Syracuse University


Comparative Health Policy

Program Description

What You Need to Know

At its core, the field of health policy represents the bridge between the "real world" of health as it is and what observers determine it should be. That determination is grounded in the perspective of each individual observer based on his or her particular training, experience, role in the economy and society, and, ultimately, values. With travel to Geneva, Amsterdam, Malaga and Morocco the goal of the course is for students to develop their own individual point of view regarding the role of health policy in contributing to the improvement of the health and well being of populations in the United States and international communities.

Through a variety of learning modalities students will have the opportunity to examine problems in providing adequate access to medical services for everyone, controlling rising healthcare costs, and assuring the provision of good quality health care. Equally important students will also examine the factors beyond the delivery of health services such as the nature of health risks and their prevention, various strategies to promote health education and promotion, organizational and political factors, and social and demographic trends that play a critical role in shaping health policies and how countries provide health care to their populations.

Eligibility and Requirements

Admission to the course will be based on academic qualifications and seriousness of purpose. Applications are especially encouraged from those studying or intending to study medicine, law, health policy, sociology of medicine, health economics, public administration, health communication, nursing, social work, or other related fields. Enrollment will be limited.

Each student must attend the entire course to receive academic credit. Grades will be based on intensity of participation, a short paper written during the course, and a longer research paper completed after the traveling portion of the course.

In order to apply to this program, please complete the online application:

Travel and Living

Intercity air travel in Europe is arranged by SU Abroad and covered in the program fee. Students will arrange and pay for their own flight to Europe. Students should plan on flying into Amsterdam- arriving May 25 and leave from Casablanca Airport, Morocco-departing June 16.

Students are housed in shared rooms in hotels rented by Syracuse University in Amsterdam, Geneva and Malaga. Meals are not included, except for breakfast and some group meals. In Morocco, housing is with host familes. Most meals are included in the program fee for the Morocco part of the trip.


Students are required to take the following course:

Comparative Health Policy
(HTW 400/600, 6 credits, undergraduate or graduate)

This course will use a variety of modalities for students to learn about comparative health policies. Students will visit Geneva, Amsterdam, and Morocco to fully immerse themselves in settings that take different policy approaches to health problems. They will have the opportunity to visit important health care institutions (e.g., the World Health Organization in Geneva) and participate in discussions with health care leaders in each country which will provide first hand insight into health policy making process. Against this stimulating background, assignments and class-wide discussions will be undertaken for course topics that focus directly on different approaches to the delivery of health care and extending beyond to the social and demographic factors that shape the making and implementation of health policies across nations.


Dr. Sandra Lane, Ph.D., M.P.H, is a professor of health and anthropology at Syracuse University and a research professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at SUNY Upstate Medical University. She is one of SU’s Meredith Professors of Teaching Excellence. She received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology from the joint program at the University of California at San Francisco and Berkeley, and an M.P.H. in epidemiology from the University of California at Berkeley. She has been a consultant to the World Health Organization for operational research on tuberculosis, UNFPA and UNICEF for rapid assessment procedures, and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) for qualitative methods in hospital evaluation.


Program begins in Amsterdam:May 25, 2013
Depart for Geneva:June 2, 2013
Depart for Malaga, Spain:June 5, 2013
Depart for Morocco:June 7, 2013
Program ends in Casablanca, Morocco:June 16, 2013
Application Deadline:February 20*

* Applications received after February 20 will be considered if there is still space in the program.


Tuition$6,222 (estimated rate)
Program Fee$3,500
GRADUATE (6 credits)
Tuition$7,764 (estimated rate)
Program Fee$3,500
Total $11,264

Please note: All costs are estimated and subject to change.

Additional Financial Information: We estimate that students should budget accordingly for the following expenses:

Books & Supplies: $30
Flight: $1,400
Personal: $500
Meals: $500

These figures are for expenses not covered in the tuition or program fee and are paid out-of-pocket.