Health Policy and Law

[ courses | faculty ]

La Jolla Village Professional Center
8950 Villa La Jolla Dr., Suite A-212
(858) 534-9162

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

Program Description

The master of advanced studies (MAS) in Health Policy and Law is a joint-degree offering from UC San Diego and California Western School of Law (CWSL). The program was developed in response to the increasing need to equip professionals from the health-care and legal disciplines with a more complete understanding of the best scientific, ethical, regulatory, and management practices. The chief aim of the program since inception has been to build students’ competencies in the process of public policy, often as implemented via legal systems, as well as understanding frameworks for applying policy to health systems and health policy research and development. As medical decisions grow more complicated and far-reaching, the intersection of legal and medical/health care practices will be one of the most critical focal points of society for decades to come. Managed care, advances in medical treatment and biotechnology, issues of access, and bioethics all absorb the attention of our regulatory, legislative, and judicial systems. Health-care and legal professionals will need to have the specialized skills and training to be effective and influential in this complex environment.

Led by select faculty from the School of Medicine at UC San Diego and California Western School of Law, the rigorous and timely graduate-level curriculum is designed to orient professionals to the common activities, philosophy of practice, and challenges of the companion discipline in health care or law. The program focuses on acculturating practitioners in both fields to become leaders in providing integrated, sensitive solutions to everyday practice and policy issues.


New students are admitted in the fall quarter of each academic year. Prospective candidates should submit an official UC San Diego online graduate application for admission, the application fee, one set of official transcripts from each institution attended after high school, three letters of professional letters of recommendation, and a current résumé or c.v. The GRE/GMAT is not required; however, it is strongly recommended that candidates possess, or currently be pursuing, a graduate degree in a scientific or health care related field and also have some level of experience in scientific or clinical research. In some instances candidates without an advanced degree may be admitted to the joint-degree program if they have demonstrated substantial professional experience in the field at increasing levels of responsibility.

Program of Study

The part-time master’s degree program is designed to be completed in eighteen months to two or three years, depending upon a participant’s time to devote to the program. Responsibility for course offerings is shared between UC San Diego School of Medicine and California Western School of Law and students will be expected to enroll in courses at both institutions. Classes are typically held in the late afternoons or evenings, to allow flexibility for participants’ home and work life. The forty-five-unit degree comprises thirty units of core required courses, which includes three units of capstone project, and fifteen units of general electives as follows:

Core Courses—30 units required:

General Elective Courses—15 units required:

Students enroll in fifteen units of general electives chosen from the following list of courses preapproved by the department from UC San Diego and/or CWSL: