Health Policy Studies

The study of social factors and their relationship to the health care system has become increasingly important in recent decades. It is now widely accepted that understanding the social dimensions of health, illnesses, and the health care system is crucial for all health-related professionals and for informed consumers as well.

The Health Policy Studies (HPS) program provides future health professionals with a strong behavioral and social science orientation that also draws on resources in humanities, management, education and engineering. Students study important perspectives that broaden and deepen their understanding of health care and health systems. The objective is to provide students with analytic frames of reference, as well as research and evaluation approaches that illuminate issues and provide a sound basis for approaching problems in the health care delivery field. Students will explore the economics and politics of health care delivery, sociological perspectives on health, cross-cultural comparisons of health care systems, ethical considerations, computer applications, and practical work in aspects of the American health care and health policy systems.

Students participate in undergraduate coursework that prepares them for health-related work, strengthens their position for admission to graduate programs, and enhances professional socialization. This program is intended for students interested in health services administration, health policy and planning, and such medical professions as medicine, dentistry and nursing.

Health Policy Studies is also available as a minor and as an area of focus for the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) and the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (LIBS).

Joint Programs with Community College Degree in Allied Health and Nursing

Students who have completed an Associate Degree program from an accredited community college in Nursing (RN) or Allied Health (including, inter alia, Health Information Technology, Health Services Manager, Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiography Technician, Respiratory Therapy Assistant, Surgical Technology, and Diagnostic Medical Sonographer), with an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher, may apply for admission to Health Policy Studies through the joint program. Students who have been accepted will be able to transfer up to 62 credit hours of their Associate’s Degree program toward an AB in Health Policy Studies.

Students transferring into HPS under the joint program will have to complete distribution requirements, including prerequisites to the major, major requirements and an HPS track, as set forth in the next sections. The transferred allied health and nursing courses may only be used for the HPS bachelor’s degree; that is, a student who comes to UM-Dearborn through the joint program, but subsequently changes majors from HPS will lose many of the 62 transferred credit hours, retaining only those course credits that would otherwise transfer to UM-Dearborn.

Program Goals

Upon completion of the HPS degree a student will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the organization of the U.S. health service delivery system

  • Understand major concepts of health care administration and financing

  • Demonstrate understanding of the government organizations and policy processes involved in health policy

  • Show knowledge of determinants of individual and population health and risk factors for illness, health behavior and its impact on the health care system

  • Understand the ethical implications and resource distribution impacts of health policy

The HPS major includes 31 credit hours of core courses, 31 credit hours in major courses, 43 elective credits, plus 15 credit hours in one of seven (7) specialized tracks including: Health Planning, Health Behavior and Health Education, Human Resources, Finances, Information Systems, Marketing, or an Individualized Track.

A minor in HPS may be obtained by taking 15 credit hours from the HPS required core courses.

Dearborn Discovery Core Requirement

The minimum passing grade for a Dearborn Discovery Core (DDC) course is 2.0. The minimum GPA for the program is 2.0. In addition, the DDC permits any approved course to satisfy up to three credit hours within three different categories. Please see the General Education Program: The Dearborn Discovery Core section for additional information.

Foundational Studies

Written and Oral Communication (GEWO) – 6 Credits

Upper Level Writing Intensive (GEWI) – 3 Credits

Quantitative Thinking and Problem Solving (GEQT) – 3 Credits

Critical and Creative Thinking (GECC) – 3 Credits

Areas of Inquiry

Natural Science (GENS) – 7 Credits

  • Lecture/Lab Science Course
  • Additional Science Course

Social and Behavioral Analysis (GESB) – 9 Credits

Humanities and the Arts (GEHA) – 6 Credits

Intersections (GEIN) – 6 Credits

Capstone

Capstone (GECE) – 3 Credits

Health Policy Studies Core

CHE 101Intro to Health Education3
COMP 105Writing & Rhetoric I3
COMP 106Writing & Rhetoric II3
ECON 201Prin: Macroeconomics3
HHS 250Intro to Environmental Health3
HHS 350Comm Organizing for Health3
HHS 406Program Evaluation3
MATH 104College Algebra4
Pre-Calculus
PHIL 240Ethics3
SOC 200Understanding Society3
Contemporary Social Problems
Total Credit Hours31

In addition, all HPS majors take 31 hours of required major courses. HPS 440 Medical Sociology, should be taken first as it is intended as a gateway course to Health Policy Studies. HPS 410 Quantitative Research, should also be taken early on, as it shows students how to read scientific articles and familiarizes students with basic statistics. HPS 402 Health Policy Studies Senior Seminar is a capstone course for the major, bringing together the various issues raised in the program and looking at both the past and the likely future of the health care system, hence students should enroll for this course after they have taken most of the other HPS courses. HPS 401 Health Policy Studies Internship should be taken in the senior year.

Health Policy Studies Major Courses

HPS 364Health Policy and Admin3
HPS 401Health Pol Studies Internship3-6
Healthcare Administration
HPS 402HPS Senior Seminar3
HPS 403Medical Information Systems3
HPS 404Financing Health & Medical Sys3
Econ of the Medical Sector
HPS 410Quantitative Research4
HPS 440Medical Sociology3
HPS 442Medical Ethics3
HPS 456Health Care and the Law3
Select one course from the following three courses:
Comparative Health Care System
Medical Anthropology
Health Psychology
Total Credit Hours31

*By permission of the HPS Director by petition

Health Policy Studies Tracks

HPS students must choose one of seven (7) specialized 15-credit tracks shown below or work closely with their faculty and professional adviser to complete an individualized 15-credit track.

These tracks provide training in areas directly applicable to careers in health care services. Increased public interest in the American health care system has created a demand for administrators in hospitals, neighborhood clinics, long-term care facilities, group practices, ambulatory facilities, managed care entities such as health maintenance organizations (HMO) and preferred provider organizations. Employment in such organizations may require specialized training in management and the social and behavioral sciences.

Students intending to work in these organizations will find an optimal combination of background and skill through completing one of the tracks below.  Students will improve their chances of working successfully in the health care field and/or enhance their chances of admission to graduate programs in a wide range of health, medical, or public policy fields.

Some of the courses in the tracks are drawn from other units on campus.  These courses may have their own required prerequisites, such as accounting courses, ACC 298 and ACC 299; economics course, ECON 202; ITM or CIS introductory courses; or courses in the natural sciences such as CHEM 225 or BIOL 140.

Health Planning Track 

Select five courses from the following:15
Nutrition and Health
Medical Anthropology
Epidemiology
Topics in Biology
Introduction to Toxicology
Healthcare Administration
Principles of Epidemiology
Obesity and the Lifecourse
Reproductive Health Policy
Org of Hospital Systems
Int Group and Pol Process
Legislative Process
American Policy Process
Psychology of Aging
Health Psychology
Poverty and Inequality
Structure of American Society
American Social Classes
Society and Aging
Political Sociology
Images of Organizations
Total Credit Hours15

Health Behavior and Health Education Track

HPS 430Health Behavior & Health Educ3
Select three courses from the following (may not double count courses from above):9
Perspectives in Women's Health
Principles of Epidemiology
Obesity and the Lifecourse
Reproductive Health Policy
Diversity Iss in Mental Health
Program Evaluation
Program Evaluation
Select one course from the following:3
Nutrition and Health
Medical Anthropology
Educational Psychology
Perspectives in Women's Health
Principles of Epidemiology
Obesity and the Lifecourse
Reproductive Health Policy
Diversity Iss in Mental Health
Life-Span Developmental Psych
Psych of Child Development
Psychology of Aging
Health Psychology
Program Evaluation
Family Violence
Total Credit Hours15

Information Systems Track 

Select all courses from the following:16
ITM 310Info Systems in Management3
Mgmt Information Sys Lab
Database Systems I
Info Systems Development
Networking and Collab Comp
The Legal Environment of Bus
Total Credit Hours16

Human Resources Track

Select five courses from the following:15
Human Resource Policy/Admin
Staffing, Training & Develop
Compensation & Performance Mgt
Employment Relations
The Legal Environment of Bus
Behavior in Organization
Management Skills Development
Organizational Change & Devlp
Seminar:Organizational Behavr
Total Credit Hours15

Marketing Track 

Select five courses from the following:15
Entrepreneurial Thinking&Behav
The Legal Environment of Bus
Mktg Principles and Policies
Understanding Customers
Marketing Management
Business to Business Mktg
Marketing Research
Advg and Sales Promotion
Advertising
Total Credit Hours15

Finance Track 

Select five courses from the following:15
Corporate Finance
Advanced Corporate Finance
Investment Fundamentals
Corporate Fin Models and Appls
Seminar: Financial Management
The Legal Environment of Bus
Total Credit Hours15

Individualized Track

(15 hours)

Students with special interests can design their own tracks in conjunction with the HPS Program Director by petition. Individualized tracks have emphasized courses in medical social work, public health, urban planning, and organizational behavior, among others.

Notes:

  1. The same courses cannot satisfy both major and minor requirements.

  2. The same courses cannot be used to satisfy both HPS core, major, and track requirements.

  3. The same course cannot be used in more than one track.

  4. Upper level courses, particularly in finance, information systems, and health behavior and education tracks, may require additional prerequisites.

  5. Students not enrolled in the BBA program (in the College of Business) cannot elect and/or transfer more than 30 credits of coursework in disciplines offered by the College of Business.

Students are encouraged to pursue the minor in Health Policy Studies.  Persons interested in a wide range of careers, including medicine, nursing, public health, government service, law, urban planning, would benefit from these classes.  The minor emphasizes a data-driven, social and behavioral science approach to understanding and improving the delivery of health care and health outcomes. Some of the upper-level HPS courses have prerequisites that students should complete in advance.

Health Policy Studies Minor

Select five courses from the following:
HPS 301Intro to Health Policy3
HPS 336Perspectives in Women's Health3
HPS 364Health Policy and Admin3
HPS 390Topics in Health Policy Stds3
HPS 401Health Pol Studies Internship3-6
HPS 402HPS Senior Seminar3
HPS 403Medical Information Systems3
HPS 404Financing Health & Medical Sys3
HPS 405Healthcare Administration3
HPS 410Quantitative Research4
HPS 412Principles of Epidemiology3
HPS 430Health Behavior & Health Educ3
HPS 435Obesity and the Lifecourse3
HPS 436Reproductive Health Policy3
HPS 440Medical Sociology3
HPS 442Medical Ethics3
HPS 448Comparative Health Care System3
HPS 456Health Care and the Law3
HPS 475Diversity Iss in Mental Health3
Total Credit Hours15