HSM - Weekend Executive

Health Sector Management

The Health Sector Management (HSM) Certificate is an optional program for Weekend Executive MBA students. Some HSM coursework is offered in conjunction with the MBA coursework, and follows the Weekend Executive format with courses offered during residencies and online. Three HSM classes (including one elective) must be taken before the Weekend Executive graduation. Students have up to two years to finish any HSM requirements that are not completed by graduation.


Program Format

Muhammad PateAlumni Profile

Overcoming Polio, Health Disparities in Nigeria: Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate (Weekend Executive MBA & HSM ’06) is helping Nigeria to wipe out polio and improve primary healthcare.


The Health Sector Management (HSM) Certificate:

  • Allows professionals to acquire a Duke MBA with a health care focus in 22 months while continuing to work full time.
  • 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

Like MBA classes, HSM classes meet on alternating Fridays and Saturdays on Duke's campus in Durham, North Carolina. The HSM curriculum provides students with the flexibility to combine their focus on health care with other areas of interest within the MBA program. HSM students also have opportunities to interact with their peers in the Daytime, Cross Continent, and Global Executive MBA programs, as well as with Fuqua alumni returning to pursue the HSM Alumni Certificate.

Student Profile

Students represent a wide range of professions, including physicians and other health care professionals with management responsibilities. Also represented are 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 change careers and enter the health care field. Applicants typically:

  • Have minimum of five years of professional experience
  • Hold a management position
  • Have progressed steadily in their careers, assuming increasing levels of responsibility

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

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

Students take HSM courses in person, during the weekend MBA residencies. During some residencies, classes are taken with students from the Global Executive, Cross Continent, and HSM Alumni Certificate programs. Students have some flexibility to customize and schedule their HSM courses but three HSM courses must be taken while students are still enrolled in the Weekend Executive MBA program: 

  • Fundamentals of Health Sector Management: A Global Perspective
  • Health Care Markets (taken in Term 6)
  • One HSM elective course (taken in Term 6)

Residency at Duke's campus in Durham, North Carolina, is required for students taking courses during Term 6 (the elective term). Students have the option of completing the remaining courses required for the HSM Certificate within two years of graduation.

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 HSM: A Global Perspective
This multi-term virtual 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  

Networking Opportunities

  • Duke's location close to Research Triangle Park offers numerous opportunities to engage with industry leaders. Duke-sponsored industry events provide additional opportunities to interact with health care experts.
  • Weekend Executive and other HSM students enrolled in different MBA programs take many of the same HSM courses together, either onsite at Duke or via distance-learning.
  • The weeklong Health Care in the 21st Century class brings together Daytime students with Cross Continent, Weekend Executive, and Global Executive MBA students, as well as alumni who return to Duke to pursue the HSM Alumni Certificate.
  • Enrolled HSM students are invited to HSM and Fuqua alumni activities worldwide.

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: