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Overview of Associate Degree Program in Health Policy

Majors Overview June 18, 2013

Students who have earned their associate’s degree in health policy will be prepared for careers implementing and developing policies in local health departments, health services research groups, insurance companies, and healthcare facilities. Colleges and universities usually do not offer an associate degree program in health policy; students who are interested in the field should consider enrolling in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Health Policy program.

B.S. in Health Policy Program

Students who want to learn how to develop policies that enhance the quality of healthcare offered in the U.S. should consider enrolling in a four-year health policy bachelor degree program. The programs are usually interdisciplinary, combining courses from liberal arts, health sciences, and business administration.

Students who are enrolled in a health policy associate degree program are expected to gain an understanding on how the United States healthcare system is organized. They will learn about political, financial, ethical, and legal issues that affect policies in the healthcare system. They also learn how to use organizational skills and business management to implement and create new policies designed to improve the quality of healthcare while reducing its cost.

Education Requirements

Typically, four-year post-secondary schools offer bachelor’s degree programs concentrating on health policy. Admission criteria require applicants to complete English and math courses and have some work or voluntary experience along with standardized test scores and high school GPAs (grade point average).

Program Course Topics

The health policy associate degree program core courses focus on the practical, ethical, and financial issues that dictate the distribution and organization of health services. Program course topics may include the following:

•Ethics and law in health administration
•Health services delivery
•Health policy administration
•Professional development in health policy
•Policy issues and population
•Healthcare financial management
•Health systems management
•Health services introduction

Career Options

Health policy bachelor degree program will prepare students for policy-making and administrative positions in various areas of the healthcare field. Some of the areas may include the following:

•Medical group practices
•Health insurance companies
•Federal, state, and local healthcare agencies
•Healthcare research institutions
•Medical and hospitals facilities

Continuing Education Information

A Master of Science (M.S.) in Health Policy degree program or post-baccalaureate health policy certificate program may be suitable for graduates of a bachelor’s degree program in health policy who want to pursue continued education in the field. Once they have completed the certificate or degree program, these individuals may seek positions as consultants, researchers or directors in the field of health policy. Those interested in a job in academia or research should consider completing a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in the field.

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