The Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership program curriculum combines business breadth and healthcare depth with courses taught by faculty in both the Johnson Graduate School of Management and the Weill Cornell Medicine Graduate School of Medical Sciences. The EMBA/MS program is designed around collaboration, the diverse perspectives of healthcare stakeholders, and gaining insights to drive innovation in the industry.
EMBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership curriculum highlights:
Business breadth combined with a deeper understanding of the healthcare industry
Insights into how key healthcare stakeholders make decisions
Effectively leading in complex organizations
Learn how to drive innovation in healthcare
Industry-specific special events, networking, and career programming
Some courses offer the opportunity for continuing medical education (CME) credits
EMBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership degree requirements
The Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership curriculum includes required core courses, electives, and a capstone project. You’ll complete 60 credits in healthcare, policy, leadership and strategy, finance, accounting, and general business over the course of 22 months.
While the sequence of courses in the EMBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership program can vary for each cohort, you must take all required courses as they are offered and complete four electives. Required courses address competencies spanning the breadth of business and the depth of healthcare. In each term, you will take both business and healthcare courses.
Required business courses
The following courses emphasize business breadth, giving you a well-rounded business foundation. Course descriptions are subject to change.
This course uses the case method to introduce the fundamental conceptual models, analytical frameworks, and financial analyses essential for strategy formulation. Students will decide where to compete and how to sustain a competitive advantage over rivals by analyzing cases and applying rigorous financial methods to solve key challenges encountered at each stage of the business lifecycle: entry, funding, organic growth, acquisition, turnaround, and exit. Students will confront critical issues such as: What business should we be in? What products or services should we provide? Which customers should we serve? In which geographic areas? Advanced Strategic Analysis will enhance performance as general managers and consultants.
Students learn the tools and analytical techniques that managers need to assess and formulate effective strategies for their organizations. Topics include strategic analysis, industry analysis, value chains, core competencies, competitor analysis, scenario analysis, portfolio analysis, option analysis, and game theory. Students focus on analyzing and diagnosing business problems as well as developing and implementing effective and strategic solutions.
This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive, graduate-level introduction to accounting. Learn how the accounting system used by firms stores information, build a solid foundation of accounting concepts and mechanics, and develop a perspective for the intelligent use of this information. By the end of the course, students should be able to read and interpret financial accounting reports and draw conclusions about a firm’s performance. The course is organized into two interrelated modules. First, students will learn the process of accounting—how the information is recorded, organized, and collated to produce reports. In the second part of the course, students will systematically review important parts of the financial statements that are issued by companies, learn to analyze the information, and make inferences about firm quality, performance, and risk.
This course will examine healthcare systems, trends, and issues in several high-income, middle-income and low-income countries. Topics will include healthcare system structures focusing on financing, reimbursement, delivery systems, and the adoption of new technologies as well as healthcare issues and inequities across the global landscape. The course will look closely at global stakeholders and collaborations in healthcare including the roles of the private and public sectors as well as identify new markets and opportunities for healthcare growth and investment.
Leadership and High Performance Teams focuses on the theory and practice of high performance in task‐performing groups. The aim of this first course in the program is to provide information and experiences that are useful as you work in your study teams, as well as being directly applicable to the teams you participate in and lead at work. In this short course, we will use cases, experiential exercises, simulations, and Socratic class discussion. You will also be introduced to the team coaching component of the program.
This course is designed for future managers who want to use accounting information within their organizations to improve decision making. The class is divided into three units: costs and analysis, costing systems, and decision making. In the first unit, we learn about cost definitions, behavior, estimation, and cost-volume-profit analysis. In the second section, we discuss the pros and cons of costing systems with an emphasis on accounting for manufacturing. Finally, we explore internal planning and decision-making topics, such as budgeting, performance measurement, and outsourcing decisions. Instruction is a mixture of lecture and case discussion. Grading is based on three exams, short quizzes, and class contribution.
This course examines the decisions faced by corporate financial managers in their efforts to maximize the value of their firms. The basic principles and practices of corporate financial planning and management are discussed, including the underlying theories and their applications. Specific topics include: the role of the financial manager, function of financial markets and intermediaries, capital markets, institutions, interest rates, types of financial instruments and their uses, valuation concepts, dividend discount models, capital budgeting, risk and return, cost of capital, and capital structure.
This course is intended to expose Executive MBA/MS students to some of the major ideas and findings in the field of managing and leading in contemporary organizations. Succeeding in any business leadership role requires you to think critically and make quality decisions, even in the face of challenges. This may be especially true for those working in demanding healthcare environments, in which the stakes are often high. We will focus on three leadership competencies that are crucial for your success: 1) critical thinking and decision making, 2) smart collaborating with an eye toward creativity and change, and 3) the ability to motivate, influence, and negotiate. Major themes of this course focus on thinking and leading rationally; recognizing and avoiding reasoning flaws and the forces that make us most susceptible to such flaws; approaching business problems systematically and thoroughly; and producing a problem solution that is well-reasoned, likely to be well-received by ultimate decision makers, and able to be implemented successfully. You will be introduced to, and then practice using, analytical frameworks that you can apply to any leadership challenge or opportunity—regardless of company or job function—in order to solve problems and communicate your proposed solutions effectively.
Operations is at the heart of every organization. Efficiency of operations is essential for firms to sustain themselves over time. Effective operations are essential for ensuring that the organization is competitive through continuous value delivery to the customer. Successful business innovations also rely upon the management of change in the way the firm operates. Healthcare is a large sector of the global economy, and it is an even larger share of the domestic U.S. economy. The sector is facing many challenges, including rising costs, demographic shifts, rise in chronic diseases, changes in supply and demand of care services, and disruptive innovations brought about by technological advances. The goal of this course is to provide an effective combination of theory and practice in strategic operations management for professionals in the healthcare sector. Lectures and case studies will provide a rich forum for in-class discussions. EMBA/MS students will be encouraged to share experiences and key lessons from their own careers. A course paper will provide the essential link to practice by getting students to work in small groups on the challenges of managing operations and innovations in an existing organization.
The course is designed to convey the key concepts of marketing and how they fit into the larger context of management strategy and decisions. Both the practical “how” and the fundamental “why” of marketing activities are covered. The goal is to provide sufficient understanding for those who will only need interaction with the marketing function and its managers, while at the same time communicating concepts and developing thought processes that can provide the foundation for further experience in marketing.
Microeconomics is the science of making decisions. Economists use models to study how individuals, businesses, and governments deal with choice. The goal of this class is to build familiarity with modern microeconomic theory and its applications in the real world. Modern economics has become very math-intensive. While this course will not be math-heavy, we will be using some math, largely two-dimensional graphs and algebra, with some discussion of calculus in terms of slopes, tangents, and rates of change. The class begins with the most basic models of how markets work using consumer and producer behavior. We will then expand these models to allow for more realistic scenarios: market power (consumers or producers can manipulate prices), imperfect or asymmetric information (consumers or producers have varied knowledge), and externalities (consumer or producer decisions impact others). In each case, we consider the implications of the models within the context of business management.
Designing and implementing effective product and brand strategies is of vital importance for most firms. In the first part of this course, we will focus on tools and techniques associated with formulating successful new product strategies. We will cover topics such as business innovation, blue oceans, disruptive technologies, and product line design. The most effective product strategy is never complete, however, without an equally effective branding strategy to supplement it. Building a strong brand infuses the product with meaning and shapes the firm’s promise to consumers. In the second part of this course, we will examine the foundations of brand management and will focus on the tools and techniques needed to create a meaningful brand, position a brand, promote a brand, leverage brand equity, and communicate brand meaning via traditional and digital media.
Required healthcare leadership courses
The following courses connect business breadth with healthcare depth. Learn the details of the healthcare ecosystem and how you can advance its future. Course descriptions are subject to change.
This course places emphasis on understanding of statistical concepts behind data analytic principles. Students will use a computer lab to explore, visualize, and perform statistical analysis with data. Lectures and discussions will focus on the following: exploratory data analysis, basic concepts of statistics, construction of hypothesis tests and confidence intervals, the development of statistical methods for analyzing data, and development of mathematical models used to relate a response variable to explanatory or descriptive variables.
The main goal of this course is to introduce the basic concept of data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. How are they applied in analyzing medicine and healthcare data? What are the limitations? What will the future bring? Specifically, students start with a basic introduction to machine learning and artificial intelligence, their concepts, relationships, and histories, as well as how they are adopted in biomedicine. Then we will introduce the basic procedure of data preprocessing, such as quality assessment, feature extraction, and standardization. Predictive modeling and patient stratification will be introduced afterward, with related classical techniques, followed by more state-of-the-art methods such as network and deep learning methods. Evaluation methods will be briefly introduced as well. Biomedical application examples will be provided throughout the entire course to help students understand different methodologies. The course includes guest lectures by speakers in industry and other research institutions.
Clinical information systems, such as electronic health records, are central to modern healthcare. This course introduces students to the complex infrastructure of clinical information systems, technologies used to improve healthcare quality and safety (including clinical decision support and electronic ordering), and policies surrounding health information technology.
The fundamental view that guides this course is that leadership in diverse healthcare-focused organizations has shifted from being predominantly about “command and control” to being more oriented toward “cultivate and coordinate.” Enabling change in the healthcare environment requires leaders to have a compelling vision of the change they want to create, insight into themselves and others, a clear understanding of the contexts in which change occurs, and effective practices for producing shifts in current ways of doing things. This course is will include leadership concepts, tools, and skills, as well as reflection. Through the use of assessments, as well as a variety of readings, cases, and classroom exercises, this course will help students develop leadership capabilities in the context of their careers in healthcare organizations. We will also hear from experienced experts in the field to help guide our thinking and discussion.
The healthcare industry is made up of several key stakeholders, each driven by a distinct set of incentives. In order to drive innovation and lead change within the industry, healthcare leaders must learn to collaborate. The purpose of this course is to help healthcare leaders facilitate collaboration, address conflict and challenges within their organization, negotiate new strategic opportunities, and overall make a greater impact within the industry. This course teaches the Getting More model of negotiation. Each class meeting will include a case simulation designed to teach students better negotiation skills. They will be expected to prepare this case and negotiate it to the best of their ability.
This course provides an introduction to basic economic concepts associated with healthcare and current policy issues facing the U.S. healthcare system. Topics will include the historical foundations of the healthcare system, how the healthcare sector differs from other markets, financing of healthcare and the role of government, the structure and functions of public and private health insurance, economic components of the delivery system, and understanding the challenges of healthcare reform. These topics will be examined from the view of payers, providers, and regulators and the interactions of these stakeholders.
This course is focused on giving leaders in healthcare the tools and frameworks to effectively plan for the strategic future of their organizations, manage and implement change, as well as drive innovation within industry. Students will evaluate case studies focused on trends, opportunities, and challenges within the industry and develop effective strategies using practical tools such as scenario planning, stakeholder mapping, etc. The exercises will leverage knowledge from previous courses in the program such as understanding of healthcare policy and regulation, the ability to analyze financial and statistical data, knowledge of operations management, and familiarity with healthcare technology. By the end of the course, students will be able to apply these analytical tools to deconstruct situations within their own workplace and drive innovation.
Leaders in healthcare must understand the complexity of legal standards and regulations that dictate the industry in order to make strategic decisions for their organizations and practices. This course will provide an overview of key topics in healthcare law including fraud and abuse, professional and facility licensure, limitations on the corporate practice of medicine, Medicare and Medicaid, the regulation of managed care, HIPAA and healthcare privacy and data security, digital health, telemedicine and health IT, antitrust law, and value-based-care and accountable-care organizations.
This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of health services research. Health services research is the discipline that measures the effectiveness of interventions designed to improve healthcare. These interventions can include changes to the organization, delivery, and financing of healthcare. Common outcome measures in health services research include (but are not limited to) patient safety, healthcare quality, healthcare utilization, and cost. Specific topics to be covered in this course include: refining a research question, choosing a study design, minimizing bias and confounding, selecting data sources, optimizing measurement, and more. The goal is to help students take on the perspective of the researcher, even if temporarily. This will help students more rigorously evaluate others’ research and discern which findings are robust enough to put into practice.
This course provides an overview and analysis of incentives in the current U.S. healthcare system for consumers/patients, healthcare providers, payers and insurers, and other stakeholders, such as pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Discussion centers around how the medical care market differs from markets for other goods and services and how incentives interact to effect healthcare delivery and outcomes. We then use the lens of incentives to examine the rationale and consequences—both intended and unintended—of major reform models designed to align incentives with improving the quality and experience of care while containing the growth of healthcare costs.
You will complete four elective courses, which will give you the opportunity to investigate narrower areas, such as business strategy, managerial finance, and health services research. Elective offerings change each year and subjects balance both healthcare and business topics.
Recent elective options have included:
Design Thinking in Healthcare
Influencing with Quality and Patient Safety Metrics
Mergers and Acquisitions
New Venture Management
Capstone project course
One of the hallmarks of the EMBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership program is the capstone project. The capstone course places teams with industry clients and partners to solve a real challenge using business acumen through a healthcare lens. Projects change each year and represent a range of organizations including hospital systems, community health organizations, technology companies, and more.
The capstone course has two goals:
To help students to discover and develop new and effective ways of managing and working together with all the stakeholders within the healthcare field
To accelerate a student’s development of the contextual awareness, integrative management, and industry skills that are needed to lead in a rapidly changing healthcare sector.
This capstone course puts students in a new organization, one they don’t already know well, and gives them the chance to practice hitting the ground running. This culminating course provides a deeper preparation for the next stages of a student’s career.