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Student Resources: Health Policy and Management

Important Documents and Links

A number of graduate student opportunities exist for building community within and outside of the School of Public Health, including:

View all School of Public Health student opportunities.

We want to connect with you! Our goal is to nurture lasting connections with our students through visits, talks, and events.

Resources for Master's Students

Helpful MPH and MHA program information are provided below. All master students must complete both an Internship and Capstone project (or Thesis) for graduation. 

Brief Description

The purpose of the internship is to enable students to gain practical experience as professionals under conditions conducive to educational development. Students need to obtain permission from an advisor indicating that they are ready for the internship (i.e. almost all required courses have been completed). The internship is a time-limited, supervised period of public health policy and practice activities carried out in health or allied health organizations. The internship provides students with the opportunity to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills obtained in the academic program. Students gain practical experience in real-world public health settings.

The internship may be conducted at the same site where a student works or at another site of the student’s choosing. If the internship is at the work site, internship duties must be separate from and in addition to regular work responsibilities. The internship may be conducted at the same site as the capstone but must be a separate project.

A faculty member works with interns to provide general guidance throughout the internship. Interns will also have access to a site supervisor who provides onsite advice and guidance to the intern and feedback to the faculty member. A beneficial partnership emerges in which the internship site gains from the intern’s contributions and the intern gains from hands-on experience with colleagues in community-based practice sites.

NOTE: Make arrangements with your individual advisor. 

Guidelines

HPM Internship Manual 2019

View a List of Previous Internship Sites

Brief Description

The capstone is a culminating experience (in lieu of a thesis) that provides the student with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in courses to an analysis of a specific public health problem or issue. The capstone project demonstrates the student's understanding of the principles and skills of public health practice and policy, the ability to apply this knowledge to a public health problem or issue, and the attainment of the competencies required by the master's program. Students need to obtain permission from an advisor indicating that they are ready for the capstone project (i.e. almost all required courses have been completed).

A student may conduct and complete a capstone project during the final semester of studies or work on the capstone project over two semesters. Students need to obtain permission from an advisor to do a two-semester capstone project.

The capstone project may be conducted at the same site where a student works or at another site of the student’s choosing. If the project is conducted at the work site, the project must be separate from and in addition to regular work responsibilities. The capstone may be conducted at the same site as the internship but must be a separate project.

The capstone is a beneficial partnership in which the learning goals of the student are attained and the capstone site gains from the student’s contribution. The capstone project is developed and implemented under the guidance of a faculty member and a site supervisor.

Guidelines

Capstone Manual (HLSA 786)

Brief Description

The MHA/MPH thesis is a capstone experience and must be completed after all other required coursework is completed. Electives may be taken concurrently with the completion of the Thesis. MPH students considering a research-oriented career, or who plan to continue on for a doctoral degree, may consider a master's thesis.

The six-credit-hour thesis (HLSA 799) replaces the HLSA786 MPH capstone project (3 credits) and one elective (3 credits) that are needed to meet the 45-credit MPH degree. The student must still complete the 4-credit internship (HLSA 778) in addition to the thesis.

University of Maryland Thesis and Dissertation Style Guides and Templates can be found in the appendices of the Thesis Manual. They can also be found at the forms and publication section of the UMD Graduate School website

Guidelines

HPM Thesis Manual (HLSA 799)

The MPH/MHA degree programs require students to obtain a significant practicum/internship experience prior to graduation. Graduate students should consult with their department for specific requirements and opportunities tailored to their degree program, concentration, experience and professional goals.

Prospective or current student? The Department of Health Policy and Management offers students a wide variety of internship and capstone experiences based on their interests.

See how past students have fearlessly pursued health for all! Click for examples of previous internship sites held by students in our program. (Note: This list does not include all previously held internship sites, so it is best to consult with your advisor for the most comprehensive information on opportunities available to you.)

How long is the program?

  • The master's programs (MHA/MPH) take two full years, including the summer in between. So, if you start in Fall 2020, you will graduate in May 2022.

How many credits is the program?

  • All master's programs are 45 credits.

How much does each credit cost?

How do I pay for my degree?

How is my advisor assigned?

  • You are assigned an adviser upon your acceptance of our offer of admission. Your advisor helps guide you to graduation and is your mentor while in our department. Should you need to change advisor for any reason, this can be arranged by our Chair (Luisa Franzini).

Should I go full-time or part-time?

  • We have a few students pursuing their degree part-time in order to meet other work or family obligations. We encourage you to take as many credits as you can manage to graduate in a timely manner, but we do not discourage part-time students from pursuing their degree.

Are we required to do an internship?

  • Yes, every student is required to arrange a semester-long internship as well as a capstone relating to their future career interests. They can both be in the same setting, but must be different projects.

What is the Capstone?

  • The capstone is a semester-long project to demonstrate your proficiency at mastering the program competencies.
  • You choose a site and conduct a project with specific goals. (This can be the same site as the internship, but does not necessarily need to be.)

Can I do a Thesis?

  • Yes, you may choose to do a thesis instead of the Capstone. Ask your advisor for guidance, or contact your Program Director.

Where do I find housing?

Other FAQs

Resources for Doctoral Students

How long is the program?

  • The Doctoral Program in Health Services takes 3-5 years depending on how much course work you must take (if your Master's degree did not include public health content), and on how quickly you are able to complete the degree requirements.

How many credits is the program?

  • The program is 50 credits.
  • In order to enter the PhD program in Health Services, you must have a Master's Degree in Health Administration, Health Services, Health Policy, Health Economics, Business Administration, or a related field.
  • The 50 credit hours will include a minimum of 16 credit hours in health services research core courses, a minimum of 18 credit hours in cognate elective courses, and a minimum of 12 credit hours in dissertation research. Doctoral students advance to candidacy by completing a written qualifying exam and an oral defense of their dissertation proposal.
  • Students must successfully complete a doctoral dissertation and an oral dissertation defense.

How much does each credit cost?

How do I pay for my degree?

How is my advisor assigned?

  • You are assigned an advisor upon your acceptance of our offer of admission. Your advisor helps guide you to graduation and is your mentor while in our department. Should you need to change advisor for any reason, this can be arranged by our Chair (Luisa Franzini).

Should I go full-time or part-time?

  • We have a few students pursuing their degree part-time in order to meet other work or family obligations. We encourage you to take as many credits as you can manage to graduate in a timely manner, but we do not discourage part-time students from pursuing their degree.

How do I defend?

  • Doctoral students advance to candidacy by completing a written qualifying exam and an oral defense of their dissertation proposal.
  • In addition to the coursework, the written qualifying exam and the oral defense, students must successfully complete a doctoral dissertation and an oral dissertation defense.

How is my dissertation committee organized?

  • Students must organize their committee with their advisor.

Where do I find housing?

Other FAQs

    Download the Call for Applications

    The Department of Health Policy and Management will grant financial awards to PhD students for the purchase of materials or services required to complete their dissertation. Awards up to $3,000 will be provided to support the purchase of materials and services, depending on the availability of funds. Requests for larger amounts may be considered in exceptional cases. Allowable expenses include secondary data, data collection costs, or other services and materials necessary for the completion of dissertation research. Funds may not be used for stipends or conference travel.

    Each PhD student is eligible for up to 1 award. The number of students that can be concurrently funded is based on the availability of funds. Awards are competitive and based on the potential of the dissertation to advance a field of study and the promise of the applicant as an emerging scholar. Applicants must be currently enrolled, have completed HLSA 765, and have attempted to obtain funding for their dissertation from external sources. Applications will be reviewed by a faculty committee on a rolling basis.

    To apply for an award, submit the following in a single application packet to Luisa Franzini (franzini@umd.edu). 

    1. Completed application form

    2. Research statement (not exceeding 5 double spaced pages) that includes:

    A) Specific aims page and abbreviated research strategy describing the project’s significance, innovation, study methods, and expected findings

    B) Project timeline describing dissertation progress at the time of application and timeline to completion

    C) A description of how the purchase is essential for completing the dissertation and the feasibility of the proposed dissertation with the purchase

    D) A statement describing other sources of funding the student has pursued

    3. Budget justification

    A) A tabular budget

    B) A description of what will be purchased and if the purchase requires additional institutional support beyond the proposed budget (i.e. secure computing environment)

    C) Recipients agree to use funds for expenses that advance the development of your dissertation. Awards may be used only for paying or reimbursing for eligible expenses. Some examples of eligible expenses include buying data, data collection activities and other research expenses. Awards may not be used for tuition, textbooks, travel, attending conferences, business meals/entertainment, personal computers, or salaries/wages for team members, advisors, or mentors. HPM staff reserves the right to decide whether or not expenses are acceptable for the use of all awarded funds.

    4. Letter of support from the dissertation chair

    5. Current C.V. 

    Assistantships, Scholarships and Awards

    We highly recommend you seek a Graduate Assistantship (GA) during your graduate academic career here at University of Maryland.

    • Financial assistance for Health Policy and Management graduate students is available through departmental administrative, research, and/or teaching assistantships.
    • Students may also seek teaching or research assistantships in other campus units.
    • Once awarded, you are an employee of the University.
    • Half-time assistantships are 10 hours per week, and Full-time are 20 hours per week.

    When you complete the Graduate School application, check the box indicating that you wish to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship. There is no additional form to complete.

    Access the Graduate School's website on funding your education and webpage on identifying a Graduate Assistantship.

    We would encourage you to check out UMD GA Listings. This site will allow you apply for graduate assistantships across campus. A standard assistantship offers 10 credits of tuition remission, and a stipend that varies depending on if you have a 9 month assistantship or 12 month assistantship. Historically, the School of Public Health has not been known to post their graduate assistantships on that website. As a result I would advise you to keep your eye on the emails that will come from the SPH listserv (which you will be added to closer to your start date). For the same reason, another option would be to reach out to departments across campus that you may be interested in and see if they have funding for a GA the semester you will start.

    If you would like to speak with a current student, please contact Dan Marthey at dmarthey@umd.edu.

    For more information, visit the Graduate School's webpage.

    HPM Student Travel Award

    • Eligibility: HPM Graduate Student
    • Monetary: Up to $500 
    • Number: 1 award per student per year
    • Criteria: HPM provides up to $500 per trip to support students presenting at professional conferences. Funding decisions are based on the quality of work being presented and the likelihood that the conference will enhance the student’s professional development.
    • Application Form for the HPM Student Travel Award

    Dissertation Research Enhancement Award

    • Eligibility: HPM PhD Student
    • Monetary: Up to $3,000
    • Number: Changes based on availability of funding
    • Criteria: Awards will be provided to support the purchase of materials and services required to complete the PhD dissertation. Awards are competitive and based on the potential of the research project to advance a field of study and the promise of the applicant as an emerging scholar. 
    • Application Form for the Dissertation Research Enhancement Award

    All HPM Student Excellence Awards are due in February 

    Award for Outstanding Capstone or Internship Project in the Department of Health Policy and Management

    Outstanding Service Award in the Department of Health Policy and Management

     

    CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Endowed Graduate Scholarship

    • Eligibility: SPH Graduate Student
    • Monetary: $1,000 each
    • Number: 3 awards
    • Criteria: Provide support for graduate students conducting research and/or an applied project to improve issues of health equity or to identify more effective methods of health service delivery. Selected on the basis of outstanding academic performance and demonstrated financial need.
    • Nomination Form for the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Endowed Graduate Scholarship

    Kaiser Permanente Endowed Graduate Scholarship

    • Eligibility: SPH Graduate Student
    • Monetary: $1,000 each
    • Number: 3 awards
    • Criteria: Current SPH graduate students conducting research and/or applied projects to identify more effective methods of health care service delivery in community health care initiatives. Selected on the basis of outstanding academic performance and demonstrated financial need.
    • Nomination Form for the Kaiser Permanente Endowed Graduate Scholarship

    Gliner Humor Scholarship

    • Eligibility: SPH Graduate Student
    • Monetary: $500 each
    • Number: 3 awards
    • Criteria: This award provides $500 support for a School of Public Health graduate student who has used humor-based activities to promote healthy aging or public health in research, teaching, or community outreach. 
    • Nomination Form for Gliner Humor Scholarship

    ​Learneveryday Award

    • Eligibility: SPH Graduate Student
    • Monetary: $300 each
    • Number: 1 award
    • Criteria: This award provides $300 support for a School of Public Health graduate student who has advanced research and development of lifelong learning for older adults via internet technology.
    • Nomination Form​ for the ​Learneveryday Award

    Seabury Aging Research Fellowship  

    • Eligibility: SPH Graduate Student
    • Monetary: $750 each
    • Number: 2 awards
    • Criteria: Provide support for graduate students conducting research in aging. Selected on the basis of outstanding academic performance. This award honors Retired Seabury Resources CEO Joseph Resch.
    • Nomination Form for the Seabury Aging Research Fellowship