Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Certificate Program in Bioscience Industry Law and Practice

Keck Graduate Institute logoSouthwestern and the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI), a member of the Claremont Colleges, have established an exciting new Bioscience Industry Law and Practice certificate program to provide law students and Master of Bioscience (MBS) students with a unique understanding of the interplay between law and the fast-growing bioscience industry.

Through this certificate program, qualified Southwestern students with an interest in intellectual property, for example, could take courses at KGI in the area of technology management, entrepreneurship, and bioscience related industry dynamics - important given the critical role of IP in these industries. Conversely, qualified KGI students interested in bioscience industry dynamics could take courses at Southwestern in intellectual property law, patent and trademark law, and regulatory law as it applies to health care and the bioscience industry.

The certificate program provides a unique opportunity for our students to study the interplay between law and biosciences, and should be particularly attractive for those interested in an intellectual property law career. The program reflects Southwestern's long-standing commitment to providing an innovative and interdisciplinary legal education.

Students at both institutions might also benefit from skills-based courses offered. For example, KGI students exploring management roles might benefit from courses on drafting technology agreements and patent prosecution, while Southwestern students would have an opportunity to work on interdisciplinary team projects sponsored by companies, an area in which KGI is a national leader in pedagogical innovation.

KGI Exterior ShotStudents from both schools who complete the required coursework will earn a Certificate in Bioscience Industry Law and Practice. This is not a joint degree program; rather, it is intended to provide participating students with a basic knowledge of law and the bioscience industry and an understanding of the tools and frameworks relevant to both fields. Certificate graduates will acquire some of the essential skills and knowledge for leadership roles in this fast growing and competitive industry as well as in legal organizations, including government agencies, law firms and related private-sector corporations.

This certificate program will be small and highly competitive with approximately two to four students from each school each year. The schools will select candidates for the program from among their student bodies. Southwestern students will have up to two years to complete the policy certificate program. KGI MBS students must complete the certificate program during their second year.

"As the life sciences become more integral to our health, our food and our environment, the legal dimensions of the business become more complex and important. It is a wonderful opportunity to develop a program with a leading law school so students can gain the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate this crucial interface. We hope that this innovative certificate will be the beginning of many interactive, valuable programs bridging law and the business of the life sciences."

- President Sheldon M. Schuster,
Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences


Students will be selected on a case-by-case basis from the top 20% of their class or cohort. Each school will select their applicants for the certificate program and the hosting school will then evaluate those applications to determine admissions.

Southwestern students will be eligible to enter the certificate program after completion of their first or second year of law school. KGI students may enter the certificate program after completion of their first year of the MBS program.

Academic Credit

Students will need to complete a minimum of 6 units at KGI and 4 units at Southwestern to earn the Certificate in Bioscience Industry Law and Practice (KGI courses generally count for 1.5 or 3 units; Southwestern courses are generally 1, 2 or 3 units). Students will be graded as credit/no credit (and must receive a C+ or better to receive credit) in the courses they take at the partner school.


KGI Student in LabStudents accepted into the certificate program may choose from a wide variety of courses at both schools eligible for credit, such as Introduction to US Food and Drug Law, Bioscience Strategy Innovation Management, Introduction to Market Assessment and Market Strategy, and Clinical Trials Design, Conduct and Strategy (KGI courses), and Patent Law, Intellectual Property Law, Health Care Regulations and Legislation (Southwestern courses). Students at both schools may also take advantage of unique skills training. For example, KGI students exploring management roles might benefit from courses on drafting technology agreements and patent prosecution, while Southwestern students would have an opportunity to work on interdisciplinary team projects sponsored by companies.

Courses for the Certificate Program (PDF)

"The biosciences industry has an unmet need for attorneys who are knowledgeable about business practices and intellectual property rights. There is also a strong demand for business leaders who know the law and industry regulations. This certificate program is an excellent opportunity for students at both institutions to stand out with academic credentials that demonstrate special expertise in areas that are critical for success in this field."

- Professor Ryan Abbott,
Southwestern Law School

Application Process and Tuition

The Bioscience Industry Law and Practice Certificate program is only open to current Southwestern and KGI students.

Students accepted into the certificate program will pay no additional tuition to the partner institution provided that they complete the certificate requirements concurrent with earning their J.D. or MBS degree.

Current Southwestern students can find the application on MySouthwestern (log-in required).

Contact Information

For Southwestern students:
Ayumi Nakamoto, Director of Registration and Interdisciplinary Programs

For KGI students:
Director of Admissions
Keck Graduate Institute
535 Watson Dr.
Claremont, CA 91711
Tel: (909) 607-8590

Keck Graduate Institute

KGI CampusFounded in 1997, Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences (KGI) is dedicated to education and research that translates advances in the life sciences into applications that benefit humanity. KGI was established in response to a call by our nation's leaders to rethink higher education to embrace an interdisciplinary education - bringing together the life sciences, management education and engineering - with an emphasis on professional degrees that prepare students for careers in areas such as pharmaceuticals, bioinstrumentation, medical devices, and biotechnology. This broad, interdisciplinary approach to science education makes KGI graduates, now numbering over 450, of great potential value to companies, agencies and nonprofit organizations. KGI offers an innovative, two-year Masters of Bioscience (MBS) degree, the first in the nation in life sciences, to meet the nation's need for future leaders who are fully grounded in science and technology, together with business management and ethics. KGI also offers a post doctoral professional science masters (PPM) program, a PhD in Applied Life sciences to build workforce expertise in research relevant to applied bioscience and the use of interdisciplinary tools and approaches to solve problems, and a PhD in computational and biological sciences. KGI is a member of the Claremont Colleges.

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