MPH Elective Course Option: Health Policy


The study of health policy focuses on how to become an effective communicator and leader when collaborating with other professionals — inside and outside the field of public health — to create and apply health policies. Health policy professionals strategize, organize and implement health-enhancing initiatives through policy education and marketing.

In today’s ever-changing political sphere, health care continues to be a complex system in need of expert analytical professionals to create new policies for advancement. Individuals who work in public health policy collaborate with other experts to oversee the implementation of policies and strategies that will improve health systems worldwide.

Elective Courses

With MPH@GW, you will complete up to 16 elective credits. Interested in health policy? Consider choosing the following elective courses to match your interests:

  • Public Health and Law (PUBH 6335, 3 credits)
  • Law, Medicine and Ethics (PUBH 6368, 3 credits)
  • Prescription Drugs: Policy and Public Health (PUBH 6390, 3 credits)
  • Global Health Diplomacy (PUBH 6450, 2 credits)
  • Leadership and Ethics 1 Immersion (HSML 6255, 1.5 credits)
  • Leadership and Ethics 2 Immersion (HSML 6256, 3 credits)
  • Health System Analysis Immersion (HSML 6258, 3 credits)

“The program provided me with the ability to view health through lenses other than biological and also gave me the confidence to interact with stakeholders. I’ve been able to apply my skills to the Hurricane Harvey response, a Community Assessment of Public Health Emergency Response for the 2018 influenza epidemic and in advocacy for biosecurity and public health preparedness.”

— Ethan Taylor, MPH@GW Graduate ’16

What Can I Do With Health Policy?

MPH@GW’s elective courses in health policy educate students on how to analyze research, create public services and spread awareness of public health issues.In fact, GW faculty research has been influential as legislators, policymakers, health care providers and insurers continue to work toward improving health care legislation in the United States.

Our students who choose to study health policy typically aspire to:

  • Conduct objective research that is translated into practice, policy and leadership
  • Become a trusted resource for shaping and advancing health policy and health care management options
  • Leverage GW’s prime location in Washington, D.C. — the nation’s hub for health policy — to collaborate with health systems, health care executives, public health practitioners and policy leaders
  • Improve the health and well-being of vulnerable, underserved populations

Career Outlook

Employment of health services managers is expected to grow 32 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is a faster growth rate than the average for all occupations1. The rising need for health workers stems from an aging population, increased efforts to reduce health care costs, a high demand for medical services and the movement to improve health outcomes by spreading awareness about healthy habits and behavior.

With a health policy background, you can impact and enhance public health from the highest levels of health care management and exploration.

Professionals in health policy work for organizations or agencies that concentrate on the following areas:

  • Children’s health policy
  • Immunization laws and policy
  • Women’s health policy
  • Health equality policy
  • International public policy

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, (Accessed July 23, 2020)arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference