The Master of Studies in Law with a concentration in health law and compliance (M.S. in Law) is designed to prepare professionals for the increasingly complex world of health law and policy. Offered through Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law, this program includes course work in health law, regulatory affairs, public policy, insurance and health care administration, with a particular emphasis on health care compliance. Experienced faculty from both Cumberland School of Law and Samford University’s College of Health Sciences participate in the program.

This degree is accredited by the Compliance Certification Board (CCB)®. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for any of the following credentialing exams offered by the Compliance Certification Board:

  • Healthcare Compliance (CHC)™
  • Healthcare Research Compliance (CHRC)®
  • Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC)®
  • Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP)®

The Cumberland School of Law will apply 13 credits of pharmacy course work to satisfy work required under the regular M.S. in Law curriculum. McWhorter School of Pharmacy will apply 4 credits of core law course work to satisfy the elective course work required under the traditional pharmacy curriculum. As a student in this program, you are required to complete 30 credits of M.S. in Law course work and 142 credits of pharmacy course work. Students do not need to have a bachelor’s degree to be admitted to this joint degree program, but the bachelor’s degree must be earned to complete more than 12 credit hours of the master’s program. The M.S. in Law courses are offered online and meet Quality Matters standards.

The M.S. in Law program welcomes and encourages students from all academic backgrounds.

General Policies

On graduation, you can receive both the Pharm.D. and Master of Studies in Law, Health Law and Compliance degrees in the same semester. In this program, you must complete the M.S. in Law within seven academic years of the original date of admission to the program.

You will have two separate grade point averages, one for M.S. in Law and one for pharmacy. Pharmacy school ranking and percentiles will be based on the pharmacy-only GPA. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in the M.S. in Law program to be in good standing. Students may not earn a grade below “C” in any law course to progress in the M.S. in Law program. For complete details and additional M.S. in Law program academic policies, please refer to the law program’s website. Pharmacy students no longer interested in completing the M.S. in Law program must communicate with the McWhorter School of Pharmacy Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  

Students may register for a maximum of 21 credits per full semester. If desired, you may petition the associate dean of academic affairs to exceed this maximum course load.

You may choose to drop the joint degree in order to earn the Pharm.D. degree earlier. The Cumberland School of Law will accept shared credit from the pharmacy school upon later readmission to the M.S. in Law program as long as the student:

  1. Began the joint degree before graduating with the Pharm.D.
  2. Was in good standing with the Cumberland School of Law
  3. Requests readmission to restart M.S. in Law courses within 18 months after Pharm.D. graduation 

Admission Requirements

To be considered for the joint Pharm.D./M.S. in Law program, you must first be accepted to both McWhorter School of Pharmacy and Cumberland School of Law. For detailed information on applying to McWhorter School of Pharmacy, visit our admission page for details on the process and required documentation.

Pharmacy students need to have a pharmacy cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 to apply for admission to the M.S. in Law degree program.  The GRE and GMAT are not required. 

The application deadline is April 1.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the M.S. in Law program, students will:

  1. Utilize legal databases to access the primary sources of health care law in the United States: statutes, regulations and court decisions
  2. Analyze key issues in health policy and compliance from ethical, legal and economic perspectives
  3. Interpret and evaluate cost effectiveness and outcomes studies for use in health care management decision making
  4. Communicate complex ideas, orally and in writing, using legal, medical and industry-specific terminology
  5. Implement the basic components of an effective corporate compliance program in health care.
  6. Implement safeguards for privacy and security pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  7. Continuously adapt to the evolving health system in the United States, as transformed by the Affordable Care Act
  8. Prepare students for advancement in compliance management roles in health care organizations
  9. Provide leadership in the enhancement of patient safety and quality improvement 

Plan of Study