Program Overview

The Master of Science in Healthcare Decision Analysis (HCDA) within the USC School of Pharmacy and the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy gives students the tools and knowledge to succeed in the complex world of healthcare data analytics, international access and reimbursement, product pricing and value assessment, insurance operations and design along with competitive business intelligence.

The first of its kind in the country, the HCDA program provides students with:

  • The opportunity to enter a field in which managed-markets payers, industry and government cannot find sufficient qualified individuals and technically skilled managers to meet demand
  • The tools and skills to develop practical and real world understanding of how different treatment choices impact patient outcomes and value determinations
  • Knowledge to become experts in pharmaceutical, biotech, specialty pharmacy, hospital, CRO, diagnostics and devices industries in the United States and globally
  • Access to networking opportunities with leaders from industry, payers, government and global healthcare as well as with USC strong alumni communities
  • Distance and classroom learning options including “on-demand” lectures, utilizing a practical adult education format emphasizing team projects and case studies
  • Flexible two-weekend per semester schedule aimed at mid-career and working adults, that can be completed in as little as 15 months, based on your individual schedule and needs

(Please view HCDA’s Program Learning Objectives for more info on learning outcomes.)

A STEM certified program by the USC Office of International Services (OIS), HCDA is an intensive, interdisciplinary program designed to produce graduates whose undergraduate and graduate backgrounds are in biological, pharmaceutical, medical and biomedical sciences, healthcare economics, healthcare related business and marketing. The HCDA program builds upon those experiences and training to enhance each student’s knowledge and understanding of basic healthcare research information through the application and principles of healthcare decision analysis. Healthcare decision analysis is a newly emerging branch of healthcare leadership blending the disciplines of utilization management, outcomes value determinations, and business development that works at the intersection of health economics, applied health policy and insurance design, and business intelligence.

The program provides a unique opportunity for mid-career professionals, as well as highly motivated new graduates to become leaders in the evolution of healthcare design and application.  Centered in the USC School of Pharmacy, the program has an interdisciplinary four-semesterr curriculum developed jointly with the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and School of Pharmacy along with original content unique to this program. The program builds upon participation of professionals and senior managers from public and private sectors with extensive “real world” experience in fields related to health economics and outcomes research, applied health policy, insurance design, international healthcare delivery, pricing, mergers including competitive business intelligence and practices. This program is structured to facilitate access to both full-time and part-time students.