The Heller School recognized as a Top 10 Graduate School by U.S. News & World Report

The Fall 2024 Application is Now Open!

Start Your Application Today!

Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity at Heller

The Heller School seeks to ensure a safe and inclusive environment in which community members respect and value others. In the pursuit of the Heller motto, “Knowledge Advancing Social Justice,” we are proud to offer three 100% Diversity and Inclusion Scholarships (for applicants with U.S. citizenship or Permanent Residency Status) and partial scholarships through our partnership with ROMBA. Learn more about our scholarships and our commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity

EID at Heller

Taking the Next Step

  • Discover our programs  Learn more about the courses of study available to you at the Heller School.
  • Attend an event  Our virtual and in-person events allow prospective students to get a taste of the Heller experience and sample the wealth of opportunities available through our programs.
  • Explore options for financial aid  We offer generous merit scholarships to help ensure that our students get the most value out of their Heller experience.
  • Review application process  Ready to dive in? Review our application requirements, deadlines, and start your application.

Why Choose Heller?

Make Your Mark.

As a top-ranked school for social policy, Heller builds on foundational knowledge with bold thinking. With world-renowned faculty teaching ground-breaking classes, you'll gain both the theoretical understanding and real-world skills you'll need to innovate in your chosen field. Heller graduates make up a strong alumni network; recent Heller graduates are currently working in positions in the Massachusetts State Senate, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the United Nations, the World Bank, OxfamWorld Health OrganizationCVS Health and Abt Associates. Our Career Development Center can assist you at all stages of your career with personalized advice so you can transition smoothly from taking classes to making an impact in your chosen field.

Make A Connection.

Our community includes students from all over the world and from a variety of backgrounds, meaning that our classrooms are places where diverse perspectives can come together and challenge one another. As a member of the Heller community, yyou'll take classes with passionate peers who want to create social change as much as you do. You'll get to learn from international students with first-hand knowledge of the educational and bureaucratic hurdles to sustainable development in their countries. You'll find advocates for social justice who bring their own experiences—as members of the LGBTQ community; as people of color; as students with disabilities—into their research and careers. Most importantly, you'll create friendships and networks that will last a lifetime

Make A Difference.

Since its founding in 1959, the Heller School has endeavored to answer a pioneering question: how can we use policy to work towards the well-being of all members of society? Heller's motto, "Knowledge Advancing Social Justice," is more than words: we believe it's imperative to move our evidence-based ideas into action. As a leading school of social policy with 10 pioneering research institutes and centers, we don't just analyze social issues— we create the knowledge that's needed to make and sustain evidence-based change. At Heller, you'll join an academic community united by a common interest in empowering vulnerable groups worldwide.  Here, you'll develop the skills you need to challenge the status quo, follow the evidence to real solutions, and lead the change you'd like to see in the world. 

Academic Programs

Through one of Heller's graduate degree programs, you'll develop a deep understanding of the root causes of society's most pressing issues, the capacity to analyze and design effective solutions and the management skills to put your ideas into practice. Here's a quick description of Heller's degree programs.

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

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 economic and racial equity to health policy to environmental justice, 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. This in-residence program can be taken either full-time or part-time.

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. This is a full-time in-residence program.

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, 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. This is a full-time in-residence program.

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 the SID program, 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. This is a full-time in-residence program.

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. This is a full-time in-residence program.

Dual and Joint Degrees

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 Brandeis programs:

Joint degrees with Brandeis programs:

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.

Welcome to Heller

Heller Publications

Cover of Heller viewbook, with students standing and sitting around a circular table

Heller Viewbook

One mission. A million motivations. The Heller viewbook outlines those graduate degree programs in which you'll develop the broad knowledge and focused skills to serve the communities you care deeply about and have a positive impact on our society.

Download an accessible PDF of the viewbook

Cover of Summer 2023 Heller Magazine with image of Joseph Assan and Laurence Simon

Heller Magazine

The stories in Heller Magazine show the breadth and depth of our community, their work and the issues they care about.

Heller Magazine Archives

Cover of Fall 2023 Heller Social Policy Impact Report

Heller Social Policy Impact Report

This report showcases a selection of high-impact research and public engagement from the faculty, researchers and students of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management from July 2022 through June 2023.

Download an accessible PDF of the Impact Report

Impact Report Archives