CWRU School of Law to Offer New Master’s Degree and Certificates in Compliance and Risk Management

Gund Hall front entrance

The volume of laws, regulations, standards and guidelines governing health care-related businesses has dramatically increased during the past several decades. When a health care business fails to comply, it can open itself up to lawsuits and serious financial and criminal liability.

That’s part of why the Case Western Reserve University School of Law this fall is launching a new master’s degree and certificate program in health care compliance and risk management.

The other part? Demand has never been greater.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an estimated 30,700 job openings for compliance officers and 91,300 for compliance managers nationally over the next 10 years. According to The Health Care Chief Compliance Officers and Staff 2017 Salary Survey, average total compensation for compliance officers is more than $138,000 in the U.S.

The law school’s new program is designed to meet the increasing demand by health care-related businesses and government agencies for experts in state, federal and international laws and regulations, said Katharine Van Tassel, a visiting professor of law and interim director of the law school’s graduate compliance programs.

“The roles of compliance and risk management officers are gaining importance in most health care businesses, including, in many cases, directly reporting to the chief executive officer and board members,” Van Tassel said. “The universe of regulatory compliance and enterprise risks for health care organizations, providers and health care product manufacturers reaches well beyond traditional corporate compliance to include activities such as clinical care, quality of care, billing and health information management. The enterprise-wide compliance risk universe is as broad in scope as the range of health care operations.”

As the regulatory state has expanded, Van Tassel said that governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) has become a “major new field of expertise” with its own methods of critical thinking, risk assessment and managerial sociology.

“This gives compliance experts, lawyers and business executives the ability to protect stakeholders by anticipating and reducing enterprise risks,” she said.

The law school’s programs in compliance and risk management provide among the few concentrated graduate courses of study in the country—and the only master’s program of its kind in Ohio— focusing on this major new field of GRC.

The law school has designed the master and certificates to pivot these professionals’ careers to a compliance or risk management-related area or to assist compliance and risk management professionals in taking their careers to a new level.

The program will offer both full and part-time options and requires neither the GRE nor the LSAT. Significant scholarships are available while this program gets off the ground, Van Tassel said.

For more information, contact Van Tassel at or visit the Master of Compliance and Risk Management website.