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#2021APPAM Spotlight: Brandeis University - The Heller School for Social Policy and Management


The #2021APPAM Fall Research Conference will feature some fantastic sponsors from across the policy research spectrum. Today we're shining a spotlight on Brandeis University - The Heller School for Social Policy and Management. 


What types of programs does your school offer?

The Heller School offers the PhD in Social Policy, Master of Public Policy, Social Impact MBA, Executive MBA for Physicians, Master of Science in Global Health Policy and Management, Master of Arts in Sustainable International Development, and Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence.

What would you list as your school's greatest accomplishments in the last 5-10 years?

  • Heller has consistently ranked in the top 10 graduate schools in social policy by U.S. News & World Report for the last ten years.
  • In 2021 the Institute for Economic and Racial Equity received a $1m gift to establish a Racial Justice x Tech Policy Initiative.
  • In 2017 Heller hired its first Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity and also founded the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative, part of our Schneider Institutes for Health Policy.
  • In 2016 Heller established a new Executive MBA for Physicians program.

Why should potential students choose your school or program?

The Heller School is a top-ten ranked school of social policy with a commitment to social justice and rigorous research. Our community includes world-renowned faculty and researchers as well as a diverse community of students from around the U.S. and around the globe. At Heller, students develop the skills needed to understand root causes of systemic issues and develop solutions and strategies that disrupt the status quo and lead to lasting change for vulnerable populations.

If you are hiring, what makes your school a great place to work?

At Heller, there is a strong commitment to our motto: Knowledge Advancing Social Justice. It permeates all that we do, and every staff and faculty member takes those words sincerely to heart. Beyond the school's mission, Heller also has a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration and a meaningful focus on spanning boundaries to promote cross-department and cross-school partnerships and projects. In all aspects of our work, Heller is deeply committed to instilling principles of diversity, equity and inclusion not just in our research and scholarship, but in our institutional structures, policies and priorities. We seek to be a place where all community members can not only belong, but thrive.

What is your teaching/research divide?

Heller has 7 graduate programs (6 master's and 1 PhD), and 10 highly active research centers and institutes that focus on a variety of social policy areas ranging from disability policy to health policy to racial and economic equity. The academic and research "sides" of Heller are actually highly integrated: most of our program faculty also conduct grant-funded research, and many of our institute researchers also teach. In our MBA, MPP and PhD programs, each concentration is closely tied to a research center/institute, providing an active policy research "home" for students who are gaining skills and knowledge in specific content areas.

What is your undergraduate/graduate divide?

The Heller school is a graduate school.

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