MPH: Health Policy & Management Concentration

The Master of Public Health program with a concentration in health policy & management provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to formulate and implement sound, creative solutions to complex problems in the health care system. Students examine the linkages between health policy and effective management, incorporating concepts and skills from such areas as management, policy analysis, and finance. This degree is appropriate for students who are interested in careers as either managers in health care organizations or analysts for public or private organizations involved in the financing, delivery, or evaluation of health care services.

Concentration Requirements

The health policy & management concentration curriculum is designed to develop a solid base of analytic expertise and knowledge in four key areas of health policy and management, called distribution areas:

  • Health Care Delivery
  • Managing Organizations and People
  • Policy Analysis and Implementation
  • Finances and Operations

In addition, students are strongly encouraged to complete a sub-concentration; sub-concentrations provide additional depth and competencies in a specific area—of finance, management, or policy—and are noted on student transcripts. Students who follow a sub-concentration’s requirements, and take PM 755 and complete the culminating experience, will satisfy all HPM degree requirements. However, not all courses in the distribution areas count toward sub-concentrations, so it is important to plan carefully.

Concentrators complete the MPH core course, PM 702 Introduction to US Health Policy, Delivery, and Management and the intermediate course PM 755 Health Care Delivery Systems: Issues and Innovations (the required option in the Health Care Delivery area); and they complete a minimum of 12 additional credits in the department, including 4 credits in each of the other three key areas, called distribution areas, noted above.

In addition, course selections must include a designated capstone course. A single course can be used to meet a distribution requirement as well as the capstone course requirement. Capstone courses in general must be taken after PM 755.

In their final semester, HPM concentrators must complete PM 940: The HPM Culminating Experience.

1. Distribution Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of four (4) credits in each of the distribution areas listed below:

Course that meets the requirements of the Health Care Delivery Distribution Area

  • PM 755 Health Care Delivery Systems: Issues and Innovations

Courses that meet the requirements of the Managing Organizations and People Distribution Area

  • PM 721 Organizational Behavior in Health Care
  • PM 733 Health Program Management
  • PM 736 Human Resource Management in Public Health
  • PM 776 Managerial Skills for Problem Solving

Courses that meet the requirements of the Policy Analysis and Implementation Distribution Area

  • PM 735 Health Care Finance—How Policy-makers and Managers Can Use Money as a Tool to Improve Health Care*
  • PM 740 Comparative Health Systems and Policy in Industrialized and BRIC Countries
  • PM 758 Introduction to Mental Health Services**
  • PM 810 Introduction to US Government for Public Health Students**
  • PM 834 Health Regulation and Planning
  • PM 838 Health Politics and Policy**
  • PM 840 Analysis of Current Health Policy Issues
  • PM 850 Organizing for Health System Change**

*PM 735 may count towards either the Finances and Operations or Policy Analysis and Implementation distribution area but it cannot count for both.
**These are 2-credit courses, so two are needed to meet the requirement.

Courses that meet the requirements of the Finances and Operations Distribution Area

  • PM 734 Principles and Practices in Non-Profit Health Care Accounting
  • PM 735 Health Care Finance—How Policy-makers and Managers Can Use Money as a Tool to Improve Health Care*
  • PM 780 Managerial Accounting for Health Care Leaders**
  • PM 807 Introduction to Cost Effectiveness Analysis**
  • PM 827 Strategic Management of Health Care Organizations
  • PM 832 Operations Management in Health Care
  • PM 833 Health Economics
  • PM 835 Lean Management in Health Care

*PM 735 may count towards either the Finances and Operations or Policy Analysis and Implementation distribution area but it cannot count for both.
**These are 2-credit courses, so two are needed to meet the requirement.

2. Capstone Requirement

Students must complete a designated capstone course in their final semester. Concentrators share the capstone experience with a cohort of concentrators with similar academic preparation who are also looking toward graduation and next steps. Therefore, concentrators can expect that these courses will have increased rigor of course content, discussion, and assessments.

One course can meet a distribution and/or capstone course requirement. The following courses meet the capstone course requirement in health policy and management:

  • PM 780 Managerial Accounting for Health Care Leaders
  • PM 827 Strategic Management of Health Care Organizations
  • PM 834 Health Regulation and Planning
  • PM 840 Analysis of Current Health Policy Issues

3. Culminating Experience

All HPM concentrators must complete PM 940: HPM Culminating Experience (CE). Health policy & management concentrators complete the CE by writing an in-depth analytic assessment of a health policy and management–related organization that relates to their professional goals. Before students may begin their CE they must have completed either the Policy Analysis and Implementation or Managing Organizations and People course distribution requirement. Full-time students complete the CE in their final semester; part-time students complete the CE in their final academic year. Students must register for PM 940 in the semester in which they will complete the culminating experience.

HPM Sub-Concentrations

Health policy & management concentrators who would like to focus their studies are encouraged to select one of the following three HPM sub-concentrations:

  • Health Care Finance
  • Health Care Management
  • Health Policy

Following a sub-concentration is highly recommended. Students completing a sub-concentration must declare the sub-concentration via a form filed before course selection for their second semester (if full-time) and follow a specified curriculum, including a sub-concentration-related practicum. Therefore, students should meet with their academic advisor to discuss which sub-concentration, if any, is right for them and to plan how to satisfy the additional requirements. Students who follow a sub-concentration’s requirements, and take PM 755 and complete the culminating experience, will satisfy all HPM degree requirements. However, not all courses in the distribution areas count toward sub-concentrations, so it is important to plan carefully. Sub-concentrations are noted on the transcript.

Health Policy Sub-Concentration Requirements

This sub-concentration enables students to develop skills and knowledge in policy analysis and advocacy, as well as understanding of the key financial, political, and organizational challenges they will face. Concentrators complete the sub-concentration by taking the courses listed below. This list includes courses also used to satisfy the distribution requirements.

  • PM 721 Organizational Behavior in Health Care
  • PM 734 Principles and Practices in Non-Profit Health Care Accounting OR PM 735 Health Care Finance—How Policy-makers and Managers Can Use Money as a Tool to Improve Health Care
  • PM 740 Comparative Health Systems and Policy in Industrialized and BRIC Countries
  • PM 810 Introduction to US Government for Public Health Students
  • PM 838 Health Politics and Policy
  • PM 850 Consumer Organizing and Advocacy for Health System Change

Capstone: PM 834 Health Regulation and Planning OR PM 840 Analysis of Current Health Policy Issues

Health Care Management Sub-Concentration Requirements

This sub-concentration provides students with a comprehensive approach to developing skills that will enable them to meet the human, financial, political, and strategic challenges they will face as health care managers. Concentrators complete the sub-concentration by taking the courses listed below. This list includes courses also used to satisfy the distribution requirements.

  • PM 721 Organizational Behavior in Health Care
  • PM 734 Principles and Practices in Non-Profit Health Care Accounting
  • PM 735 Health Care Finance—How Policy-makers and Managers Can Use Money as a Tool to Improve Health Care
  • PM 736 Human Resource Management in Public Health OR PM 776 Managerial Skills for Problem Solving
  • PM 832 Operations Management in Health Care OR PM 835 Lean Management in Health Care

Capstone: PM 827 Strategic Management of Health Care Organizations

Health Care Finance Sub-Concentration Requirements

This sub-concentration allows students to develop skills and knowledge with more depth in the financial aspects of health care that can be applied in either policy or managerial contexts. Concentrators complete the sub-concentration by taking the courses listed below. This list includes courses also used to satisfy the distribution requirements.

  • PM 734 Principles and Practices in Non-Profit Health Care Accounting
  • PM 735 Health Care Finance—How Policy-makers and Managers Can Use Money as a Tool to Improve Health Care
  • PM 810 Introduction to US Government for Public Health Students
  • At least one of the following:
    • PM 721 Organizational Behavior in Health Care
    • PM 736 Human Resource Management in Public Health
    • PM 733 Health Program Management
  • At least one of the following:
    • PM 807 Introduction to Cost Effectiveness Analysis
    • PM 833 Health Economics
    • PM 834 Health Regulation and Planning

Capstone: PM 780 Managerial Accounting for Health Care Leaders