Master of Public Health in the Field of Health Policy

Program and Practicum Director L. Cartwright-Smith

Mission Statement

The Department of Health Policy and Management of the Milken Institute School of Public Health is an intellectual and practice-oriented community in the nation’s capital dedicated to advancing innovative and effective health policy education, research, and service to improve public health and health services domestically and globally.

We are committed to:

  • Offering a cutting-edge, multidisciplinary curriculum that provides students with deep content knowledge and the analytic, communication, and professional skills needed to be the next generation of health policy leaders.
  • Conducting rigorous multidisciplinary research that addresses significant health challenges, is objective, and is translated to inform and impact health policy and public health practice.
  • Being a trusted resource for shaping and advancing health policy options because of our research rigor, the real-world health policy leadership experiences of our faculty and staff, our deep expertise regarding a wide range of policy issues, and our exceptional students.
  • Leveraging our unique location which allows for strong collaborations with health policy leaders and practitioners in Washington, DC.
  • Improving the health and health care of underserved and vulnerable populations.
  • Learning from the diversity among our faculty, staff, and students in terms of background, experience, and thought.


The Department of Health Policy and Management is home to health policy studies and research at the Milken Institute SPH. The Department focuses on virtually all facets of U.S. health policy related to both public health and health services, and emphasizes preparing students to understand and analyze health policy matters in a broad, cross-cutting, and real-world context. Among schools of public health, the Milken Institute SPH Department of Health Policy and Management is unique, having been created to take maximum advantage of its location in Washington, DC, the nation’s health policymaking epicenter. The MPH in health policy is for students who wish to develop in-depth policy analysis skills for use in various practice settings, including both federal and state levels of government, private-sector health policy consulting, and not-for-profit advocacy. Additionally, this program is available to GW law students through joint JD/MPH and LLM/MPH programs, lawyers seeking to develop expertise in all facets of health policy and practice, and to GW medical students through the dual MD/MPH and PA/MPH programs who wish to enhance their clinical training with a thorough understanding of health policy.  

Visit the program website for additional program information.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 45 credits, including 17 credits in core courses, 18 credits in program-specific courses, 8 credits in elective courses, and a 2-credit capstone.

Program Requirements

PUBH 6002Biostatistical Applications for Public Health
PUBH 6003Principles and Practices of Epidemiology
PUBH 6007Social and Behavioral Approaches to Public Health
PUBH 6009Fundamentals of Public Health Program Evaluation
PUBH 6011Environmental and Biological Foundations of Public Health
PUBH 6012Fundamentals of Health Policy
PUBH 6021Essentials of Public Health Practice and Leadership I
PUBH 6022Essentials of Public Health Practice and Leadership II
PUBH 6023Interprofessional Education Experience
PUBH 6310Statistical Analysis in Health Policy
PUBH 6315Introduction to Health Policy Analysis
PUBH 6320Advanced Health Policy Analysis
PUBH 6325Federal Policymaking and Policy Advocacy
PUBH 6330Health Services and Law
or PUBH 6335 Public Health and Law
PUBH 6340Health Economics and Finance
Health policy selective
2 credits from the following:
PUBH 6356State Health Policy
PUBH 6367Population Health, Public Health, and Health Reform
PUBH 6370Medicare/Medicaid Law and Policy
PUBH 6384Health Care Quality and Health Policy
PUBH 6399Topics in Health Policy (ONLY Comparative Health Policy)
PUBH 6350Health Policy Capstone
8 credits in any graduate-level PUBH or HSML courses.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Graduate credit requirement: 45 graduate credits.
  2. Course requirements: Successful completion of core and program-specific courses.
  3. Practicum Requirement: Students are required to fulfill all requirements of the Applied Practice Experience (Practicum) to receive credit for PUBH 6022.
  4. Interprofessional Education Experience (IPE):  Students are required to enroll and participate in an authorized IPE activity (PUBH 6023).
  5. Minimum grade-point requirement: minimum 3.0 (B average) cumulative grade-point average.
  6. Time limit requirement: The degree must be completed within five years.
  7. Transfer credit policy: With approval, up to 12 graduate credits that have not been applied to any previous graduate degree may be transferred to the master of public health program. External credits must have been earned from an accredited institution in the last three years with a minimum grade of 3.0 (B) in each course. Students in SPH graduate certificate programs can transfer as many credits earned toward the certificate to the MPH degree as meet MPH degree requirements, to a maximum of 18 credits.
  8. Graduate certificate students wishing to transfer to a degree program may apply to do so after completion of three or more courses with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 via the online change of concentration petition. A grade of B or above is required for a specific course to be eligible for transfer.  
  9. CITI Training requirement: All students are required to complete training regarding human subject protection regulation and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
  10. Integrity Quiz and Plagiarism requirement: All students are required to review the George Washington University Code of Academic Integrity and take the SPH Academic Integrity Quiz at GWSPH Source. within their first semester of study.
  11. Professional Enhancement requirement: Students must participate in eight hours of public health-related lectures, seminars, and symposia, related to their field of study.