LL.M. in Global Health Law and Governance

Georgetown’s Health Law LL.M. programs train lawyers to apply their specialized legal skills to improve population health in the United States and globally. The innovative full- or part-time courses of study explore the intersections of health and law, including global health governance, health and human rights, food and drug law, access to health care, and legal interventions to prevent and control infectious and non-communicable diseases.

Created in 2007 as part of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, our programs include the LL.M. in Global Health Law and Governance with the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland (see below), and the LL.M. in National and Global Health Law. We have more than 200 graduates from 30 countries working to improve the public's health in the private sector, academia, non-government organizations, international organizations, and all levels of government.

LL.M. in Global Health Law and Governance

Students complete the fall semester of their degree at Georgetown Law and the spring semester at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.

At Georgetown Law, students complete 12 credits, including the 2-credit Global Health Law course and 8 additional Global Health Law specialization credits. Working with their academic advisor, candidates select courses from Georgetown Law’s unparalleled health law curriculum, with more than 35 courses addressing domestic and global health law.

At the Graduate Institute, students complete 24 specialization credits, selecting from courses in international law, humanitarian law, international trade law, international environmental law, refugee law and policy, international affairs, and international development studies. Example course offerings include:

  • Global Health Diplomacy

  • Human Rights Through the Concepts

  • Treatymaking in Contemporary International Society

  • Judicial Interpretation of Human Rights

  • Terrorism and International Law

  • Advanced Seminar on WTO Jurisprudence

  • The Security Council and Issues of Responsibility

  • The Fight Against Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment

  • International Criminal Courts and Tribunals (Academy)

  • The UN and the Emerging Culture of Impunity (Academy)

  • Multilateral Governance and International Organizations

  • Global Environmental Governance

  • Environment, Population and Development

  • Managing the Global Commons

  • International Migration

  • Water Conflicts, Security and Cooperation

In addition to their coursework, students must complete either an approved internship or a dissertation worth 15 credits.

  • The full-time internship must have a dimension linked to global health legal and/or policy questions, and must be authorized in advance by the Joint LL.M. Committee. Students pursuing an internship must submit an application to the Director of Health Law Programs at Georgetown Law and the LL.M. Program Manager at the Graduate Institute at least one month prior to the beginning of the internship.

  • It is expected that most students will complete this requirement at an international institution in Geneva (such as the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, or the World Trade Organization). Students complete their internships during the summer, after completing the Spring semester at the Graduate Institute.

  • At the completion of the internship, students must submit a written report to the Director of Health Law Programs at Georgetown Law and the Director of the Joint LL.M. at the Graduate Institute. There report should provide a factual account of the student's experience and develop the themes and questions of global health law and/or policy addressed during the internship. The report is graded and, in conjunction with completion of the internship, counts for 15 credits.

Students may undertake a dissertation instead of the required internship with the prior approval of both the Director of the Joint LL.M. at the Graduate Institute and the Director of Health Law Programs at Georgetown Law. A dissertation entitles the student to 15 credits.

Contact Information
To learn more, please contact:
Sarah Bosha, Director of the Health Law LL.M. Program
Phone: (202) 661-6664
Please address any questions about admissions to the Office of Graduate Admissions.