- Annual Enrollment:
- 509 (Total school)
- Work experience:
- 5 years
- % International:
- 45% incoming class
- Employment sectors:
- Public, Private, Nonprofit
- Info here
- Degrees offered:
- MA in Sustainable International Development; MS in International Health Policy and Management; MA in Coexistence and Conflict; MBA in Nonprofit Management; Master of Public Policy; PhD in Social Policy
Through the graduate education of students, pursuit of applied interdisciplinary research and active public engagement, the Heller School constantly examines policies and programs that respond to the changing needs of vulnerable individuals and groups in our society.
As a graduate school and research institution, the Heller School has pioneered in a variety of policy areas, including health; mental health; substance abuse; children, youth, and families; aging; international and community development; developmental disabilities; philanthropy; and work and inequalities.
The faculty, students and staff of the Heller School are culturally and professionally diverse with broadly varied academic and organizational backgrounds. The school provides a setting where students who are experienced practitioners are exposed to innovative ideas, and those with less experience are prepared to enter the field.
The Heller School's vision is focused and clear, believing in the power of knowledge advancing social justice.
Ranked in the "Top 10 Schools of Social Policy" by U.S. News & World Report, the Heller School gives you access to leading policy analysts and research institutes.
At Heller, you’ll develop:
- a deep understanding of the root causes of society’s most pressing issues
- the capacity to analyze and design effective solutions
- the management skills to put your ideas into practice
No matter which cause you're most committed to — ending poverty, improving health policy, protecting the environment, spurring community development, resolving a conflict or protecting the rights of women, children and minorities — you'll develop the broad knowledge and focused skills to better serve the communities you care deeply about and have a positive impact on society.
We invite you to read our stories to learn more about the Heller community and our robust degree programs. We’re confident that the more you know about us, the more convinced you’ll be that Heller is the ideal place to launch a successful career in social change.
To receive information directly from the Admissions Department, click here.
Allyala Krishna Nandakumar is a Professor, Director of the Ph.D. Program in Social Policy, and Director of the Institute for Global Health and Development at The Heller School.
We are living in a time of extraordinary and rapid change in global economic environments. Many of the fastest-growing economies are now in Sub-Saharan Africa and countries such as China, India, and Brazil are emerging as economic superpowers. The past decade has seen significant declines in maternal and infant mortality. In spite of these improvements, there still are 3.2 million under-five deaths in Africa and 2.1 million under-five deaths in Asia. The decline in maternal mortality needs to be accelerated, we have to work toward an AIDS-free generation, and the increasing burden of noncommunicable diseases must be tackled. The economic crisis has led to a plateau in donor funding and has shone the spotlight on the need to ensure greater value for money and the need to leverage increased domestic spending to meet country health needs.
At the Heller School, our research and academic programs enable students to be effective in this rapidly changing global environment. Our strong focus on social justice ensures that we keep the needs of the poor and marginalized populations in mind.
Economic transition clearly provides a unique opportunity. Can you elaborate more on this?
It is clear that as countries’ incomes grow, health spending increases. This holds true not just for high-income countries but for countries at all stages of economic development.
Households invest more in the health of their children, as does society in the health of its citizens. The link between investing in health and economic growth is clear, and countries want to leverage this to accelerate growth. Countries are also demonstrating much greater ownership over their health policies and driving the agenda. All of these are welcome trends.
What are some of the specific challenges going forward?
In most low- and middle-income countries, the burden of out-of-pocket health spending remains high, affecting those in the lowest income quintiles the most. Rapid increases in donor funding have led to a “crowding out” effect, with countries moving scarce resources away from health to other sectors. With increased income, there is pressure to invest in high-end technology and away from primary health care. Finally, it will be quite some time before many low-income countries can pay for health care.
What is the way forward?
We are living in exciting times, with the real possibility of leveraging economic growth to accelerate improvements in the health of those living in low- and middle-income countries. To do so will require recalibrating how we work. There has to be greater accountability, be it at the donor or country level; strong advocacy to ensure that countries invest more of their resources in health; increased focus on improving the efficiency of spending; explicit leveraging of the private sector to partner in addressing these problems; mobile technology and innovative financing to support these efforts; and universal health coverage as a construct to ensure equity. Economic transition means that the dynamics will change rapidly, and unless we change how we do business we will have missed out on this unique opportunity.