International Health Policy Degree Program Information

Oct 14, 2019

Post-baccalaureate degree programs for international health policy include a Master of Science degree or a Master of Public Health degree. Both integrate concepts from international development, health systems management and public policy.

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Essential Information

Schools offer a variety of degree and certificate programs that address international health policy, but programs specifically devoted to international health policy are most widely available at the master's degree level. Such international health policy programs can typically be completed in two years and result in a Master of Science degree. Another option is to pursue a Master of Public Health degree with a specialization or concentration in international health policy. Admission is available to bachelor's degree holders with professional experience, and admissions panels may prefer students with knowledge of a second language.


Master of Science Degree

A Master of Science (MS) degree program in international health policy prepares students to be competent professionals in the growing field of healthcare. As students take part in designing and implementing healthcare policies in different countries and cultures, they gain an understanding of managerial processes and institutional structures in place around the world. Students enrolled in an international health policy master's degree program may have the option to specialize in policy planning or management. Some programs may require the completion of a capstone or thesis project prior to graduation. Common coursework includes:

  • Health organization leadership
  • Pharmaceutical policy in developing countries
  • Perspectives on health reform

Master of Public Health Degree

A Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in international health policy provides many of the same qualifications as the Master of Science degree, but with an additional emphasis on public health. Similar to Master of Science candidates, students in the Master of Public Health program concentrating on international health policy may expect to study global health policy and the institutions that support it globally. Common coursework includes:

  • Child health programs
  • Public health management
  • Quantitative analysis and public health

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Graduates are prepared for leadership positions designing, implementing and managing healthcare policy or conducting health policy research. Degree-holders may find work with non-governmental organizations, government health agencies, foreign hospitals, consulting firms and pharmaceutical companies. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health services managers may expect to see a 18% growth in employment from 2018-2028, much faster than the national average. In May 2018 the median annual wage for medical and health services managers was $99,730.

Continuing Education Information

Some schools that offer master's degree programs in international health policy also have doctoral programs in public policy with separate specializations in health and in international development. Doctoral degree candidates may have the option to synthesize a program that addresses both.

Students with an interest in working in the healthcare industry on an international basis may either seek an MS degree or a Master of Public Health in the field. Both master's programs cover organization leadership, policies and health reform, but the Master of Public Health degree also covers topics of public health.

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