The Program

The Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard University is a one-year, full-time, academic degree-granting program designed to prepare physicians, particularly physicians from groups underrepresented in medicine, to become leaders who improve the health of historically marginalized populations. Fellows focus on transforming health care delivery systems and promoting innovation in policies, practices and programs that address health equity and the social determinants of health. Fellows complete academic work leading to a Master of Public Health degree at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, or a Master of Public Administration degree at the Harvard Kennedy School with prior MPH. Fellows also participate in leadership forums and seminars with nationally recognized leaders in health care delivery systems, minority health, and health policy; site visits, shadowing, and practicum projects.

Each fellowship provides: $80,000 stipend, full tuition, individual health insurance, books, travel, and related program expenses, including financial assistance for a practicum project.

The Fellowship is designed to prepare physician-leaders who will, over time, improve the capacity of the health care system to promote policies and practices that improve historically margnizalized populations’ access to high quality care. To accomplish this, the program will:

  • Provide strong academic training and coursework, including an MPH or MPA, for highly qualified physicians.
  • Enhance the leadership ability of physicians, offering them substantive knowledge in health policy and management, while creating a network of physician-leaders capable of advancing successfully among the public, nonprofit, and academic sectors.
  • Provide each fellow with mentoring by Harvard senior faculty and administrators as well as access to national leaders in health policy and public health practice.
  • Bring together the faculty and resources of Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Harvard Kennedy School to provide an enhanced core curriculum addressing transformation of health care delivery systems, health policy and practice, health provision and managed care, and health quality improvement, particularly as they relate to minority health issues.
  • Utilize resources at HMS, including the Office for Diversity and Community Partnership (DICP) and MFDP, to enhance the networking, career development, and career advancement of fellows.
  • Link to program activities co-sponsored with the HSPH Division of Policy Translation and Leadership Development.


The 45 credit MPH offers two fields of study:

Health Management  
This field of study prepares students for management careers in the unique environment of health care. Students who choose it select from courses providing practical management skills, such as accounting, finance, operations, marketing, quality improvement, management of people, and strategy. Students will be able to analyze and take actions to improve organizational performance using the skills and frameworks learned in coursework and through field experiences. Program graduates have filled many management and leadership roles in health care organizations, including public- or private-sector health delivery systems, health insurance plans, and supply-sector organizations, as well as working as consultants.

Health Policy
Students in the health policy field of study develop skills in applying economic, legal, and political analysis to the design, implementation, and evaluation of health care and public health policies. Through the study of biostatistics and epidemiology, they also acquire skill in interpreting and evaluating scientific evidence to inform their policy work. Students are encouraged to choose elective courses in order to develop an area of interest and expertise, such as access to care, health care quality, pharmaceutical policy, injury prevention, or health care financing. This field of study prepares students for positions in health policy in the public, nonprofit, or private sectors, either directly as policymakers; as policy analysts, advocates, or consultants; or in policymaking positions in other public health and health care organizations.


Core Curriculum and Course Listing


Please see the core curriculum and course listing in the Curriculum page.


Advanced Training


The Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard University incorporates academic work leading to a master degree in public health management and training components beyond the basic curriculum: Leadership Forums, Seminar Series, Practicum, Site Visits, Shadowing, Journal Club, Annual Meeting