Published on December 18, 2014 by Derrek Smith  
Justice and Mercy statue

Samford University's Cumberland School of Law is accepting applications for a new fully online master of science (M.S.) in health law and policy degree.  The first class will be admitted for fall 2015.

The new degree recently was approved by the university’s board of trustees.

Through the online M.S. in health law and policy degree, professionals in the fields of compliance, human resources, insurance and healthcare administration will gain a marketable expertise in the increasingly complex world of health law and policy, according to Henry Strickland, Cumberland School of Law dean. The degree also will benefit recent graduates who plan to enter the field of health-care compliance or administration, as well as attorneys interested in  health law or policy.

“The demand for professionals who can move into healthcare compliance and related roles is exploding, Strickland said.  “Our new health law and policy degree will enable people in the health care industry to take advantage of that burgeoning demand. It will also provide recent college graduates with almost any major an entry into that field.” 

Experienced faculty from Samford’s Cumberland School of Law and College of Health Sciences, as well as compliance professionals from the community, will participate in the program, according to Laura Tomlin, Cumberland’s director of special programs. The program includes coursework in health law, regulatory affairs, public policy, insurance and healthcare administration, with a particular emphasis on healthcare compliance. The online program takes two years to complete. Students will enroll in two classes per term through fall, spring, and summer of their first year. The second year will include two classes in fall and in spring, and a final summer course. Two or three on-campus weekends are planned.

The new online program is one of only eight programs nationally to be accredited by the Compliance Certification Board (CCB).

“We are excited to have earned accreditation from the CCB. The demand for healthcare compliance professionals is rising, and this accreditation demonstrates that our program will prepare students for careers in this growing field,” Tomlin said.

Strickland noted that the M.S. degree does not replace a traditional juris doctor degree because the M.S. will not qualify graduates for admission to the bar.

“The M.S. degree instead will provide students a more focused study of essential healthcare law, regulation, and administration topics needed to advance in the healthcare industry,” he explained.



Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.