The Master of Studies in Law with a concentration in health law and compliance 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)®

This program is not approved by the American Bar Association, which approves only the Juris Doctor degree. Students who complete this program are not eligible to sit for any bar examination.

General Policies

On graduation, you can receive both the Pharm.D. and Master of Studies in Law, health law and compliance 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 only the pharmacy 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 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 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.

You may choose to drop the M.S. in Law in order to earn the Pharm.D. 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 his or her Pharm.D.; 2) was in good standing with the Cumberland School of Law; and 3) requests readmission to restart  M.S. in Law course work within 18 months of Pharm.D. graduation.

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.

Admission Requirements

  • Pharmacy students without a bachelor’s degree can begin this program, with the expectation of receiving the Bachelor of Science in pharmacy studies after completing the second year of pharmacy school. 
  • The Master of Studies in Law will not be awarded to any student who has not earned a bachelor’s degree.
  • Pharmacy students need to have a pharmacy cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. to apply for admission to the M.S., health law and policy degree program.
  • The GRE and GMAT are not required.
  • Pharmacy students are required to complete the M.S.L. application by April 1.
  • Full-time first-year pharmacy students are not allowed to enroll into any joint degree program courses in conjunction with pharmacy courses.