About the Health Policy Concentration

The Master of Public Health (MPH) concentration in Health Policy trains the next generation of leaders in policymaking and practice so they can address the complex challenges of health care delivery.

From insurance coverage and social determinants of health to innovative new policies that shape how hospitals and health systems best serve people everywhere, our health policy students emerge as leaders who shape and implement policies in the private and public sectors.

What You'll Learn

Our Health Policy concentration will empower you with the skills required to design, implement and evaluate health care and public health policies in a variety of settings, and to advocate for and lead changes in a policy setting. 

You will gain an intricate understanding of the current United States health care system and the politics and environment that shape policy decisions. You also will learn policy analysis and advocacy skills, as well as the foundational management skills necessary to plan for and effectively supervise financial and human resources.

This program will empower you with the knowledge and skills to achieve the following core competencies:

Examine past, current and emerging issues related to the organization, financing and management of health care delivery in the U.S.

Apply policy analysis skills to make evidence-informed policy recommendations that improve the health of populations.

Demonstrate an ability to influence the formulation of health policies by developing a broad-based advocacy strategy for policy change at the regulatory or legislative level.

Analyze existing and proposed governmental policies to assess implementation challenges and the impact of those policies on different populations and stakeholders.

Apply knowledge of governmental and nonprofit financial management and financial analysis to plan for, operate, monitor and report on the financial results of nonprofit and publicly financed health programs.

Apply key principles of organizational behavior, management, leadership and workforce management.

Required Courses & Sample Plan of Study

In addition to the interdisciplinary, 14-credit Gillings MPH Core, you will take six concentration-specific courses covering topics such as leadership and workforce management, financial management and advanced health policy analysis.

HPM 730: Leadership and Workforce Management Strategies

HPM 745: Financial Management and Analysis for Public and Nonprofit Entities

HPM 754: Health Care in the United States: Structure and Policy

HPM 758: Underserved Populations and Health Reform

HPM 790: Advanced Health Policy Analysis and Advocacy

HPM 992: Health Policy MPH Culminating Experience

Health Policy Degree Requirements and Study Plan (PDF)

Health Policy Degree Requirements and Study Plan-17 months (PDF)

Health Policy Degree Requirements and Study Plan-21 months (PDF)

Jeffrey Simms, MSPH

Jeffrey Simms, MSPH, is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health — and he’s a new member of the National Center for Healthcare Leadership’s Board of Directors.

Our graduates are widely recognized as strategic thinkers and problem solvers. They are leaders in developing, enacting and implementing state and national policies and advocating for health policy changes at the local, state and national levels. Upon graduation, you will be:

  • Sought-after by top companies, universities, health care systems, nonprofit organizations and government agencies;
  • Prepared to work in organizations that are making a difference; and
  • A champion for population health who is committed to nurturing the next generation of health policy and management leaders.

Career Opportunities

Our Graduates Work As...
Health Officer
Public Health Advisor
Project Specialist
Health Policy Analyst
Research Associate
Operations Administrator
Our Graduates Work With...
Hospitals and Hospices
Health Systems
Medical Groups
Government Programs and Agencies
Public Health Departments

99% of Gillings graduates have a job or continue their education within one year of graduating.

Learn more about the opportunities that await you with an MPH from the Gillings School.

Compassionate leaders for complex challenges
Ready to apply?

Assistant Director of Academic Advising
Adia Ware
Rosenau Hall 202A

Concentration Leader
Ciara Zachary, MPH, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management