The M.S. in Health and the Public Interest (HAPI) Program, part of the Georgetown University Graduate School, is a unique interdisciplinary evidence-based training program that prepares students to help solve global healthcare problems. Students will examine health policy through a lens that takes into account societal, psychological, and cultural factors and how they intersect with corporate and institutional influences.

This unique Master’s program will train students in analytical and research skills to enable them to think and communicate across disciplinary boundaries. This training will incorporate theory and skills from cultural studies, epidemiology, and biology; preparing students to comprehend how the often conflicting perspectives of different interest groups (i.e., government, business, and science) affect healthcare both nationally and globally. Our aim is to create a future generation of professionals in government, research, and medicine who have a multidisciplinary perspective on illness and disease, and  who are equipped with  tools to facilitate effective advocacy for improving public health.

HAPI is led by a group of supportive and accessible faculty at Georgetown. Regular seminars will give students the chance to learn from and interact with experts in diverse fields. Located in Washington, DC students will have the chance to observe government in action and possibly participate in influencing policy and regulation.

The didactic structure for a Master’s Program comprises a 1-year (fall pre-session, fall, spring, summer) 30-credit residential program of core courses and electives requiring advisor approval and a required capstone/internship project.

All students will begin the program with the Fall Pre-Session (August) course, requiring one month of full-time attendance. The program is intended to be completed within one year by full-time students and within two years for part-time students. The program includes 21 credits in core courses, 6 credits of electives, and a 3 credit capstone / internship project. Courses in the program will be taught in the late afternoon or evening (for the most part), making the program suitable for part-time enrollment.

Educational Objectives:

This program will provide students with the following theoretical and methodological skills:

  • Understanding and critiquing complex and interdisciplinary multi-method research relevant to public health
  • Understanding the evolution of governance, economic issues and other drivers of global health
  • Ability to draw on diverse theory and methods of social sciences and epidemiology
  • Ability to communicate with and design health, training, and social programs for healthcare professionals and the public
  • Advocacy and activism skills
  • Understanding of the sociocultural mechanisms of symptom construction without losing sight of physiological mechanisms
  • Basic understanding of physiology as it relates to specific health issues
  • Appreciation of the contribution of ethnic, national, occupational, and other cultural influences on healthcare
  • Written and oral communication skills, with an emphasis on the ability to communicate about complex theory and data across disciplines and with lay audiences
  • Hands-on familiarity with research skills and/or hands-on familiarity with community organizations, NGOs, or governmental agencies focusing on society and health