Master in Bioscience and Health Policy

Rice University | Wiess School of Natural Sciences

Program Description

Master in Bioscience and Health Policy

Rice University | Wiess School of Natural Sciences

“Science impacts public policy in all important areas and is directly impacted by policies created at the local, state, and national levels. Funding and regulation of science, technology, engineering, and math education have a major influence on the quality of the science and engineering workforce. Science is also critically needed to inform policies in areas such as energy and climate change, threats to the environment, and dealing with biological pandemics, to name a few. Sound policy-making depends on the policymakers having access to current understanding of science and technology. Thus, graduates from this program who understand science and technology are vital to the policymaking process at all levels in government. While scientists are often called upon to testify at hearings, that is no substitute for having technically competent staff and officials who interact with the creation of policies daily. Since government policies influence the business world, companies will need graduates from this program who understand the technical issues as well as the policy-making process.”

“The Bioscience and Health Policy track will give students a deep background in biological sciences complemented by courses in sociology, economics and policy studies to foster their understanding of the role of science in policymaking and the role of public policy in science. In addition to science courses, students will take an overview course in Science Policy and Ethics, a management course and a seminar jointly with the students involved in the other tracks. Furthermore direct access to the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy will allow students to work closely with policy scholars as well as meet with many of the leaders in science and technology policy. This program focuses on training bioscience and health policy analysts, providing them with the tools to face the complex challenges inherent in the bioscience research, public health, and the U.S. healthcare systems and health-related industries.”

- Neal Lane, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Baker Institute
Malcolm Gillis University Professor
Rice University

The objectives of this interdisciplinary degree are:

  • To equip students with advanced bioscience skills
  • To achieve dual professional competency in science and policy analysis and development
  • To teach quantitative skills and data analysis
  • To equip students with leadership, communication and research skills to conduct independent studies enabling them to understand and formulate public policy recommendations
  • To gain exposure to a real-life experience in technology policy development by participating in an internship
  • To train students how to integrate their science knowledge into creating better policies and practices

This program will give students a deep background in science complemented by courses in sociology, economics and policy studies to foster their understanding of the role of science in policymaking and the role of public policy in science. Their coursework will provide them with research and study skills enabling them to develop specific policy recommendations.They will also receive the tool-set to become knowledgeable in the formulation and execution of public policy.

Their direct access to the Baker Institute will allow them to work closely with policy scholars as well as meet with many of the leaders in science and technology policy. dna-163466_1280

Coursework

Track Requirements

The PSM Bioscience and Health Policy degree will require a minimum of 39 credit hours, not including the internship: Bioscience courses 12 hrs.
Statistics, Policy, and Economics courses 12 hrs.
Cohort courses and internship 9 hrs.
Elective courses 6 hrs.
TOTAL 39 hrs.

Recommended Background

Applicants for the Professional Master’s in Bioscience and Health Policy must have:

  • B.S. or B.A. degree in a biology or related science field with a strong background in biology
  • Completed coursework in biology, chemistry, calculus, and statistics
  • Scores from the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Good critical thinking and communication skills
  • Completed coursework in introductory economics is preferred

Required Science Courses Four Bioscience Classes:

The Bioscience courses give in-depth instruction in specialized areas of Bioscience. Four courses are required to obtain a broad understanding of diverse areas of cutting-edge Bioscience research.

(*Courses marked with asterisks are offered as 300-level courses that will include graduate-level writing and analysis to qualify as a 500-level graduate course.)

BIOC 524 Microbiology and Biotechnology
BIOC 525 Plant Molecular Genetics and Development
BIOC 540 Metabolic Engineering
BIOC 544 Developmental Biology
BIOC 545 Advanced Molecular Biology and Genetics
BIOC 547 Biology and Medicine
BIOC 550 Viruses and Infectious Diseases
BIOC 560 Cancer Biology
BIOC 563 Endocrinology
BIOC 570 Computation with Biological Data
BIOC 573 Immunology
BIOC 580 Protein Engineering
BIOC 585 Fundamentals of Cellular, Molecular, and Integrative Neuroscience
BIOC 598 BioMems and Biomedical Microdevices

(Other Science Course options accepted as marked * in electives below)

Cohort Courses:

NSCI 511 Science Policy and Ethics (S) (3 credit hours)
NSCI 610 Management in Science and Engineering (F) (3 credit hours)
NSCI 501 Professional Master’s Seminar (F, S) [required for two semesters, 1 credit hour each]
NSCI 512 Internship Project (1 credit hour)

Four Statistics, Economics, and Policy Courses:

The analytical competency requirement provides career-enhancing, marketable skills in policy analysis economics and statistics. Students will take courses from groups A, B and C as indicated below:

A – One Course related to Statistics / Data Analytics (3 credit hours)
BIOC 570 Computation with Biological Data
EBIO 585 Statistics in Biosciences
STAT 305 Introduction to Statistics in Biosciences
STAT 385 Methods of Data Analysis and System Optimization or
STAT 553 Biostatistics
STAT 684 Environmental Risk Assessment and Human Health
MGMT 750 Strategic Considerations in Health Informatics

B - One Economics/Finance Course (3 credit hours)
ECON 446 Applied Econometrics
ECON 450 World Economy and Social Development
ECON 481 Health Economics (requires pre-requisites)
PH3910* Introduction to Health Economics
MGMT 679 Cost and Quality in Health Care
MGMT 673 Cost Analysis in Health Care
MGMT 751 Economics of Healthcare Sectors

C - Two Policy Courses (6 credit hours)
ANTH 581 Medical Anthropology
ANTH 643 Race, Ethnicity, and Health
POST 530 Shaping of Health Policy
HEAL 580 Disparities in Health in America
MGMT 690 Healthcare Strategy
MGMT 691 Negotiations for Healthcare
MGMT 694 Healthcare Communications

A 3 - 6 months internship:

Practical experience is offered via a 3 - 6-month work immersion. The internship will be under the guidance of a host company, government agency, or non-profit organization. A summary of the internship project is required in both oral and written form as part of the Professional Master’s Seminar.

Two Elective Courses:

The electives reflect individual academic interests and career goals. Any course from the above list of Bioscience courses can be taken as an elective, provided it was not taken as a required course. In addition, the following classes qualify as elective classes:

ANTH 581 Medical Anthropology
ANTH 443 Anthropology of Race, Ethnicity, and Health
ECON 450 World Economy and Social Development
GHLT 462 Global Health Design Challenges
HEAL 507 Epidemiology (offered at UT Health Science)
HEAL 560 Planning and Evaluation of Health Promotion and Education
MGMT 678 U.S. Healthcare Management
MGMT 633 Life Science Entrepreneurship
MGMT 961 Business Law
PHIL 336 Medical Ethics
STAT 684 Environmental Risk Assessment and Human Health
GS 120254* Cell and Systems Physiology
GS 120043* Principles of Pathology

Note: Each of these courses is not offered every year, and some courses may have prerequisites or require instructor permission. Also, make sure that you have 30 credit hours of the coursework are 500-level and above courses. The General Announcements (GA) is the official Rice curriculum. In the event that there is a discrepancy between the GA and any other websites or publications, the GA shall prevail as the authoritative source. *Students can choose up to two electives from UT Graduate School of Biomedical Science (GS), Informatics (HI) and/or Health Science Center (PH)

Applications

Internship positions are available across the health policy spectrum in both the public and private sectors. Program graduates in similar programs have pursued careers as health policy analysts, legislative affairs specialists, lobbyists, public affairs experts and health policy consultants. Many careers of graduates can lead into senior management and executive positions in the health policy arena. Internship and full-time position providers could be:

  • James Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Science and Technology Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.
  • AHRQ Training Program in Patient Safety and Quality
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • American Public Health Association
  • Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Lewin Consulting
  • American Medical Association
  • Food and Water Watch
  • Center for Medical Technology Policy
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Missouri Foundation for Health
  • National Institute of Health
  • Avalere Consulting
  • Families USA
  • Government Accountability Office
  • Centers for Disease Control
  • New York Academy of Medicine
  • National Business Group on Health
  • Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
  • American Cancer Society
  • The City of New York Mayor's Office
  • The Urban Institute
  • Texas Medical Center

and others.

Admission

Admission to graduate study in Bioscience and Health Policy is open to qualified students holding a bachelor’s degree in biology or a related field that includes completed coursework in biology, chemistry, calculus, and statistics. Scores from the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE), good critical thinking and communication skills and completed coursework in introductory economics is preferred. Department faculty evaluate the previous academic record and credentials of each applicant individually and make admission decisions.

To apply, please send the following items:

  • Completed application (apply online)
  • Three personal letters of recommendation - recommenders can now submit their letters online
  • General GRE scores (use the code 6609 for Rice; do not worry about a department code)
  • Official transcripts from all universities attended
  • TOEFL scores (if required)

Cost & Fees

The Professional Master's Program requires three semesters of tuition (total of $54,000) and a nominal fee to continue full-time student status during the semester that the student is involved in his or her internship.

This school offers programs in:
  • English


Last updated March 15, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
Duration
Duration
2 years
Part time
Full time
Price
Price
19,000 USD
per semester
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Deadline
Locations
USA - Houston, Texas
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
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Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Dates
Sept. 2019
USA - Houston, Texas
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info