The first-year required curriculum incorporates health care 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 health care interests. Some students also choose to cross-register for health care courses at other schools within the University.
Elective courses will vary from year to year. Typical HBS course offerings may include:
- Building Life Science Businesses
This course is intended primarily for students who have a career interest in either leading or investing in life science ventures (biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices). It will also be of interest to students who plan to work in Business Development functions either in or outside the health care sector.
- Entrepreneurship in Health Care IT and Services
This course is intended for students who have a career interest in leading or investing in companies in the health care sector, and are interested in how information technology can improve quality, efficiency, and access to health care. Students will be exposed to pure health care IT (HCIT) businesses, health care service businesses that rely heavily on IT to achieve their goals, and pure health care service businesses. Though the vast majority of these enterprises will be for-profit, the course will also examine the innovative role social ventures play in health care.
- FIELD Course: Commercializing Science
This course has evolved over five years to be unique among HBS electives as 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, working with other professions such as science, medicine, and law, and moving research from the lab to the market place. A center piece of the course is a multi-disciplinary team project to create the plan for commercializing research from a university or private sector lab. Final presentations of the projects will be attended by Harvard faculty, alums and local venture capitalists.
- FIELD Course: Health Care 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 Health Care
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 health care.
- Managing Global Health: Applying Behavioral Economics to Create Impact
Managing Global Health (MGH) trains students to see through the lens of the end-user and to use the levers of behavior change to generate impact in health and social programs. Although most of the applications are in global health, it is appropriate for students who anticipate working in health, education, or international development sectors, as well as those with a general interest in learning how behavioral economics can be effectively applied.
- Independent Projects
Students may earn academic credit by working independently or in teams as they conduct research and complete projects for health care 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 health care 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 health care 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 health care have included:
- Health Care in China: Opportunities in Innovation and Integration
- Health Care: Science, Delivery, and Regulation
- India Immersion: Creating Opportunities in Health Care Delivery
- Innovations in Consumer-Driven Health Care
- Value-Based Health Care Delivery
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.