Department Programs

PhD in Health Policy

The Harvard PhD in Health Policy, awarded by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, is a collaborative program among six Harvard University faculties: Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The PhD Program in Health Policy seeks to train students for research and teaching careers in health policy. While the program is interdisciplinary in nature, students specialize in one of six concentrations: decision sciences, economics, ethics, methods for policy research, management, or political analysis.  The common trajectory of doctoral students in the program is coursework for the first two years, with a general exam in health policy and a concentration exam at the end of the second year, followed by development of a dissertation prospectus and approximately three years of dissertation research and writing.  Approximately 110 faculty members from schools within the University are involved with the program, and students are free to take classes throughout the University. A hallmark of the program is the accessibility of faculty members to students and the commitment of faculty to students enrolled in the program. 

The Faculty Chair of the PhD in Health Policy program is David Cutler, Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics. The Director of Graduate Studies is Meredith Rosenthal, C. Boyden Gray Professor of Health Economics and Policy. The Executive Director is Debbie Whitney, and the Assistant Director is Colleen Yout.

For more information, visit www.healthpolicy.fas.harvard.edu. Applicants with questions about the PhD program may contact Colleen Yout by email or at (617)-495-1357.

MD/MBA Program

In recognition of the critical need for leaders educated in the intellectual disciplines and practices of medicine and management, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School established the MD/MBA program and enrolled its first students in the fall of 2005.

The program's mission is to develop outstanding physician leaders, skilled in both medicine and management, to take positions of influence through which they will contribute substantially to the health and well-being of individuals and society.

Structured to be completed in five academic years, the MD/MBA program educates prospective leaders of a wide range of health care organizations, such as those that finance and deliver health services as well as those that develop and market pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and other health-related products. Participants are strongly encouraged to enter and complete a medical residency, or other kind of postgraduate clinical training, upon graduation from the joint degree program. MD/MBA graduates are expected to provide the informed leadership necessary for innovation and progress at the intersection of medicine and business.

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum of the MD/MBA program is rigorously grounded in fundamental management concepts — including strategy, economics, finance, marketing, operations, and more — and the core science disciplines of medicine, such as anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, physiology, and related studies. Further, the MD/MBA is designed as an integrated curriculum, rather than simply a sequence of MBA classes added to the standard medical education. The opportunity to combine these disciplines drives the enthusiasm of faculty and the ambitions of degree candidates.

The typical candidate spends years one through three at HMS, year four at HBS and year five split between the two schools. Students can opt to spend a full semester of electives at each school separately or to spend both semesters taking classes at both schools.

Admission

Applicants interested in the MD/MBA Program apply to HBS and HMS separately and are selected independently. When applying, students must identify their interest in the joint degree program.

While each school will maintain its separate admissions timetables, all applicants interested in the joint degree program are required to apply to HBS in the first two of three rounds. All applicants interested in the joint degree program are required to apply to HMS by the November deadline.

Students currently enrolled in the HMS MD program can apply to HBS only during their second year at HMS and only in the first of three rounds of HBS admissions. HMS students will be considered for the joint MD/MBA Program only if they have completed the health management seminar and the summer internship in business management. Once a student has been admitted to and enrolled in the joint MD/MBA program, the student must complete both degrees successfully in order to achieve graduation from Harvard.

Tuition and Financial Aid

In years one through three of the MD/MBA program, students are registered at HMS pursuing core medical curricular requirements and pay full HMS tuition and fees. Students apply to the HMS Financial Aid Office for financial aid in these years and follow standard HMS financial aid policies and procedures.

In year four, students are registered at HBS pursuing the MBA required curriculum and pay full HBS tuition and fees. Students apply to the HBS Financial Aid Office for financial aid in year four and follow standard HBS financial aid policies. View a student budget for the HBS MBA Class of 2014.

In year five, students' primary school of enrollment is HMS, and students pay HMS full-year tuition and fees. Students apply to the HMS Financial Aid Office for financial aid in year five.

Students in the joint degree program will be limited to a total of five years of financial aid from HMS and HBS toward the MD/MBA degrees.

FAQ

What is the mission of the MD/MBA Program?

The program's mission is to develop outstanding physician leaders, skilled in both medicine and management, to take positions of influence through which they will contribute substantially to the health and well-being of individuals and society.

Why should I consider the program?

The MD/MBA joint degree is for individuals whose ambitions will be fulfilled at the intersection of medicine and business: for example, in hospital administration, medical device entrepreneurship, health and public policy, and more.

What are the typical career objectives of students?

Students in the MD/MBA program combine a passion for practicing medicine with a growing desire to expand their interests into new ventures — to conduct research, manage hospitals, shape public policy, launch health care-related entrepreneurial ventures, balance medical needs with economic realities, reduce costs to patients while increasing quality, and apply engineering to medicine to produce the best medical devices.

How is the degree curriculum structured?

See the curriculum timeline above.

How do I apply?

Applicants apply to HMS and HBS separately and must be admitted independently.

What are the admissions deadlines?

Students currently enrolled in the HMS MD Program can apply to HBS only during their second year at HMS and only in the first of three rounds of HBS admissions.

While each school will maintain its separate admissions timetables, all applicants interested in the joint degree program are required to apply to HBS in the first two of three rounds. All applicants interested in the joint degree program are required to apply to HMS by the November deadline.

Can I change my mind about the joint degree program after I start?

No. Once students are admitted to and enrolled in the joint MD/MBA program, they must complete both degrees successfully in order to graduate from Harvard.

With whom can I speak to get more information?

Information about admission requirements can be obtained by contacting both the HBS and HMS admissions offices.