MSHP Applicants

Click here for the MSHP Program Brochure.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Completion of or current enrollment in a terminal doctoral degree (MD, PhD, JD, or other degree) at an accredited college or university in a health-related field
  • Commitment to a career in health policy or health services research in academic, government, or community settings

Students enrolled in a fellowship for advanced clinical training in any specialty or subspecialty of medicine or an equivalent post-doctoral program in another health-related discipline are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

Please email MSHP Staff to obtain a copy of our program application and reference report.

Application Requirements

  1. Completed MSHP application form.
  2. Personal statement stating your clinical background, research interests and reasons for pursuing the MSHP. This should be no more than 2-3 pages (uploaded to application form)
  3. Curriculum Vitae (uploaded to application form)
  4. Three letters of recommendation with reference reports (emailed to
  5. Unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate educational institutions (uploaded to application)
  6. A picture of yourself (this is very helpful to us, but is not required)

Application Deadline

Our final application deadline is November 30, 2024 for admission in the program that starts July 1, 2025.  Consideration for funding requires a timely application submission. Early applications are strongly encouraged. Before applying, we encourage you to reach out to us for some information on the program and an informational meeting with a Program Director.

Interview Process

If you are selected to interview, we will invite you to attend one of our three interview days in early winter 2025. During your interview, you will meet with 2-4 faculty members and attend a welcome breakfast with MSHP Co-Directors.

Notification of Decision

Notifications of acceptance are given in late Winter.


Do you offer a rolling admission policy?

All applications are due on November 30, 2024. Late applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Where can I get information about loans available to me?

Information on loans available to graduate students can be found here. You can schedule a financial aid counseling session here.

Can I complete the program in one year?

Applicants who would like to complete their MSHP degree in one year will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in completing the program in one year, please contact us.

Can I transfer my credits (from Penn or outside of Penn) to the PennMSHP Program?


Yes, PennMSHP accepts up to four internal and external transfer credits at the discretion of program directors and the PennMSHP Curriculum Committee. More information will be provided upon matriculation into the program.


I am interested in participating in the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety (CHIPS) Fellowship while in the MSHP.  How do I indicate this in my MSHP application?

Applicants who would like to be considered for the CHIPS Fellowship as part of their MSHP degree should explicitly indicate and explain this interest in their MSHP statement of purpose.

When does the MSHP start?

Each cohort will begin in early July and completion of two (2) Summer courses is required. We follow the University of Pennsylvania Academic Calendar.

Where can I find information about tuition?

Annual tuition rates for our two year program are posted on the Student Financial Services website. The total listed is for six course units (6 cu's). Our students fund their MSHP degree in a variety of ways including various departmental and T32 grant funds and Penn Faculty and Staff tuition benefits. Please contact us if you have questions regarding funding your MSHP degree. 

Are all students assigned faculty mentors while on the program?

Yes. One of the most important components of the MSHP is the very strong commitment to mentorship. Upon matriculation, each trainee is assigned a primary advisor and later, if needed, a biostatistics advisor. The student selects additional faculty members to serve on the Thesis Committee, with the approval of his/her primary mentor. The Program Directors also play a role in advising MSHP students. One of the program’s core philosophies is to foster each student’s capacity to think independently and solve problems. The process of mentor selection and matching harnesses this philosophy.

Outside of formal coursework, what other training opportunities are offered by the MSHP?

In addition to its required classes, the MSHP offers a variety of training opportunities for its students.  Examples of these opportunities include bi-weekly research-in-progress meetings with fellow students and program faculty, visiting policy speakers, a professional development speaker series, supplementary instruction in STATA statistical software and extensive networking opportunities, both formal and informal, with a stellar group of interdisciplinary and interprofessional individuals with a shared interest in health policy and health services research.

Are all MSHP students eligible to be Fellows with the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI)?

Yes. All MSHP students are eligible to apply to be LDI Fellows and are invited to participate in many affiliated LDI activities, including policy and research seminars and special events.

What is Penn like?

The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university with over 250 years of innovation in education, research, and service. Its compact campus in Philadelphia hosts all of its 12 schools, making the campus ideal for the interdisciplinary work of the Clinical Scholars Program. In addition to its tradition of interdisciplinary work, many of Penn's schools have a substantial focus on health. For example, within the School of Arts and Sciences are leading departments of Sociology, History and Sociology of Science, Psychology, and Anthropology-all with faculty whose substantial area of interest is health. The Annenberg School for Communication has a renowned health communication program. The Wharton School is a global leader in health care management and is one of the few schools of management with a dedicated health care program. The Graduate School of Fine Arts has programs in Regional Planning and in Landscape Architecture that focus on the impact of the built environment on human health. All of these programs share a campus, students, and faculty, with the health schools of Medicine, Nursing, Social Work, Dental Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine.

What is Philadelphia like?

We LOVE it here and we think you will, too! Get to know the City of Brotherly Love by browsing the Life at Penn website or uwishunu (a staff favorite!).

Other questions not answered here?

We are happy to help!  Please contact us at