Health policy is the study of political, social, and economic influences on health and the medical industry. The field incorporates concepts from economics, medicine, political science, finance, sociology, and more to understand how to shape policies that lead to positive health outcomes. Certificate programs in health policy take a crash-course approach to applicable theories in health policy and policy analysis. A graduate certificate builds on your foundation of knowledge in the medical field, economics, and public health issues with specific coursework in health policy.
Types of Health Policy Certificates
An online graduate certificate in health policy is geared toward experienced professionals who are also graduate degree holders. If you have a career in the medical industry, particularly administration, a certificate in health policy can give you the expertise you need forge a career in policy development and analysis. A certificate program can allow you the credentials you need to make a career move, or ascend the ranks, without committing to the length and expense of another graduate degree, like a Ph.D. However, that is not to say that admission to a graduate certificate program in health program is easy. To be eligible for such a program, you may need the following requirements:
- Master’s degree in a related field
A graduate certificate in health policy is designed to refine your policy research and analysis skills. Some of the courses you might take include research ethics, ethical issues in public health, public health and the law, social justice theory in healthcare, and more. The program requirements will vary from one certificate program to the next. However, most certificate programs require approximately 18 to 30 course credits. Many graduate certificate programs cater to professionals and make their courses available online.
What’s Next for Certificate Holders?
A graduate certificate in health policy sets you up for mid- to high-level positions in research and consulting in a variety of sectors. Certificate holders often go on to research analyst or administrative positions at medical schools, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, law firms, non-profit organizations, government entities, and more. With enough experience, some graduates transition into freelance consulting or academia. However, further education is required for many faculty positions at the university level.
If a health policy certificate inspires you to continue your education in this field, you do have options. You can follow and undergraduate certificate in health policy with a master’s degree in health policy, or another related field, like healthcare administration or public health. Beyond a graduate certificate, you have the opportunity to apply for Ph.D. programs in health policy. Doctoral programs in public health are also relevant to a career in health policy research.