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Arnold School of Public Health


Graduate Degrees in Health Services Policy & Management

Our Health Services Policy and Management (HSPM) programs will offer you the cutting-edge, hands-on learning environment you are searching for as the foundation of your career.

HSPM's mission is to advance the provision of effective, efficient and equitable health services by preparing individuals for positions in health services management, policy, public health programs, research and education.

Students interested in improving and strengthening health care systems with strong quantitative skills are ideal for our graduate programs. Through our two master's (Master of Public Health, Master of Health Administration) and doctoral programs (Doctor of Philosophy), the department produces well-trained graduates ready to assume or progress to leadership positions in different health sector entities. Students are able to complete the Master of Public Health program through distance education, although most courses require synchronous participation via weblinks.

In addition to the four degree programs indicated above, the department also offers a number of dual or joint degrees. Students can also apply for admission to Juris Doctor (law)/Master of Health Administration, Master of Public Administration / Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health dual degree programs. The Master of Health Information Technology (MHIT) degree program is offered in collaboration with the Integrated Information Technology program of the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sports Management. 

Master of Public Health in Health Services Policy and Management (MPH)

Are you interested in a career where you can have a more direct and immediate impact on the health of others in your community, state, nation and beyond?  If this is your aspiration, then the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in public health administration may be the degree program for you. Our program will provide you with the essential knowledge, skills and experiences that will prepare you to be a leader within an agency or organization dedicated to improving the public’s health. 

This degree is also offered via distance education.   The MPH degree (in distance learning format) can be obtained in 24-26 months of continuous study by completing asynchronous online courses offered in 8-week sessions.  Students may enroll in fall, spring, or summer terms.  Non-resident applicants should check the authorization status of distance education programs for their state by visiting: http://www.sc.edu/provost/stateauthorization

Our most recent graduates are in mid-level management positions, such as program coordinator and program director at the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) or S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Others are in nationally prominent advisory roles such as policy and research associates in the U.S. Senate. Still others are involved in private sector domestic and international health-related organizations, such as health promotion coordinator with Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company and development coordinator with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. 

Master of Public Administration / Master of Public Health in Health Services Policy and Management (MPA/MPH)

The Master of Public Administration / Master of Public Health (MPA/MPH) degree is offered in conjunction with the USC Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences.  The MPH degree program provides students with the competencies needed to manage public health programs and to direct population-based health improvement.  In addition to the public health core elements of: administration, biostatistics, epidemiology, health promotion, and environmental health, the 45-hour MPH curriculum provides training in health services policy, public health finance, public health law, and program planning and evaluation.  The requirements for the MPH portion of the degree are the same as for the standalone degree program though some courses do fulfill requirements for both degree programs, resulting in fewer semester hours to complete both degrees than if pursued separately.  Those seeking the dual MPA/MPH degree must be accepted for graduate study in both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Arnold School of Public Health.

Master of Social Work / Master of Public Health in Health Services Policy and Management (MSW/MPH)

The Master of Social Work / Master of Public Health (MSW/MPH) degree is offered in conjunction with the USC College of Social Work.  The MPH degree program provides students with the competencies needed to manage public health programs and to direct population-based health improvement.  In addition to the public health core elements of: administration, biostatistics, epidemiology, health promotion, and environmental health, the 45-hour MPH curriculum provides training in health services policy, public health finance, public health law, and program planning and evaluation.  The requirements for the MPH portion of the degree are the same as for the standalone degree program though some courses do fulfill requirements for both degree programs, resulting in fewer semester hours to complete both degrees than if pursued separately.  Those seeking the dual MSW/MPH degree must be accepted for graduate study in both the College of Social Work and the Arnold School of Public Health.

Master of Health Administration (MHA)

Our Master of Health Administration (MHA) program is recognized for excellence in preparing health care leaders. Our Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)-accredited MHA program equips graduates with in-demand competencies that are necessary for leading organizations involved in the management and delivery of health and health care services.

A career in health care management offers opportunities for growth and advancement in a myriad of settings, such as hospitals, ambulatory care facilities, long-term care, insurance organizations, government agencies and consulting firms. Graduates have become Chief Executive Officers (CEOs)/Presidents, Chief Operating Officers (COOs), Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), Directors and Administrators of health insurance companies, health care businesses, hospitals and governmental /non-governmental organizations around the world. Our graduates are active, visible and valuable members of their communities working hard to improve health and health systems.

MHA Professional Format

The Master of Health Administration (MHA) Professional Format program allows working healthcare professionals to obtain an advanced degree in health care administration, without interrupting full-time careers. The degree prepares students for advanced careers in the management of health services organizations in the private and public sectors, ranging from direct service providers (clinics, hospitals, long term care settings) through the ancillary industries (insurers, quality review organizations, pharmaceuticals and medical device manufacturers).Today’s health care market requires individuals with the ability to balance regulatory issues, offer value based care without compromising the quality of health care services rendered.  In addition to the core public health disciplines, the MHA Professional Format provides training in leadership, management, accounting, finance, information technology, quantitative methods, innovation, decision-making, strategic planning and management for health care organizations.  

Juris Doctorate / Master of Health Administration (JD/MHA dual degree)

The dual degree in health administration and law is designed for highly motivated students who wish to study and apply law to issues in health care. The dual degree leads to a Juris Doctorate and a Master of Health Administration through an innovative and integrated curriculum completed over a four-year period. The completion of this dual degree will equip graduates with the ability to successfully practice law in large private or governmental organizations and attain C-suite executive positions in the future. With continuing changes in the legal and regulatory landscape ranging from health reform to other mandates, the demand these skill sets will be on the increase in the future.

Ph.D. in Health Services Policy and Management

The educational goal of the Doctor of Philosophy program in HSPM is to prepare students to assume positions in teaching and/or research in universities, public or private research institutes or government agencies. In the last four years, most of our Ph.D. graduates have accepted faculty positions in public health or allied health schools in the U.S. and internationally. Some have accepted research and administrative positions in public health entities and consulting firms.

The program of study is designed around the interests of the individual, taking previous academic training and professional experience into account. Emphasis in the program is in research methods, statistics and advanced concepts in health policy and management. The program is 61 credit hours post-masters and requires a dissertation based on original research.

Doctor of Public Health in Health Services Policy and Management (DrPH)

Not currently accepting applications.

Korean Doctor of Public Health in Health Services Policy and Management (DrPH)

Not currently accepting applications.

Taiwan Doctor of Public Health in Health Services Policy and Management (DrPH)

Not currently accepting applications.