University of Arizona Law Launches New Graduate Certificates in Health Law

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Two new online certificate programs offer specialized, interdisciplinary training in less than one year

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law has launched two new online graduate certificates in health law. The certificate programs allow working professionals to gain specialized legal knowledge and training to help navigate complex legal issues in the health care industry.

Each program is accepting applications for courses that will begin in January 2019. Coursework for either certificate can be completed in less than one year, and all credits may be applied to a Master of Legal Studies degree.

Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Science

Offered in collaboration with the UA College of Pharmacy and the nonprofit Critical Path Institute (C-Path), the online Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Science provides specialized training in navigating the path from research to bringing medical products to market. 

Regulatory science is the science of developing new tools, standards and approaches to assess the safety, efficacy, quality and performance of all products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"There is a large and growing need for current and future pharmaceutical and medical device professionals, regulators, business leaders and scientists to have specialized training in translating research into new interventions for safe and effective medical products,” said Tara Sklar, JD, MPH, director of graduate health sciences programs and professor with University of Arizona Law.

“This program provides a background for graduate students and professionals to influence and directly participate in the field of regulatory science,” said John-Michael Sauer, PhD, executive director of the Predictive Safety Testing Consortium at C-Path and pharmacology professor at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. “In connection with our work at the Critical Path Institute, we provide students the knowledge and tools to accelerate medical product development.”

Describing the core competencies in the program, Christopher Robertson, JD, PhD, associate dean for research and innovation and professor with University of Arizona Law said, “Students will gain specific insight into how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is structured and how it regulates drugs, biologics, devices and diagnostics, from early discovery and development to bringing products to market. Courses feature an in-depth focus on policies, ethics, regulations and processes covering basic science work, pre-clinical trials and post-marketing responsibilities.”

Added Sklar, “All five of the courses are developed by academics from law and the health sciences, along with industry leaders to ensure there is direct application from what is taught to what is needed in the regulatory science workforce.”

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Graduate Certificate in Health Law for Health Professionals

Offered in partnership with the College of Pharmacy, the online Graduate Certificate in Health Law for Health Professionals will equip graduate students and working professionals across multiple disciplines with core competencies in the laws, regulations and ethics surrounding the health care industry. 

“This program provides a 360-degree view for students to study the practice and delivery of how health care is regulated,” said Christopher Robertson, JD, PhD, associate dean of research and innovation and professor at University of Arizona Law. “Our goal is to help current and future health professionals understand the laws and regulations in their work setting in order to know how to innovate and improve outcomes to better meet patient needs.”

As part of the program, students will study federal laws and regulations, along with scope of practice licensing requirements, that govern health professionals. Additional topics in the certificate include the balance between individual autonomy and government interests in protecting the public’s health and the moral responsibilities that come with being a health care provider. The program consists of four courses (12 credits) that can be completed part-time in less than one year. 

“The courses intersect and build on each other in order to provide students an opportunity to identify, interpret and effectively communicate the legal issues that inevitably arise in the delivery of health care,” said Tara Sklar, JD, MPH, director of graduate health sciences programs and professor at University of Arizona Law. “In collaboration with industry experts, we also address emerging trends in health care from an ethical and legal perspective, such as advances in health IT with decision support methods, information exchanges and the growing use of telemedicine.”

More information:


Media contact: Tracy Mueller, assistant dean, external communications and marketing, University of Arizona Law, tracymueller@email.arizona.edu, 520-621-1563