Management, Policy & Community Health

Management, Policy & Community Health - mpach-banner

Message From the Chair

Welcome! On behalf of the faculty, staff and students in the Department of Management, Policy, and Community Health, I would like to congratulate you on beginning your graduate education with us.

Our department offers you the opportunity to advance your graduate education through masters and doctoral degrees in Community Health Practice, Health Economics and Health Services Research, or Healthcare Management and Policy.  Our courses provide the groundwork for understanding the practice and theory of public health delivery, while the Texas Medical Center, or TMC, offers our faculty and you access to over 20 hospitals, clinics, schools, and other healthcare businesses in the largest medical center in the world. As you complete your academic work, you may have the opportunity to participate in cutting edge research in one of our Centers for Management and Policy in Community Health or within the TMC research institutions.  You can become active in the MPACH student organizations which match your interest, The Board (management), AcademyHealth (health services research), ISPOR (pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research) or International Associations of Emergency Managers – Student Chapter (emergency management and public health preparedness).

After graduation, you will be able to leverage your education and degree to impact public health delivery in one of many ways.  Our graduates are part of the largest sector of the U.S. economy.  They work in academic and research organizations world-wide, manage local and regional health departments, and lead government agencies, and manage hospitals, clinics, and other health care organizations.

We look forward to providing you with an intellectual home at UTSPH and to helping you make a positive contribution to public health.

morgan 2014
Robert O. Morgan, Ph.D.
Department Chair, Management, Policy, & Community Health

Degree Programs in MPACH

The Department of Management, Policy and Community Health (MPACH) provides instruction in the fields of health economics, health services research, health policy, health law, health management and administration, health planning, community health practice, public health leadership, population health, organization management, health disparities, economic and social determinants of health, global issues in pregnancy and perinatal health, and health and economic development.

For students interested in these areas, MPACH offers the following degree programs: MPH in Health Services Organization (MPH HSO) in Community Health Practice (MPH CHP),or in Health Care Management (MPH HCM); DrPH in Community Health Practice (DrPH CHP), and PhD in one of the following three tracks, Health Economics/Health Services Research (PhD HE/HSR), Policy/Law (PhD Policy/Law), or Management/Administration (PhD Management).

All students who major or minor in an MPACH discipline are expected to meet the course requirements and competencies for major or minor degree programs in MPACH. A student may have already taken a course (or series of courses) that are comparable to a required MPACH course. A student may request an exemption from taking a particular required course, and the student should discuss this possibility with their academic advisor. Both the academic advisor and course instructor(s) must approve of the “Waiver of a Required MPACH Course”.

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Healthcare Management

The MPH in Healthcare Management provides students with a solid foundation for managing in an interdisciplinary healthcare environment. The program provides training for students with interests in administration and management of a variety of healthcare environments, including hospitals, public health agencies, nursing homes, health systems, pharmaceutical firms, payers and other organizations in the healthcare sector. Students gains an appreciation of all aspects of management, including organizational theory, finance, operations management, law, and strategy, which will help to improve organizational and community decision-making. The program provides a basis for understanding key managerial functions within the broad spectrum of public and private health systems.

Community Health Practice

The MPH in Community Health Practice focuses on the application of public health sciences at the community level. Faculty and students are concerned with the assessment of population health, the planning, implementation and evaluation of health programs in community settings, and appraisal of community-level effects of health policies and programs. The teaching program emphasizes systematic analysis and appropriate use of quantitative and qualitative health data. Students develop and enhance their skills by examining community health issues in the classroom and the community.

Health Services Organization

The MPH in Health Services Organization emphasizes the planning, management, and evaluation of health service systems, services, technologies and policy. The curriculum includes health economics, decision analysis, health services research, public health and legislative processes, survey research, outcomes research, quantitative methods, evaluation research, health disparities and vulnerable populations, health administration, economic and social determinants of health, utilization of health services, and ethical and legal aspects of public health.

Special Entrance Requirements

Students entering the MPH program may hold an undergraduate degree in a variety of areas, including the social and behavioral sciences, business, the biological and medical sciences, law and quantitative methods. The GRE is required.

Course of Study

The general requirements for the MPH degree apply. The student and their academic advisor will develop the student’s course of study based on the student s academic objectives and prior education and experience. The practicum and the culminating experience should have a management, community health practice or health services organization focus.


Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

The DrPH program in Management, Policy and Community Health offers interdisciplinary training for students who wish practice at an advanced level or pursue academic careers in public health. The student may choose the DrPH in Community Health Practice program focus.

Special Entrance Requirements

Admission to the DrPH program requires a prior MPH degree or its equivalent. Applicants with public health work experience, and applicants who have completed coursework in quantitative methods, or who can provide evidence of quantitative abilities are preferred. The GRE is required and must have been taken within the last five years.

Course of Study

The DrPH program emphasizes preparation for practice. It offers breadth acquiring essential competencies through the completion of courses in a major, a minor in Leadership, and a discipline or breadth minor. DrPH students are also expected to complete a practicum related to their area of interest.

All entering DrPH students are assigned an academic advisor to assist them in planning and completing their program of work. Students take a preliminary examination following completion of six required courses in the major (as indicated on the degree planner). Additional courses for completing the major, as well as courses for the Leadership minor and the discipline or breadth minor can be taken at any point, but are strongly recommended to be taken after successful completion of the preliminary examination.

Upon successful completion of the preliminary examination, each student will identify faculty to serve on their doctoral dissertation committee, and will request that the committee be appointed. The student will work with this committee to prepare a proposal for an original dissertation research project. Once the research proposal is approved by the dissertation committee and the UT Health Science Center s Institutional Review Board (IRB), the student can start work on their dissertation project, culminating in the formal written presentation and oral defense of their project.


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The PhD program in Management, Policy and Community Health is offered in the fields of health economics and health services research (PhD HE/HSR) and management (PhD Management) related to the health sector. Students interested in careers in these areas may pursue advanced study that leads to original research and culminates in the award of the PhD degree.

Special Entrance Requirements

Admission to the PhD program requires a post-baccalaureate degree or equivalent training and experience in the social sciences, policy, law, management, or public health. Applicants with backgrounds in more than one relevant subject are preferred. The program also requires advanced knowledge of quantitative methods; applicants with strong math and/or statistics backgrounds are preferred. The GRE is required and must have been taken within the last five years.

Course of Study

The PhD program provides instruction in the fields of (1) health economics/health services research, (2) health policy/law, and (3) public health and health care health management. Students choose a major and two minor areas of study. At least one of the minors must come from another public health discipline; i.e., Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology, or Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences. A preliminary examination is administered to students after they complete 6 required courses in their major (as indicated on their degree planner). It is expected that students can be ready for this examination after their first fall and spring semesters; however, the actual time required in coursework will depend on each student s unique circumstances, including their level of preparation before admission, and the judgment of the their advisor.

Upon successful completion of the preliminary examination, each student will identify faculty to serve on their doctoral dissertation committee, and will request that the committee be appointed. The student will work with this committee to prepare a research plan that demonstrates his or her capacity to conceive and conduct independent research in health economics/health services research, the policy sciences, or public health or health care management. The research should culminate in the completion and presentation, in both written and oral form, of an original research project.

MPACH Centers and Institutes

Faculty in the MPACH Department at UTHealth SPH are leaders in the fields of healthcare management and health policy. There is no better location for management and policy research than the state of Texas and the Texas Medical Center. Students and researchers have access to over 20 hospitals, clinics, schools and other healthcare businesses in the largest medical center in the world.

The MPACH Department houses three research centers and an institute. UTHealth SPH also collaborates with the other schools of public health in Texas and the Texas Department of Public Health in the Texas Public Health Training Center.

Center for Health Services Research

Conducts research and provides technical assistance and training in the organization, financing and outcomes of health services, systems and policies.

Fleming Center for Healthcare Management

The Fleming Center collaborates with other prominent University of Texas schools to provide innovative research and education on healthcare management, leadership, finance and organization. The center is designed to provide healthcare leaders with skills that go beyond the framework of traditional financial and organizational needs of institutions.

UTHealth SPH / BCBSTX Payment Systems and Policies Research Program

The program is funded by a $1.5 million grant from BCBSTX and is housed in the George McMillan Fleming Center for Healthcare Management at UTHealth SPH. We have access to the large claims data set of BCBSTX. Researchers in the program work to foster research and inform the public, academia and other constituents about health care costs and utilization with the goal of contributing to the discussion on improving efficiency and controlling health care costs in Texas.

Institute for Health Policy

Texas universities often realize that research findings don t make it into the hands of policymakers and practitioners where the solutions can benefit the general public. The primary mission of the Institute for Health Policy is to translate these research findings into practical advice for problem solving and to foster more productive exchanges between academic research, public health problems and policy concerns. The institute has developed change initiatives such as where current Internet and social media communication techniques are used to disseminate research findings into policy and practice via Knowledge Translation.

Texas Public Health Training Center

The Texas Public Health Training Center is one of 14 Public Health Training Centers across the nation established as collaborations between accredited schools of public health, governmental and public health agencies and related organizations.

MPACH Degree Planners:

MPH in Community Health Practice

MPH in Health Services Organization

MPH in Healthcare Management 

DrPH in Community Health Practice

PhD in Management and Policy, under three academic tracks:


General Forms

MPH Forms

DrPH Forms

For doctoral students entering Fall 2011 and after:

For doctoral students entering PRIOR to Fall 2011

PhD Forms

For doctoral students entering Fall 2011 and after:

For doctoral students entering PRIOR to Fall 2011

Where Do MPACH Degrees Lead?

Career opportunities in MPACH are widespread. Students graduate to manage local and regional health departments, lead government agencies or manage hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations. Our graduates also work as health economists, planners and managers in the largest sector of the U.S. economy. Here is a sampling of some of the different career paths you might choose with an MPACH degree.


Rapid changes in both the private and public sectors of health care and related industries mean more opportunities for qualified professionals to manage complex institutions, organizations, and health services delivery programs. Whether your background is in science or business, there are dynamic career opportunities for public health graduates in all sectors of the health care industry.

Job Trends:

  • Employment opportunities in nontraditional healthcare settings outpace demand in traditional settings
  • Greater emphasis is being placed on cost-containment, requiring innovative leaders in finance and economics
  • Exporting public health technologies to developing nations will expand well into the future


Health policy examines the complexity and dynamics of our public health system and its impact on the health of individuals and communities.

Job Trends:

  • Emerging scientific technology and associated medical, legal, economic and social issues continue to create demand for well-educated policymakers
  • As corporations face rising health costs, the need for decision makers with problem-solving skills grows in the private sector
  • Policy planners in the public sector are in demand to protect the health rights of the homeless, under-insured, elderly or disabled

Community Practice

Community practice offers career opportunities to those striving for mobility or a leadership position in health care programs. A graduate degree in public health will equip you with the knowledge and leadership experiences needed for community practice.

Job Trends:

  • Demand is increasing for community-based research, program planning and evaluation to show improvements in communities and where opportunities for improvement lie
  • Evidence-based programs are needed to empower communities to address health disparities and to advocate for changes at the policy level

Jump Start Your Career

MPACH student Alex Stack wrote a handy primer for getting started in your job or fellowship search.


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