Dual Degree PharmD/MS in Healthcare Decision Analysis

The PharmD/MS Healthcare Decision Analysis (HCDA) is a comprehensive dual degree program in which pharmacy education is enhanced by a practical understanding and applied skills in business intelligence, health economics, and healthcare policy.

The program provides an opportunity for advanced preparation in the fields of coverage, access, reimbursement, and pricing for both domestic and international biopharmaceuticals.

Graduates are specifically prepared to seek careers in the biopharmaceutical and life sciences industry, managed care, healthcare systems, consulting and government. 

The MS in HCDA will require students to complete at least an additional 24 units of coursework above the PharmD.

Admission and Application Process

  • Students interested in the dual PharmD/MS in Healthcare Decision Analysis degree must be accepted into USC Mann PharmD program first
  • Once accepted, students will be eligible for admission to the MS in HCDA program before/during the start of their first year
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in the PharmD program is required, Statement of Purpose, and 1 Letter of Recommendation from a USC Mann School faculty
  • Prompt for Statement of Purpose: “Why Healthcare Decision Analysis?”
  • After completing the first professional pharmacy year, students will take courses from both programs simultaneously —beginning their second professional year — completing both degrees in parallel by the end of their fourth professional year
  • All coursework for both degrees must be completed prior to PharmD graduation
  • The HCDA program accepts applications for all three semesters (fall, spring and summer)
  • Students can apply and begin classes anytime after the completion of their first professional year, but no later than the summer between their second and third professional year
  • Students who begin earlier in their second professional year enjoy greater flexibility in scheduling and course coordination with their PharmD schedule
  • If you are admitted to PharmD program and have expressed an interest in the dual degree, you will be offered an opportunity to apply directly to the MS in HCDA program in the first year of the PharmD program
  • Students who have not previously stated their interest in a dual degree will still be eligible to apply for the HCDA dual degree program anytime in either their first or second professional year
  • If you are not accepted by the PharmD program at USC, you may choose to apply independently to the MS in HCDA  program, but will not be eligible for the dual degree

How To Apply

1) Download and complete the Dual Degree Application for Admission Form

2) Email completed form, Statement of Purpose, and Letter of Recommendation to Michelle Ton, program administrator, at tonm@usc.edu

Michael Bershad

How did your PharmD/MS in Healthcare Decision Analysis dual degree help achieve your goals?

“My PharmD gave me all of the clinical knowledge necessary to succeed in the healthcare industry. The master’s degree provided the business acumen and MBA type of knowledge to thrive in pharma and medical device settings.”

Michael Bershad

PharmD/MS Healthcare Decision Analysis ’16

Senior Manager, Health Economics & Market Access at Johnson & Johnson
Ivy Bien

How did you benefit from the Healthcare Decision Analysis program?

“The Healthcare Decision Analysis program provided me with a fundamental understanding of the pharmaceutical industry ranging from clinical development to health economics and outcomes research. The education I received and the connections I made in this program have allowed me to accelerate in my career as a specialist in medical communications.”

Ivy Bien

PharmD ’21, MS Healthcare Decision Analysis ’21

Manager, Medical Information & Content Strategy at Neurocrine Bioscience Inc.