PhD Program: Courses

The Wharton School’s umbrella for all of its doctoral programs is the PhD in Managerial Science and Applied Economics. The PhD in Health Care Management and Economics thus requires students to take courses in the discipline-based departments at Wharton as well as in the interdisciplinary health care program. The other Wharton departments such as Management, Business and Public Policy, Marketing, Insurance, Legal Studies and Business Ethics, and Operations and Information Management have all developed an increased coverage of health care material in their courses, seminars and research. In addition, exposure to the disciplinary courses provides students with opportunities for increased interaction with doctoral students in other departments, as well as with faculty who may serve on dissertation committees.


The Program has three major clusters that are critical for developing careers as interdisciplinary researchers, scholars, and policy analysts:

1. Courses to develop expertise in a management or social science discipline, equal in rigor and substance as if trained in that discipline alone. The purpose of the disciplinary cluster is to equip students to conduct research in their areas of choice and to be qualified to teach in a discipline as well as health care management and economics. Students choose from among the following disciplines: Economics, Business and Public Policy, Finance/Accounting, Management/Strategy, and Marketing.

Statistics Requirement
Students normally opt to meet the statistics requirement that corresponds to their major disciplinary cluster. Examples are:

  • Economics/Public Management
  • Econometrics I: Fundamentals
  • Econometrics II – Methods and Models Management
  • Applied Regression and Analysis of Variance
  • Introduction to Non-parametric Methods and Loglinear Models
  • Operations and Information Management

Microeconomics Requirement
This can be met with ECON 681 and 682 or ECON 701 and 703.
Graduate Econ courses

2. Courses in Health Services Research, its methods, literature, and policy concerns. Some of the courses offered are listed below and descriptions can be found in the MBA Health Care Management Course Descriptions:

  • The Health Services System
  • Managed Care and Market Structure
  • Financial Management of Health Institutions
  • Health Policy Analysis
  • Legal Aspects of Health Care
  • Management of Health Care for the Elderly
  • Health Care Marketing
  • Comparative Health Care Systems
  • Management and Economics of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Industry
  • E-Health: Business Models and Impact
  • Health Care Entrepreneurship
  • Advanced Study Project Seminar
  • Independent Study
  • Seminar in Health Care Cost-Benefit and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
  • Special Topics in Health Services Research
  • Economics of Health Care and Policy

3. Research Training: Students participate in faculty-supervised projects as research fellows for two years during the course of their training. This work provides not only first-hand knowledge of research methods and design and often furnishes the basis for a dissertation topic, but also is instructive in the important skill of securing funding for research.

Research Centers:

  • The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics – The PhD Program is partially supported by the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI), whose purpose is to promote interdisciplinary research and education related to health care. Doctoral students are afforded many opportunities to work closely with LDI faculty on research grants and educational activities. The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
  • The Center for Health Management and Economics
  • The Program on Pharmaceutical Economics and Management
  • Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion
  • The Division of General Internal Medicine
  • The Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • The Center for Outcomes Research
  • The Center of Excellence for Diversity in Health Education and Training