Public Health Management and Policy

public health management and policy


The Public Health Management and Policy (PHMP) concentration focuses on the structure and administration of public health organizations and the policies that impact health programs and reimbursement of health services. The concentration encompasses two of the major roles of leaders in public health. The roles of manager and policy developer are often, although not always, performed by the same individuals, and the skills required for these roles overlap a great deal. To manage an organization, skills in accounting, financial management, human resources, strategic and program planning, operations research, economics, and monitoring outcome measures are essential. Development, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of government policies require analytic skills and social skills, as well as a deep understanding of politics.

Students interested in PHMP come from a variety of backgrounds. Many of them have majored in 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 PHMP. Another large group has health professional backgrounds. These individuals are either current students of a health profession or they have assumed administrative and/or leadership positions in public health, without the benefit of appropriate training in management and policy. 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 PHMP concentration are also employed in research and policy institutes, foundations, professional organizations, and the healthcare industry. Faculty in the Department of Health Services Research, Management, and Policy teach courses and advise students in the public health management and policy concentration. The curriculum is designed to enable students to develop competence in very specific PHMP skills.

If you are interested in the Public Health Management and Policy concentration, please contact Katherine Pizarro at

Public Health Management and Policy Curricula

Click below to view full criteria for the 48-credit and accelerated 42-credit MPH programs.

Public Health Management and Policy Competencies

Click here to review the competencies expected of graduates of the Public Health Management and Policy concentration and the courses that contribute to them.

Public Health Management and Policy Core Courses

Concentration Core Courses

  • PHC 6103 Systems Thinking for Public Health
  • PHC 6104 Evidence-Based Management of Public Health Programs Campus Program  or Online Program
  • HSA 6115 Introduction to Management of Health Services Organizations
  • HSA 5174 Fundamentals of Health Care Finance
  • HSA 6152 Overview of U.S. Health Policy
  • PHC 6421 Public Health Law and Ethics


The purpose of the MPH internship 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, PHMP 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.

  • PLEASE NOTE: Students starting the program in or after Fall 2019 will have different requirements due to CEPH accreditation changes. In place of the Public Health Internship, students will complete 3-6 credits of Applied Practice Experience. APE involves internship hours and community service hours.

Special Project

Special projects that PHMP students may select within their internship sites should focus on the following competencies expected of PHMP concentration graduates. A special project, of course, is likely to be further refined to a very specific aspect of the below list. 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 focuses:

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