Courses of Study 2022-2023 
    May 24, 2024  
Courses of Study 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Health Care Policy

In the Brooks School of Public Policy   

Course Offerings  


S. Sassler, Director of Undergraduate Studies;  Faculty: R. Avery, C. Barrett, C. Barry, D. Bateman, N. Bottan, C. Carey, J. Cawley, J. Cunningham, R. Dunifon, P. Eloundou-Enyyegue, P. Enns, M. Fitzpatrick, G. Flores-Macias, R. Geddes, S. Gleeson,  M. Hall, M. Kapustin, D. Kenkel, C. Kling, S. Kreps, D. Kriner, P. Leung, S. Lindsay, M. Lovenheim, A. Mathios, J. Michener,  D. Miller, K. Musick, S. Nicholson, J. Niederdeppe, A. Ortiz-Bobea,  Z. Pei, T. Pepinsky,  A. Reyes, P. Rich, R. Ridel,  N. Sanders, S. Sanders, S. Sassler, D. Silbey,  L. Tach, S. Tennyson, C. Thomas, M. Waller, J. Weiss, N. Ziebarth. Emeritus faculty: J. Allen, R. Battistella, K. Bryant, R. Burkhauser, F. Firebaugh, J. Ford, J. Frances, M. Galenson, J. Green, C. Hoenk Shapiro, J. Kuder, D. Lichter, C. McClintock, J. Mueller, L. Noble, A. Parrot, E. Peters, W. Trochim, B. Yerka.  Lecturers: J. Carmalt, B. Tripp.

Health Care Policy Major

The Health Care Policy (HCP) major is offered within the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, and merges curriculum from both the social and natural sciences. HCP builds on the research strengths of the Brooks faculty, who use the theories and methods from economics, sociology, political science and demography to study the effects of government policies on individuals and families, public health, education, crime, product markets, financial markets, and a wide variety of other social impacts. The research tools learned and used—robust theory, rigorous empirical quantitative skills, and practical applications to real-world policy issues—are highly sought after by the best in the healthcare industry and government.

The HCP major prepares students for leadership roles in health policy, which require a strong foundation in the natural sciences. In addition, graduates will be prepared for careers that combine clinical health care with involvement in the broader health care system and public policy.

HCP will provide students in-depth training in the analysis of health care and public policies that affect health, access to medical care, and medical spending. Students will learn to integrate analytical thinking and data analysis skills. HCP majors employ theories and methods from economics and demography to analyze health care and policy. Students will learn to apply theories designed to explain the development of government policies addressing health care and how the private health care system interacts with the public sector to affect health, access, and costs. The HCP requirements provide all students with a strong foundation in natural sciences while allowing flexibility in course selection to pursue either: a non-premedical track; or a premedical track that meets the course requirements for admission to medical school and other health professional graduate programs.

Brooks Honors Program

Health Care Policy majors are eligible for the Brooks Honors Program, which gives official recognition to students who have demonstrated excellence in their academic work and their capacity for independent research. In addition to fulfilling the requirements for the major, students in the honors program will participate in an honors seminar and prepare an empirically-based honors thesis. Honors students work with a research mentor in preparing for their thesis. Upon successful completion of the HCP honors program, students will receive a B.S. degree with honors in Health Care Policy. Interested students should obtain an Honors Program application form in the Brooks Undergraduate Office (2301 MVR). For questions, contact


  • Students must maintain a 3.3 GPA to be admitted into and complete the honors program. Students whose GPA drops below 3.3 will be dropped from the Honors Program.
  • To start the program, students may not have any outstanding incomplete (INC) grades on their record.  
  • PAM 3120 - Research Design, Practice, and Policy  must be completed before starting the program.

Honors Program Requirements:

  • Complete a minimum of 6 credits of PAM 4990 - Honors Program , under supervision of a Brooks School faculty mentor, with a grade of B or higher
  • Complete PAM 4980 - Honors Seminar 
  • Complete a basic and advanced statistical software training series as approved by faculty mentor
  • Attend four professional research seminars during senior year.
  • Present a poster of research  during final semester in honors program
  • Defend thesis to a committee of faculty

Health Policy Minor

The program offers a 15-credit minor in Health Policy for Cornell undergraduates outside of the PAM and HCP majors. Health policy minors apply concepts from sociology, demography, and economics to provide a focused analysis of policy issues in the healthcare industry. Health Policy minors complete PAM 2350 - The U.S. Health Care System  (3 credits), 9 credits of upper level health policy coursework from the list below, and additional PAM course electives to reach a minimum of 15 credits of policy coursework.

Upper level Health Policy Coursework:

Minor Policies:

  • There can be no substitution for any of the required courses.
  • Students must enroll in the PAM section of the course. Cross-listed sections are NOT applicable.
  • Students must earn a grade of B- or better in every course. S/U will not be accepted unless it is the only grade option available.
  • PAM Special studies courses (PAM 4000, PAM 4010, PAM 4020, PAM 4030) do NOT count towards the Health Policy minor

Health Care Policy Major

Health Care Policy Major

In addition to admitting college requirements , students in the Health Care Policy Major must complete specific requirements listed here.

The requirements listed below pertain to all students matriculating in August 2022 and January 2023.

HCP Required Courses B

PAM Required Courses B (3 credits)
Choose one from the following:
PAM 2030 - Population and Public Policy 
PAM 3280 - Fundamentals of Population Health 

HCP 3000/4000 Concentration Courses

HCP 3000/4000 Concentration Courses (18 credits)
Students must take a minimum of 18 credits of 3000 or 4000 level PAM courses in addition to the PAM Core Requirements. 12-15 of these credits must be Health Care and Health Policy Courses, and 3-6 of these credits must be Social Policy Courses.     
Health Care and Health Policy  (12-15 credits)  
PAM 3110 - Pharmaceutical Management and Policy  (3 Credits)
* PAM 3180 - Health Disparities  (3 Credits)

PAM 3251 - [Health Equity, Politics and Policy]  (4 credits) 
PAM 3300 - [Cost-Benefit Analysis]  (4 Credits)
* PAM 3780 - [Sick Around the World? Comparing Health Care Systems Around the World]  (3 Credits)
PAM 3870 - Economic Evaluations in Health Care  (3 Credits)
PAM 4110 - Pollution, Climate Change, and Health  (3 Credits)
PAM 4140 - [Global Health Economics and Policy]  (3 Credits)

PAM 4230 - Gender and Health: Concepts, Data, Theories and Evidence  (3 Credits)
PAM 4280 - [The Economics of Risky Health Behaviors]  (4 Credits)
PAM 4370 - [The Economics of Health Care Markets]  (3 Credits)
PAM 5641 - Data Analytics for Healthcare Administrators  (3 Credits)
PAM 5670 - Health Policy  (3 Credits)
PAM 5740 - Short Course in Fundamentals of Health Facility Planning for Managers  (1 Credit)
PAM 5760 - Long-Term Care and Lifestyle Alternatives for the Older Adult  (1 Credit)
PAM 5900 - Special Topics in Health Administration and Finance  (1-3 Credits)

*PAM 3180 and PAM 3870 can only count for one or the other Health Care and Health Policy OR Upper-level focus coursework.

Social Policy  (3-6 credits)
PAM 3040 - [Immigration and Public Policy]  (3 credits)
PAM 3130 - Behavioral Economics and Public Policy  (3 Credits)
PAM 3160 - [Labor Markets and Public Policy]  (3 Credits)
PAM 3250 - [Neighborhoods, Housing, and Urban Policy] 
PAM 3301 - Intermediate Policy Analysis  (4 Credits)
PAM 3360 - Evolving Families: Challenges to Public Policy  (3 credits)
PAM 3370 - [Race and Public Policy]  (3 Credits)
PAM 3410 - Economics of Consumer Protection and the Law  (3 Credits)
PAM 4080 - [Demographic Techniques]  (3 Credits)

PAM 4160 - The Ethnography of Poverty and Inequality  (3 Credits)

PAM 4230 - Gender and Health: Concepts, Data, Theories and Evidence  (3 Credits)*

PAM 4950 - Engaged Learning Capstone  (3 credits)

*PAM 4230 cannot count for both concentration areas, only one or the other.

HCP Additional Electives

Additional HCP Electives (3 credits)
Any 3 additional PAM credits (except PAM 4030)
(E.g. PAM 2040 - Economics of the Public Sector , PAM 2300 - Introduction to Policy Analysis , and PAM 3240 - Risk Management and Policy )

Introductory Economics

Introductory Economics  (3 credits)

This fulfills the college distribution social sciences requirement.

ECON 1110 - Introductory Microeconomics  

HCP Intermediate Microeconomics

HCP Intermediate Microeconomics (4 credits)

Choose one of the following:

PAM 2000 - Intermediate Microeconomics 

ECON 3030 - Intermediate Microeconomic Theory 

HCP Intro to Sociology

Introduction to Sociology (3 credits)

This fulfills the college distribution social sciences requirement.

Choose one of the following:    
PAM 2250 - Social Problems in the United States 
SOC 1101 - Introduction to Sociology 
DSOC 1101 - Introduction to Sociology 
Note: PAM 2250 cannot count for both the Introduction to Sociology requirement AND the Additional PAM Electives requirement.

HCP Mathematics

Mathematics (3-4 credits)

This fulfills the college distribution quantitative and analytical courses requirement.

Either of the following:
Score of 4 or 5 on AP Calculus BC exam OR
Any 3 credit Cornell math course except MATH 1101  and MATH 1710 
Note: If this requirement is not satisfied with AP Calculus BC then the MATH course must be taken at Cornell.
Note: AP Calculus AB credit (a score of 4 or 5) may be applied as elective credits, but does not fulfill this requirement.

HCP Biology Lab

Biology Lab (2 credits)
BIOG 1500 - Investigative Biology Laboratory 

HCP Introductory Chemistry

Introductory Chemistry (8 credits)

This fulfills the college distribution natural sciences requirement.

CHEM 2070 - General Chemistry I 
CHEM 2080 - General Chemistry II 

HCP Ethics

Ethics (3 credits)

This fulfills the college distribution humanities requirement.

Choose one of the following options:  
BSOC 2051 - Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine  (also STS 2051 )

COMM 4350 - Communicating Leadership and Ethics 
PHIL 1450 - Contemporary Moral Issues 

PHIL 2410 - Ethics 
PHIL 2455 - Introduction to Bioethics 

HCP Additional Distribution Coursework

Additional Distribution Coursework (10-12 credits)
Any course with the Course Distribution PBS, BIOLS-AG, BIONLS-AG, SBA, KCM, MQR, LA, CA, or HA. Language courses may count here.