PharmD & JD Program

PharmD/JD

The University of Maryland Schools of Pharmacy and Law offer a dual Doctor of Pharmacy/Juris Doctor degree program. Graduates of the PharmD/JD program will be prepared for careers in a diverse range of health care and legal areas, such as consulting on health law issues and regulatory policy for government agencies, trade associations and pharmaceutical companies. Areas that may be of interest to PharmD/JD dual degree program students include Biotechnology and Patent Law, Food and Drug Law, Health Care for the Elderly and Poor, Legal Issues in Managed Care, Law and Mental Health, Biodiversity Protection, and Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Law. 

We have put together some Frequently Asked Questions to help explain the nuts and bolts of the process and the programs:

What are the benefits for doing both degrees at the same time?

Through a sharing of elective credits and flexible scheduling, students will earn the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and the Juris Doctor (JD) degrees in less time, and therefore with less cost, than would be required if program requirements were completed separately. In addition, students can integrate both courses of study by completing practicum and externships that integrate both disciplines. The School of Pharmacy allows students to use coursework successfully completed in the School of Law to fulfill their 11 elective credits, and the School of Law allows students to use 9 elective credits obtained in the School of Pharmacy.

The total time to complete both the JD and PharmD programs is generally 6 years, one year less than the time required to complete both programs independently depending on scheduling and experiential placements, as well as dedication and diligence on the part of the student.   Refer to the posted templates for examples of what your schedule may look like, depending when you start each program. Program guides are merely suggested plans, and the student is encouraged to communicate with advisors in both schools to plan the most efficient course of study.

What else should I consider about doing both degrees at the same time?

If you take on the PharmD/JD dual degree, be prepared to work hard, very hard, for 6 years. You will have to carefully consider how much time you devote to extracurriculars and student organizations; you might not have room in your schedule to explore all of the pharmacy or law electives you would like to take; and your budget will be tight – you are strongly advised not to work during this time. Anyway, we won’t give you academic credit for paid work even if it’s relevant (like if you’re a pharmacy technician or paralegal).

I’m prepared for all the hard work. How do I apply?

Each school awards its own degree and has its own admissions process.  THERE IS NO ADMISSIONS PREFERENCE FOR DUAL DEGREE STUDENTS, but you should indicate your intention to pursue the dual degree on the law school application. Application deadlines are February 1 for the School of Pharmacy and April 1 for the School of Law.  Links to pharmacy and law admissions webpages

Each program has their own admission process and requires an application for admission, academic history, and letters of recommendation. The Law School also requires the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) and a Personal Statement. The Pharmacy School also requires the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test) and an on-site interview. Students are encouraged to discuss their motivation to be trained in both disciplines as part of their personal statement or interview.  The same letter of recommendation may be used for both schools but ideally the recommender will either (a) clearly indicate that they are recommending the student for the joint degree OR (b) send two separate letters to each school and address the strengths of the candidate for the particular school in each letter.

Current Pharmacy students: if you entered Pharmacy without an undergraduate degree, you can apply to the Law school at any time but will only be admitted to the law school after successful completion of 120 pharmacy credits (= undergraduate + pharmacy; usually achieved by the end of your second year of pharmacy).  This is allowed pursuant to Standard 502 of the ABA Accreditation Standards. 

I’m in! Now how do I register?

You must keep in close contact with staff at each school (see below). Each dual degree student has a custom-tailored plan of study which requires special handling in the registration systems. This is especially important for priority registration of law electives and you will need to confirm your class standing in advance.

Can I complete areas of concentration in either school as a PharmD/JD?

It is possible for dual degree students to complete the Concentration in Health Law or Concentration in Environmental Law.  To be awarded this designation, students must earn a minimum of 17 credits through the program's three basic components—classroom, experiential learning, and research and writing.  Students interested in completing these specialty certificates should contact the programs’ academic advisors.

It is not possible for dual degree students to complete a pharmacy pathway because the PharmD’s 11 elective credits (around which the pathways are structured) are dedicated to law substitutions.

To whom can I ask questions?

The School of Pharmacy hosts a dual degree forum each fall to provide general overviews of the School’s various dual degree programs and pathways.

PharmD/JD Registration questions:

PharmD/JD Financial aid questions:

PharmD/JD Academic & Career questions:

Current PharmD/JD students are also available to answer questions and mentor prospective dual degree students. Email them here.

For plan of study options,click here.

Here are two articles about career options. [1] [2]

Please note that enrolling in a dual degree program will extend your matriculation by at least one year or more.