Health Policy Emphasis

Health policy is an interdisciplinary field of study, drawing on political science, public policy, public administration, political sociology and related fields. We welcome students with backgrounds in one of the social sciences (e.g., political science, sociology, economics, anthropology, history) or applied interdisciplinary areas of study (e.g., policy studies, health studies, public administration, gerontology, social work, etc.) or those with other educational backgrounds who have developed health policy knowledge from professional experience (e.g., in government, health administration, clinical practice, health law).

Studies in Health Policy are commonly of two types. Research “in and for” the policy process supports the development, evaluation or implementation of sound policy. Students pursuing this type of health policy research will learn to connect their work to relevant policy studies theories. Research “of” the policy process is inherently concerned with policy studies theories, as it asks why policies and systems are as they are, how problems are understood, how authority is exercised and how and why systems change or fail to change.

Health Policy faculty often engage local, regional and national and global governmental and non-governmental organizations and decision-makers as partners and collaborators in education, research and knowledge transfer, and consult and participate in policy initiatives and policy-making bodies.

Areas of study at IHPME include:

  • Comparative health policy and systems
    • To support rigorous comparison of health policies as well as health systems, structures and organization across jurisdictions, locally and globally, to draw valid policy lessons and to suggest policy and system options to the status quo.
  • Public health policy
    • The study of policies that address the promotion of wellness and prevention of chronic disease, infectious disease, injury and environmental exposures and systems for governing, regulating and delivering public health strategies and interventions. Public health policy researchers are also interested in healthy public policies that address the effects on population health of policies that emanate from non-health sectors of government.
  • Health care policy
    • The study of policy and systems for governing, regulating, financing and delivering health care. The term health care is used broadly, to refer to hospital care, physician services, pharmaceuticals, rehabilitation, long term chronic care, home and community care and/or related social services (e.g. supportive housing) and may interface with aspects of public health policy.
  • Health technology policy
    • The study of science policy, health research systems, innovation studies, health technology development, regulation, adoption or diffusion.

Our Faculty – an overview of the faculty most closely associated with Health policy, particularly those able to play a supervisory role as social scientists
Our Program – an overview of course and thesis requirements
Our Students – pending
Other Learning Opportunities – collaborative specializations and any other opportunities, such as seminar series or conferences