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Health Policy

This PhD program trains you for research and teaching careers in the interdisciplinary field of health policy.

The program involves more than 100 faculty members from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. You will choose your path from among five disciplines: decision sciences, economics, management, methods for policy research, and political analysis.

Students in the program have worked on a wide range of topics, including access to and utilization of health care, disability rights, physician decision-making, and health system organization. Examples of dissertations include “The Use of Information Technology in US Health Care Delivery,” “Understanding Mental Health Care Use and Outcomes among Individuals with Reduced Access to Care,” and “The Consequences of Government Provision and Regulation of Health Insurance.”

Supportive alumni can be a critical link to beginning your successful post-graduate career. Graduates of the program have secured faculty positions at institutions across the globe, including Stanford University; University of California, Los Angeles; and Yale University. Others have gone on to careers with the RAND Corporation, the Congressional Budget Office, the World Bank, and Kaiser Family Foundation.

Additional information on the graduate program is available from the PhD Program in Health Policy and requirements for the degree are detailed in Policies

Areas of Study

Decision Sciences | Economics | Management | Methods for Policy Research | Political Analysis

Admissions Requirements

Please review admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program-specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the PhD Program in Health Policy.

Academic Background

All applicants must apply to a specific concentration of the program and must indicate this choice in their statement of purpose. Up to two concentration areas may be specified. Additionally, applicants should indicate policy areas that are of interest.

Statement of Purpose

Describe your reasons and motivations for pursuing a PhD in Health Policy at Harvard. What experiences led you to your research ambitions? Concisely state your past work in your intended field of study and in related fields. Briefly indicate your career objectives. Your statement should not exceed 1,000 words. You should also include your concentration(s) and policy area(s) of interest.

Standardized Tests

GRE General (or GMAT): Optional for Decision Sciences, Economics, Methods for Policy Research, and Political Analysis. Required for Management
iBT TOEFL minimum score: 100
IELTS minimum score: 7.5

Fall Grades

Fall term grades should be sent when available if attending school while applying to the program (prospective students may add this information to the Fall Grade Report, available in the Applicant Portal, after they have submitted their application).


Those interested in earning an MD/PhD in Health Policy apply through the American Medical College Application Service. Once enrolled, MD/PhD students submit application materials to Harvard Griffin GSAS prior to beginning their PhD studies.


For the coordinated JD/PhD, applicants must apply separately to each program and indicate in the application to the PhD Program in Health Policy that a concurrent application has been submitted to Harvard Law School.

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for Health Policy


See list of Health Policy faculty


Degrees Offered


Questions about the Program?

Colleen Yout
Associate Director Harvard PhD Program in Health Policy