Master of Health Care Innovation

Are any scholarships or funding available?

There is no funding currently available from the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy. MHCI students are either self-funded or may receive some funding through their employer. MHCI students are eligible for federal student loans in 4 out of 5 semesters of the program. You might also explore the possibility of scholarships through outside organizations, such as professional associations.

How much does the on-campus seminar cost?

Each August, MHCI students spend 4–5 days on Penn's campus to attend networking events, faculty lectures, skills workshops, and other programming. The program will cover lodging, activities, and most meals for students during the on-campus seminar, but students are responsible for paying for their travel to and from Philadelphia, and for travel incidentals.

How much does the Master of Health Care Innovation cost?

At current rates, the entire 18-month program costs $70,575, including all tuition and fees. At Fall 2018 rates, 1 course unit (CU) is $5,499. MHCI students will take 12 CUs total to earn the degree.

How much time should I expect to spend on coursework?

Students typically spend between 8–12 hours per week on coursework.

What kind of applicants does the program normally get?

Applicants have included physicians (from hospital, academic, and private practice settings), nurses and nurse managers, researchers, and administrators from a variety of industries, such as pharmaceuticals and insurance. However, this is not an exhaustive list of the types of applicants who would be a good fit. Professionals from government agencies, drug and device industries, and other sectors of health care would be a good fit. MHCI students are all full-time professionals working in a health care field.

What career opportunities are there after graduation?

There is no definitive path! It depends on your background and goals, which vary widely from student to student. Physician students, for example, tend to want to move into additional leadership or administrative positions after the degree. A search for clinical, administrative, research, and other types of health care job openings suggests that many companies value innovation, as part of their culture and as a skill. Some positions focus on leading innovation, while in others, one facet of the position may draw upon the types of skills and experience you'll gain in the MHCI. We connect our students to a range of working professionals, beyond the program faculty, to help you build your network and shape your own path.

Is the Capstone Topic I submit for my application the one I have to do during the program?

No. Students are certainly permitted to change their ideas when it comes time to launch the capstone, but the best proposals are based on a real health care problem in need of an innovative solution, along with a plausible approach to developing and testing possible options appropriately scaled to carry out over the course of a year.

What’s the difference between this and an MBA? MHA? MPH?

The MHCI is unique in that it contextualizes your role in the larger health care system and seeks to answer the question: How do we improve the experience of all players in the health care system, including patients, doctors, payors, and administrators? The MHCI provides students with a multi-faceted set of tools and connections, and offers a unique and multi-disciplinary combination of faculty expertise, drawing world-class faculty from the Perelman School of Medicine, the Wharton School of Business, Penn Nursing, Penn Law, and the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation. The MHCI trains students to identify opportunities for improvement, and to systematically develop innovative solutions at all levels of the health care system.
MBA: An MBA would be more broadly applied, and not specific to health care.
MHA: An MHA would include more financial and management-related courses.
MPH: While there may be some limited overlap on policy coursework, an MPH curriculum would likely include epidemiology, environmental and occupational health, and statistics, which are not foci in the MHCI.

I am a University of Pennsylvania employee. Can I use my tuition benefits towards the Master of Health Care Innovation?

Yes. See the "Academic Certificate for Penn Affiliates" FAQ section for more information about using your employee tuition benefit toward health care innovation courses.

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Professional Development Certificate in Health Care Innovation

Do professional development certificate courses count toward the master’s program?

No. The professional development certificate courses are NOT academic courses—meaning no academic credits, or course units, are earned by taking them. They are designed to be practical training for working professionals who will apply tools and concepts immediately in their daily work. As non-credit courses they are less time-intensive and less costly.

Can I take one course by itself?

Yes, you may take courses individually, or successfully complete four within one year to earn the certificate.

How much do professional development certificate courses cost?

Each course costs $1,549. However, learners who commit to the four-course certificate and pay upfront receive a discounted rate of $5,599 for all four courses.

Will there be required sessions at specific times and dates or can all of the work be done on my own time?

No. For the most part, coursework is available on-demand within a course’s start and end dates.

How much time will I spend working on this?

Learners typically spend 6–9 hours per week on coursework. Learners in these courses are full-time working professionals, and the program is designed to be flexible in order to accommodate busy schedules.

How do I sign up for an individual course? How about the full four-course certificate?

To sign up for an individual course, click on the red Course Details button for the course that you want to take.

To sign up for the four-course certificate and receive the bulk discount, register here. After you register for the certificate, a staff member will be in touch with further information about signing up for your four specific courses.

Should I take the Professional Development Certificate or the Academic Certificate for Penn Affiliates?

The academic Certificate for Penn Affiliates is an academic credit-bearing program open only to Penn faculty members, staff members and  students who are already enrolled in Penn graduate/professional programs. We recommend that Penn employees take the academic certificate in order to use employee tuition benefits toward the course tuition, especially if they are considering applying to the Master of Health Care Innovation at some point. The Professional Development Certificate is open to professionals both inside and outside of Penn, who want to learn skills to apply in the workplace but who do not need or want the commitment of a full-fledged master’s program.

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Academic Certificate for Penn Affiliates

When should I sign up?

You can sign up at any time throughout the year, and courses may be taken in any sequence. A course schedule is available online.

Do I have to take all four courses consecutively?

You do not have to take courses consecutively, but to earn the certificate you must successfully complete four courses within two years. Courses may be taken in any sequence.

How much time will I spend on coursework?

About 8–12 hours/week. This includes time both in and outside of class: reading articles, working on assignments, taking quizzes, watching lecture videos, etc.

Will there be required sessions at specific times and dates or can all of the work be done on my own time?

There will be a weekly interactive session with the faculty member, some of which will be live one-hour videoconferences scheduled at a specific time. The schedule for live video sessions will be distributed ahead of time, and recordings of these sessions will be made available. Otherwise, class materials (lecture videos, readings, etc.) are available on-demand within the course start and end dates.

What if I can’t make it to a live video session?

All live ("synchronous") sessions are recorded for later viewing. You should make every effort to attend the live session, but if you can’t, you can watch the recording. Be sure to answer the survey question at the end of the recording to get attendance credit for the session.

I am a Penn employee. Can I use my tuition benefit? How much will it cover?

FOR UNIVERSITY (i.e. not health system) EMPLOYEES: The tuition benefit will cover 100% of tuition and fees for up to 2 CUs (course units) per semester: fall, spring, and summer. However, you will still pay a portion out-of-pocket. Graduate programs at Penn, including the academic Certificate in Health Care Innovation, are subject to withholding based upon government IRS regulations, which may result in you paying a portion of the course cost (about 36%) out of pocket. Find out about the taxability of graduate benefits and what this can mean for your out-of-pocket costs. Please see the Human Resources website for more information about the tuition benefit and how to request it. You must request your benefit before the deadline for each and every semester in which you are taking a course.

FOR HEALTH SYSTEM EMPLOYEES: Health system employees receive $5,250 of tuition assistance per calendar year toward non-degree courses. Contact your department administrator to request tuition assistance.

Am I eligible for University employee tuition benefits?

Full-time employees of the University of Pennsylvania are eligible for tuition benefits. University-side employees (i.e. not health system-only employees) can see more details about eligibility on the Human Resources website. If you’re still unsure about your eligibility, call the tuition benefits office at (215) 898-6884. Health system employees should check with their supervisor or HR rep to see if they are eligible for health system tuition benefits.

How do I apply for tuition benefits?

UNIVERSITY-SIDE (not health system) EMPLOYEES: Use the Online Tuition Management System (PennKey required) to request your tuition benefit for a given semester. Take note that the benefit must be requested before the deadline during every semester in which you are taking a course. More information about University employee tuition benefits are on the Human Resources website.

HEALTH SYSTEM EMPLOYEES: Contact your supervisor or HR representative for information on how to apply for health system tuition benefits.

Penn MD students get three Penn courses for free. Can I use these for my free courses?

No—as of right now, online courses are not eligible toward the free MD courses.

I have a question about the course material or an assignment. Who should I contact?

The course TAs are the first line of support when it comes to course material and assignments. Their names and email addresses are listed near the top of the course’s Home page in Canvas.

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