University of Southern California
USC Master of Public Health Program (MPH)
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Health Services and Policy Concentration

Health Services and Policy focuses on health care systems, governmental and organizational decisions plans, and actions that affect the health of populations. Health services concentrate on social, economic and behavioral factors affecting the use of health care services, whereas health policies focus on actions to improve health through legislation, research, direct care, community empowerment and regulations. Leading practitioners in the advancement of health services and policy lead students in examining and understanding the organization, financing and delivery of health services, offering a comprehensive and practice based foundation for students who wish to pursue careers in management, policy and research.

MPH students in this concentration will take the public health core courses plus 24 units of concentration-specific coursework (16 units of concentration core courses + 8 units of elective courses) ranging in topics that include policy analysis, health services research methods, quality in health care, and policy and politics.

Health Services and Policy Core Concentration Coursework
  • PM 508 Health Service Delivery in the U.S. (4 units)
    Historical development of the American health care system; determinants of health care utilization; role of health care providers; health policy; public health services; and health care finance. Prerequisite: PM 502
  • PPD 503 Economics for Public Policy (4 units)
    Economic theory as applied to public policy. Concepts of efficiency and equity, analysis of market failure and policy interventions.
  • AND Choose TWO from the following:
  • PM 504 Quality in Health Care (4 units)
    Examines quality assessment at different levels of the health care system including health plans, physicians, hospital and integrated system performance.
    Prerequisite: PM 502
  • PM 507 Public Health Services Research Methods (4 units)
    A practical examination of methods and data sources used to evaluate public health services and conduct policy research and evaluation within health care delivery systems.
    Prerequisite: PM 502 and PM 510L and PM 512
  • PM 547 Public Health Policy and Politics (4 units)
    Examination of major policy issues in the U.S. health care delivery system to understand policy options in reforming health care and reducing health care disparities.
    Prerequisite: PM 502
Health Services and Policy Concentration Elective Options
PM 504*Quality in Health Care(4 units)
PM 507*Public Health Services Research Methods(4 units)
PM 514Detection and Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections(4 units)
PM 528Program Design & Evaluation(4 units)
PM 530Biological Basis of Disease(4 units)
PM 536Program Evaluation & Research(4 units)
PM 540Maternal & Child Nutrition: Practice and Policy(4 units)
PM 542Social Network Analysis(4 units)
PM 547*Public Health Policy & Politics(4 units)
PM 555Environmental Health, Policy & Practice(4 units)
PM 568Ethical Issues in Public Health(4 units)
PM 577Global Health, Law, & Human Rights(4 units)
PM 578Global Health Governance & Diplomacy(4 units)
PM 585Child Health Policy(4 units)
PM 589Global Health Governance and Diplomacy in Practice in Geneva(4 units)
PPD 511Health Information Systems(2 units)
PPD 513Legal Issues in Health Care Delivery(2 units)
PPD 514Economic Concepts Applied to Health(4 units)
PPD 521aInformation Technology Management Systems in Health Care(2 units)
PPD 542Policy and Program Evaluation(4 units)
PPD 555Public Policy Formation & Implementation(4 units)
PPD 560*Methods for Policy Analysis(4 units)

*May receive credit for concentration core or concentration elective only.
This document represents an effort on the part of your advisor to help you plan your academic program. It is not an official document.
For program requirements, please refer to your USC Catalogue .
Courses listed may be offered irregularly. Check the USC schedule of classes for semester-specific course offerings and/or meet with your advisor to discuss available options for your concentration.

Questions and Answers about Health Services and Policy Concentration
  • It is one of the three core areas of public health
  • It provides the mechanism to take what we know is important in public health and transforms these ideas into legislative action and policy at all levels of government
  • To improve the public's health through policy development and implementation at the local, state, and federal and global levels
  • To improve public health, including the health care delivery system, through advocacy, education, and research
  • To help pass and improve laws and regulations that promote health, improve access to health care, and to reduce disparities
  • Analyze bills and other forms of legislative or regulatory actions
  • Review and assess the impact of proposed or existing legislation on an organization or a population sub group
  • Develop policy briefs, prepare letters or testimony, and/or brief to others on the impact of policy
  • Form policies and help write and make comments on bills or government regulations
  • Organize others around advocacy and policy development
  • Government affairs specialist
  • Public health policy analyst
  • Community advocate
  • A state or local public health department
  • A county or a city governing body
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Hospital or physician groups
  • Advocacy organizations (i.e. American Cancer Society)
  • Governing bodies (i.e. State Legislature, congress, city council)
  • Government agencies (i.e. CDC)
Michael Cousineau, Dr.PH.
Michael Cousineau, Dr.PH.
Sue Kim, PhD, MPH
Sue Kim, PhD, MPH

What I felt was most valuable about getting this degree was that it gave me more direction in my career. I knew prior to pursuing my MPH that the public health field is very broad; through this program however, I was able to focus in on what I was interested in and how that interest would translate into a career.

--Surah Alsawaf, Class of 2019

Master of Public Health Program
Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California

The USC Master of Public Health Program received full accreditation from
the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) on June 2, 2003
and re-accreditation on June 2008.
More information regarding MPH Program Accreditation...

USC Master of Public Health Program
Institute for Prevention Research
Keck School of Medicine
Soto Street Building
2001 N Soto Street,
Suite 201-D
Los Angeles, CA 90032-3628

Campus Mail:
USC MPH Program
SSB 201-D, MC 9234

Phone: 323.442.7257
Fax: 323.442.8297