Degree Programs

Heller graduate degree programs

As a top 10 school of social policy, the Heller School gives you access to the nation’s leading policy analysts and top research institutes in every degree program. You’ll benefit from the diverse perspectives of faculty and students, tackle innovative courses that range from economic theory to human rights, and develop a deep understanding of society’s most pressing issues. No matter which program you commit to, you’ll develop the broad knowledge and focused skills to better serve the communities you care deeply about and have a positive impact on society.

PhD in Social Policy

Research is the means to an end for students in Heller’s PhD in Social Policy program. They do more than just gather data to form new knowledge—they use that knowledge to inform and influence the policymakers and practitioners who are effecting structural change. During the course of the program—in which every full-time student receives tuition and stipend support—students focus on a concentration that  aligns with their long-term interests, while also learning alongside students across concentration areas, thereby gaining a multifaceted perspective on critical social policy issues.

Master of Public Policy

Unlike other degree programs that cover a range of policy areas, the Heller Master of Public Policy (MPP) program focuses specifically on domestic social policy. It starts with learning how to conduct sophisticated structural analysis, because if students want to create systemic change, they need to think beyond current structures. MPP students also select a specific policy concentration, ranging from poverty alleviation to behavioral health, to develop a deeper understanding of the areas they’re most passionate about, and all students gain experience on the ground through internships. By the time they leave Heller, MPP graduates know the language, the literature and the networks they need to create social change locally and nationwide.

Social Impact MBA

Heller’s Social Impact MBA program is for those who want to lead organizations that create positive, sustainable social change. MBA alumni manage for a mission, whether they are working as an executive director, a program or project director, a social entrepreneur, an analyst or a consultant. The program offers a rigorous AACSB-accredited curriculum, delivered at a top-ranked school of social policy that has been teaching management for 40 years. Through the MBA program’s focus on experiential learning, students develop the skills they need to make an impact and manage across the nonprofit, public and corporate sectors. 

MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence

Heller’s Conflict Resolution and Coexistence (COEX) program offers a practical, skills-based curriculum that prepares students to become responsible peace-building practitioners throughout the world. Unlike similar programs, Heller COEX has a unique structure, including a half-year field practicum, numerous dual degree opportunities, the ability to concentrate in humanitarian aid or development issues, a strong sense of community within the program, and many partnerships with external organizations and agencies, including the Harvard Program on Negotiation.

MA in Sustainable International Development

The Sustainable International Development (SID) program educates tomorrow’s global change agents and transformational leaders in social innovation. The program seeks out students who are passionate about addressing poverty, inequality and environmental devastation in their home countries—including the United States—and provides cutting-edge knowledge and skills to professionals who plan to work in the development sector.  

In SID, students learn to design, implement and evaluate programs and projects to promote equitable economic growth, socially-inclusive societies, improved access to high quality education and health services and resilience to climate change and other environmental hazards. 

MS in Global Health Policy and Management

The MS in Global Health Policy and Management (MS) program is for students who want to understand how health systems are designed and function, and more specifically, how they can be structured to improve health outcomes for people around the world. The Heller MS program differs from a master’s in public health because it places health policy and health systems at the center, with a heavy focus on analytics, design and management. The program’s faculty believe that effective policy is critical to expanding access to high quality health care for all individuals who need care.

Executive MBA for Physicians

The Heller School’s Executive MBA for Physicians (EMBA) is focused on improving both clinical outcomes and financial results in health care organizations by training physician-leaders in the new science of medical management. Designed for practicing physicians who are—or seek to be—in positions of management or leadership, the EMBA for Physicians is an accelerated 16-month program and a curriculum that integrates the student's medical expertise with new knowledge in critical areas ranging from health policy and economics to operational systems management, high performance leadership, and healthcare innovation.

Dual and Joint Degree Programs

Students in dual degree programs fulfill the complete requirements for each degree, earning degrees for both programs. Joint degree programs are created by special agreement between programs, allowing students to fulfill a modified set of requirements. Please note that students in joint degree programs earn only one degree.

Dual degrees with Heller programs:

Dual degrees with Brandeis programs:

Joint degrees with Brandeis programs:

Dual degrees with other universities: