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Health Policy and Economics

Training Students to Identify the Most Effective Ways of Delivering High-Quality Healthcare at Lower Cost

Stethoscope laid on top of papers.

Our Master's track in Health Policy and Economics provides a modern take on the traditional public health degree. Students learn to identify the most effective ways of delivering high-quality healthcare at lower cost through valuable real-world experience. This program track provides students with a strong understanding of healthcare organization and delivery within the context of the current policy environment with specialized training in health economics, health policy, and analytic methods. Each student is paired with a faculty member for hands-on research that culminates with a capstone/portfolio project.

About the Program

Unique Concentration

The Master’s track in Healthcare Policy and Economics offers a more specialized approach than a traditional MPH program. We emphasize a broader policy perspective to include payment policy, health insurance coverage and structural issues related to the healthcare delivery system. Our coursework is more practice-based than theoretical. We keep our class size low so that students can build close relationships with faculty mentors  who are nationally and internationally recognized experts. Our goal is to prepare professionals to work effectively in health-related policy positions with strong analytic skills. Our alumni hold positions in data and policy analysis, healthcare consulting, project management, quality improvement, and more. Many have also gone on to pursue doctoral studies at leading institutions, including Brown, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Chicago.

Training

Our students learn innovative approaches to financing and delivering healthcare using cutting edge research methods.

During the Master’s track in Healthcare Policy and Economics, students will: 

  • Develop a deep understanding of current policy initiatives.
  • Gain hands-on experience in data analysis using computing packages, such as SAS, Stata, and R. 
  • Address real-world healthcare problems through a hands-on capstone project.
  • Understand factors that influence the quality and cost of healthcare.
  • Build connections under the mentorship of experts while collaborating with NYC institutions that will shape their careers.

The Master’s track in Health Policy and Economics has close ties to other departments within Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell University, Cornell Tech, and NewYork-Presbyterian. Students can complete the program in 11 months.

Faculty Research

Prerequisites for Admission

Information Sessions

Program Director

Mark Unruh, Ph.D.

(number of credits in parenthesis)

Fall Term

Spring Term

Summer Term

Sample Course Sequence

Please find a sample course schedule for the M.S. in Health Policy and Economics program below.
Students must take five required HPE courses and at least six credits of Master’s project. Students must choose a minimum of one elective per term. For one term, they must select two electives. Minimum of 34 total credits.

Biostatistics and Data Science, Health Informatics, and Cornell Tech courses are available to students as electives, with prior approval from the education committee. Please contact Robert Rentz at ror4002@med.cornell.edu for the request.

*All courses and sequences are subject to change. 

Fall Sample Course Sequence (course load = 11 or 14 credits)

*Students who choose to opt out of Introduction to Biostatistics will take Biostatistics I with R Lab.
Course TitleCredit HoursCourse Type
Introduction to US Health Care Policy and Delivery3Required
Introduction to Biostatistics with Stata Lab* 4Required
Introduction to Health Services Research3Required
Master's Project I & Professional Development1Required
Introduction to Operations Research in Health Policy3Elective

Spring Sample Course Sequence (course load = 11 or 14 credits)

Course TitleCredit HoursCourse Type
Health Data for Research (SAS)3Required
Introduction to Applied Econometrics for Health Policy3Required
Master's Project II2Required
Healthcare in the US - Policy Making and Political Strategy3Elective
Cost Effectiveness Analysis 3Elective

Summer Sample Course Sequence (course load = 6 or 9 credits)

Course TitleCredit HoursCourse Type
Application in Econometrics and Data Analysis3Required
Master's Project III3Required
Incentives in the US Healthcare System 3Elective
Study Designs and Methods for Comparative Effectiveness Research3Elective
Survey Research Methods3Elective