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Today we turn our attention to options for studying healthcare in business school, with a particular emphasis on Wharton’s Health Care Management Major and Duke’s Health Sector Management Program, the two oldest and best known healthcare programs among U.S. business schools.
Wharton’s major draws its faculty from the business, medical and nursing schools, as well as from practicing healthcare professionals, ensuring an interdisciplinary approach to the issues in the field. The Health Care Management major differs from other majors at Wharton in that students must choose the major in their initial application to the school instead of in their second year. Health Care Management further differs in that it aggressively integrates professional development and field work into the major.
For instance, all Health Care majors are required to complete a Field Application Project (FAP). In the FAP, teams of students spend a semester working with an industry partner to solve real world problems in the healthcare field. Given the amount of time these projects can take, students must work carefully to balance classes around the demands of their projects.
At Fuqua, students enter the HSM program from a variety of backgrounds; though the program does not require prior health sector experience, it does look for a strong commitment to the healthcare field among all participants. As with Wharton’s Health Care Management major, application to Fuqua’s HSM program is through the MBA admissions process, with HSM applicants asked to indicate their interest in pursuing the HSM Certificate in a special section of the application.
Once enrolled, Duke HSM students spend the first year completing the standard core curriculum before beginning the coursework that leads to the HSM Certificate. To earn the Certificate, HSM students take three HSM core courses and three healthcare electives. All six HSM courses count as elective credits towards the MBA degree requirements. This is a slightly heavier courseload than required by Wharton’s healthcare program, which asks students to complete two foundations courses and three healthcare electives.
Despite the prominence of the Wharton and Duke programs, they are far from the only option for MBA applicants seeking a career in healthcare. For instance, Columbia now offers the Health Care and Pharmaceutical Management program, Kellogg offers a major in Health Industry Management, and HBS hosts the Healthcare Initiative. Those business schools that do not offer formal healthcare concentrations tend to have a student club and/or a student-organized conference dedicated to supporting interest in the field, so regardless of the program, healthcare minded applicants should find plenty of resources.
For more on healthcare options, majors, student clubs or conferences, be sure to check out the Clear Admit School Guides.
For those who are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare and want to learn more about the different programs and opportunities available at each school, check out the Clear Admit Career Guide: Healthcare.