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Rigorous Management Curriculum

Our two-year MHA offers you a rigorous management curriculum, unparalleled flexibility in selecting specialized courses based on your career interests, and practical learning opportunities. Students are required to take 15 courses in key management disciplines, usually with a health care focus. Formal classes are complemented by a range of practical learning opportunities such as PLICs, the colloquium series, a summer internship, and the capstone course.

Students wearing red t-shirts, putting up post-its on white board


Core Curriculum

  • Health Care Organization
  • Organizational Development and Human Resources
  • Regression Analysis and Managerial Forecasting
  • Microeconomics for Management and Policy
  • Health Care Accounting Health Care Strategy
  • Population Health for Health Managers Health Care Marketing
  • Finance Essentials Health Care Ethics
  • Healthcare Finance Legal Aspects of Health Care
  • Managing Operations Health Care Information Technology
  • Health Policy

Teaching and Learning Methods Used in the Sloan Program

We believe that it is important to use some lower-level teaching and learning methods to impart the basics of the health care system and management skills early in the curriculum.  Examples would include readings, lectures, class discussions, and guest speakers.

While training future health care leaders, we strive to incorporate as many higher-level teaching and learning methods as possible, especially in courses that are offered later in the program. A number of core courses use higher-level teaching and learning methods extensively, and Sloan faculty are encouraged to use higher-level teaching and learning methods.  The Capstone course asks students to blend a broad variety of skills and competencies as they work on an actual consulting project for a client organization. Case studies and team presentations are frequently used in Health Care Finance II and Health Care Strategy, and many courses have assignments that involve teamwork.  Some courses, including Practitioner Led Intensive Courses, utilize simulation exercises. Students are asked to engage in reflective learning during the Capstone course via the use of journaling, evaluation of one’s contributions to a team project, and an assessment of the contributions of one’s teammates. Students have opportunities for external field experiences during the health care innovation trip to Boston, and the health policy trip to Washington, D.C.


Sloan Competencies

All program courses and activities are designed to help a student achieve our core competencies (listed below) which the Sloan Program has identified as crucial to success in the healthcare industry.


Sloan Competency Model


1. Business writing skills

2. Presentation skills

Leadership Skills and Relationship Management

3. Leading, communication with, and managing others

4. Change management

5. Ability for honest self-assessment

6. Problem solving and decision making

7. Working in teams


8. Personal and professional ethics

9. Emotional intelligence and critical thinking

Knowledge of the Health Care Environment

10. Health care issues and trends

11. Health care legal principles

12. Health policy

13. Population health and the social determinants of health

Business and Analytical Skills

15. Financial management and accounting

16. Organizational behavior and managing human resources

17. Strategic planning and analysis

18. Marketing

19. Information management

20. Operations management and quality and performance improvement

21. Quantitative skills

22. Planning and managing projects

23. Economic analysis and application

14. Cultural competence

Sloan leadership will provide each student with an individualized competency assessment that will be reviewed by the advisor and student on a quarterly basis. 

Sloan Colloquium Series

Each semester, practicing healthcare executives visit the campus and give lectures, workshops, and seminars. The colloquia provide informal settings where students interact directly with high-level professionals to learn about recent trends, issues, and innovative developments in the industry.


Colloquium Details

During each semester, practicing healthcare executives visit campus and give lectures, workshops and seminars as part of the Sloan Colloquium Series. The colloquia provide informal settings where students interact directly with high level professionals to learn about recent trends, issues and innovative developments in the field. There are often lively debates and interchanges between students and practitioners. Recent colloquia included speakers from academic medical centers, community hospitals, the VA system, medical practice management, bio-technology, insurance, management consulting and professional associations. Colloquia enable Sloan students to interact with industry practitioners in a seminar setting. Students are also invited to lunch with speakers on a rotating basis.

Professional Development Workshops

Each fall, first year students are required to attend a number of career and professional development workshops designed to hone their professional communication, networking, interviewing, negotiating, etiquette, and healthcare research skills. These workshops generally take place on select Fridays following our Sloan Colloquia.

Practitioner-Led Intensive Courses (PLICs)

PLICs are one-credit weekend courses taught by experienced health care executives on a range of topics such as:

  • Big Data
  • Strategic Change
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Management of Bond Financing
  • Operations and Planning of Long Term Care and Senior Living Facilities
  • Healthcare Facilities Planning
  • Healthcare Supply Chain Management
  • Alternative Payments in Healthcare
  • Operations and Planning of Collaborative Approaches to Quality, Safety and Service for Patients


PLIC Details

National Experts Teach Specialized Courses

Sloan offers at least eight Practitioner-Led Intensive courses (PLICs) per year. PLICs are one- or two-credit weekend courses taught by experienced health care executives that allow students to develop expertise in a special topic or skill.

VUCA Leadership
Instructor: George Casey, Distinguished Senior Lecturer of Leadership (a retired four-star general who served as the 36th Chief of Staff of the United States Army between 2007 and 2011)

Disruptive Innovation in Healthcare 1: Digital Health
Instructor: Terry Murphy (Sloan ‘86)

Disruptive Innovation in Healthcare 2: The Incumbents Strike Back
Instructor: Terry Murphy, (Sloan ‘86)

Designing a New Healthcare Payment System: Best Practices in Alternative Payment Design
Instructor: Carter Dredge (Sloan ’11)

Operations and Planning of Senior Living and Related Facilities/Programs
Instructor: Brooke Hollis (Sloan ’78)

Introduction to Quality and Quality Measurement
Instructor: Abhi Grewal (Sloan ’18)

Using Python to Analyze Data
Instructor: Keith Liao

Key Management Issues in the Biotech and Pharmaceutical Industries
Instructor: Sean Nicholson, Sloan Program Director

Facility Planning for Managers
Instructor: Brooke Hollis (Sloan ’78)

Fundamentals of Practice Administration
Instructor: Cathy Bartell (Sloan ‘90)

Private Equity in Healthcare
Instructor: Ed Han (Sloan ‘21)

The Healthcare Industry from a Consulting Perspective
Instructor: Ying Yang, Sloan Instructor, Assistant Director, McGovern Center Start-up Incubator

Collaborative Approaches to Quality, Safety, and Service for Patients
Instructor: Robert Lancey, MD, MBA (Johnson ’07)

Comparative Health Care Systems
Instructor: Angus Corbett, JD

The Politics Dance of Health Policy
Instructor: Lee Perlman (Sloan ’82)

Culminating Capstone Course

Working in small teams, second-year students complete a year-long capstone project for a health care organization. These consulting projects offer students an opportunity to synthesize and apply what they have learned to try to solve a real problem for a real client. Recent capstone projects include: developing an initiative to help a hospital’s pediatric practice grow patient volume; redesigning physician schedules to improve patient access and throughput at a GI clinic; examining the feasibility of a hospice house; and determining how to allow physician practices to accept cash payments from patients without violating payer contracts.


Capstone Details

In your second year, you will work as part of a three- or four-person team with your classmates to complete a year-long capstone project for a health care organization. You will provide expertise to a real client looking for a solution to a real problem. In the process, you will find yourself synthesizing the competencies you have acquired in the classroom and internships during your time at Sloan. The product of the course will be an oral presentation and research paper. Following are examples of recent culminating capstone projects:

  • Helping a hospital’s pediatric practice grow patient volume
  • Redesigning physician schedules at a GI clinic to improve patient access and throughput
  • Examining the feasibility of a hospice house
  • Exploring how to allow physician practices to accept cash payments from patients without violating payer contracts

Specialized Electives

Specialized courses offered in the Cornell Brooks School and throughout the Cornell campus allow students to develop specialized skills. Examples include:

  • Negotiations
  • Reading Financial Statements
  • Advanced Business Modeling
  • Project Management
  • Essentials of Management Consulting
  • Quality Systems and Processes
  • Leadership
  • Systems Engineering and Six Sigma
  • Spa and Resort Development and Management