Certificate in Health Law
The School of Law through the Health Law Certificate Program offers a Certificate ("Health Law Certificate") for students enrolled in the School of Law who have demonstrated a substantive concentration in the field of Health Law through course work, a substantial written project, and relevant work experience. The award of the Health Law Certificate is noted on the student's final transcript.
Certificate Program Requirements
As part of the graduation requirement of 90 credit hours for students in the School of Law, achievement of the Health Law Certificate requires the completion of seven (7) courses, which are accounted for within the 35 elective credit hours required for graduation. As detailed below, admission to the Certificate Program is through application only and must be approved by the current director of the Health Law Program (or his or her designee) ("The Director").
Number of Students
Unless otherwise determined by the Director, enrollment in the Health Law Certificate Program will be limited to no more than 8 students at any one time.
Admission to the Certificate Program
To make best use of available resources, admission to the Health Law Certificate Program is at the discretion of the Director. Students may apply either at the end of their first year or by the first Friday of the start of the academic semester in the student's second year IF THEY HAVE ALREADY COMPLETED ONE OF THE CORE COURSES WITH A GRADE OF C OR BETTER. The application must include: 1) a written statement (250 words) describing why the student wishes to pursue the Health Law Certificate; 2) a transcript; and 3) the names of two (2) current faculty references. All applicants will also be interviewed by the Director.
Each student admitted into the Health Law Certificate Program must meet with the Director in order to plan a course of study. This plan must be signed by both the student and the Director before a student is eligible for course pre-registration in the Health Law Certificate Program. Once a student has an approved plan of study, he or she is then responsible for keeping track of his or her own progress towards meeting the requirements of the certificate and must submit a progress report to the Director at the end of each semester.
Required CoursesAll students must complete Health Law and a Health Law related Externship. In addition, students must complete at least three of the core electives and at least two more sub-specialty elective courses.
A. Core Courses
- Health Care Law (3) AND
- Externship Program (2) (see practicum requirements) (it is possible for a student to substitute a health law work experience that does not qualify for course credit under the Externship program. If that is the case, the student shall substitute one of the Core Electives for the Externship course).
B. Core Electives: At least three electives from the following list are required (note: not all electives are offered every year).
- Bioethics (2 or 3)
- Contemporary Developments/Issues in Health Care (2)
- Disabilities and the Law (2)
- Discrimination in Employment (2 or 3)
- Elder Law (2 or 3)
- Health Care and Bioethics Mediation Clinic (3)
- Health Care Transactions and Financing (2)
- Law and Psychiatry (2)
- Law, Science, and the Environment (2 or 3)
- Non-profit Organizations (3)
- Public Health Law (3)
C. Sub-specialty Health Law Electives: Two (2) electives from the following list may be counted towards the Certificate but cannot substitute for the two Core Courses or the three Core Electives (note: not all electives offered every year).
- Advanced Alternative Dispute Resolution Clinic (3)
- Administrative Law (3)
- Correctional Health Care Law (2)
- Employment Law (3)
- Global Biosecurity Law (2 or 3)
- Independent Research (1 or 2) (with permission of Program Director)
- Insurance Law (2 or 3)
- Introduction to Intellectual Property (2)
- Law and Biotechnology (2 or 3)
- Law and Bioterrorism (2 or 3)
- Law and Ethics of Clinical Research (2)
- Law, Medicine and Literature (2 or 3)
- Law and Science (2)
- Medical Malpractice (2 or 3)
- Nanotechnology Law and Policy (2 or 3)
- Pharmacy Law Seminar: Legislation to Liabilities (1)
- Products Liability (2)
- Reproductive Technology Law (2 or 3)
The Program Director retains the authority to add relevant new courses to the list of electives which may become available as well as to remove courses from the list above. If a course is removed, those students who received credit for the course while it was still in the Program will be able to count the course as part of their completion of the Certificate.
The student must maintain a 2.8 grade point average in the core and elective courses taken toward credit for the Health Law Certificate.
Because the goal of the Health Law Certificate is to prepare students for practice in a health law or policy setting, completion of the Certificate requires practical experience. This experience may be either through the Law School's Externship Program (note specifications below) or another Practical Experience approved in advance by the Director.
Given that externships in health law are subject to the real world time constraints of working health law attorneys and the right of other law students to participate in the Externship program there is no guarantee that all students will be able to receive a Health Law placement through the Law School's Externship Program. Therefore, a student pursuing the certificate who wishes to satisfy their practicum requirement through the Law School's Externship program should enroll in the Externship Program at the earliest opportunity with the understanding that they may not be able to receive a health law placement in any specific semester.
Students seeking the certificate in Health Law must complete a scholarly research paper on a subject related to health law in (1) a Health Law course or (2) a Directed Research project with a member of the Health Law Program's faculty. This paper must be a minimum of 25 pages in length, double-spaced and in twelve-point font with one-inch margins. The paper must include footnotes (which do not change the page length requirements) and must be formatted according to Blue Book specifications. The paper must include citations to at least one medical or public health journal.
With the permission of the Professor under whose supervision the paper is written, it may also be used to satisfy the requirements of the Law School's Writing Requirement, if consistent with these requirements, or any individual course. However, just because a paper satisfies the requirements of a particular course or the Law School's Writing Requirement, does not mean that it will automatically satisfy the requirements of the Health Law Certificate Program. Students should consult with the Director early in the process if they have any questions.
Students seeking the certificate in Health Law are expected to be active leaders in the Tech Health Law Association and in joint activities scheduled with the Medical School.
Completion of the Program
Before the period for course registration is closed in the semester in which the student intends to graduate, he or she must submit a report to the Director indicating how he or she has met the requirements of the Certificate.
No student may receive the Certificate without the approval of the Director, and the Director retains discretion to drop a student from the Certificate program for failure to comply with any of the requirements, or for other good cause. The Director shall also have authority to modify, waive or reconfigure the Program Requirements to promote equity and fairness in the event of unforeseen complications or exigent circumstances.