MBA and Master's Programs

Public Sector and Healthcare Management Career Track

The Public Sector and Healthcare Management career track is designed for students pursuing a career with the municipal, provincial, or federal government, provincial health bodies, or non-profit organizations.

During the first half of the MBA program, you will build your general knowledge base and develop key business skills. In the second half of the program, your focus will shift towards the public sector where you will analyze key issues in public policy development, implementation and management, and will hone your critical thinking abilities related to public health practices.

Public Sector and Healthcare Management Career Track Courses

  • SMO 633: Managing Organizational Change

    This course examines organization change, e.g. how organizations make transitions from one state to another. There is also a focus on understanding how management goes about changing corporate culture, organization structure and management systems.

  • SMO 639: Public Policy

    Emphasizes a systematic and comprehensive approach to the study of developing and implementing public policy within the context of Canadian society. This course explores both the decision-making process, and such factors as the separation of powers between levels of government, electoral politics, interest groups, media and government bureaucracy as they influence the making of public policy.

  • SMO 643: Strategic Management in the Public Sector

    Strategic management in the public sector comprises defining public value, building consensus and support, making decisions, deploying organizational capacity to implement, and managing performance to achieve the desired mission and goals. It addresses the unique complexities, ambiguities and messiness of strategic management in the public sector.

  • SMO 644: Public Sector Leadership

    Nearly all research on leadership has focused on the private sector. This course will concentrate on the unique features of leadership in the public and non-profit sectors. The course will examine the senior management structures in the different orders of government, but the focus will be transformative leadership in areas of current policy interest including examples from he environment, health, education, and social services.

  • OM 686: Operations Management in Healthcare

    This course is focused on operations management approaches towards the innovative and efficient delivery of services within the Healthcare sector and in public organizations.

Complimentary Courses

  • SPH 580: Management and Design of Health Care Organizations

    The purpose of this course is to prepare students to become effective managers and leaders in the health service organizations and healthcare systems. It facilitates this objective by providing a foundation for the acquisition of the knowledge of the managerial process through an analysis and understanding of the psychological, sociological and political basis of complex social systems, as well as providing a basis for acquiring conceptual and practical skills in the effective management and design of health service organizations and healthcare networks.

  • SPH 582: Human Resources in Public Health

    Develops a basic understanding of human resource trends and issues in public health organizations. Examines topics such as strategic health human resources; organizational effectiveness; healthy work environments; workplace culture; legal and policy frameworks; human resources planning and recruitment; selection, orientation, training, mentoring and career development; performance management and discipline; compensation and benefits; labour relations and collective bargaining; regulated health professionals; and other health human resources policy issues and challenges.

  • SPH 601: Comparative Health Systems

    The course will provide a comparative analysis of models and practices across six countries that have universal health systems with some reference to selected other countries where innovative models exist. The first half of the course will focus on the foundations of health systems (Organization, Governance and Financing; Economics, Public/Private Models and System Performance; Human Resource Management and Demand/Utilization Management) to provide a grounding to understand the differentiating features of the six health systems. The second half will explore three themes of contemporary interest to the Canadian health system. These thematic areas will be primary health care, pharmaceutical policy and public health strategies.

  • BUEC 678: Managing Business-Government Relations in Canada

    The role of business in the public policy process: How business organizations influence public policy and its administration, and how public policies affect business. Processes of change are of particular interest. Attention is placed on the motivation, behaviour patterns, and the dynamics of the interaction of different stakeholder groups, policymakers, and managers responsible for the implementation of public policies. Develops a framework for an analysis of the effectiveness and efficiency of different fiscal, regulatory, and promotional policies; consideration is given to the impact of technological, economic, and social change on policy choice in the long run.

  • SMO 686: Managing the Board / CEO Relationship

    This course focuses on the current legal framework that defines the fiduciary responsibilities of Directors and Presidents/CEOs. It does so by reviewing the current academic literature and popular business press and a variety of cases that highlight the good the bad and the truly ugly. There will be two “live” cases involving Board Chairs and Presidents/CEO that focus on actual challenges in governance that have or may face. Certain topics will include board chairs and President/CEOs who can relate their own experiences. The course will highlight the reality facing boards and Presidents/CEOs concerning risk management including reputation risk, shareholder activism, human resource issues including succession planning, and “tone at the top.” While the focus is on publicly traded companies, the discussion will touch upon not-for-profits, crown agencies, boards and commissions and family-owned entities.

Career Paths

While the specific roles may vary, students pursuing this career track are well prepared for entering or continuing their career in the public sector or healthcare industries.

Recent Positions

Many UAlberta MBA grads find employment across Canada and internationally. Some firms and organizations that have employed our students include:

  • City of Edmonton
  • Government of Alberta
  • Government of Canada
  • Alberta Health Services
  • United Nations

Experiential Learning


Frontiers of Business

Student Clubs

Net Impact

Case Competitions

SFU Net Impact Sustainability Challenge

Warwick Business School Case Challenge