Master of Science in Global Health Policy and Management

About Us

A nine-month accelerated master’s program focused on health systems strengthening and global health policy 

The Heller School’s Global Health Policy and Management program emphasizes a holistic understanding of health system design and function, with an eye toward structuring systems to improve health outcomes for people around the world. We believe that effective policy is the key to expanding access to high-quality health care for all who need it — which is why we place health policy at the center of our curriculum through a focus on system design and financing, data analytics and management. 

Students gain skills and insights that align closely with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and the WHO mandate for Universal Health Coverage — which means they learn how to make structural improvements to health care systems that benefit entire populations. 

As a GHPM student, you’ll gain expertise that includes:

  • Understanding health economics
  • Analyzing and interpreting data to impact policy
  • Understanding health system financing and organization
  • Using cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Conducting health system assessment and analysis
  • Producing professional-quality written policy briefs

Core Curriculum

The core MS curriculum is divided into three main components. First, students learn the financing and payment systems involved in health systems strengthening. Next, they develop the analytical skills that form the heart of any health system, and use them to develop policy briefs. And last, they learn how to implement those policies in real-life situations.

Health Systems Concentration

Students in the Health Systems Concentration take the full sequence of core courses and supplement their instruction with elective courses in a variety of focus areas. This concentration gives students increased flexibility to specialize in a narrow field, such as monitoring and evaluation, or to take a broad array of electives across many disciplines. Upon graduation, international students in the Health Systems Concentration will be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) visa status of up to one year.

STEM Concentration: Health Economics and Analytics (requires application)

This concentration is tailored to teach students the data and analytical skills that are key to fields such as pharmacoeconomics, health insurance planning, and impact evaluations. Students who are accepted into this concentration take the full sequence of core courses as well as a curated selection of quantitative electives that will bolster their skills in health economics and analytics. The STEM concentration requires a significant amount of quantitative electives that will build skills in tracking, monitoring, and analyzing data across various health systems indicators, you may consider the STEM concentration. Due to the analytical nature of this concentration, it is recommended that you have a strong background in statistics, data analytics, and analysis.

Upon graduation, international students in this concentration will be eligible for an extended Optional Practical Training (OPT) visa status of up to 2-3 years. All international students graduating from the MS program are eligible for 12 months of OPT. Students in the Health Economics and Analytics (STEM) concentration may also be eligible for an additional 24 months STEM OPT.  STEM OPT is dependent on certain characteristics of your future employer. You can learn more about the requirements for eligibility to extend OPT through the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO).

Dual Degrees and Optional Second Year

Students may also opt to add to the MS skillset with a second program in international development, business, or conflict resolution. Heller offers several dual and joint degree programs, including an MS/MBA, an MS/MA in sustainable international development, and an MS/MA in conflict resolution and coexistence. Students in either concentration can also extend their MS curriculum by adding an optional second year of study, allowing you to expand your course work over an additional fall and spring semester.

WHO Universal Health Coverage and UN Sustainable Development Goals

Heller is an ideal academic environment for students to establish the skills and expertise needed to build strong global health systems due to its interdisciplinary environment. Here, we recognize that global health and international development are integrally linked and rapidly evolving fields. In pursuit of improving global health, we believe it is critical for all MS students to gain an in-depth understanding of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the WHO mandate for Universal Health Coverage.

Associate Professor Diana Bowser describes two major benefits of Heller's MS in Global Health Policy and Management Program.

Cover of the Heller viewbook

Heller Viewbook - accessible PDF

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.