Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Behavioral Health Policy

Substance use and mental health problems affect half the population over their lifetimes. The United States experiences over 100,000 overdose deaths each year. The widespread use of illicit opioids and powerful synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl, are a national and international crisis. Millions more die early deaths because of alcohol, tobacco, suicide, gun violence and other causes attributed to behavioral health. Access to mental health care treatment remains a major problem, even for those with insurance. The Behavioral Health Policy concentration creates leaders in the field who will take on these challenges directly.

The concentration prepares students with detailed insight into the U.S. behavioral health care system, including prevention, treatment and harm reduction strategies known to save lives. It provides research and analytical frameworks essential for making change. It seeks to reduce the public health burden of alcohol, drugs, mental illness and other behaviors. Students apply interdisciplinary skills and policy analysis to develop policy that can improve people’s lives and affect structural change, particularly for marginalized populations. Internships, fellowships and opportunities to work on research projects at the Schneider Institute for Behavioral Health, combined with classwork, put students in an immediate position to take their careers to the next level and have the impact they want and the nation needs.

Institute for Behavioral Health

Students in the Behavioral Health concentration benefit from access to the Institute for Behavioral Health, which focuses on the intersection of health, behavior, and systems of care, with an emphasis on their linkages. Its underlying premise is that these systems can be better used to promote healthier lifestyles and assist individuals to engage in behaviors which lead to better health.

The Heller School is ranked eighth in the U.S. among graduate schools that specialize in health policy and management by U.S. News & World Report.

Course Requirements