Indiana U-Indianapolis adds joint law and medical degree

The Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis wants to test its students to the limit by adding a joint law and medical degree program to its curriculum this semester.

Offered by the law school in partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine, the degree can be wrapped up in just six years, as opposed to the common seven-year time frame.

While some schools across the U.S. require the student to start medical school first, Indiana is giving the students the option of matriculating into the program by either starting law school or medical school first.

The law school and medical school have been discussing the idea of a joint degree program for several years, according to Professor Priscilla Keith, the Director of Research and Projects at the Hall Center for Law and Health at the Indiana University School of Law- Indianapolis.

Chances of finding work after graduating from Indiana are already high, with a 92.1-percent employment rate. Keith thinks the new joint degree will increase career opportunities in public health and life sciences, since Indianapolis boasts a robust medical market.

Local companies include IU Health, Eli Lilly, Roche Diagnostics, Wellpoint, the Regenstrief Institute, the Indiana Health Information Exchange, and hospitals such as Wishard Health Services, Community Health Network, St. Francis, and St. Vincent's.

Several students in its 900-student body have inquired about the joint degree program already.

“We are actively beginning to actively try to recruit those students who have a strong desire to enter the program,” said Keith.

In addition, starting in fall 2011 students have the option to take a new Concentration in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. The school also announced plans for its The Global Crisis Leadership Forum, a joint initiative of the Law School and Indiana University's School for Public and Environmental Affairs that unites experts and practitioners in the field of global crisis management.