Health Policy Graduate Programs - PhD & MS

Health Policy is an important field of investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviors affect the accessibility, quality and cost of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being.  This field uses a range of theoretical and empirical tools that draw from a range of disciplines and have evolved to become tailored to the questions that arise in health policy.  Health policy issues are integrally related to core areas of strength at Stanford, including innovation and technological development in health care delivery and the pursuit of improved population health.

PhD in Health Policy

Stanford Health Policy, through the Department of Health Research and Policy at the Stanford University School of Medicine, offers a PhD program which promises to educate students who will be scholarly leaders in the field of health policy, and will be highly knowledgeable about the theoretical and empirical approaches that can be applied in the development of improvements in health policy and the health care system. These students will be well prepared for positions in academic institutions, government institutions, and private sector organizations with a demand for high-level analysis of health policy issues.

The curriculum offers courses across a wide range of health policy areas including health economics, health insurance and government program operation, health financing, international health policy and economic development, cost-effectiveness analysis and the evaluation of new technologies, relevant statistical and methodological approaches, and health policy issues related to public health concerns like obesity and chronic disease. In addition to taking a set of core courses, students are expected to complete coursework in either a health economics or decision sciences track.  The PhD program is typically completed in 4 years.

MS in Health Policy

The Department of Health Research and Policy at the Stanford University School of Medicine also offers a Masters in Health Services Research Program.  Most students in this program are investigators with an MD (or comparable advanced degree), often in the fellowship stages of their training or already junior faculty members.  The program provides students with the skills to conduct and interpret research in health policy and clinical decision-making.  MS students must satisfy a concentration requirement in one of the three content areas of empirical methods, clinical decision-making or health policy.  The MS program is typically completed in two years.