Program Requirements

Students are required to complete 12 CU of coursework for the Master of Health Care Innovation:

In addition, students are required to attend the Health Care Innovation Seminar (non-credit) in Philadelphia each August during the program.

Program faculty and opportunities draw upon expertise from across Penn, including the Perelman School of Medicine, the Wharton School, the Law School, the School of Nursing, the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation.

Knowledge of basic statistics is strongly recommended. Students whose transcripts do not include a statistics course are asked to take one as a prerequisite.

The Curriculum

Core courses last for six weeks and are worth 1.0 CU, with an additional 0.5 CU for a lab experience. Electives last five weeks, with two electives taken simultaneously, and are each worth 0.5 CU. Taking one core or two elective classes at a time, with a short break between classes, students can complete the program in 20 months.

Core Courses

KEY: Course ~ Instructor(s) (School: Perelman School of Medicine, The Wharton School, Law School, or School of Nursing)

American Health Care System ~ Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD (Perelman School of Medicine)
Health Economics ~ Guy David, PhD (Wharton)
Health Care Operations with Lab: Applying Health Care Operations ~ Christian Terwiesch, PhD (Wharton)
Evaluating Health Policy and Programs ~ Amol S. Navathe, MD, PhD (PSOM)
Behavioral Economics and Decision Making with Lab: Applying Behavioral Economics ~ Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD (PSOM)
Translating Ideas into Outcomes ~ David Asch, MD, MBA and Roy Rosin, MBA (PSOM)

Core Course Descriptions


Project Planning ~ Various Faculty
Capstone Proposal Review ~ Various Faculty
Capstone Implementation ~ Various Faculty

Capstone Details


Becoming a More Persuasive Person ~ Stuart Diamond, JD, MBA (Affiliated)
The Behavioral Science of Food Policy ~ Christina Roberto, PhD (PSOM)
Case Studies in Clinical Innovation ~ Julie A Sochalski, PhD, FAAN, RN (Nursing)
China’s Health Care System and Reform ~ Lawton Burns, PhD, MBA, MA (Wharton)
Driving Value in the System ~ Lee Fleisher, MD (PSOM)
Ethics in Health Care Innovation and Research ~ Steven Joffe, MD, MPH
Health Care Systems Around the World ~ Dr. Emanuel (PSOM)
Health Law Fundamentals ~  Theodore Ruger, JD (Law)
Policymaking ~ Dr. Emanuel (PSOM)
Emily A. Largent, JD, PhD, RN (PSOM)
Rationing and Resource Allocation ~ Dr. Emanuel (PSOM)
Strategies for Health Insurance and Benefit Design ~ Dr. Asch and Dr. Volpp (PSOM)
Successes and Challenges in Improving Global Health Care ~ Harsha Thirumurthy, PhD (PSOM)

Elective descriptions

The program begins with an online orientation and, in mid-August, a five-day on-campus seminar.

The Online Course Structure

Courses have fixed start and end dates. Within that schedule, much of a course’s content is available asynchronously, so you can learn on-demand, at your convenience. Deadlines within each course provide structure and support completion. Regular synchronous sessions over video conferencing feature guest speakers, presentations, and special topics. They are recorded so you can view them later, too.

Course content can include elements traditionally used for classroom-based learning and special opportunities fostered by the online learning environment. Among the options are lecture videos, readings, case studies, simulations, branching scenarios, presentations, research, discussions, small-group collaborations, seminar-style sessions (over video conferencing), writing assignments, feedback, summative and formative assessments, and creating shared learning resources.

If you want to sharpen your skills with a lighter workload and in less time, consider the Professional Development Certificate in Health Care Innovation.