HCAP launches new master’s degree


Regina Robert, Staff Writer

A new interdisciplinary master’s program in health, community and policy has been launched by UTSA’s College of Health, Community and Policy (HCAP). It is a collaboration between the Department of Public Health and the Department of Public Administration.

“[We want to] build new types of interdisciplinary programs like these to meet the job needs that are out in the marketplace,” Associate Professor of the Department of Public Health and Dean of the M..S. program, Dr. Jeffrey Howard, said. Howard explained that one of the considerations that went into developing the program was the lack of instruction that was available to students, which helped to create the program’s specializations.

The new interdisciplinary program has four specializations available to students: health promotion; policy; society, community and health; and health data analytics and population health. 

Howard mentioned the collaboration with the Department of Public Administration under one college helped to create a proper framework for the policy specialization of the degree program, which would help to meet the “demand for expertise in health policy.”

The new program and its specializations aim to aid students in preparing for a modern job market. The program brings together different departments of HCAP to create instruction for emerging careers that need expertise across fields such as health data analytics. 

“By bringing different departments together, it enables us to work with not only folks from Public Health but also the Department of Demography … and those who [focus on] health,” Howard said. 

In addition, the collaborations helped to create a framework for instruction that would guide students in the methodology of health analytics based on population.

“Any social science-based or health focus background would be great candidates for our program,” Howard said. 

Howard recommends students interested in the program to evaluate the type of job they would like to pursue in the future for guidance on their chosen specialization. Howard also encouraged students to communicate their concerns and expressed the will to talk to any prospective students about their concerns.

The M.S. program of Health, Community and Policy is currently taking applications for Fall 2023 enrollment until the end of June.