programs and Degrees

MPH Concentration in Health Policy

The MPH in Health Policy will provide students with an understanding and foundation in health policy processes, concepts and issues as well as analytical skills to help develop and evaluate health policies.  Students in this concentration may be interested in health policy in the United States or in other countries, and can tailor their program accordingly by selecting courses in domestic or international health policy and economics.  The Health Policy concentration offers students' opportunities in both domestic and international health policy, with courses focused on foundations, methods and a topical area of expertise.

Employment Opportunities for Graduates

The Health Policy concentration prepares students for careers in government, research institutes, international health organizations, consulting firms, and other organizations geared toward affecting health policy. The concentration provides advanced coursework to support students who are interested in pursuing the PhD degree in health policy.

School Required Core Courses

BIOS 6030 Introduction to Biostatistics
EPID 6030 Epidemiologic Methods I
ENHS 6030 Survey of Environmental Health
SPHL 6010 Biological Basis of Disease (may be waived if student has clinical background)
SPHL 6030 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health
GHSD 6030 Principles of Health Systems Administration and Management

Concentration Required Courses

Foundations (8 credits required):
GHSD 6010 Comparative Health System
GHSD 6210 Health Care Law & Regulation
GHSD 7660 Health Care Policy or GHSD 6830 International Health Policy

Methods (minimum of 9 credits required):
GHSD 6450 Health Economics or GHSD 6110 Health Economics for Developing Countries     

Minimum of 2 the following courses:
BIOS 6040 Intermediate Biostatistics
GCHB 6180 Formal Qualitative Methods
GHSD 7740 Economic Evaluation and Modeling
EPID 7120 Epidemiologic Methods II
GHSD 8250 Advanced Research Methods for Global Health


Model Course Schedule


Concentration Recommended Courses

Courses developing expertise in specific topic areas such as: HIV, nutrition, reproductive health, malaria, gender violence, etc.

GHSD 6170 Total Quality Management
GHSD 6380 Information Systems
LAST 6950   Health and Inequality in Latin America 
GHSD 6270 Program Monitoring
GHSD 6280 Program Evaluation
GHSD 6550 Dynamics of Payment Systems- Policy and Function
GHSD 6190 Ethics in Health Care Management
GHSD 6490 Policy Options on Medical Products and Technologies
Others to be selected with advisor


Culminating Experience 

The Department of Global Health Systems and Development requires students to successfully pass a culminating exam, the public health analysis, or thesis in order to complete the culminating experience graduation requirement. 

  1. Comprehensive Exam: The comprehensive exam is developed by the school (Part A: which will test the student's knowledge of the core course material) and the department (Part B: which will test the student's knowledge in the major areas represented by the concentration core courses). Part B of the exam will be prepared by faculty representing each concentration, so that students will only sit for their concentration's exam. This exam will be given only three times each year and it is the student's responsibility to be present in New Orleans to take the exam on the given day. Students must arrange their schedules accordingly.

  2. Public Health Analysis: The public health analysis (PHA) will demonstrate the student's capacity for quality writing and should provide evidence of a thorough understanding of a specific field of study within public health. The PHA is a substantive review and discussion of the body of knowledge in a selected field of public health. The PHA should demonstrate a comprehensive awareness of the literature in a specific field. The report should thoroughly and completely address the project undertaken. The final report should be presented to the faculty advisor by the appropriate deadline. Examples of acceptable PHAs are as follows: comprehensive or systematic literature reviews, meta-analysis, or secondary data analysis. The PHA should cover a broad topic and not be too focused on a specific case study.

  3. Thesis: Among the options to fulfill the culminating experience requirement in GHSD, the master's level thesis requires the highest level of commitment from the student. The thesis will demonstrate the student's capacity for quality research and should provide evidence of mastery of a specific field of study within public health. Potential topics should be framed in terms of a question to be asked, a problem to explore, or a set of hypotheses to be tested. The thesis should also demonstrate a comprehensive awareness of the literature in a specific field. As such, the thesis should only be considered by the most advanced masters-level students, and requires the advance approval of a faculty thesis committee, which must certify that the student is perceived to be capable of successfully completing it.



The Department of Global Health Systems and Development requires a period of practical training (the Practicum) of a minimum of 250 hours, usually in the summer between the second and third semesters (for those enrolling in fall). The practicum provides students with experience in an actual health delivery or development setting, program or project, in which students apply the knowledge and skills acquired in their coursework to practical settings. The specific outline and reporting requirements of the practicum are detailed in the SPHTM field practicum handbook.


 Health Policy Faculty

Mollye Demosthenidy, JD/MHA
David Hotchkiss, PhD
Paul Hutchinson, PhD
Hugh Long, PhD
Peter Scharf, EdD
Lizheng Shi, PhD
Charles Stoecker, PhD
Valerie Yeager, DrPH
Joshua Yukich, PhD

For more information contact:

Alison Rinehart
Program Coordinator
Phone: 504-988-5895
Location: Tidewater Bldg., 19th Floor



1440 Canal Street | Suite 1900 | Box TB-46 | New Orleans, LA 70112 | 504-988-5428 |