Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Quality & Safety

Program Length

1 - 2 Years

Program Format


Program Audience

Healthcare Professionals


Rolling Admission

Healthcare Quality and Safety (HQS) is the study and prevention of adverse events, suboptimal care, ineffective treatments, inefficient processes and unnecessary clinical variation in health systems. HQS professionals are on the forefront of transitioning healthcare delivery towards high-value care.

Program Features

  • 100% online with no in-person or synchronous learning requirements
  • Globally focused curriculum designed by and for HQS professionals
  • Accelerated 7-week semester format tailored to working professionals
  • Courses taught by expert practitioner faculty who bring their extensive real-world experience to the classroom
  • Complete a graduate certificate in one year or a master’s degree in two years by taking just one course at a time

Our HQS program is one of the first graduate programs to offer immersive and practical training in healthcare quality and patient safety completely online.  This program is also one of the few that takes an integrative approach to learning where physicians, nurses, and non-clinicians collaborate on course material together in an interprofessional environment.

Program Options & Tracks

Our HQS program has two degree options and the master’s degree has three tracks.  All coursework is 100% online and uses an accelerated semester format specifically designed for working professionals.  This enables students to focus on building one set of skills at a time, but still graduate at the same pace as traditional graduate degree programs.

Graduate Certificate
The Graduate Certificate focuses on the foundations of HQS.  This option contains five online courses and can be completed in one year.

Master’s Degree
The Masters of Science (MS) builds upon the foundation concepts presented in the Graduate Certificate and focuses on the advanced application of HQS concepts necessary for the analysis, management, and improvement of HQS and the systems that deliver healthcare services.  This option contains 10 online courses and a capstone project, which is specifically designed to enhance the student’s career trajectory.  This option can be completed in two years.

Master’s Degree Tracks
The master’s degree option provides students the opportunity to study and apply HQS concepts in different healthcare environments around the world.

Domestic Track
Students wishing to practice within the United States will learn how to apply HQS concepts to the organization, deliverymand financing of healthcare services specific to the unique aspects of the U.S. healthcare system.

International Track
Students wishing to practice outside the U.S. will learn to apply HQS concepts to other healthcare environments, such as socialized and nationalized healthcare models and resource constrained healthcare systems with diverse regulatory requirements.

Management Track
Students with an MBA, MHA, or qualifying education from the American College of Physician Leadership will combine their prior management training with HQS program concepts to lead quality improvement and patient safety in large, complex organizations.

Program Audiences

Professionals from all key stakeholder groups in healthcare are engaged in HQS, including:

  • Physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other clinicians
  • Healthcare administrators
  • Accountable Care Organization (ACO) leaders
  • Health insurance professionals and third-party administrators
  • Risk management and finance professionals working in hospitals and integrated delivery systems
  • Pharmaceutical industry professionals
  • Health IT specialists and analysts
  • Public/government professionals engaged in healthcare oversight

Program Partnerships

This program also offers reduced program requirements and discounted tuition costs through partnerships with several professional organizations, including the American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL), the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ), the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM), and others.


Graduate Certificate

  • U.S. Healthcare Organization & Delivery (or Comparative Health Systems)*
  • Introduction to Healthcare Quality & Safety
  • Applied Principles of Health Care Quality
  • Applied Principles of Patient Safety
  • Elective*

Master’s Degree (above plus)

  • Change Management
  • Fundamentals of Practice-Based Statistics
  • Applied Leadership Strategies for Effective Change
  • Advanced Tools & Methods for HQS
  • Advanced Applications of HQS in Clinical Settings
  • Capstone Seminar and Project
*Waived for students in the management track who enter the program through an affiliation agreement with one of our organizational partners. Please contact Program Director Dr. Mary Reich Cooper for more information.

The capstone project is designed by the student and is tailored to his/her career trajectory. Visit our Student Resources section for course descriptions, capstone requirements, elective options, and more.

Program Outcomes

The HQS program prepares graduates to lead the transition of healthcare delivery towards high-value care by preparing them to:

Graduate Certificate

  • Apply management and leadership skills to develop policies related to measurement and improvement of HQS
  • Integrate change management theory into project management program design to improve healthcare quality and patient safety
  • Distinguish the various factors that influence risk in health care and discuss the legal principles and regulatory mechanisms that relate to it
  • Apply the foundational concepts of quality and safety measurement, improvement and analysis within the framework of collaborative team dynamics and change management

Master’s Degree (above plus)

  • Produce evidence to support healthcare policy development and change
  • Integrate quality, safety and transformation/change management tools to promote patient safety
  • Design and implement performance improvement strategies at a system level
  • Assimilate interprofessional collaboration into an organizational strategic plan for compliance with internal and external influences on quality and safety
  • Evaluate effectiveness of various performance improvement interventions and outcomes
  • Develop systematic approaches to drive broad-impacting improvements in clinical outcomes across the healthcare continuum

Admissions Considerations

We review applications using a holistic perspective that carefully considers all available information without imposing specific minimums on any individual requirement.  In general, we look for:

  • A prior GPA of approximately 3.0 or higher in undergraduate or graduate coursework;
  • Competitive standardized test scores near or above the 50th percentile (a waiver available);
  • An articulate application essay conveying a passion for the field and commitment to completing the program;
  • A resume/CV that demonstrates a trajectory consistent with, or shows promise for success in, the applicant’s chosen degree program; and
  • Recommendation letters attesting to the applicant’s ability to be successful in the program.

Ultimately, we look for applicants who have a passion for the work and the ability to successfully complete the program.

Start Your Application

  • Start your application online anytime
  • No application fee for master’s degree programs
  • Begin classes in January or September (some availability in May)


If you have questions about the program, please contact Program Director Dr. Mary Reich Cooper.

If you have questions about the application process, please send an email to or call us toll-free at 1-888-71-APPLY (27759).