Health Policy and Leadership — M.P.H.

Program director
Jim Banta

Closed to admission for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree in health policy and leadership attracts students who have a strong desire to address the social determinants of health and the complex organizational and policy challenges characteristic of current health systems. Students are  trained in health policy analysis and development, communication, advocacy, and civil engagement; as well as health organization management and leadership, economics, negotiation, and strategic planning. Students are prepared for a broad array of careers at the intersection of health, health policy, management, and public health. Graduates work in health and public health agencies at the local, state, federal, and international levels; and in community organizations, advocacy organizations, and health-care organizations— including hospitals, health clinics, and medical groups. Students have the unique advantage of studying in an institution that is part of a health system with more than eighty hospitals across the United States and hospitals in more than twenty-one countries on six continents.

Learner outcomes

Upon completion of this degree, the graduate should be able to:

  • Identify social, political, economic, and legal factors that contribute to disparities in health care and population health.
  • Develop, analyze, evaluate, and advocate for policy to improve the health status of populations.
  • Produce and distribute health policy communications for decision makers and other intended stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate leadership, team building, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills to build consensus, partnerships, and coalitions.
  • Adhere to professional ethics while promoting a high standard of personal integrity, compassion, and respect for others.

Educational effectiveness indicators

Program learner outcomes as evidenced by:

  • Signature assignments linked to course and noncourse requirements
  • Field practicum report
  • Culminating experience


See entrance requirements for all M.P.H. degrees.

Individuals who may benefit from the program

Participants will be drawn primarily from public health; but they will also be taken from health care, higher education, community-based organizations, and those working in public policy. This program is specifically designed for individuals interested in multidisciplinary approaches to problem solving and creating a healthier future.

Public health core
PCOR 501Public Health for Community Resilience5
PCOR 502Public Health for a Healthy Lifestyle5
PCOR 503Public Health and Health Systems5
HADM 510Health Policy Analysis and Synthesis3
HADM 514Health-Care Economics3
HADM 529Applied Leadership Concepts in Health-Care Organizations3
HADM 534Health-Care Law3
HADM 536Health Policy Communications3
HADM 545Government Policy and Health Disparities3
HADM 580Foundations of Leadership3
HADM 586Building Healthy Communities: Integrative Health Policy3
HADM 604Health Systems Strategic Planning3
RELE 534Ethical Issues in Public Health (or REL_)3
Cognates/Electives 112
Total Units57
Field experience
Practicum units are in addition to the minimum didactic units required for the degree
PHCJ 798DPublic Health Practicum (400 hours)8
or PHCJ 798A Public Health Practicum
or PHCJ 798B Public Health Practicum
or PHCJ 798C Public Health Practicum

Choose from defined cognates or select from electives in consultation with advisor.

Culminating experience

In addition to standard culminating experience requirements, students in the Health Policy and Leadership MPH program are required to attend quarterly meetings, and complete an exit interview with the program director or faculty representative at the conclusion of the program.

Normal time to complete the program

2.33 years (9 academic quarters) based on full-time enrollment; part time permitted


HADM 501. Health Policy and Leadership Seminar. 1 Unit.

An orientation seminar designed for the first or second quarter of the M.P.H. degree in health policy and leadership. Identifies the expectations of the degree, raises awareness and understanding of academic standards, and promotes cohort and professional loyalty.

HADM 505. Managerial Statistics and Epidemiology for Healthcare. 4 Units.

Overview of basic statistical and epidemiological concepts and tools, with the objective of showing how they can be used to improve management decisions in the health sector. Includes interpretation and analysis of statistical associations, and distribution and understanding and applying determinants of health events and disease outcomes in human populations.

HADM 506. Fundamentals of Health-Care Finance. 3 Units.

Covers different forms of business organizations and their impact on taxes and cash flows. Focuses particularly on third-party payer system, time value of money, financial risk and return, debt and equity financing, securities valuation, market efficiency, debt refunding, and lease financing.
Prerequisite: HADM 507 or equivalent.

HADM 507. Principles of Accounting in Health Care. 3 Units.

Overview of the accounting cycle, balance sheets, income statements, basic accounting principles, ethics, internal controls, accounting for assets, current liabilities, and stockholder's equity. Course can be waived by students who have taken an upper division accounting course prior to enrolling at this University from an accredited four-year university.
Prerequisite: Accounting course or consent of instructor.

HADM 509. Principles of Health Policy and Management. 3 Units.

Introduces concepts of the health policy process and factors that impact health and access to health care, including but not limited to organizing, financing, and delivering health services. Familiarizes students with concepts of the health policy process, emphasizing the leadership and management skills necessary to navigate the necessary changes in the current health system and to demonstrate understanding of the policy development process.

HADM 510. Health Policy Analysis and Synthesis. 3 Units.

Introduces major approaches for understanding the health policy process. Explores how to identify and analyze the forces and interests involved in health policy issues, including stakeholder analysis. Examines how to write a policy brief and describes various techniques of advocating for health policy change.

HADM 514. Health-Care Economics. 3 Units.

Uses analytical tools of economics to describe the behavior of various agents in the health-care industry, including providers and patients, third party payers, the government, and the pharmaceutical industry. Explores the importance of health-care labor markets; analyzes the issue of equity, efficiency, and costs; and explores differences between health-care systems around the world.

HADM 525. Special Topics. 1-4 Units.

Lecture and discussion on a current topic in health policy and management or leadership. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 units applicable to degree program.

HADM 528. Organizational Behavior in Health Care. 3 Units.

Focuses on understanding, predicting, and influencing human behavior in an organization. Students gain experience using practical individual and group case studies and reading/researching organizational behavior books and topics that facilitate thinking through problems/issues and finding solutions as leaders, managers, and employees in organizations.

HADM 529. Applied Leadership Concepts in Health-Care Organizations. 3 Units.

Enhances and applies leadership principles related to managing change process, building and strengthening teams, practicing skills in persuasion and resolution of conflicts, and developing innovative and skilled leaders. Uses case studies and interactive methods to create an innovative environment in which students can apply and enhance their knowledge of the health-care industry.

HADM 534. Health-Care Law. 3 Units.

Examines health care as a highly regulated industry, providing students with an understanding of the vast range of legal issues facing health-care practitioners and administrators. Gives particular attention to topics in regulatory compliance, medical malpractice, health-care contracting, and employment law.

HADM 536. Health Policy Communications. 3 Units.

Strategies for advancing health policy messages. Identifies various forms of public communication and provides techniques for communicating effectively with the mass media and stakeholders in the health system. Focus on critical thinking in addition to oral and written communication.

HADM 542. Managerial Accounting for Health-Care Organizations. 3 Units.

Financial data used in decision making. Cost behavior, activity-based costing, cost allocation, product costing and pricing, operational budgets, capital budgeting, and behavioral aspects of control.
Prerequisite: HADM 507; One course in financial accounting, or consent of instructor.

HADM 545. Government Policy and Health Disparities. 3 Units.

Overview of health disparities in framing health policy discussions. Examines the federal government's use of funding and regulation to influence health-care delivery in the United States. Reviews the role of state and local governments in developing and implementing health policy. Explores how research is used in documenting disparities and evaluating interventions.

HADM 546. Attaining Philanthropic Support: Fundamentals of Fundraising. 2 Units.

Provides an overview of working in the nonprofit sector postgraduation, and the essentials of how to fund raise—especially from private sources such as individuals, foundations and corporations, and other entities. Addresses the technical, methodological, relational, and ethical principles that undergird fund-raising.

HADM 555. Health-Care Delivery Systems. 3 Units.

Reviews current trends in health-care financing; integrated delivery systems; managed care, as well as some focus on health-care operations, including: billing, coding, pricing, utilization review, case management, and systems. Reviews and discusses current events and research relating to the health-care system structure throughout the world and relative to U.S. health-care policy.

HADM 559. Health-Care Marketing. 3 Units.

Applies marketing concepts to health care delivery systems. Emphasizes a strategic market-management approach for developing or evaluating strategies and programs for a health care organization.

HADM 564. Health-Care Finance. 3 Units.

Covers capital structure decisions, capital budgeting, financial analysis and forecasting, project risk analysis, working capital management, business valuation, mergers and acquisitions, reimbursement methods, and financial risk management.
Prerequisite: HADM 506.

HADM 574. Managing Human Resources in Health-Care Organizations. 3 Units.

Purposefully explores how the strategic management of human resources creates value and delivers results in health care. Addresses an emerging human-resource paradigm, in addition to focusing on the traditional perspectives of human resources that center around the personnel function.

HADM 575. Management Information Systems in Health Care. 3 Units.

Systems theory and application in the design and operation of integrated management information systems in a health-care setting. Examines hardware, software, and human interfaces.

HADM 577. Governance for Non-Profit Excellence. 3 Units.

Individuals who plan their careers for the non-profit world and their entities require knowledge on how to provide excellent leadership in their organizational settings. Topics included in this course include the differential roles of volunteer board members and agency executives and their staffs, nominating and recruiting board members, legal and other policies affecting board members, agendas, minutes and board manuals, crisis and conflict management, managing volunteers, visioning and long range planning, non-profit accountabilities, meetings and consensus building. Leaning outcomes will derive from this content.

HADM 578. Foundations of Fund Development. 3 Units.

Reviews the fundamental art and science of fund-raising approaches. Includes the psychology of fund raising, donor motivation, a comprehensive fund-raising plan, what research in fund-raising teaches, annual funds and direct mail, major gift development, grant development, role playing the "ask" process, planned giving and capital campaigns, selecting appropriate individuals to staff development offices, proposal and case statement development, gift stewardship, and software-driven accountabilities and reporting.

HADM 579. Legal Issues in Nonprofit Management and Policy. 3 Units.

Provides a review and understanding of legal issues that particularly pertain to nonprofit organizations, including: responsibilities assumed by boards of directors; accountabilities pertaining to the IRS and other local, state and federal government entities; the nature of financial accountability intrinsic to the nonprofit sector; and ethical constructs that apply to nonprofit organizations.

HADM 580. Foundations of Leadership. 3 Units.

Provides a general introduction to the literature of leadership and management, especially as they apply to managing nonprofit organizations. Focuses particularly on the competencies, skills, responsibilities, and expectations of managers and leaders (in their differentiated roles) as found within current theoretical and practice frameworks.

HADM 581. Orientation for Leadership I: Vision and Understanding. 4 Units.

The first in the series designed to provide an orientation for leadership. Student evaluates personal skills and understanding of leadership while creating a personal vision of his or her role in leadership for the future.

HADM 582. Orientation for Leadership II: Exploring the Nature of Leadership. 4 Units.

The second in the series designed to provide an orientation for leadership. Focuses on the definition and scope of leadership, the qualities of leadership, and various leadership styles. Explores the nature of leadership within both the individual and organizational context. May be taken concurrently with HADM 581 or HADM 583.

HADM 583. Orientation for Leadership III: Setting a New Direction. 4 Units.

Builds on the work completed in HADM 581. Under the guidance of an assigned advisor, students create either a personal development plan or an academic plan to be submitted as part of the admission requirement for the doctoral leadership degree.
Prerequisite: HADM 581.

HADM 584. Current Topics in Health Policy and Leadership. 1 Unit.

Lectures and discussion on current issues in leadership. Specific content varies from quarter to quarter. May be repeated for additional credit.

HADM 585. Policy Development for a Twenty-First Century Health System. 3 Units.

Addresses the unique application of leadership theory and best practice to the field of public health, health care, and related areas.

HADM 586. Building Healthy Communities: Integrative Health Policy. 3 Units.

Examines the public health system, how health policy is developed, and the diverse stakeholders involved in the process. Examines effective partnerships with government agencies, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, communities, and social entrepreneurs. Explores and analyzes in depth how these partnerships have worked together to make positive health improvements through effective policies will be explored.

HADM 587. Health Policy Analysis and Research. 3 Units.

Provides students with the skills needed to translate research into policy and practice. Examines how research impacts public health and health policies. Explores the relationship between statistics, research, and public policy; and understanding policy development and the politics that inform public health policy. Focuses on collaboration with government agencies and community groups in evaluating outcomes associated with changing policies at the institution, community, and state levels.

HADM 588. Leadership, Policy, and Environmental Change. 3 Units.

Examines public health approaches to improve health through environmental and policy change. Explores theoretical and practical applications of legislative advocacy in the area of health policy.

HADM 589. Advanced Practice in Leadership. 3 Units.

Explores leadership through reflection on and analysis of past experiences, readings in textbook and articles, discussion of contemporary leadership theories, and learning activities designed to apply this knowledge to the student’s personal setting. Focuses especially on discussion of issues encountered in leading teams and organizations. Assesses leadership style as well as applied leadership, change theory, entrepreneurial skills, and innovative practice.

HADM 594. Applied Health-Care Management Project. 2 Units.

An integrated, project-based course for health-care professional students with at least three years of experience in health care. Project completed for a health-care organization includes three-to-five identified objectives or outcomes integrating concepts learned in courses, applied in work experience, and reflecting the student’s professional development. Completed project to be presented to the organization and faculty.
Prerequisite: HADM 607; completion of 40 units of program requirements; program director approval.

HADM 595. Leadership—Past, Present, and Future. 3 Units.

An in-depth study of the historical and theoretical foundations of leadership, exploring a wide range of sources across time and culture. Emphasizes major theories influencing the current understanding of leadership and its relationship to management.
Prerequisite: HADM 582 or equivalent.

HADM 601. Quantitative Methods in Health-Care Management. 3 Units.

Use of quantitative techniques to analyze processes and apply decision-making tools to optimize performance in health-care institutions. Includes forecasting, facility location and layout, resource allocation, workload management, productivity measurement, supply chain and inventory management, quality control and improvement, project management, and queuing theory.
Prerequisite: STAT 509; or consent of instructor.

HADM 604. Health Systems Strategic Planning. 3 Units.

Describes the strategic planning process and examines the tools needed to analyze the external factors and internal capabilities as they relate to a particular organization. An overview on how to develop a vision, mission, goals, objectives and a control mechanism will be provided as well as insight on how best to implement developed strategy as it relates to human resource management, marketing and finance. The ability to consider the business, demographic, cultural, political and regulatory implication of decisions that improve long-term success and the viability of an organization will also be examined.

HADM 605. Health-Care Quality Management. 3 Units.

Focuses on quality systems that include developing clear mission or vision, setting measurable strategic quality goals, deploying goals for action by identifying specific activities to be done, and controlling results. Analysis of quality process in health care historically, with emphasis on key strategies for success.

HADM 607. Orientation to Professionalism Seminar. 1 Unit.

Prepares students for professional distinction in their careers through participation in a seminar series, resume preparation, self-assessments, and other activities. Serves as an orientation to either the 800-hour practicum series (HADM 724) or the applied project-based course (HADM 594).

HADM 614. Research Design and Practice I. 3 Units.

Introduces research methods, including ethnography. Examines literature for information on processes, and provides field experience for participation observations, interviewing, and the discovery of theory. Includes ethical consideration and the development of a research proposal.

HADM 615. Research Design and Practice II. 3 Units.

Planning and conducting a research project. Advanced analysis of appropriate research design for research and development of a publishable research paper for a peer-review journal. Prerequisites: HADM 614.

HADM 620. Health Policy Theories and Concepts. 4 Units.

Introduces students to a selection of material on key theories, writers, and conceptual frameworks that influence contemporary health policy analysis and development. Discusses American political thought and reviews the evolution of health policy in the U.S., theories of justice, and implications for public health policy. Teaches students to explain the role of ethics and values in developing a framework for health policy.

HADM 625. Health Policy Advocacy and Civic Engagement. 4 Units.

Matches students with health or social service, health policy, and social justice agencies and coalitions to provide in-depth knowledge of agenda setting, power analysis, legislative research, and legislative advocacy in relation to specific health issues. Emphasizes the impact of the political process. Develops skills associated with community organizing and civic engagement for policy advocacy and communicating effectively using traditional and innovative strategies, including but not limited to mass and social media. Focuses on oral and written communication, such as policy briefs and op-eds.

HADM 685. Preliminary Research Experience. 3 Units.

Experience gained in various aspects of research under the guidance of a faculty member and by participation in an ongoing project. Must be completed prior to beginning the dissertation research project.

HADM 689. Graduate Seminar in Leadership. 2 Units.

While working under the direction of a department faculty member, student applies leadership theory to specific situations and evaluates the effectiveness of such interventions. Limited to doctoral students. Permission of instructor required. May be repeated for a total of 8 units.

HADM 690. Health-Care Management Capstone. 3 Units.

A capstone course that completes the M.B.A. degree program. Integrates the core and cross-cutting health care management competencies, resulting in a learning experience that combines health care perspectives, theories, skills, and tools in an applied format. Final products--derived through case studies, guest lectures, and literature review--include a comprehensive strategic plan that incorporates all the elements of a business plan designed specifically for a health care organization.

HADM 697. Dissertation Proposal. 1-10 Units.

Doctoral student develops a dissertation proposal and works in collaboration with the research adviser on mutually agreed-upon objectives that will provide the basis for evaluation. Culminates in a dissertation proposal.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of comprehensive exams.

HADM 698. Dissertation. 1-8 Units.

Doctoral student prepares dissertation manuscript presenting results of the research study.
Prerequisite: HADM 697 and advancement to candidacy.

HADM 699. Applied Research. 1-4 Units.

Assignment to private, government, international, or voluntary health agency or other approved organization where practical application of the materials studied on campus is made under the guidance of the department faculty and the organization involved. Research project that includes substantial analysis of data and discussion of results. Written report and oral presentation required.
Prerequisite: Consent of department advisor and of instructors responsible for supervision.

HADM 724A. Health-Care Administration Practicum. 2 Units.

Provides practical training for students in the M.B.A. degree program. Affords students an experiential learning opportunity to develop critical skills for a career in health-care administration. Practicum instructor works closely with these organizations to monitor student progress. Student placement based on skill sets, interests, and organizational needs. Requires 100 hours and final deliverables, such as: paper, evaluations, and presentation, dependent on the cumulative number of practicum hours completed to date by the end of the quarter.

HADM 724B. Health-Care Administration Practicum. 4 Units.

Provides practical training for students in the M.B.A. degree program. Affords students an experiential learning opportunity to develop critical skills for a career in health-care administration. Practicum instructor works closely with these organizations to monitor student progress. Student placement based on skill sets, interests, and organizational needs. Requires 200 hours and final deliverables, such as: paper, evaluations, and presentation, dependent on the cumulative number of practicum hours completed to date by the end of the quarter.

HADM 724C. Health-Care Administration Practicum. 6 Units.

Provides practical training for students in the M.B.A. degree program. Affords students an experiential learning opportunity to develop critical skills for a career in health-care administration. Practicum instructor works closely with these organizations to monitor student progress. Student placement based on skill sets, interests, and organizational needs. Requires 300 hours and final deliverables, such as: paper, evaluations, and presentation, dependent on the cumulative number of practicum hours completed to date by the end of the quarter.

HADM 724D. Health-Care Administration Practicum. 8 Units.

Provides practical training for students in the M.B.A. degree program. Affords students an experiential learning opportunity to develop critical skills for a career in health-care administration. Practicum instructor works closely with these organizations to monitor student progress. Student placement based on skill sets, interests, and organizational needs. Requires 400 hours and final deliverables, such as: paper, evaluations, and presentation--dependent on the cumulative number of practicum hours completed to date by the end of the quarter.