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 most semesters of the program. You might also explore the possibility of scholarships through outside organizations, such as professional associations.

Does this program result in a degree?

Yes! Students earn a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania—the Master of Health Care Innovation (MHCI). The degree is conferred by the Perelman School of Medicine. Upon graduation, students are considered alumni of the University of Pennsylvania.

How much does the Master of Health Care Innovation cost?

At current rates, the entire 20-month program costs roughly $61,500, including all tuition and fees. At Fall 2018 rates, 1 course unit (CU) is $5,499. MHCI students will take 11 CUs total to earn the degree. Rates are subject to change.

Are there any in-person sessions?

Yes. Each August (twice total), MHCI students spend 4–5 days on Penn's campus in Philadelphia to attend the On-Campus Seminar. The seminar includes networking events, presentations by faculty and external experts, skills workshops, orientation sessions, and other programming. The program will cover lodging, activities, and most meals for students during the on-campus seminar. Students are responsible for paying for their travel to and from Philadelphia, and for travel incidentals.

What kind of time commitment should I expect?

The Master of Health Care Innovation degree can be completed in 20 months. Students begin their studies in Fall each year. While in the program, students typically spend between 8–12 hours per week on coursework.

Who should apply?

The MHCI is designed for both clinicians AND non-clinicians. Applicants have included physicians (from hospital, academic, and private practice settings), nurses and nurse managers, researchers, administrators, and executives from a variety of industries, such as pharmaceuticals, insurance, and medical device companies. However, this is not an exhaustive list of the types of applicants who would be a good fit. Professionals from government agencies and other sectors of health care would also benefit from this degree. 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. Non-clinician students may use the degree as a stepping stone into a more senior role, perhaps one that focuses more on transformation and innovation in their organization. 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.

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 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, and might be more geared toward students who want to get an administrative fellowship after graduation.
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, eligible University of Pennsylvania employees may use tuition benefits to help offset the cost of tuition and fees. See the Penn HR website for more information. Health System employees should contact their HR representative for more information.

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Professional Development Courses in Health Care Innovation

How can I earn a Professional Certificate in Health Care innovation?

Learners may earn a Professional Development Certificate in Health Care Innovation by successfully completing 4 courses within 1 year. Learners who do not wish to earn the certificate may take one or more courses at their own pace.

Can I take one course by itself?

Yes, you may take one or more courses at your own pace, or successfully complete four courses within one year to earn the certificate.

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

No. The professional development courses do not confer academic course credits. 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 than credit-bearing courses.

How much do professional development courses cost?

Each course costs $1,549. However, learners who commit to the certificate and pre-pay upfront for four courses receive a non-refundable discounted rate of $5,599 for all four courses. You may also purchase more than four courses in a single transation, at a discounted course fee of $1,399.75 per course. For more details, see Fees & Policies.

Will there be required sessions at specific times and dates?

Courses have specific start and end dates, but there are no scheduled meeting times. Deadlines are provided to help keep you on track, and all work should be done by the course's end date. During the course, there will be two asynchronous interactive sessions with the instructor. 

How much time will I spend working on this?

Each course is 8 weeks long. 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?

Enroll in courses using the online registration system. First-time users will be asked to create an account before enrolling. You may enroll in courses one at a time, or enroll in 4 or more courses in a single transaction to receive a non-refundable discounted rate.

Who should I contact if I am having technical issues?

For login issues, please contact the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at mehponline@pennmedicine.upenn.edu. If you are having technical issues within the course itself, please contact psom-MEHPhelp@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.

Are discounts available for group enrollments?

For inquiries related to group enrollments, please contact Heather Rosenbloom at herosenb@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.

What's the difference between the Professional Development Courses and the Certificate for Penn Affiliates?

The Professional Development courses are 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. Professional Development courses do not confer academic course credits, and thus have a lighter time commitment and lower price. The academic Certificate for Penn Affiliates  is open only to Penn faculty members, staff members and students who are already enrolled in Penn graduate/professional programs. Courses in the Penn Affiliates certificate are credit-bearing, master's-level courses with corresponding work loads and tuition. Eligible Penn employees may use employee tuition benefits towards the Penn Affiliate courses. The Penn Affiliate courses are recommended to employees if they are considering applying to the Master of Health Care Innovation at some point.

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Certificate in Health Care Innovation for Penn Affiliates

Who can enroll in health care innovation courses for Penn Affiliates?

The academic Certificate for Penn Affiliates is open only to current Penn faculty members, staff members and students who are already enrolled in Penn graduate/professional programs.

How can I earn the Certificate in Health Care Innovation for Penn Affiliates?

Students earn a Certificate in Health Care Innovation by successfully completing 4 courses within 2 years. Courses are offered annually. Students who do not wish to earn the certificate may take one or more courses at their own pace.

Can I take one course by itself?

Yes, you may take one or more courses at your own pace, or successfully complete four courses within two years to earn the certificate.

How do I sign up?

Sign up by completing the online enrollment form. The Program Manager will contact you shortly after receiving the form to register you for courses. You may sign up any time throughout the year, and courses may be taken in any sequence. A course schedule is available online.

How much time will I spend on coursework?

Courses are 8 weeks (for 1.0 CU course) or 3 weeks (for a 0.5 CU course) long. Students spend about 8–12 hours/week on coursework. 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.

Can I use my tuition benefits towards these courses?

Eligible employees may be able to use tuition benefits toward these courses. The Human Resources website provides more information on tuition benefits for University employees. Health system employees should consult their HR representative for more information.

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. If you are having technical issues within the course itself, please contact psom-MEHPhelp@pennmedicine.upenn.edu. Other questions can be directed to the Program Manager at kbuckl@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.

Can credits earned in the Certificate for Penn Affiliates be counted toward the Master of Health Care Innovation?

Yes. Credits earned in the Certificate for Penn Affiliates may be counted toward the Master of Health Care Innovation, as long as that course is currently in the master's program curriculum.

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