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Experiential Learning

  • Martin Gaynor Giving a Talk at Heinz College
  • A panel discussion at a health care conference
  • A Student Listens to a Lecture
  • A student presents his project at a poster fair
  • Students present to their client following a Capstone Project
  • Students Interact at a Club Fair


From client projects to industry events, practical experience is a cornerstone of your Heinz College education.

Health Care at Heinz

Alexandra Hansen (MSHCPM '13) talks about the Heinz approach to experiential learning and analytical decision-making, and the difference that made for her skills and career.

Effective leaders and managers must know how to deliver on their ideas in a measurable way, clearly communicate with all stakeholders, and understand how their roles and decisions fit into the broader landscape of the field. To achieve these competencies, there is no substitute for meaningful hands-on learning experiences that bridge learned theories and best practices.


  • Experience the one-of-a-kind health care environment of Pittsburgh, which boasts two major health systems—UPMC and Allegheny Health Network—world-class hospitals, skyrocketing investment in new facilities and technologies, and start-up incubators that actively promote entreprenuership. The city is also home to the Pittsburgh Veterans Engineering Resource Center, one of only four VERC centers nationwide.
  • Move beyond the classroom and gain tangible skills through work opportunities both on- and off-campus, including research and teaching assistantships alongside our faculty experts.
  • Solve a real-world problem for a real-world client in your team-based Capstone Project, collaborating with our top industry and government partners.
  • Make meaningful connections through internships and apprenticeships, many of which lead to full-time job offers.
  • Apply your newly earned knowledge from class to immersive activities, workshops, events, and student clubs.

Not only do these opportunities crystallize concepts and strategies learned in coursework, they add highly marketable industry experience to your resume prior to graduation.


Most full-time Heinz College master’s students complete a team-based project, working in close collaboration with a real-world client. These projects fulfill an actual business or operational need for our partners, giving students an opportunity to have a measurable impact while still in school.

Recent MSHCPM Capstone clients include:

  • Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
  • Deloitte
  • Medtronic
  • Veterans Health Administration


Most Heinz College master’s students are required to complete a 10-week, full-time internship during the summer between the first and second years.

Internships present students with the chance to apply what they’ve learned in their first year to real-life situations, gain exposure to their future field, build their resume, and make lasting professional contacts.

Recent internships:

  • Allegheny Health Network
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
  • Cota Healthcare
  • IBM
  • Jewish Healthcare Foundation
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • MITRE Corporation
  • Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse
  • Shadyside Hospital Foundation
  • Univeristy of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)
  • UPMC Enterprises
  • UPMC Health Plan


Each year, MSHCPM students travel to prominent health care conferences including:

  • Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)
  • American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)
  • America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)
  • A student tries virtual reality at a health care conference
  • A picture of the floor of HIMSS, a healthcare conference with over 40,000 participants
  • Students stand in front of a sign reading HIMSS Interoperability Showcase

Heinz in the Field

MSHCPM students have many opportunities to network with and learn from professionals during industry trips and health care conferences


Many classes at Heinz College focus on experiential projects. Courses with a focus on health care projects include:

  • Health Care Quality and Performance Improvement
  • Health Information Systems
  • Health Care Marketing

  • Research Assistantships pair students with faculty and research centers to pursue topics of interest.
  • Teaching Assistantships are available to students in the final two semesters of their program.

U.S. Citizens enrolled in the MSHCPM program can work part-time for organizations in the Pittsburgh region, and work for public and non-profit firms is often eligible for Federal Community Service Work Study. 

See the MSHCPM Student Finances page for more information about work study and fellowship opportunities.


Many Heinz College students complement their education with involvement in immersive student activities and clubs. In some cases these activities are purely recreational or centered on community-building, but in many others they can be direct extensions of, or supplements to, coursework.

Students at Orientation, listening to a speaker