HSM - Global Executive

Health Sector Management

The Health Sector Management (HSM) Certificate is an optional course of study available to Global Executive MBA students.


Program Format


The Health Sector Management (HSM) Certificate:

  • Offers insight into the interaction and interdependencies of health-related industries and organizations.
  • Hones functional skills and the ability to think strategically in a global business environment, allowing the immediate application of new knowledge and skills.
  • Enhances opportunities for leadership roles in a variety of health arenas, including pharmaceutical, medical device, consulting, banking, venture capital, entrepreneurial, biotechnology, research and development, and payor and health systems.
  • Builds and/or enhances a network of contacts worldwide.

Program Format

This 15-month program combines residencies in North America, Europe, and Asia with Internet-enabled distance learning and onsite courses on Duke's main campus in Durham, North Carolina. The HSM curriculum provides students the flexibility to merge their focus on health care with other areas of interest within the MBA program.

Student Profile

Global Executive HSM students represent a wide range of professions, including physicians and other health care professionals with management responsibilities, as well as managers and executives in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, information technology, and insurance industries. HSM is also suited for executives from supporting sectors such as consulting, finance and technology, and for individuals seeking to move into the health care field. See some statistics of a typical Global Executive class.


The HSM Certificate is an optional course of study available to Global Executive MBA students. Tuition charges are applied at the time of course registration. To earn the HSM Certificate, Global Executive students must complete: 

  • Six courses including 
    • Four required HSM courses 
    • Two additional health care-specific electives 

Students take HSM courses either in person or via the distance learning platform along with students from the Cross Continent, Weekend Executive, and HSM Alumni Certificate programs. Residency at Duke's campus in Durham, North Carolina, is required for students taking courses during Term 6. Students have some flexibility to customize and schedule their HSM courses but must begin at least one HSM course while still enrolled in the MBA program. The Fundamentals of HSM: A Global Perspective course must be taken during the Global Executive program.

Course Requirements


Course Credit

Fundamentals of HSM: A Global Perspective


Health Care Markets


Health Institutions, Systems, and Policy

HSM Project Course


2 HSM Electives

6 (3 credits per class)

*HSM course charges will apply. HSM tuition is charged at the time of course registration, and the fees cannot be covered by federal student loans.


Course Descriptions 

Required Courses

Fundamentals of Health Sector Management: A Global Perspective 
This multi-term online course provides an overview of the global health sector, addresses current business and policy challenges, and creates a common discourse and understanding of health sector management within and across Fuqua's executive MBA programs.

Health Care Markets
This course applies the tools of economics and strategy to challenges and opportunities faced by product manufacturers, insurers, health care providers, and hospitals.

Health Institutions, Systems and Policy
This week-long course provides a detailed overview of the health care system's segments and stakeholders, analyzes the industry's evolution, and addresses likely changes within the sector during the next century. Daytime, Cross Continent, Weekend Executive and Global Executive MBA students may take this course together. 

HSM Project Course
During this independent study, students apply core business skills to an in-depth analysis of health care topics by developing actionable recommendations for their current organization(s) and/or exploring opportunities for organizations that might offer career options.  

Electives - Two HSM Elective Courses are required
Students take one or two from Set 1 and zero or one from Set 2.


Set 1:  HSM Industry Context Electives (take one or two)
Students must take one of the Industry-Context electives below.  Both will be offered in the term 6 elective session.  If students choose to take both electives, the second will fulfill the HSM Breadth Elective requirement.

Provider Strategy (HLTHMGMT 714E)
This course focuses on organizational innovation, specifically strategies and tactics for provider networks to successfully manage resource constraints as well as insurance and reimbursement issues in order to deliver quality, ethical, and cost-effective care.

Life Science Product Strategy (HLTHMGMT 718E)
We will examine product strategy in the biotech, device, and pharmaceutical industries.  We will consider the perspectives of large incumbents, entrepreneurial start-ups, and companies in between.  Life science product companies face new challenges and opportunities in a business environment characterized by rapid growth in emerging markets, but increasing regulatory oversight and reimbursement challenges in the developed markets.  Our objective is to help you acquire the skill set you need to work and thrive in the industry.  To succeed in an increasingly dynamic and complex world, industry professionals need a deep understanding of corporate strategy, regulatory and reimbursement trends, financing options, product development and innovation management, manufacturing supply chain and customer needs.

Set 2:  HSM Breadth Electives (take zero or one)
A student who chooses only one elective from Set 1 can fulfill the remaining HSM elective requirement with one of the courses listed below.  Note that only a subset of courses below will be offered in any specific EMBA elective term.

DECISION 613E - Strategic Modeling & Business Dynamics

FINANCE 646E - Corporate Finance

FUQINTRD 898E - Irrational Choices Unconscious Decisions & Market Failures

HLTHMGMT 716 - Health Policy and Management (taught concurrent with HLTHMGMT 716 in Daytime)

MANAGEMT 745E - Negotiation

MGRECON 784C - Game Theory for Strategic Advantage

MARKETNG 802E - Marketing of Innovations

MARKETNG 796E - Market Intelligence

MARKETNG 808E - Strategy and Tactics of Pricing

OPERATNS 824E - Service Operations Management

STRATEGY 840E - Dynamic Strategy in Global Environments

STRATEGY 838E - Entrepreneurial Strategy for Innovation-Based Ventures

Management of Health Systems and Policy (HLTHMGMT 716)
Students travel to Washington, D.C., to visit federal institutions, advocacy groups, and non-governmental organizations critical to the development of health policy and technology and the delivery of health care services. Enrollment is limited and determined by lottery selection.


Health Sector Management (HSM) students will be able to actively collaborate and innovate in the global health care arena through industry conferences, company practicums, alumni activities, and studies abroad. These HSM initiatives offer students a variety of opportunities to engage with peers, leading health care professionals, and potential employers. 

Student, Peer & Industry Networking

Cross-Border Networking

  • Global Executive students often take HSM courses with students in Fuqua's other MBA programs, who are from around the world, allowing for cross-program and cross-cultural networking 
  • The week-long class, Health Care in the 21st Century, brings current MBA students together with Fuqua alumni who return to Duke to pursue the HSM Alumni Certificate
  • HSM students are invited to attend various HSM and Fuqua alumni activities around the world

Health Care Club

This student-run organization educates its members about career opportunities and industry trends. Through panel discussions and other activities, the club also provides a forum to interact with industry professionals and alumni from prominent health care organizations. The Health Care Club regularly sponsors the Annual Healthcare Conference.  


HSM Events

Health Sector Advisory Council

Formed to provide faculty, students, and staff with the latest outside perspective on health care, the Health Sector Advisory Council meets twice a year to review new trends, emerging technologies, and research-grounded insights. The council is made up of senior health care executives as well as faculty and students across Duke. A select number of HSM students are given the opportunity to attend these meetings through the Health Sector Management office.

Additional Health Industry Events

HSM partners with numerous health care organizations to arrange seminars, meetings, and other events that bring together the top minds in academia and industry. Many of these events involve and/or are open to HSM students. 

Industry-Sponsored Conferences and Meetings

HSM provides some sponsorships and stipends for students to attend local, national, and international health care conferences. These include meetings organized by the:


Global Learning Opportunities

Worldwide Partnerships

Students have access to valuable resources and learning experiences through Duke's many global partnerships, including: