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Health Policy & Management

PhD Concentration in Health & Public Policy

Former Fine-dining Chef Julia Wolfson Cooks Up Research for Healthy Change
“There’s so much hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition and obesity—all health problems that stem from food,” says Wolfson, a third-year doctoral student in Health Policy and Management. “I started to think: What do I want my role to be in this system?”
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Lainie Rutkow

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The concentration in Health and Public Policy is designed for students interested in preventing leading public health problems through the development, analysis, implementation, and evaluation of public health policies.

Faculty affiliated with this concentration employ an interdisciplinary approach to their teaching, research and practice activities, which is reflected by their backgrounds in medicine, epidemiology, political science, sociology, law, environmental health, and the risk sciences.  The emphasis on prevention policy makes this concentration one of the few nationwide with a cadre of faculty advancing policy research to prevent leading public health problems.  

Faculty and students in this concentration consider a broad array of public health policies which affect health, safety and quality of life. These include policies pertaining to obesity, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, inequality, housing, injury, prescription drug overuse, transportation, and the environment. Students examine challenging public health problems and learn how political, social, economic, ethical, cultural, and legal factors affect health, and how public health policy can address these problems. Students acquire skills that enable them to conduct rigorous research to inform policy solutions, effectively translate their scholarly work to policy and practice, and emerge as leaders in public health policy. 

Within this concentration, students may focus their studies in one of the following areas of specialization: environmental and occupational health policy, injury prevention and control, social policy and health, and the practice of prevention.