MD/Juris Doctor (JD) Program
The MD/Juris Doctor (MD/JD) program is designed for Perelman medical students interested in integrating the study of medicine with training in the legal field. The University of Pennsylvania is one of a select few universities with top-ranked schools in both law and medicine. Matriculation into the MD/JD program obligates the student to follow all regulations and policies of the Perelman Medical School and of the Penn Law School. Students admitted to the MD/JD program typically complete both degrees in six years.
The first step of the process is to gather information regarding the MD/JD dual degree. Interested students have several resources:
- Penn Law JD — the JD program website provides detailed information on the program and degree requirements as well as the application process.
- Amy Nothelfer — students are encouraged to contact Amy, Associate Director of Combined Degrees, to discuss their interest in the JD program.
- Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM) Office of Admissions and Financial Aid — As soon as a student is considering the pursuit of an integrated dual degree program, financial aid counseling and planning is strongly advised.
Once a student has applied for the MD/JD program, the student must notify Helene Weinberg, Registrar of the PSOM, with his/her intention to pursue the MD/JD.
Students are strongly encouraged to meet with a staff member in the PSOM Office of Admissions and Financial Aid to discuss financial issues.
Curriculum & Program Structure
Penn Law Program Requirements:
The JD degree is composed of 86 credit hours*:
- 74 credit hours at Penn Law
- 4-12 credit hours transfer from the Perelman School of Medicine
* In order to comply with accreditation standards, the Law School operates on a credit hour basis while courses at the rest of the University are typically worth 1.0 credit unit. In converting between programs, a law course will count as 1.0 credit unit (or cu) and a 1 cu course will be worth three credit hours at the Law School.
Note: The JD includes credit units for externships, activities, etc. not just didactics.
Required Course Hours: 86
Penn Law will count up to four courses/12 credit hours (evaluated on a case-by-case basis) taken at the Perelman School of Medicine towards the JD. Joint degree students must also satisfy the requirements of Penn Law's Public Interest Center's Pro Bono Program and fulfill their law senior writing, experiential learning and professional responsibility requirements.
For information on the curriculum of the JD program, go to Penn Law JD. Here you will find information on the curriculum structure, electives, and other program information.
Students are enrolled in the Perelman MD program full time for the first two years and in the Penn Law JD program full time during the third and fourth years. During year 5, typically students will be enrolled in JD course work in the Fall and the MD curriculum in the Spring. Then in year 6, students will complete the MD curriculum.
MD/JD Degree Completion Time: 6 years
MD/JD Study Plan:
The 6 year curriculum for the combined MD/JD below is meant to provide details about the timing of JD course work for those who are already familiar with the PSOM curriculum.
|Year||Fall||Spring||Summer||Tuition and Billing||Maximum Direct Loan Eligibility (2017-18)|
|MD tuition fall and spring||$44,942|
|MD tuition fall and spring||$47,167|
|3||JD curriculum||JD curriculum||Penn Law tuition fall and spring||$20,500|
|4||JD curriculum||JD curriculum||Penn Law tuition fall and spring||$20,500|
|5||JD curriculum||MD curriculum
MD curriculum (Module 5)
|Penn Law tuition fall and MD tuition spring||$10,250 fall;
|MD tuition fall and spring||$40,500|
Medical School Planning:
There are several things to keep in mind when making your Medical School plans:
- The JD degree counts as your Scholarly Pursuit requirement.
- MD/JD students need to complete 2 weeks of Frontiers and 1 week of Bioethics.
As soon as a Perelman medical student is considering the pursuit of an integrated dual degree program, financial aid counseling and planning is strongly advised. Students should contact Jean Fox, PSOM Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. She is available to help explain program costs, the financial aid process, funding options and how to apply for financial aid.
Here are some things to consider:
- When paying Medical School tuition and registered as a medical student, an individual can retain his/her PSOM Scholarship and has a Direct loan eligibility of $40,500. When a student is registered as a full-time JD student, he/she is not eligible for PSOM Scholarship and has a Direct loan eligibility of $20,500. In accordance with federal regulations, all sources of aid (loan, scholarships, fellowships,) cannot exceed the student budget.
- Direct loans have aggregate limits, which are cumulative and include any undergraduate, graduate, and medical school loans borrowed in the Direct loan program. For any semester when a student is a full-time JD or a full-time MD student, the program aggregate limit is $224,000.
- Students who require funds in excess of their Direct loan may apply for a Direct PLUS loan. Details on this loan and instructions for applying can be found at the PSOM Admissions and Financial Aid Office.
- Tuition will be billed each semester based on course registration and program requirements. Financial aid is available only from the school charging tuition. It is the student's responsibility to file all of the financial aid applications and documents required to the school in which he or she is enrolled. Students may not receive financial aid from both schools during the same semester. The student is limited to the policies and federal regulations surrounding each school's educational program. Specific costs are determined annually and are available from the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.
The admissions process for the MD/JD program is competitive. A Perelman medical student may apply to the Penn Law JD program during his/her first or second year.
There are two steps to applying:
- Apply to the Penn Law JD Program
Perelman medical students who wish to enroll in the MD/JD program must take the LSAT exam and must submit an application directly to Penn Law for the JD program. Please see the Penn JD Admissions for further information.
- Submit Master/JD Program Registration Form to the Combined Degree Office
In addition to submitting a JD application to Penn Law, Perelman medical students must also submit a Master/JD Program Registration Form to Amy Nothelfer, Associate Director of the Combined Degree and Physician Scholar Programs Office (6th Floor JMEC).
Application deadline: March 1 of second year
For more information regarding the MD/JD program, contact:
Perelman School of Medicine:
Amy Nothelfer, MSW, LSW
Please note that policies concerning admissions, curriculum, funding, and financial aid are subject to change. Additionally, though variations in the curriculum may be possible, any change will need prior approval and may have financial implications. This website is meant to provide preliminary general overview information only. Students interested in or enrolled in the program should seek personal advising from relevant faculty and staff.