HCMP Honors Program

The Health Care Management & Policy Honors Program is designed to recognize students of Health Care Management & Policy with a proven record of achievement and to give them the opportunity to deepen their analytical skills.  Students in the Honors Program will work under the guidance of a faculty member to analyze an issue of importance to contemporary health policy or management.


Students with a 3.5 overall GPA at the end of their junior year may apply for entry into the Health Care Management & Policy Honors Program.  Application requires submitting a proposal for an honors thesis to the HCMP Honors Program Committee indicating the approval of a faculty advisor of the student’s choosing who is willing to supervise the honors thesis.

  • The proposal must delineate the question to be researched and summarize how the question will be addressed in the student’s research.
  • The proposal must also indicate any coursework that will be addressed in the student’s research. 
  • The proposal must also indicate any coursework that will be required during the senior year to complete the honor’s thesis. For policy track students, this will be, at minimum, Analytical Tools for Health Policy Evaluation (HESY-472).  Management track students should identify comparable coursework appropriate for their thesis topics. 
  • The proposal should not exceed eight pages. A panel of faculty will review the proposal and recommend whether or not the student can be admitted to the Honors Program. 
  • Proposals must be submitted by the last day of classes of the student’s junior year, and finalized by May 31 of that year.

Requirements for Successful Completion of the Honors Program

Graduating with Honors in Health Care Management & Policy requires completion of all the requirements for the Health Care Management & Policy major and completion of an honors thesis (HESY-313, 0 credits). A thesis submitted to fulfill the requirements for Health Care Management & Policy must be approved by the student’s honors thesis advisor, who will judge the thesis in terms of whether it:

1. Clearly articulates a research question or health policy or management issue,

2. Uses appropriate methods to answer the question,

3. Provides a rigorous and comprehensive analysis of the issue, and

4. Discusses the significance of the thesis findings for policy and/or practice. 

Students must present their research at the Georgetown University Undergraduate Research Conference and orally defend it before the Honors Program Committee.

Students may enroll in Honors Research I (HESY-311, Fall) and Honors Research II (HESY-312, Spring) for up to two credits per semester to conduct independent research for their thesis.

Thesis Requirements (HESY-313, 0 credit)

An HCMP honors thesis must be a thorough analysis of an important issue in contemporary public policy or management related to health or health care.

Theses may use quantitative, qualitative, ethical, or other analytical approaches appropriative to the topic.  Methods will differ depending on the research question, but a successful thesis will always consist of a rigorous application of the appropriate method. Theses will vary in length, but must be appropriate to answer the student’s research fully.

HESY-311 Honors Research I (Fall) and HESY-312 Honors Research II (Spring)

The honors research tutorial is available for all students participating in Health Care Management & Policy honors research. This course will provide students additional support as they conduct analysis and write their honors theses.

  • Students will receive guidance, feedback, and support from their thesis advisor during periodic mentoring sessions.
  • Students may also meet as a seminar to receive peer critiques and from the course instructor. 
  • Students will present their research before a panel of faculty at the end of the semester.

Credits:  Up to 2 credits each semester for a total of 4 credits

Prerequisite: Acceptance of the thesis proposal, which must be s submitted by the last day of classes of the student’s junior year, and finalized by May 31 of that year.

Course Objectives:  Upon completion of this course, a student will be able to:

  • Develop a research question and analysis plan.
  • Conduct a sophisticated analysis of an important contemporary issue of health policy or management by applying appropriate analysis to his or her research question.
  • Produce written scholarship of high quality.
  • Clearly communicate and support his or her analytical approach and communication orally and in response to verbal question and critique.

Approved April 7, 2015