Health and the Public Interest Degree Requirements

Program Highlights

  • 30 credits total
  • 3 credits Capstone / Internship project.
  • 27 credits in didactic courses
    • Two 3-credit electives may be taken from a select, limited list. Other electives may be taken if approved by the course director. Course Descriptions can be found on the link to the left.

Comprehensive exams, proposal and/or final defenses:  There are no comprehensive exams. Successful completion of the Capstone / Internship project is required. The Capstone / Internship course requires all students to produce a written report of no less than 20 pages, describing their research project or their fieldwork. Students are encouraged to present the results of their Capstone / Internship project at the Health and the Public Interest (HAPI) program’s annual poster session, held in early August and attended by the incoming students, as well as the graduating students. In addition to the voluntary poster session, the HAPI program requires students to write weekly blog posts on their experiences. This requirement fosters both cooperation and community among students who may be in far-flung places and positions. Faculty also monitors and comments on blog posts, and are available to consult with students if there are issues during the Capstone project, including correct application of skills from coursework

The students file proposals for Capstone / Internship project with the HAPI Program Directors by March 15, prior to the start of the project. These proposals outline plans for their research or fieldwork, complete with deadlines and expectations for the final written product to be submitted to the program. The mentors / placement site and the directors’ approval of the proposals is required to move forward with the Capstone / Internship project.

Successful progression through the program is monitored on a regular basis (mid-semester and end-of-semester) with extra check-ins for students who are encountering any challenges and with interventions for students who do not perform well in one or more of their courses. 


Sample Course Progression by Semester (chart)

Two 3-credit electives may be taken from a select, limited list. Students may also enroll in courses offered by other Georgetown programs with approval from the Program Directors.
  Fall Pre-Session Fall Spring Summer
Core Courses Health in Context: The Social World of Health and Illness (3). Theory and Methods of Inquiry I (3) Theory and Methods of Inquiry II (3)  
Core Courses   Biology of Disease (2) Communicating Health, Communicating Illness (3)  
Core Courses   Health Advocacy (3)    
Core Courses   Health Economics (2)    
Capstone / Internship Project       Capstone / Internship Project (3)
Core Seminar   Core Seminar (0-1) Core Seminar (0-1)  
Electives*   Elective (3)* Elective (4)*  
Semester Credits 3 13-14 10-11 3

Course Curriculum

  • HAPI-600  Health in Context: The Social World of Health and Illness (3 credits) 

Total semester credits: 3

  • HAPI-601 Theory and Methods of Inquiry 1: Evaluating Clinical and Epidemiological Research (3 credits)
  • AGHL-503 Biology of Disease (2 credits)
  • HAPI-660 Health Economics (2 credits) 
  • HAPI-603 Seminar (0-1 credit)
  • HAPI-700 Health Advocacy (3 credits)
  • Elective (3 credits)

Total semester credits: 13-14 


  • HAPI-725 Theory and Methods of Inquiry 2: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods (3 credits)
  • HAPI-750 Communicating Health, Communicating Illness (3 credits)
  • HAPI-623 Seminar (0-1 credit)
  • Elective (4 credits)

Total semester credits: 10-11


  • Capstone / Internship Project (3 credits)

Total semester credits: 3

Grand Total Credits: 30


Sample Electives 

  • PPOL-601, Sexuality Law & Policy
  • PPOL-625, Urban Inequality
  • PPOL-642, Health Policy and Politics
  • LAWJ-493, Global Health Law
  • GHDP-622, Field Ops for Humanitarian Assistance
  • PHAR-584, Intro. to Pharmacology
  • MICB-549, Infectious Disease & Conflict

M.S. Health and the Public Interest Program Course Descriptions and information about the Capstone / Internship Project can be found on the links at the top left of this page.