The USC graduate program in Health Economics offers a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy. This MS program is offered jointly with the Department of Economics and the USC Price School of Public Policy. Master’s students are trained to use pharmacoeconomics and assessment techniques in practical decision-making environments such as managed-care pharmacies, third-party payers and government agencies.

A distinguishing characteristic of the USC Master’s Program in Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy is the degree to which students are actively engaged in publishable research, either as the lead author or as a secondary author in collaboration with a faculty member.

Preparing to Apply

A: The master’s program can be used to start the PhD process; however if you are interested in the PhD program, it is recommended that you apply for it directly. The master’s program is oriented toward the application of pharmacoeconomic analytic methods, while the PhD program is oriented toward the development of new theory and empirical research in the field. Up to 20 units or credit from the MS program can be applied toward the doctoral degree.

A: Many entering students have a PharmD or other clinical degree.

A: Your research background would provide you with some excellent credentials, which should help you both in the program and after graduation.

A: You are encouraged to have completed an upper-division course in microeconomics for admission to the program. You should also have taken calculus and have a research design background.

A: Students may be placed in internships with managed care and drug companies during their first summer.

A: Although the School does not have an extension program, students are welcome to take a couple of classes before officially enrolling. You would be able to transfer the credits (up to 12) into the MS program (as well as the PhD program).

A: Twenty courses in the MS program are transferable to the PhD in Pharmaceutical Economics.

A: The MS is more applied, while the PhD is more theoretical in orientation. The PhD takes four to six years to complete while the MS takes two years to complete as a full-time student.

A: The program does not include any minors, but most students take additional coursework in biostatistics, which is taught in the same building.

A: Most alumni work in either the pharmacy industry or managed care.

A: Students are not admitted in the spring semester.

A: For more information on progressive degree programs visit Progressive Degrees on the USC Undergraduate Programs website.

Fees/Tuition/Financial Aid

Standardized Tests

A: Your scores are considered valid only if earned within five years to the month of your intended first term at USC (for example, no earlier than August 1 five years prior if applying for the fall term).

A: No, the committee only accepts GRE scores.