Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning For MSHCPM Students

MSHCPM is a professional degree program. And we believe a professional master’s degree should incorporate practical application of skills as a major component of the graduate school experience. MSHCPM students blend their classroom experience with real world application of their skills, while they are in school by:

  • completing a comprehensive team-based project for an actual client
  • engaging in leading edge research assistantships with our renowned faculty
  • completing the required 10-week full-time internship over the summer
  • working on a part-time basis during the school year

Students can leverage a series of opportunities to optimize their graduate school experience, providing them with a competitive advantage in the job market upon graduation.

During the School Year

There are a variety of on-campus positions for students to pursue.


  • In their final two semesters at Heinz, MSHCPM students can work as Teaching Assistants for courses at Heinz College related to their career goals.

In the Region: U.S. citizens enrolled in the MSHCPM program are able to work part-time (10-12 hours per week) for off-campus organizations while attending school on a full-time basis. Working in the community enables students to put their skills into practice AND have a lasting impact on our community, while enhancing their resume. Eligible US citizens who work for public and non-profit organizations are often eligible to be paid through the Federal Community Service Work Study program.

In the past, MSHCPM students have taken advantage of Jonas Salk Fellowship offered by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. Please see this page for more information on eligibility criteria and application process.

In addition, MSHCPM students have attended conferences and networking events organized by:

  • Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (WPHIMSS)
  • American College of Healthcare Executives of Western PA (ACHE|WP)


Summer Internships

MSHCPM students are required to complete a summer internship between their second and third semesters. Our students have interned in a variety of industries/sectors including consulting, insurance, health care, pharma, hospitals, hi-tech, entrepreneurial, government and non-profit among others. The majority of our students complete their summer internship in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

You can intern in an organization that best matches your area of interest and career goals. Throughout the summer, you'll put into practice skills you acquired in your first year, and you'll also make valuable contacts in the health care community.

You'll benefit from this internship in several ways:

  • Apply the skills learned in your first year of study.
  • Gain experience in your chosen field.
  • Decide, based on experience, whether a particular type of job really fits your career goals.
  • Make important professional contacts.
  • Build your resume.

Capstone/Systems Synthesis Projects

Impacting the region is a top priority for Heinz College. In addition to the part-time work opportunities during the school year and the summer internship, our students use their skills to make a difference through the Capstone or Systems Synthesis Project. In lieu of a traditional master’s thesis, the Heinz College’s full-time master’s degrees require its students to complete a team-based project for an actual client. In many cases, the client organization is based in the region.

This course embraces four educational goals that synthesize the Heinz College experience and apply it to the analysis of complex issues:

  • Develop problem structuring and solving skills;
  • Develop project management, teamwork, and communication skills;
  • Provide a capstone experience that integrates and synthesizes core coursework;
  • Provide a real world organizational experience.