Healthcare Decision Analysis

Biopharmaceuticals | Consulting | Health Insurance

Dual Degree | PharmD/MS HCDA

The PharmD/MS Healthcare Decision Analysis (HCDA) is a comprehensive dual degree program in which pharmacy education is enhanced by a practical understanding and applied skills in business intelligence, health economics, and healthcare policy. The program provides an opportunity for advanced preparation in the fields of coverage, access, reimbursement, and pricing for both domestic and international biopharmaceuticals. Graduates are specifically prepared to seek careers in the biopharmaceutical and life sciences industry, managed care, healthcare systems, consulting and government. The MS in HCDA will require students to complete at least an additional 24 units of coursework above the PharmD.

Example Schedule
Academic Year Summer Fall Spring
Year 1 0 0 0
Year 2 HCDA  530 HCDA 560 HCDA 502
Year 3 HCDA 501 and 540 Free Semester HCDA 553
Year 4 HCDA 510 HCDA 570 Free Semester

Admission and Application Process

  • Students interested in the dual PharmD/MS in Healthcare Decision Analysis degree must be accepted into the USC School of Pharmacy PharmD program first
  • Once accepted, students will be eligible for admission to the MS in HCDA program before/during the start of their first year
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in the PharmD program is required, Statement of Purpose, and 1 Letter of Recommendation from a School of Pharmacy faculty
  • Prompt for Statement of Purpose: “Why Healthcare Decision Analysis?”
  • After completing the first professional pharmacy year, students will take courses from both programs simultaneously —beginning their second professional year — completing both degrees in parallel by the end of their fourth professional year
  • All coursework for both degrees must be completed prior to PharmD graduation
  • The HCDA program accepts applications for all three semesters (fall, spring and summer)
Application Options
  • Students can apply and begin classes anytime after the completion of their first professional year, but no later than the summer between their second and third professional year
  • Students who begin earlier in their second professional year enjoy greater flexibility in scheduling and course coordination with their PharmD schedule
  • If you are admitted to PharmD program and have expressed an interest in the dual degree, you will be offered an opportunity to apply directly to the MS in HCDA program in the first year of the PharmD program
  • Students who have not previously stated their interest in a dual degree will still be eligible to apply for the HCDA dual degree program anytime in either their first or second professional year
  • If you are not accepted by the PharmD program at USC, you may choose to apply independently to the MS in HCDA  program, but will not be eligible for the dual degree

Application Deadlines

  • Spring 2021 | December 1
  • Summer 2021 | May 1
  • Fall 2020| August 1

How To Apply

1) Download and complete the Dual Degree Application for Admission Form: DD App Fillable 2019 5 14

2) Email completed form, Statement of Purpose, and Letter of Recommendation to Michelle Ton, HCDA Program Administrator, at