The Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Cardozo School of Law offer a joint-degree pathway for law students to obtain a J.D. and a Master's in Bioethics (MBE). Students are able to complete requirements for both degrees in 3 to 4 years at significantly reduced tuition.
Completing requirements for both the J.D. and MBE will take a minimum of three years and possibly an extra summer, semester or year. Time to completion depends on the student's success at coordinating coursework that counts separately and jointly toward the J.D. and MBE.
Students interested in the J.D. and MBE should contact Cardozo's and Einstein's Student Finance Offices very early, as certain decisions can impact their financial aid packages both negatively and positively.
The full-time tuition Cardozo students pay may cover registration for courses at Einstein, though only during the six full-time semesters of the J.D., and only up to the per-semester credit cap set by the ABA, which Cardozo's Registrar will monitor. Students may verify the current limit with Cardozo's Registrar and advising Dean.
In addition, Cardozo's J.D. / MBE students will be asked to pay a fixed tuition fee of $6,000 upon official admission into the MBE program. This fee covers tuition for Bioethics courses taken at Einstein during the student's three full-time years at the Cardozo program and during one additional term (summer, fall or spring). Additional courses beyond that framework will be charged at the per-credit rate.
32 credits are needed to earn the MBE, with half of these (16) completed via Bioethics courses offered through Einstein.
There are two required Bioethics courses: Bioethics and Medical Humanities I and II (6 credits), to be taken consecutively, in the fall and spring semesters of a specific academic year. Also required is work for the Capstone/Thesis project (4 credits).
The remaining 22 credits may be completed via a tailored combination of elective courses on offer at Einstein and Cardozo. A list of applicable courses can be found in the Range of Courses section of this website.
Students should have clear discussions and approvals via the appropriate Dean at Cardozo regarding the range of Bioethics courses at Einstein that may count toward the J.D. Increasing this number allows for a doable course load during the second and third years.
The first year of the J.D. at Cardozo is set and typically does not offer opportunities for coursework toward the MBE. After the first year, students should consult with the appropriate Dean at Cardozo to design their more flexible second and third years so that coursework may progress toward the MBE as well as the J.D.
Do remember that half of the MBE's 32 credits must be met via Bioethics courses offered through Einstein. J.D. / MBE students therefore typically make one of two choices: (a) to spend their second year focusing on Cardozo courses that meet MBE requirements and wait till their third year to take Bioethics courses; OR (b) to begin incorporating Bioethics courses during their second year.
For example, one key decision for a J.D. / MBE student will be to take the two-semester course requirement, Bioethics and Medical Humanities I and II, during their second OR third year.
Note: As stated earlier,there is an ABA-mandated cap on the number of credits a JD student may take during each semester. The Cardozo Registrar will ensure that the cap is not exceeded. Please verify the current limit with the Cardozo Registrar and advising dean. Because of the per-semester credit cap, students have in the past been very proactive in getting Cardozo approval to have more BIOE courses count toward the JD. Still, they have often needed an extra term for the Capstone/Thesis project.
If advanced planning reveals the need for an extra term, it is highly recommended that the student schedule that term as the summer between 2nd and 3rd year. Students deciding to complete their capstone/thesis during that summer do need to carefully balance work with their project advisor alongside work for their law internships.