electives for the Health Law Certificate Program
Students in the joint law and bioethics program will ordinarily fulfill the requirements of the Health Law Certificate Program in the law school and may obtain this certificate concurrent with the joint degree.
Students enrolled in the joint degree program accomplish in three to four years what would take four or more years if the two degrees were obtained separately. The total required number of credits 100, as compared with 118 credits if the two degrees were taken separately. The 100 credits include 34 credits of specifically prescribed* law courses, the Bioethics and Health Law Clinical Practicum (3 credits), and 18 specifically prescribed credits in bioethics. Within the remaining 45 credits, students must satisfy requirements for their law degree, take a course from the list of Restricted Elective courses for the bioethics degree, and take at least 3 credits in a course relevant to bioethics (either in the law school or not).
Taken as a joint degree program, the two degrees are ordinarily earned in 7 semesters and one summer.
During at least 5 semesters, joint degree students must be coded by the University Registrar as "primary law." During these semesters, they pay tuition at the Law School rate. They must enroll in at least 10 credits of law school courses.
Specifically Prescribed Law courses
|Legal Analysis & Writing (F & Sp)||4|
|Legislation and Regulation||3|
|Pitt Law Academy||0|
A full listing of the requirements for graduation from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law can be found on the Graduation Requirements page.
Bioethics and Health Law
Specifically Prescribed Bioethics courses
|Theo Found App Ethics||3|
|Philosophy of Medicine||3|
|Clinical Practicum II||3|
|MA Thesis Research||6|
Additional 45 credits, including courses serving as
|a bioethics restricted elective||3|
|a bioethics elective||3|
Total: 99 Credits.
Students are required to consult with the Director of the Joint Degree Program during or prior to the spring registration period each year in order to assure that they meet all requirements of the Joint Degree program.
For Students Interested in Practicing in New York
Please be advised that students who wish to be admitted to practice in New York should not enroll in this joint degree program unless they limit the number of credits from outside the Law School that count toward their JD degree to no more than 12. See New York Rules of Court § 520(c)(5).
Students wishing to enroll in the joint degree program must first be admitted to each of the individual programs. Students must complete and submit two separate applications, although the bioethics program will accept the unofficial photocopies of transcripts and LSAT score, so long as the official copies are on file in the School of Law. Application to both programs may be made simultaneously, or students may apply to the bioethics program during the first or second year of law school. It is preferable for students to apply early. Students who have completed one year of the master's degree may enroll in the School of Law and have master's degree credits applied toward the law degree only if, at the conclusion of one year of the master's degree, they still require at least 12 credits to complete in that degree program.
The deadline for application for admission to the School of Law is March 1. The deadline for application for admission to the bioethics program is March 31st. Again, earlier application is advantageous to prospective students, as the class may be filled with early applicants.
Students must pay tuition at the law school rate at least 5 semesters and to A&S for 2 semesters (or 18 credits).
Students who complete the program in 7 or 8 semesters will be billed at the lower A&S tuition rate for two semesters.
When coded as "primary A&S" and paying tuition at the A&S rate, a maximum of 15 credits are paid for by the A&S per-semester tuition rate. If a student takes more than 15 credits, the student will be billed extra for any credits over 15 at the FAS per-credit tuition rate.