Health Policy

Understand the trends that impact healthcare

U.S. News BadgeWith a concentration in Health Policy, you'll explore the ways in which legislative, executive, and judicial government actions at the federal, state, and local levels affect health and healthcare. You'll gain vital knowledge in health insurance regulation, international healthcare systems, the connection between the labor market and health insurance, political influence on health policy, and the determinants of health.

By gaining an understanding of health trends and data, you'll be able to elevate the debate surrounding human health. This comprehensive curriculum is just part of why we’re ranked #6 in health policy and management by U.S. News & World Report.

How to apply

5Health Policy MPA students (Spring 2021)

1:1Faculty: student ratio (2021)

89%All O’Neill MPA placement rate (2020)

Description of the video:

Healthcare doesn't just happen within a lab or within a doctor's office or
within the surgical theater. So much of health happens in the society. There are
so many opportunities then that one can use skills of learning about something
through analysis and a really important one is studying policy and being able to
contribute to the development and the analysis of of what really makes the
healthcare sector function
so our health policy concentration is a sub concentration within Spears MPA
program it's the number eight ranked concentration of that type in the
country it gives students exposure to legislative and other policy levers that
have existed or that could exist we give them a specialty sort of content area of
what's Medicare what's Medicaid how's insurance work basically how does the
complicated healthcare system work in the US and then what research has been
done on those so what's the modern state of what we know and then we give them
the tools to try to start answering questions about you know what is
effective policy how can we design it what's effective legislation to go and
be effective in a variety of different spaces where they might not go work what
drew me to the health policy concentration was the opportunity to
work with researchers and the health policy concentration as well as sort of
the classes and the skills that I would learn here the health policy
concentration at SPEA was started by dr. Simon and she's really built like a
tight-knit group of researchers and professors so having the opportunity to
work with them as well as learn practical skills is what really drew me
to the concentration itself we've had a few students who have gone on to do PhD
programs where they're getting doctoral degrees in health policy or policy
analysis more broadly and we've had some really interesting governmental
placements we've had a student go on to work in the government accounting office
we've had students go work in state legislature legislature offices where
they're working with legislators on health policy issues and we've had
students go to research organizations like Mathematica where they're doing
really important policy evaluation work in the health arena the health policy
concentration in SPEA is new it's still fairly small but I want students to know
that we have a really passionate set of faculty and students already here in the
program we really look forward to welcoming new students and integrating
them I think there's vast opportunities that being here will produce for you

  • Health Policy (H549)
  • Data Analysis and Modeling for Public Affairs (P507)
  • Public Program Evaluation (P562)

The remainder of your course work (9 credit hours) will come in a wide range of elective course. These will allow you to tailor your Health Policy program to your own specific interests. At least two of these electives must be taken within O'Neill.

  • Health Industry Regulation (H524)
  • Health Economics (H525)
  • Healthcare Finance (H526)
  • International Healthcare Systems (H527)
  • Proposal Development and Grant Management (N557)
  • Public Health Policy and Politics in the U.S. (SPH-P685)
  • Business of Life Sciences I: Trends (BUS-X518)
  • Business of Life Sciences: Value Chain (BUS-X519)

Combining your Health Policy concentration with another MPA concentration—such as Policy Analysis, Public Financial Administration, or Nonprofit Management—can offer you unique advantages in pursuing a particular career. As they help you design your program, our faculty will work to accommodate your specialized professional interests.

The above are examples of your course options. For a complete listing, see the official Indiana University Graduate Bulletin and work with your advisor as you make your schedule.

See course descriptions in the Graduate Bulletin

Experiential learning

Our MPA offers far more than traditional lectures and lessons. You’ll also get the benefit of experiential learning—typically through an approved internship. What’s more, your concentration’s course work will culminate in a project-oriented course—a Capstone—that lets you apply the knowledge you gained throughout the program.

  • Cover Monroe
  • Grant Thornton
  • Heartland Alliance International
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Indiana Office of Medicaid Policy & Planning
  • Medical University of Silesia (Katowice, Poland)
  • Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
  • Peace Corps

Learn from faculty with expertise and experience in health policy


Associate Professor

(812) 855-5054

Distinguished Professor; Herman B Wells Endowed Professor; Paul O’Neill Chair; Associate Vice Provost for Health Sciences; Elected member, National Academy of Medicine; Editor, Journal of Health Economics

(812) 856-3850

Emily Hogg, MPA’17

Advisory Associate, Grant Thornton LLP

“Health policy is one of the fastest growing areas within public policy analysis, especially as health care grows and changes. The Health Policy concentration prepares you well to become a thoughtful, well-rounded analyst dealing with the tough questions that surround health policy.”


Gilbert Bongmba, MPA’17

Serving People With HIV/AIDS Inc., Co-Founder and CEO, Houston

“Moving from Houston to study at O’Neill was one of the best decisions I  made in my academic career. The health policy concentration gave me the background to understand how are our everyday decisions and actions affect health and healthcare.”


Cassady Palmer, MPA’16

Research Analyst II for the Missouri Bureau of Vital Statistics

“The Health Policy concentration really gave me a leg up in my job as a research analyst. Nearly every day I come across some new aspect of my job that I can relate back to things I learned in my classes. Even my TA assignment has played an important role in my career!”

50 years at O'Neill