PhD in Health Policy

Prepare for a high-impact academic or research career in health policy

The Harvard PhD in health policy is a collaborative program of six Harvard University faculties:

• Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
• Harvard Business School
• Harvard Kennedy School of Government
• Harvard Law School
• Harvard Medical School
• Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


This multidisciplinary degree will prepare you for a career focused on health policy challenges that affect the lives of millions. Approximately 65 percent of the program’s graduates go on to careers in academia. Others work in government agencies, research institutes, nonprofits, foundations, and corporations.


As a student in the PhD in health policy program, you will receive broad, interdisciplinary grounding in the field of health policy, along with specialized expertise in one of six areas of concentration:

• Decision sciences
• Economics
• Ethics
• Evaluative science and statistics
• Management
• Political analysis

In addition to selecting a concentration, students select one of four policy areas of special interest:

• Global health
• Mental heath
• Health care services
• Public health

Learn more about the PhD in health policy curriculum at


All students, including international students, who maintain satisfactory progress receive a multiyear funding package that typically includes tuition, fees, and a stipend to cover living expenses.


Any candidate with a distinguished undergraduate record and demonstrated enthusiasm for the rigorous pursuit of knowledge in health policy is encouraged to apply. Although student backgrounds vary and a previous graduate degree is not required, most successful applicants have a prior master’s degree and/or relevant work experience in the field of health policy.


Like all PhD (doctor of philosophy) programs at the School, the PhD in health policy is offered under the aegis of the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). Applications are processed through the GSAS online application system located at

For more information about the Harvard PhD in health policy, please visit the faculty of arts and sciences website at


As a PhD in health policy candidate, you will be part of a diverse and accomplished group of students with a broad range of research and other interests. Approximately 115 faculty members
from schools across Harvard are involved with the program, and students are free to take classes throughout the University. Most students in the program work as part of collaborative research teams with peers from a range of academic disciplines. A hallmark of the program is the faculty members’ accessibility and commitment to students.

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-1-13-42-pm“The Harvard PhD in health policy uniquely draws on many different schools across the University. I studied with faculty members not only from the Harvard Chan School, but also the Kennedy School, Economics Department, Business School, and Medical School. The program left me with a strong foundation in health economics as well as an appreciation for interdisciplinary research overlapping with political science, ethics, decision analysis, and more.”

Benjamin Sommers, assistant professor of health policy and management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, received a PhD in health policy from Harvard in 2005.

Harvard PhD in Health Policy 617-495-1357