Admissions Requirements

Admissions to the Regular Law and Public Health Program (For J.D. Holders)

The LPH program is a one-year program designed for professionals who have (1) sufficient experience for them to be clear about their career goals, (2) a focused interest within public health, and (3) adequate academic preparation to undertake an intensive, challenging course of study. These qualities maximize the likelihood that the applicant will be successful in coursework and able to make informed and relevant use of this brief program of study.

A typical LPH student is a legal professional or health professional with legal training who has two or more years of work experience and who is preparing for advancement in his/her organization or for transition into a new field. Outstanding applicants who have completed their legal training more recently are also eligible for admission, asare professionals nearing the end of their career if their reasons for seeking an MPH degree are well articulated. Harvard Law students are eligible for admission to the JD/MPH joint degree program before or during their first year of law school.

A number of factors are considered in admissions. Ordinarily, no single factor will eliminate an otherwise strong candidate; admissions decisions are based on an assessment of the “whole candidate.” Key considerations are the degree of fit between the program curriculum and the applicant’s interests and goals, and the applicant’s level of preparation for the proposed course of study.

Particular admissions criteria for the regular LPH program include the following (for admissions criteria to the JD/MPH joint degree program, scroll down):

1. Academic background

  • Completion of a Juris Doctor degree or foreign equivalent prior to matriculation at HSPH.
  • Good grades in undergraduate work and strong performance in graduate work.
  • Evidence of aptitude and success in prior coursework in mathematics and quantitative methods.
  • Evidence of prior academic exposure to concepts in science and medicine.
  • Strong performance on the GRE or LSAT examination.
  • Proficiency in English.

2. Experience

  • Professional experience that involves work on health-related issues or in some other way demonstrates familiarity with public health issues.
  • Most applicants will have 2 or more years of legal practice experience.

3. Goals

The applicant’s Personal Statement should:

  • Evince an understanding of the field of public health and the work the applicant has in mind. Career objectives should be specific and well articulated.
  • Establish a link between past training and experience, future goals, and the proposed program of study.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the orientation and substance of the LPH concentration and confirm a commitment to acquiring the skills and knowledge that form the core of the MPH program.

4. Potential contribution to the program

  • Sincere commitment to the field of public health, including both an existing focused interest within the field and a curiosity about other areas of possible exploration.
  • Extensive or unusual work experience or interesting personal background are a plus.
  • Personal maturity and ability to work well with colleagues and contribute positively to a learning/working environment, as evidenced by lettersof recommendation.

For further information about admissions requirements and the admissions process, please see the Admissions Office website.

Admissions to the JD/MPH Joint Degree Program

A number of factors are considered for admission to the joint JD/MPH program.  Ordinarily, no single factor will eliminate an otherwise strong candidate; admissions decisions are based on an assessment of the “whole candidate.”  Key considerations are the degree of fit between the program curriculum and the applicant’s interests and goals,and the applicant’s level of preparation for the proposed course of study.

Particular admissions criteria include the following:

1.      Academic background

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent and acceptance at Harvard Law School prior to matriculation at HSPH.
  • Very strong academic record in undergraduate work and any graduate study undertaken to date.
  • Evidence of aptitude and success in prior coursework in mathematics and quantitative methods, and a comfort level with quantitative methods sufficient to undertake graduate-level study of Biostatistics andEpidemiology in an intensive summer course.
  • Evidence of prior academic exposure to concepts in science and medicine.
  • Strong performance on the GRE and/or LSAT examination.
  • Proficiency in English.

2.      Experience

  • A demonstrated commitment to public health interests through participation in relevant internships,volunteer experiences, research, and/or student and community activities.

3.      Goals

The applicant’s Personal Statement should:

  • Show an understanding of the field of public health and the work the applicant has in mind. Career objectives should be well articulated.
  • Establish a link between past training and experience, future goals, and the proposed program of study.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the orientation and substance of theLaw & Public Health concentration and confirm a commitment to acquiring the skills and knowledge that form the core of the MPH program.
  • Articulate a focused interest within public health (e.g., U.S. health care policy, international health and human rights, environmental health, health technologies).

4.      Potential contribution to the program

  • Sincere commitment to the field of public health, including both an existing focused interest within the field and a curiosity about other areas of possible exploration.
  • Extensive or unusual work experience or interesting personal background is a plus.
  • Personal maturity and ability to work well with colleagues and contribute positively to a learning/working environment, as evidenced by letters of recommendation.

More information about the admissions process is provided in the JD/MPH Program Brochure.