Healthcare at Kellogg

Master the business of healthcare

The program for Healthcare at Kellogg is built on the reality that U.S. healthcare is fundamentally a business. Rising leaders in healthcare must be excellent general managers, who also:
  • Know how healthcare markets, institutions, offerings and policy interact
  • Understand divergent responsibilities of providers, product manufacturers and insurers
  • Identify the regulatory, cultural, and moral dimensions of the industry
  • Capture healthcare opportunities and overcome challenges at the public-private intersection

HCAK ties theory and practice to go well beyond academic learning. The program's courses and experiential-learning platform emphasize the public-private nature of healthcare today.

Craig Garthwaite
Faculty Director, HCAK
Julie Gertz
Program Development Manager

The Kellogg approach to healthcare

Students who choose the HCAK pathway benefit from the school’s extensive resources for top managers along with healthcare-specific offerings. No matter their previous experience, students leave the HCAK pathway as effective leaders who are able to make productive decisions in this critical sector.


Foundational courses integrate fundamental managerial disciplines with deep exposure to the industries that comprise the healthcare sector.


Advanced courses apply foundational concepts to specific problems facing managers in the life-sciences and payer-provider sectors.


As a capstone to the pathway, HCAK students hone their skills through an experiential course or fieldwork.

View our academic pathway

The Healthcare at Kellogg (HCAK) pathway prepares students for the unique challenges and opportunities in the healthcare sector. Foundational HCAK offerings integrate fundamental managerial disciplines (e.g., economics, strategy) with deep exposure to the industries comprising the healthcare sector, while advanced courses apply these concepts to the specific problems facing managers in the life sciences and payer/provider sectors. As a capstone to the pathway, HCAK students may test and hone their skills through an experiential or field course.

Faculty sponsors: Craig Garthwaite (Strategy)

Healthcare at Kellogg (HCAK)

1 | Foundational

Healthcare Strategy
STRT 443

Health Economics
STRT 444
These courses expose students to a set of fundamental issues facing health enterprises in the healthcare sector (both life sciences and payer/provider segments). We recommend students take at least one of these courses. They are designed to have limited overlap and many students choose to take more than one.

2 | Depth

Life Sciences / Products Track

These courses prepare students for the strategic and managerial challenges unique to life sciences companies.

Critical Issues in the Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Medical Device Industries
HEMA 453

Biomedical Marketing
HEMA 470

Pharmaceutical Strategy
HEMA 931-5

Intellectual Capital Management*
STRT 441
*Recommended that students complete the healthcare option for final project

Payer / Provider Track

These courses address foundational and topical issues in healthcare services.

Service Operations
OPNS 482

Health Care Quality
HEMA 922-5

Population Health
HEMA 924-5

Strategy and Execution for a Successful Healthcare Delivery System
HEMA 935-5

Health Analytics
HEMA 940-5

3 | Experiential / Field

Medical Product Early Stage Commercialization
KIEI 911

Medical Technologies in Developing Countries
KPPI 973-5
NUVention Medical Innovation I
HEMA 915

NUVention Medical Innovation II
HEMA 916

These courses offer an opportunity to apply and hone by "going deep" in a particular field project.

Last edited May 8, 2018. For any questions regarding this page, please email

Faculty Insights

Craig Garthwaite

The Walmart-Humana merger creates incentive for healthier patients. Professor Craig Garthwaite gives his take on Walmart eyeing Humana as a potential acquisition target. (CNBC)

Amanda Starc

Chicago-area health systems are joining forces in an effort to improve patient care and lower industry costs. However, according to research and real-life examples this is not always good for consumers’ care and costs. Professor Amanda Starc shares insights. (Chicago Tribune)

Christopher Ody

Coupons that cause consumers to switch away from a generic drug, with an overall lower cost, to a brand-name drug may be playing a role in raising drug spending and premiums for others. Professor Christopher Ody's cowritten study provides insights. (The New York Times)

Kellogg Insight

New research shows privatizing Medicaid drug benefits reduces spending, without the decrease in quality of care. Our Kellogg faculty discuss how a shift in benefits may provide relief, among other insights. (Kellogg Insight)


Continuing problem of health-care consolidation is leading to higher costs for patients (The Hill)

This article quotes Professor David Dranove in exploring how less competitive healthcare markets – dominated by large hospital systems – correlate to higher healthcare costs and higher insurance premiums.

Why a study on opioids ignited a Twitter firestorm (The Atlantic)

Featuring Professor Craig Garthwaite, this article focuses on the Twitter firestorm created by a study on overdose-reversal drugs, the means by which such a study is conducted and its potential shortcomings.

Health insurer Cigna to pay $67 billion for Express Scripts (NPR)

This article features Professor Craig Garthwaite discussing the potential Cigna acquisition of Express Scripts. He says the acquisition could be good for customers in healthcare because the interests of the companies that pay for medications will be aligned with the ones who pay the doctor and hospital bills.

UnitedHealthcare will hand some consumers more money for drug prices (Washington Post)

Professor Craig Garthwaite shares his thoughts on the exorbitant bills sick people face.

A closer look at Trump’s proposed Medicare, Medicaid cuts (WTTW Chicago)

Professor Amanda Starc visits Chicago Tonight to discuss the potential implications of Medicaid cuts.

B-school bulletin (Poets&Quants)

This article highlights the NEST project, of which Professor Kara Palamountain is a member, and how the project recently won $15 million from the MacArthur Foundation to minimize preventable newborn deaths in Africa.

Student experience

The HCAK pathway goes well beyond the classroom with cocurricular, professional, mentorship and academic opportunities.

Cocurricular opportunities

The Healthcare Club delivers a diverse platform of opportunities and activities for Kellogg students to gain awareness, develop relevant skills and build successful careers in the healthcare industry.

The annual Business of Healthcare conference offers opportunities for professionals, academics, students and alumni to explore challenging healthcare issues and to network with professionals who share their interests.

Job placements

The list of companies that have made job offers to our students showcases the strong demand for Kellogg talent.

Visiting executive program

For nearly three decades, Kellogg has offered a healthcare mentorship program to its students. The purpose of this program is to provide them with the opportunity to discuss any topic of mutual interest with a locally based, nationally recognized healthcare executive.


Students interested in the HCAK program are eligible for renewable tuition scholarships. There is no formal process for applying for a scholarship. Students applying to Kellogg should indicate on their application that they are interested in the HCAK program by checking the appropriate box. Scholarships are renewable for the second year of MBA study conditioned on demonstrating ongoing interest in healthcare.


Through the Kellogg Public-Private Initiative, HCAK offers dynamic learning opportunities outside the classroom.
  • MacEachern Symposium – Founded in 1943 by Dr. Malcolm T. MacEachern, this annual event convenes industry experts who offer insights on how major trends in healthcare will reshape the competitive landscape.
  • Biotech and Healthcare Case competition – One of the oldest and best known healthcare competitions, this annual event hosts student teams from around the world to tackle complex healthcare questions beyond a class setting.
  • Business of Healthcare conference – This annual forum offers opportunity for professionals, academics, students and alumni to explore challenging healthcare issues and to network with professionals who share their interests.
  • Healthcare at Kellogg series – Kellogg faculty provide an overview of the healthcare industry through this quarterly bootcamp series of lectures.
  • Faculty/student lunch-and-learns – Academic and industry experts join students on campus to discuss significant business issues or cases in an informal class setting.


Kellogg maximizes opportunities in healthcare by teaming up with companies and organizations from a broad range of industries. Groups interested in partnering with Kellogg, seeking project support or recruiting students or alumni, have a number of ways to get involved. Visit Kellogg Corporate Partnerships to learn more, or explore our opportunities below.

Sponsor a project

Empower students to apply management skills to help your business or nonprofit with a current need.

Recruit Kellogg talent

Kellogg's Career Management Center works closely with companies to recruit talent from across the Kellogg network.

Engage student clubs

Clubs are invaluable to the student experience, with opportunities throughout the year to strengthen industry networks.