Message from the Founding Chair
History of the Joint Degree Program and Consortium
Consortium Member Policies
The Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences (JDP) is a vitally important part of the Consortium on Law and Values. The JDP helps the Consortium fulfill its mission by training students to bring new perspectives to the intersection of law and science. In this photo, JDP student Danielle Meinhardt, JD, PhD candidate in Geography, stands with Andy Brown, JD, a member of the JDP Advisory Board.
In 1999-2000, the University of Minnesota founded the groundbreaking Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences (Consortium) and Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences (JDP).
Over the past 12 years, we have built a vibrant community of students, scholars, policy makers, clinicians, and community members who have made the Consortium and JDP leading national programs, and they have helped build the University of Minnesota’s reputation as the place to turn to for incisive, honest debate on crucial issues surrounding law, values, and science. The Consortium-supported Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology (MJLST) has become a top-rated publication, known for the depth and reach of its scholarship.
We are grateful for the support of the University's Provost and Deans, as well as the many individual and corporate donors who help make our programs a success.
The Consortium combines the multidisciplinary skill and scholarship of its 20 member centers to conduct research, serve students, and bring the public, through lectures and conferences, into essential dialogue on the societal implications of the life sciences. The Consortium attracts major grants to advance its work, and it also awards grants intramurally—some $1 million since it was founded to catalyze campus-wide work on the societal issues raised by biomedicine and the life sciences.
The JDP offers joint degrees—JD, PhD; JD, MPH; JD, MD, for example—marrying law with science policy, health services research, molecular biology, pharmacology, ecology, conservation biology, and environmental health. In doing so, we link colleges, programs, and faculty in a major interdisciplinary effort. It is the broadest and most intensive joint degree program in the country in law and science, spanning 23 degree combinations and now training nearly 40 students per year, including JDP fellows and those with a concentration in Bioethics.
The Consortium and Joint Degree Program remain the top interdisciplinary programs at the University of Minnesota, crossing nearly every college on the Twin Cities campus. Looking forward to the next 10 years and beyond, the Consortium and JDP will continue to lead the way and set the standards on the societal implications of the life sciences and training the next generation of thinkers on these crucial issues. Together, we are playing a major role in achieving the University's stated strategic goal of becoming a top-3 public research university.