Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Population Health

Program Length

1 - 4 years

Certificate - 12 to 20 months; Master’s degree - 2 to 4 years, depending on pace through the program and the time required to complete the Capstone project.

Program Format


All courses are offered asynchronously online using best practices and interactive learning and are taught by practitioner faculty with years of experience and recognized expertise.

Program Audience

Health/Healthcare Professionals

JCPH population health programs are designed for working professionals seeking part-time educational opportunities.


Rolling Admission

Students can begin the program in September or January. Applications are considered when submitted.

Health systems in the United States and around the world are confronting ever-rising costs, poor outcomes and economic inefficiencies. Population Health is a broad-based response to these challenges. It aims to prevent and address human disease through social interventions that engage the community and the larger society by integrating clinical care and public health practices in a new paradigm of health delivery. This approach differs from conventional healthcare by replacing volume of services rendered with emphasis on value as the goal of healthcare delivery. There is increasing demand for practitioners who can navigate this complex and changing landscape

The Jefferson College of Population Health's (JCPH) Population Health program builds on public health and clinical care foundations:

  • It connects prevention, wellness and behavioral health science with healthcare delivery, quality and safety, disease prevention/management and economic issues of value and risk—all in the service of specific populations and sub-populations.
  • It stresses socio-economic and cultural factors that determine the health of populations and developing policies that address the impact of these determinants.
  • It employs epidemiology and biostatistics in new ways to analyze clinical data, model disease states, map their incidence and design social and community interventions.
  • It includes social, economic and behavioral theory to develop new models of healthcare delivery that stress care coordination, accountability and community engagement.

JCPH offers the nation’s first graduate program in population health designed specifically for experienced health professionals. The Graduate Certificate in Population Health provides a comprehensive foundation in the essentials of population health—new care-delivery structures, socio-economic determinants of disease, data analytics, health finance and economics, and basics of healthcare quality and safety. The Master of Science in Population Health (MS-PopH) offers additional skills required for leadership positions—healthcare policy development, epidemiology, outcomes analysis, coalition building and stakeholder management. All coursework taken for the graduate certificate can be applied to the master’s degree at a later time. 

National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) members who hold the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality® (CPHQ) credentials receive a tuition discount for the MS-PopH and waive the HQS 500: Introduction to Healthcare Quality & Safety course.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the Graduate Certificate in Population Health are able to:

  • Articulate new priorities in prevention, evidence-based practice, comparative effectiveness, public health and health policy established by the population health framework.
  • Identify key socio-economic and cultural determinants of population health outcomes.
  • Analyze the structure and economics of the U.S. healthcare system and their impact on population health outcomes.
  • Articulate how health information systems support and inform data analytics, decision-making and work flow within and across healthcare settings.
  • Articulate new approaches to managing costs and to improving access, quality and safety.

Graduates of the MS-PopH degree are able to achieve the above competencies plus:

  • Apply quantitative and qualitative analytic skills to develop, implement and evaluate programs that address population health issues at the institutional, community, regional and national levels.
  • Assess and interpret healthcare policies, legal precedents, statutes and regulations.
  • Analyze the impact of socio-cultural factors on access to health care and adjust health promotions and interventions accordingly.
  • Apply social, behavioral, and organizational science to the diagnosis, development and implementation of organizational change.
  • Participate in structured simulations that demonstrate the breadth of population health.

Program Audiences

The Graduate Certificate and Master of Science in Population Health are designed for experienced health executives and practitioners. Candidates should have a strong foundation and at least three to five years of experience in one or more key sectors of the healthcare or public health system. This program is not designed for recent college/professional school graduates or mature students transitioning from unrelated fields. Students in the population health program come from a variety of fields and have included:

  • Health professionals working within healthcare settings, healthcare plans or management companies, academic organizations, community organizations, and public/government entities
  • Healthcare business consultants providing services to emerging accountable care entities
  • Healthcare program administrators
  • Experienced pharmaceutical industry professionals
  • Health information technology (HIT) professionals  working in provider and payer systems
  • Individuals working in healthcare-related professional organizations and trade associations
  • Healthcare providers and stakeholders from outside of the United States looking to learn more about the U.S. healthcare system
  • Professionals who work in an organization involved in the delivery, organization, and/or financing of health care or who are seeking to change fields within the healthcare system


The Graduate Certificate in Population Health requires completion of 18 credits, all of which can be applied to the MS-PopH.

The MS-PopH requires completion of 39 credits. The Capstone Project is presented on campus to peers and faculty following completion of coursework.


Admissions Considerations

  • Three or more years of substantial experience in some aspect of the health/healthcare industry.
  • Earned baccalaureate degree with an approximate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Ability to perform graduate work demonstrated by one of the following:
    • Graduate degree or at least 9 credits of appropriate graduate coursework with a grade of B or higher
    • Competitive score on the GRE or other graduate entrance examination

901 Walnut Street, 10th Floor   
Philadelphia PA 19107