Bioscience and Health Policy

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 36 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 36 k / Year(s) Deadline: Feb 15, 2024
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Rice University offered this degree for the first time in 2011. This degree is geared to train students in bioscience and health policy with the intent of creating new options for science students interested in working in health care management, for the government, or in governmental relations positions at non-profit organizations, industry, and academic institutions. As an interdisciplinary program it aims to equip students with advanced bioscience skills; to teach quantitative skills and data analysis; to equip students with communication and research skills to conduct independent studies enabling them to understand, and formulate public policy recommendations; and to train students how to integrate their science knowledge into creating better policies and practices.

This degree is one of five degrees in the professional master’s program at Rice housed in the Wiess School of Natural Sciences. These master’s degrees are designed for students seeking to gain further scientific core expertise coupled with enhanced management and communication skills. These degrees instill a level of scholastic proficiency that exceeds that of the bachelor’s level, and they create the cross-functional aptitudes needed in modern industry and government. This program will give students an advanced background in science complemented by courses in business, economics, humanities, and policy studies to foster their understanding of the role of science in policy making and the role of public policy in science. Their coursework will provide them with research and study skills enabling them to develop specific policy recommendations, and they will also receive the tool-set to become knowledgeable in the formulation and execution of public policy. Their direct access to the Baker Institute will allow them to work closely with policy scholars as well as meet with many of the leaders in science and technology policy.

Students receiving the MS in Bioscience and Health Policy degree will be able to enter into governmental positions, work in non-governmental agencies, medical and pharmaceutical companies, and serve as governmental relations officers for companies or universities with a vested science interest. 

A coordinated MBA/MSBHP degree is offered in conjunction with the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business.


Students must complete a total of 12 courses (33 credit hours) as listed below to satisfy the MSBHP degree program's Core Requirements.

Science Core Courses 

Students must complete a total of 4 courses (12 credit hours) from the following. These courses give in-depth instruction in specialized areas of Bioscience and are required to obtain a broad understanding of diverse areas of cutting edge Bioscience research. *Courses marked with asterisks are offered as 300-level courses that will include graduate level writing and analysis to qualify as a 500-level graduate course.

  • BIOC 524* Microbiology and Biotechnology  [ 3 credit hours ]
  • BIOC 525 Plant Molecular Genetics and Development [ 3 credit hours ]
  • BIOC 540/CHBE 540 Metabolic Engineering [ 3 credit hours ]
  • BIOC 544 Development Biology [ 3 credit hours ]
  • BIOC 545 Advanced Molecular Biology and Genetics [ 3 credit hours ]
  • BIOC 547 Biology and Medicine [ 3 credit hours ]
  • BIOC 550 Viruses and Infectious Diseases [ 3 credit hours ]
  • BIOC 560/BIOE 560 Cancer Biology [ 3 credit hours ]
  • BIOC 563* Endocrinology [ 3 credit hours ]
  • BIOC 570 Computation with Biological Data [ 3 credit hours ]
  • BIOC 573* Immunology [ 3 credit hours ]
  • BIOC 580/BIOE 580/CHBE 580 Protein Engineering [ 3 credit hours ]
  • BIOC 585* Fundamentals of Cellular, Molecular, and Integrative Neuroscience [ 3 credit hours ]

Other Science Course options accepted as marked * in electives below

Cohort Courses

Students must complete the following 4 courses (9 credit hours):

  • NSCI 501 Professional Master's Seminar [ required for two semesters, 1 credit hour each ]
  • NSCI 511 Science Policy and Ethics [ 3 credit hours ]
  • NSCI 512 Internship Project [ 1 credit hour ]
  • NSCI 610/ENGI 610 Management in Science and Engineering [ 3 credit hours ]

Analytical Competency Requirement 
The analytical competency requirement provides career-enhancing, marketable skills in policy analysis, economics and statistics. Students will take courses from groups A, B and C as indicated below:

A– Statistics or Data Analytics 
Students must complete 1 course (3-4 credit hours) from the following:

  • STAT 305  Intro to Statistics in Biosciences [ 4 credit hours ]
  • STAT 385  Methods of Data Analysis [ 4 credit hours ] 
  • STAT 553 Biostatistics [ 3 credit hours ]
  • STAT 684/CEVE 684 Environmental Risk Assessment and Human Health [ 3 credit hours ]
  • MGMT 750 Strategic Considerations in Health Informatics [ 1.5 credit hours ]

B–Finance or Economics 
Students must complete 1 course (3 credit hours) from the following:

  • ECON 450 Economic Development [ 3 credit hours ]
  • ECON 481 Health Economics [ 3 credit hours ]
  • MGMT 673 Cost Analysis in Healthcare [ 1.5 credit hours ]
  • MGMT 679 Cost and Quality in Health Care [ 1.5-3 credit hours ]
  • MGMT 751 Economics of Healthcare Sectors [ 1.5 credit hours ]
  • PH 3910* Introduction to Health Economics 

C–Policy Courses  
Students must complete 2 courses (minimum of 6 credit hours) from the following:

  • POST 530 Shaping of Health Policy [ 3 credit hours ]
  • ANTH 581 Medical Anthropology [ 3 credit hours ]
  • ANTH 643 Race, Ethnicity, and Health [ 3 credit hours ]
  • HEAL 580 Disparities in Health in America [ 3 credit hours ] 
  • MGMT 690 Healthcare Strategy [ 1.5 credit hours ]
  • MGMT 691 Negotiations for Healthcare [ 1.5 credit hours ]
  • MGMT 694 Interpersonal Communication in Healthcare [ 1.5 credit hours ]   

Practical experience is offered via a three to six month work immersion. The internship will be under the guidance of a host company, government agency, or non-profit organization. A summary of the internship project is required in both oral and written form as part of the Professional Master's Seminar. 


To fulfill the remaining MSBHP degree program requirements, students must complete a total of 2 additional courses (6 credit hours) from the following. The electives reflect individual academic interests and career goals. Any course from the above list of Bioscience courses can be taken as an elective, provided it was not taken as a required course. In addition, the following classes qualify as elective classes:

  • ANTH 581 Medical Anthropology [ 3 credit hours ]
  • ANTH 643 Race Ethnicity and Health [ 3 credit hours ]
  • ECON 450 World Economy and Social Development [ 3 credit hours ] 
  • HEAL 507 Epidemiology [ 3 credit hours ]
  • HEAL 560 Planning, Evaluation of Health Promotion and Education [ 3 credit hours ]
  • MGMT 623 Commercialization in Pharma [ 1.5 credit hours ]
  • MGMT 633/BIOE 633 Life Science Entrepreneurship [ 1.5 credit hours ]
  • MGMT 678 U.S. Healthcare Management [ 1.5 credit hours ] 
  • MGMT 712 Process Management and Quality Improvement [ 1.5 credit hours ]
  • MGMT 738 Customer Focus in Healthcare and Service Industries: A Strategic Approach [ 1.5 credit hours ]
  • MGMT 961 Business Law [ 1.5 credit hours ]  
  • PHIL 336 Topics in Medical Ethics [ 3 credit hours ]
  • STAT 684/CEVE 684 Environmental Risk Assessment and Human Health [ 3 credit hours ] 
  • GS 120254* Cell and Systems Physiology 
  • GS 120043* Principles of Pathology 

*There are other courses that may satisfy the Two Elective Courses requirement. For example, Students can choose up to two electives from UT Graduate School of Biomedical Science (GS), Informatics (HI) and/or Health Science Center (PH). See department for more details.  

 Note: Some of the listed courses are not offered every year, and some may also have prerequisites or require instructor permission.  If student needs to take more than two 300/400 courses as part of the degree program, permission of advising faculty is required. 

  • Completed application (apply on-line)
  • Three personal letters of recommendation - recommenders can now submit their letters on-line
  • General GRE scores (use the code 6609 for Rice; do not worry about a department code)
  • Official transcripts from all universities attended
  • TOEFL scores (if required)
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Study mode:On campus Languages: English
Local:$ 46.1 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 46.1 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Jan 4, 2024 147 place StudyQA ranking: 845 You need IELTS certificate