Population Health Management

population health management

Study management and policy to develop value-based and population-oriented healthcare delivery systems.

Career opportunities: Legislative policy advisor, management policy advisor, hospital/managed care administrator, program planner and evaluator, health services research analyst, policy analyst, academic.



The population health management concentration focuses on providing comprehensive, authoritative strategies for improving the health care systems and health policies that affect health care quality, access, delivery, costs, and outcomes, ultimately improving the health of an entire population both nationally and internationally. The concentration encompasses two of the major roles of leaders, healthcare manager and policy developer in public health. To become a health care professional in population health management, skills in outcome measurement, health economics, strategic and program planning, community engagement, data analysis, operations research, and policy making are essential. Development, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of health care programs require both analytic skills and social skills, as well as a deep understanding of politics and economics. Our program provides interdisciplinary curriculum with a foundation of knowledge in health services, health economics, and health policy, and also teaches concepts, principles, and scientific skills necessary for population health management.

Students interested in PHM come from a variety of backgrounds. Many of them have majored in health services, policy, economics, business, or finance in their undergraduate programs, although students from the social and basic sciences, as well as many other fields, often find their way to PHM. Another large group of students has health professional backgrounds. These individuals are either current students of a health profession or they are current employees in public health, need of training and development in health policy, heath economics, and health services research.

Career opportunities in public health administration and policy are widely available in health agencies at all levels — federal, state, and local. MPH graduates with a population health management concentration are also employed in research and policy institutes, foundations, professional organizations, and the healthcare industry.

If you are interested in the population health management concentration, please contact Amanda Kastner.

Population Health Management Curricula

Additional information on the curriculum, including plans of study, can be found in the MPH Student Handbook.

Population Health Management Core Courses

  • PHC 6104 Evidence-Based Management of Public Health Programs Campus Program  or Online Program
  • HSA 6436 Health Economics
  • HSA 7759 Public Health Quality & Outcomes
  • PHC 6716 Survey Research Methods
  • PHC 6103 Systems Thinking for Public Health

Concentration Competencies

Upon completion of the MPH program, students with a concentration in population health management should have mastered the following competencies:

  1. Integrate systems thinking theory to incoroporate multiple stakeholders at state and local levels to address a public health issue
  2. Create an evaluation plan for a public health initiative
  3. Apply principles and theory of budget preparation, managerial accounting and financial management to organizations in the health sector
  4. Develop a survey instrument that validly examines public health research questions and produces data that addresses health implications and their relationship to policy and contexts
  5. Conduct and economic analysis of a major health policy issue

Internship/Applied Practice Experience

The purpose of the MPH internship/APE is twofold: (1) to provide a variety of opportunities in which the student can enrich mastery of the MPH competencies and (2) to advance understanding and capacity to apply the specific health management and policy competencies. Typically, population health management MPH students should seek an internship that will extend their post-graduate competitive profile in future education or in various government, private, and agency employment markets. In general, public health management and policy students conduct their internships in official public health agencies (e.g., local, state, and federal health departments), other agencies that offer public health services (e.g., neighborhood health centers, health planning agencies, community health units of hospitals), and policy analysis and evaluation institutes/centers.

More information about the Applied Practice Experience can be found here.


Students must complete an Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) through completion of a capstone project that demonstrates their ability to define an issue, apply methods appropriate to their concentration, and produce results. Special projects that population health management students may select should focus on the following competencies expected of PHM concentration graduates. A special project or capstone project is likely to be further refined to a very specific aspect of the list below. For example, a student who is working on performance measurement may have a special project involving development and selection of performance measures. Students are expected to understand the larger public health context in which their specific projects are conducted.

Examples of special project or capstone project focuses:

  • Program/project planning
  • Grant writing
  • Strategic planning
  • Project management
  • Financial management
  • Problem solving/crisis management
  • Program evaluation/performance measurement
  • Policy development and analysis

More information about the ILE and capstone project can be found here.

Interested in the other concentrations offered in the MPH program? Explore other options on the Concentrations page.