Bioscience and Health Policy

Bioscience and Health Policy
203 Keck Hall

Edward P. Nikonowicz
Faculty Director

Dagmar Beck
PSM Program Director

The professional master's degree in Bioscience and Health Policy creates broad options for science students interested in working in biomedical research, health care professions, health care management, for the government, or in governmental relations positions at non-profit organizations, in industry, and in academic institutions. This interdisciplinary program equips students with advanced bioscience skills; teaches quantitative skills and data analysis; provides students with communication skills enabling them to understand and formulate public policy recommendations; and trains students how to integrate science knowledge into developing informed policies and practices.

The Bioscience and Health Policy program gives students an advanced background in bioscience complemented by courses in business, economics, humanities, and policy studies to foster their understanding of the role of science in policy making and the role of public policy in science. The coursework provides research and study skills enabling development of specific policy recommendations. Students will also receive the tool-set necessary to become knowledgeable in the formulation and execution of public policy. Direct access to the Baker Institute will allow students to work closely with policy scholars as well as meet with many of the leaders in science and technology policy.

The MS in Bioscience and Health Policy (MSBHP) degree is part of the professional science master’s (PSM) program at Rice housed in the Wiess School of Natural Sciences. These master’s degrees are designed for students seeking to gain further scientific core expertise coupled with enhanced management and communication skills. They instill a level of scholastic proficiency that exceeds that of the bachelor’s level, and create the cross-functional aptitudes needed in modern industry and government.

Students receiving the MSBHP degree will be able to enter into governmental positions; work in non-governmental agencies, insurance, medical and pharmaceutical companies; serve as governmental relations officers for companies or universities with a vested science interest; or enter into post-graduate training in health care professions or biosciences.

A coordinated MBA/MSBHP degrees program is also offered in conjunction with the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business.

Bioscience and Health Policy does not currently offer an academic program at the undergraduate level.


Edward P. Nikonowicz

Advising Committee

Janet Braam
Mary Susan Cates
Kathleen Shive Matthews
Kirstin R. W. Matthews
Daniel S. Wagner

For Rice University degree-granting programs:
To view the list of official course offerings, please see Rice’s Course Catalog
To view the most recent semester’s course schedule, please see Rice's Course Schedule

Description and Code Legend

Note: Internally, the university uses the following descriptions, codes, and abbreviations for this academic program. The following is a quick reference: 

Course Catalog/Schedule 

  • Course offerings/subject code: Courses from various subjects may apply towards this program

Department Description and Code

  • Biosciences: BIOS

Graduate Degree Description and Code

  • Master of Science in Bioscience and Health Policy degree: MSBHP

Graduate Degree Program Description and Code

  • Degree Program in Bioscience and Health Policy: BSHP 

CIP Code and Description1

  • BSHP Major/Program: CIP Code/Title: 30.0601 - Systems Science and Theory