Program Director Welcome
The MS Health and Biopharmaceutical Economics program is not accepting applications at this time. Various health economics options are available through our MS program in Economics.
Welcome to Lehigh University’s Health and Bio-Pharmaceutical Economics program!
The M.S. in Health & Bio-Pharmaceutical Economics (HBPE) is an unusual professional masters program designed to give students with a background in life sciences a thorough introduction to economic analysis of health care. Students from our program are able to use both their knowledge of life sciences and their training in economic analysis to perform outcomes assessments and cost effectiveness studies in pharmaceutical companies and other health businesses.
“Quantifying the economic and humanistic value of a pharmaceutical product to the patients who take them as well as to the organizations that pay for them requires a sophisticated, real-world melding of medical science and economics that this program is designed to accomplish.”
Robert M. DeMarinis
Most of our graduates are interested in working in these types of firms: some have used their degree to join research teams, while others do technically-oriented marketing, or work in regulatory affairs. Some of our graduates have chosen instead to pursue PHDs, or to go to medical school.
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:
How long does the program take? The program is designed so that full-time students begin in the fall semester and complete their degree in 12 months. Part-time study is possible.
Do I need to take the GMAT? Prospective students may submit scores from GMAT, GRE, MCAT or DAT examinations.
What are the pre-requisites? A prospective student should have:
*A strong background in the life sciences—biology, pre-med, microbiology, biological engineering, neuroscience, chemistry, or a clinical degree
*At least two calculus courses, a course in statistics, and principles and intermediate or managerial microeconomics
What if I do not have all the prerequisite courses? Generally, students are not allowed to register for the fall Core courses unless they have met the course prerequisites. We find that most students have taken these courses during their career, with the exception of intermediate microeconomics. Students may take intermediate economics, managerial economics, or applied microeconomics, during the summer before entering the program at a school of their choice that is also acceptable to the HBPE advisor. Applied microeconomics (Eco 146) is also available over at Lehigh University: online in the first summer session and on campus in the second summer session.
What type of students is Lehigh looking for? To date, students have ranged from undergraduates that have just completed their BS to medical professionals and researchers. The goal of the program is to offer individuals with a strong science, premed or bioengineering background the skills needed for pharmaco-economic studies, and for strategic marketing research in health-related industries.
What types of careers does the program prepare me for? Graduates with stronger training in the life sciences may become involved in the medical research or clinical trials carried out by pharmaceutical firms and medical device firms. Those who are more interested in the business side of these firms may work in pricing, marketing, strategic analyses, or regulatory affairs. The program also provides an excellent foundation for jobs in the government regulation of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, or in related non-government organizations.
Do graduates of the program get jobs? Most of our graduates that have not pursued further education have found employment, principally in pharmaceutical firms.
Do any students go on to medical school? Some of our graduates do go on to medical school rather than pursuing a career in outcomes assessment.
Which schools offer programs that are competitors to Lehigh’s HBPE program? Our program is very rare. The closest substitutes are minors or concentrations in pharmaco-economics offered to students in pharmacy schools or schools of public health. Our program presumes students have a strong science background, and concentrates on giving them a matching strength in economic analysis.
If you are interested in learning tools that will allow you to combine scientific with economic analysis for careers in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and health policy, then we invite you to contact us.
Mary E. Deily
Professor of Economics
Director, Health and Bio-Pharmaceutical MS Program