Master of Arts in Health Policy Studies

(Health Science Strack)

Program Description

This program is a joint undertaking of the College of Arts and Sciences and College of Public Health. It has been designed in such a manner as to allow maximum collaboration between the two colleges, at the same time that the expertise of each college and its contribution to the program is distinctly identifiable. To ensure effective health policy study training, the curriculum is based on a trilogy paradigm. The major components of this program include:
  • the macro and micro-economic policy analysis component which will be tackled jointly
  • the organizational policy analysis component which will draw heavily from the experiences of the College of Public Health with health organizations, and
  • the political dynamics of policy analysis component which is appropriately handled by the College of Arts and Sciences
The University of the Philippines Manila is recognized as the premiere academic institution in the health sector and members of its community have played an active role in the formulation and implementation of health policy in the nation and the Asia-Pacific region. Given its mission of producing top caliber health practitioners who value integrity and nationalism oriented, it becomes imperative that it plays a lead role in policy studies. Such a program should address health issues within the context of a developing society where a large percentage of the population is poor. Health policies should promote the common good by ensuring that the health delivery systems address the concerns of the poor and the marginalized. There are two approaches or tracks to fulfill the requirements of this degree program, one of which is the Health Social Science Track. This track seeks to study the health policy process within the socio-cultural context and thus, makes use of and integrates the various disciplines in the social sciences such as history, political science, economics, anthropology, sociology and psychology to approach issues. The Health Science track makes use of the different fields of public health as basis for health policy development. The various fields in public health include biostatistics, epidemiology, health care organization management, health economics, health research, health service administration, etc.

Program Objectives

The program will develop student competencies in the health policy process which involves policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation as well as advocacy. At the end of the course, the student shall:
  1. understand the nature and dynamics of health development
  2. be able to discuss the interplay of the various factors (economic, political, social, legal and administrative) that affect the health situation
  3. demonstrate an interdisciplinary orientation in approaching and resolving health issues
  4. demonstrate an understanding of health policy development process that integrates the roles of health and social sciences
  5. demonstrate proactive orientation in identifying and analyzing priority public policy issues
  6. formulate socially responsible and relevant health policy recommendations as a result of professional policy analysis research
  7. demonstrate a capacity to engage in policy advocacy and consensus building in developing policy

Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission should have the following:
  1. A bachelor's degree
  2. One year relevant experience except in meritorious cases
  3. Scolastic ability and potential for postgraduate studies
  4. Capability for self directed learning

All applicants should submit the following
  1. A duly accomplished application form
  2. One original and on photocopied transcripts of records
  3. Letters of recommendations from two persons (former professors, supervisors, employers, etc.)
  4. UPM receipts for payment of application fee
  5. Four passport-sized photos

Additional requirements for foreign applicants:
  1. Affidavit of support or certificate of financial capability
  2. TOEFL score of at least 500 if English is not the medium of instruction in the country
  3. Photocopy of passport (original to be presented for verification)
  4. Student visa issued by the Philippine government

Graduation Requirements

  1. GWA of 2.00 or better
  2. Complete at least 39 units
  3. Pass a comprehensive exam
  4. Undertake and defend a thesis which contributes to Health Policy Studies


Core Courses
Course No. Course Title Units
HPS 201 Fundamentals of Policy Studies 2
HPS 202 Research Methods in Health 2
HPS 203 Ecology of Policy Developments 2
HPAD 201 Principles of Health Administration 2
Biostat 201 Fundamentals of Biostatistics 3
Epi 201 Principles of Epidemiology

Major Courses
PH 207 Health Policy and Epidemiology 2
HA 201 Principles of Hospital Organization and Management 3
HPAD 203 Public Health Methods 2
HPAD 205 Health Policy Analysis and Legislation 2
HPAD 206 International Health and Development 2
HPAD 207 Human Resource Management 2
HPAD 209 Health Services Research Methods 2
HPAD 210 Health Care Organization Theory 2
HPS 235 Social Epidemiology 2
HPS 251 Advanced Health Policy Analysis 2
HPS 252 Advanced Health Economics 2
HPS 253 Health Information Management 2
HPS 280 Field Practice 2
HPS 297 Seminar in health Policy Studies 2
HPS 299 Special Studies Research 3

Elective 4 units Electives may be chosen from the list of major courses within program track. Thesis 6 units
Core Courses 16
Major Courses 14
Electives 4
Thesis 6