Health Services Management and Policy

The American health care system is growing dramatically and now employs more professionals than any other industry in the United States.

This area of study provides students with an understanding of the various factors affecting health care policy formation, quality of care, patient safety, financial viability of health care systems, the role of health technology, and ways of improving the delivery of care.

The college offers three degrees within health services management and policy:

  • Master of Health Administration
  • Master of Public Health
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Recommended Preparation
Health Sciences Management and Policy (HSMP) is highly interdisciplinary and thus prospective students come from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds including business, social sciences, physical and life sciences, and humanities. The student's record must show evidence of good analytical and communication capabilities and quantitative skills. Undergraduate coures in economics and statistics are recommended for all HSMP applicants. Applicants for the MHA and MPH degrees should submit test scores from either the GRE or GMAT examination.

Students seeking the MPH degree should have an interest in health care policy and community-based approaches to health care improvement.

The MHA degree is intended primarily to prepare students for a career in professional practice. Students need to have the academic potential to succeed in a rigorous graduate program, and thus must have evidence in their records that they can do so. Generally undergraduate grades should meet the Graduate School standard of a grade point average of 3.0 or better, and admissions test scores should show ability in every area (verbal, quantitative, analytical writing).

Every applicant's file is reviewed as a whole. Factors such as relevant prior work experience, community service activities, leadership, and communication skill are considered. In addition, the program evaluates the applicant's motivation for and commitment to assuming a leadership role in improving the delivery and financing of health services, both as found in the applicant's statement of purpose for graduate study, and as evidenced by prior activities and experience. Applicants need to be aware that admission is competitive, and they must show evidence of strong academic performance and potential. The MHA program enrolls approximately 25-30 new students each year, so that students can have close interaction with the faculty and fellow students.

The program is designed to be accessible to persons with a broad range of backgrounds and no specific undergraduate degree is expected. Nonetheless, applicants whose majors require them to develop good analytical and communication skills and whose records include rigorous courses that develop quantitative and verbal skills will be best prepared to succeed in the program. The MHA degree requires one introductory course in financial accounting as a prerequisite.  Applicants may apply without having taken an accounting course, but need to complete it before starting the program.  Introductory courses in economics and statistics are strongly recommended. In addition, it is preferred, but not required, that MHA applicants have had some work experience.

For information regarding application materials, test scores and codes, and decision timelines see our frequently asked questions page.