Prospective Students

Click here for the MSHP Program Brochure.
Introduction and Program Goals

Health policy research is a scientific field of inquiry that examines the structures, functions and outcomes of health services delivered to individuals and populations and the impact of and implications for policies governing the delivery of these services. Health policy research has been developing for the past 40 years, and given this maturity and established professional identity, the development of outstanding training programs in health policy research has become a growing priority for the field. The University of Pennsylvania provides a unique and fertile environment for a Master of Science in Health Policy Research (MSHP). Penn has leading Schools of Medicine, Business, and Nursing with internationally recognized scholars spanning the spectrum of health policy research. The retention and recruitment of outstanding health policy researchers within these schools has resulted in a cohesive and growing group of faculty members for the training program. Each year Penn graduates over 150 medical students and 100 fellows, many of whom are interested in issues of health care delivery and health policy. A growing number of the current faculty members in the School of Medicine want to develop expertise in health care policy and health services research. The MSHP is an integrated multidisciplinary program that links these activities across the campus building upon the Penn Compact for integrating knowledge and leverages Penn’s comparative advantage in developing and sustaining these programs.

The MSHP is a two year training program that leads to a Master of Science degree.  This program is based out of the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine in close collaboration with the Leonard Davis Institute (LDI) and the Department of Health Care Systems at the Wharton School. Building upon the trans-disciplinary nature of LDI, this program is also closely affiliated with the Annenberg School for Communication and the School of Social Policy and Practice--two schools in the University of Pennsylvania with growing interest in and commitment to the fields of health services research and health policy. The MSHP also benefits from LDI’s strong connections to multiple other schools at Penn, including the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Nursing and the Law School.

The primary goal of the Master of Science in Health Policy Research training program is to train outstanding investigators in health services and policy research.  Students completing the MSHP are well situated to pursue careers in academia, non-profit organizations and health policy. Tailored educational experiences enable students to engage effectively with community partners, policy makers, and other interested stake holders.  Through mentored research students learn to plan and execute policy-relevant, patient-centered research using a variety of different methodologies including qualitative, cross-sectional, simulation, quasi-experimental, and experimental study designs. Finally, the educational experience is deepened with a two year career development lecture series that introduces students to skills essential to careers more generally, including applying for grant funding, managing a research team, negotiating a job, communicating research findings, creating a national reputation and other skills that are just as important to career success as skills in research methods.

Major Curricula Areas
  • Core courses in health economics, health policy, research methods and statistics
  • Electives drawn from throughout the University of Pennsylvania
  • Mentored research project
Eligibility Requirements
  • Completion of or current enrollment in a terminal doctoral degree (MD, PhD, JD, or other degree) at an accredited college or university in a health-related field
  • Commitment to a career in health policy or health services research in academic, government, or community settings

Students enrolled in a fellowship for advanced clinical training in any specialty or subspecialty of medicine or an equivalent post-doctoral program in another health-related discipline are encouraged to apply.


Our final application deadline is November 30, 2018 for admission in the program that starts July 1, 2019 and consideration for funding requires a timely application submission. Early applications are strongly encouraged. Before applying, we encourage you to reach out to us for some information on the program and an informational meeting with a Program Director.

To obtain our application, more information, or to request a meeting, contact Traci Chupik at


If you are selected to interview, we will invite you to attend one of our three interview days in January 2019. 

During your interview, you will meet with 2-4 faculty members over a 2 hour period of time. If you cannot attend any of these interview days, we will do our best to accommodate you at another time.

Required components of the application

1. Personal statement stating your clinical background, research interests and reasons for pursuing the MSHP. This should be no more than 2-3 pages. 
2. Curriculum Vitae.
3. Three letters of recommendation.
4. Official MCAT or GRE report.
5. Official and sealed transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate educational institutions.
6. A picture of yourself (this is very helpful to us, but is not required).

Notification of Decision

Notifications of acceptance are given in late Winter.


Please see our FAQ page for more information. If your question is not covered in the FAQ, we encourage you to contact us.