Frequently Asked Questions

How would you quickly describe the MS in HCDA program?

In a sentence, “the HCDA program is like an MBA, but uniquely focused on the global healthcare, insurance, biotech and pharmaceutical industries.”


Is the HCDA curriculum applicable to careers outside of healthcare?

YES. The HCDA curriculum trains you in strategic analysis and strong businesses management fundamentals applicable to any organization or industry.


Will I be required to take prerequisites or follow a rigid schedule?

NO. There are no prerequisites for admission, and you do not have to follow any pre-set course sequence. All classes are designed to allow each student to progress at their own pace and to build their base of knowledge from the material presented within each course.


Is the program designed to accommodate working professionals?

YES. Our schedule and courses are designed to take advantage of weekends and independent study using adult education principles including team projects, case studies, mock P&T, and war games. Students will have the choice of traditional or flexible classroom participation to allow for distance learning and time independent lectures. The HCDA program’s flexible options are designed to accommodate individual schedules and reduce travel requirements.


What if I have to miss a class or weekend?

All classroom lectures and work are recorded and posted following the scheduled class. Students are able to access all materials presented, recorded lectures, and exercise resources via Blackboard. HCDA also offers live streaming of lectures through Mediasite.


Do I need a math or science degree to succeed in the program?

NO. While students should possess basic science and math competency — along with some business experience — the program is designed to accommodate and train students representing a wide range of academic experiences from across the globe, as well as business professionals seeking to improve their technical skills and analytical abilities. Once admitted to the program, all students should feel comfortable in completing the required coursework.


Is a final thesis required for completing the master of science degree?

NO. However, the MS degree does require completion of an industry analysis capstone project. The capstone project serves to augment each student’s professional portfolio in preparation for their industry field of expertise.


Is there a minimum GRE and GPA?

While there is no minimum, a GRE score of 300 (verbal and quantitative) and at least a 3.0 GPA are generally needed to be competitive. Completing our 5-minute pre-qualification form will allow us to offer an unofficial admissions decision before formally applying to USC.


Is financial aid available?

YES. USC administers one of the largest financial aid programs in the United States, with many options available for graduate & professional students, international students, and those with special circumstances. Please contact the USC Office of Financial Aid for more information.


What are the job prospects after graduation?

STRONG. The HCDA program prepares graduates for the growth sectors of the $3 trillion US healthcare industry. Most of our alumni work in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, consulting or managed care.


What does your program offer in terms of career support?

The MS in Healthcare Decision Analysis program offers students full-time, dedicated career consulting to provide tailored support for landing top-jobs, internships, and fellowships. Our world-class network consistently develops new corporate partnerships and career opportunities with global healthcare companies.

Please see our career services page for more information.