See below for answers to frequently asked questions about the Master of Health Care Innovation degree, the Professional Development Courses in Health Care Innovation, and the Certificate in Health Care Innovation for Penn Affiliates. If you have additional questions, please contact Program Manager Katherine Ridella at MEHPonline@pennmedicine.upenn.eduor 215-573-9378.
Master of Health Care Innovation
There is no funding currently available from the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy. MHCI students are either self-funded or may receive some funding through their employer. MHCI students who are U.S. citizens are eligible for federal student loans in most semesters of the program. Non-U.S. citizens may be eligible for private loans, but will usually need a U.S. co-signer. You might also explore the possibility of scholarships through outside organizations, such as professional associations. Seee Penn's Student Registration & Financial Services webpage for more information.
Yes! Students earn a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania—the Master of Health Care Innovation (MHCI). The degree is conferred by the Perelman School of Medicine. Upon graduation, students are considered alumni of the University of Pennsylvania.
See current tuition and fee rates for a breakdown of cost per course unit and for the total estimated cost.
Yes, one session. In February of their final year, students come to Penn’s campus in Philadelphia for Innovation Weekend to participate in activities focused on networking and career development, idea-sharing and feedback, and connecting with alumni. The program will cover lodging, activities, and most meals for students during the on-campus event. Students are responsible for paying for their travel to and from Philadelphia, and for travel incidentals. (The MHCI program follows University health and safety policies and may be required to shift in-person activities.)
The Master of Health Care Innovation degree is designed to be completed in 20 months. A 3-year option is also available for students who want to spread out the workload and financial commitment over more time. Students begin their studies in Fall each year. While enrolled in a course, students typically spend between 13–15 hours per week on coursework.
The MHCI is designed for both clinicians AND non-clinicians. Applicants have included physicians (from hospital, academic, and private practice settings), nurses and nurse managers, researchers, administrators, and executives from a variety of industries, such as pharmaceuticals, insurance, and medical device companies. However, this is not an exhaustive list of the types of applicants who would be a good fit. Professionals from government agencies, dental medicine, and other sectors of health care would also benefit from this degree. MHCI students are full-time professionals working in a health care or related field.
There is no definitive path. It depends on your background and goals, which vary widely from student to student. Physician students, for example, tend to want to move into additional leadership or administrative positions after the degree. Non-clinician students may use the degree as a stepping stone into a more senior role, perhaps one that focuses more on transformation and innovation in their organization. A search for clinical, administrative, research, and other types of health care job openings suggests that many companies value innovation, as part of their culture and as a skill. Some positions focus on leading innovation, while in others, one facet of the position may draw upon the types of skills and experience you'll gain in the MHCI. There is no formal career mentoring in the program, but we connect our students to a range of working professionals, beyond the program faculty, to help you build your network and shape your own path.
The MHCI is unique in that it contextualizes your role in the larger health care system and seeks to answer the question: How do we improve the experience of all players in the health care system, including patients, doctors, payors, and administrators? The MHCI provides students with a multi-faceted set of tools and connections, and offers a unique and multi-disciplinary combination of faculty expertise, drawing world-class faculty from the Perelman School of Medicine, the Wharton School of Business, Penn Law, and the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation. The MHCI trains students to identify opportunities for improvement, and to systematically develop innovative solutions at all levels of the health care system.
MBA: An MBA would be more broadly applied, and not specific to health care. It may also have a larger focus on finance.
MHA: An MHA would include more financial and management-related courses, and might be more geared toward students who want to get an administrative fellowship after graduation.
MPH: While there may be some limited overlap on policy coursework, an MPH curriculum would likely include epidemiology, environmental and occupational health, and statistics, which are not foci in the MHCI.
Yes, eligible University of Pennsylvania employees may use tuition benefits to help cover a portion of the cost of the degree. University employees should see the Penn HR website for more information. Health system employees should contact their HR representative for more information, or see the UPHS Employee Self-Service website for up-to-date information on tuition assistance policies and procedures.
Professional Development Courses in Health Care Innovation
Learners may earn a Professional Development Certificate in Health Care Innovation by successfully completing 4 courses within 1 year. Learners who do not wish to earn the certificate may take 1 or more courses at their own pace.
Yes, you may take 1 or more courses at your own pace, or successfully complete four courses within one year to earn the certificate.
No. The professional development courses do not confer academic course credits. They are designed to be practical training for working professionals who will apply tools and concepts immediately in their daily work. As noncredit courses they are less time-intensive and less costly than credit-bearing courses.
These 4-week courses cost $1,000 each. You may register for one at a time or receive a bulk discount if you pre-pay for 4 (or more) courses in a single transaction. The pre-pay discount is 5% off your purchase and is nonrefundable. For more details, see Fees & Policies.
Courses have specific start and end dates, but there are no scheduled meeting times. Deadlines are provided to help keep you on track, and all work should be done by the course's end date. Courses include asynchronous interactive sessions with the instructional team.
Each course is 4 weeks long. Learners typically spend 8 hours per week, at their convenience, on coursework. The program is designed to accommodate the busy schedules of full-time working professionals. Please note that some planning is required to keep pace with class discussions.
Enroll in courses using the online registration system. First-time users will be asked to create an account before enrolling. You may enroll in courses 1 at a time, or enroll in 4 or more courses in a single transaction to receive a non-refundable discounted rate.
For login issues, please contact the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at MEHPonline@pennmedicine.upenn.edu. If you are having technical issues within the course itself, please contact psom-MEHPhelp@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.
For inquiries related to group enrollments, please contact Heather Rosenbloom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Professional Development courses are open to professionals both inside and outside of Penn, who want to learn skills to apply in the workplace but who do not need or want the commitment of a full-fledged master’s program. Professional Development courses do not confer academic course credits, and thus have a lighter time commitment and lower price. The academic Certificate for Penn Affiliates is open only to Penn faculty members, staff members and students who are already enrolled in Penn graduate/professional programs. Courses in the Penn Affiliates certificate are credit-bearing, master's-level courses with corresponding workloads and tuition. Eligible Penn employees may use employee tuition benefits towards the Penn Affiliate courses. The Penn Affiliate courses are recommended to employees if they are considering applying to the Master of Health Care Innovation at some point.
Certificate in Health Care Innovation for Penn Affiliates
The academic Certificate for Penn Affiliates is open only to current Penn faculty members, staff members and students who are already enrolled in Penn graduate/professional programs.
Students earn a Certificate in Health Care Innovation by successfully completing 4 courses within 2 years. Courses are offered annually. Students who do not wish to earn the certificate may take one or more courses at their own pace.
Yes, you may take one or more courses at your own pace, or successfully complete four courses within two years to earn the certificate.
Sign up by completing the online enrollment form. The Program Manager will contact you shortly after receiving the form to register you for courses. You may sign up any time throughout the year, and courses may be taken in any sequence. A course schedule is available online.
Courses are typically 8 weeks long. Students spend about 9–12 hours/week on coursework. This includes time both in and outside of class: reading articles, working on assignments, taking quizzes, watching lecture videos, etc.
There will be a weekly interactive session with the faculty member, some of which will be live one-hour videoconferences scheduled at a specific time. The schedule for live video sessions will be distributed ahead of time, and recordings of these sessions will be made available. Otherwise, class materials (lecture videos, readings, etc.) are available on-demand within the course start and end dates.
All live ("synchronous") sessions are recorded for later viewing. You should make every effort to attend the live session, but if you can’t, you can watch the recording. Be sure to answer the survey question at the end of the recording to get attendance credit for the session.
Eligible employees may use tuition benefits toward these courses. The Human Resources website provides more information on tuition benefits for University employees. Health system employees should consult their HR representative for more information.
The course TAs are the first line of support when it comes to course material and assignments. Their names and email addresses are listed near the top of the course’s Home page in Canvas. If you are having technical issues within the course itself, please contact psom-MEHPhelp@pennmedicine.upenn.edu. Other questions can be directed to the Program Manager at email@example.com.
Yes. Credits earned in the Certificate for Penn Affiliates may be counted toward the Master of Health Care Innovation, if the credits were earned no more than 2 years prior to matriculating into the master's program.