The first-year required curriculum incorporates healthcare cases and topics in many courses ranging from Marketing and Finance to Entrepreneurship and Strategy. This ensures that all students will understand the industry from various functional perspectives.
During the second-year elective curriculum, you may choose courses and field-based research specific to your particular healthcare interests. Some students also choose to cross-register for healthcare courses at other schools within the University.
Elective courses will vary from year to year. Typical HBS course offerings may include:
- Commercializing Science: Biomedical and Life Science Focus
This unique elective course has evolved over several years. Students are selected from Harvard's schools of business, medicine, science, engineering, law, public health, government, and teaching hospitals. The focus is on inventing breakthroughs and moving research from the lab to the marketplace.
- Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital in Healthcare
This course examines a wide range of healthcare ventures and examines licensing, joint venturing, and financing agreements that form the basis of these ventures. The course is intended primarily for students who have a career interest in either leading or investing in healthcare ventures (biotechnology, medical devices, and healthcare services). It will also be of interest to students who plan to work in Business Development functions either in or outside the healthcare sector.
- Entrepreneurship in the Private and Social Sectors
This course seeks to prepare students for future work and leadership in and with entrepreneurial ventures and to provide an informed perspective to those who may someday promote or regulate such ventures. In addition, the course looks at the increasingly common relationships among the private, public, and social sectors in healthcare, housing, education, and other industries.
- Healthcare Computer Assisted Innovations
In this field course, students will prepare a business plan and/or a prototype for a device or IT application. Prof. Herzlinger will lecture on the creation of a business plan and evaluations of new technologies and Prof. Seltzer will lecture on a variety of technologies and approaches to technological innovation. The remaining sessions will be devoted to individual weekly meetings between the faculty and student groups.
- Innovating in Healthcare
This course has a global focus with cases studies set in Brazil, India, Spain, the U.K and the U.S. among other countries. For students interested in careers in entrepreneurial health care management, consulting and investing, this course will discuss how to successfully create entrepreneurial health care ventures. Students will be required to create a business plan that appropriately responds to the six forces that shape healthcare.
- Managing Global Health: Design, Delivery, and Evaluation of Global Health Programs
This course is designed for students who seek entrepreneurial or management roles in global development, particularly in global health. Students learn to creatively and skillfully bridge the worlds of research and action to make an impact in global health.
- Managing Medicine
Many healthcare innovations ultimately fail because they neither integrate with existing clinical processes nor successfully create new ones. This course examines the unique characteristics of the care delivery process to help students identify opportunities for innovation—and develop the management skills to design and drive operational and technological change in healthcare.
- Independent Studies
Students may earn academic credit by working independently or in teams as they conduct research and complete projects for healthcare organizations. This student-initiated learning enables students to choose their faculty sponsor and the organization where they will work. Recent projects include:
- Quantifying the size of the medical tourism market
- Identifying applications for multiplex protein analysis techniques
- Evaluating IT strategies for a startup healthcare organization
- Redesigning urgent care triage for a major academic hospital
- Developing a China business model for a large pharmaceutical company
Several unique "in the field" learning opportunities are offered to students to complement their on campus coursework. First year students participate in Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (FIELD), which takes student teams to 15 countries around the globe to conduct research for a company in the host country. In 2013, FIELD Global Partner companies included healthcare companies such as Piramal Healthcare and Sundaram Medical Devices in India.
Second year students can take elective courses, many of which have the option of studying an industry- or country-specific topic with an HBS Professor in the field. Past EC field studies in healthcare have included:
- Healthcare in China: Opportunities in Innovation and Integration
- Healthcare: Science, Delivery, and Regulation
- India Immersion: Creating Opportunities in Healthcare Delivery
- Innovations in Consumer-Driven Healthcare
- Value-Based Healthcare Delivery
Healthcare in China: Opportunities in Innovation and Integration
Professor Arthur A. Daemmrich
In January 2013, a group of students led by Prof. Arthur Daemmrich traveled to China to evaluate the local healthcare industry. Throughout the semester and during their time in China, the students worked on consulting projects for local and multi-national medical device, hospital, insurance, private equity, healthcare IT and pharmaceutical companies operating in Shanghai. Through these client interactions, hospital and clinic visits, and interviews with citizens, doctors and healthcare experts, the students explored the dichotomies of wealth and poverty, advanced and primitive infrastructure, and free market and state control.
Jan. 8, 2009
HBS students may take graduate-level courses at several other schools within Harvard University. Courses at the Harvard School of Public Health, the Law School, and the Kennedy School of Government are popular. A partial listing of healthcare courses at Harvard may be found here.