Healthcare Performance Improvement Program at USC

The Master of Science in Health Systems Management Engineering prepares students for leadership positions in the healthcare industry. Hospitals and the healthcare system are in desperate need of redesign from a cost, quality and productivity standpoint. Employers are seeking the skills offered in this degree.

Courses are from the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. This degree is for students with a background in sciences, engineering, or applied social science. They will graduate with the skills to be agents of change and provide training for a more efficient future of healthcare systems management. The degree leads to increasing technical or management responsibilities in health care organizations, particularly hospitals, and consulting. Scholarships are available for this course.

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How to Apply

Find out more about the program and application requirements from USC Viterbi Admission and Student Engagement, apply now or contact the Program Director David Belson. Application deadline for semester starting January 2022: October 15, 2021.

Career Opportunities


Hospitals are seeking people who can improve their operations. By making a meaningful difference. In this critical time, you can help create a better healthcare system. High costs and poor quality have the public’s attention. Employers want people to lead changes and teach others the current tools.

Graduates can expect a successful career in this world’s largest industry. Our unique degree program combines instructors from USC's leading engineering, policy, and medical schools with a chance for hands on experiences with the best possible teachers.

Some examples of the types of careers graduates pursue include:

  • VP of Operations
  • Performance Improvement Consultant
  • Director of Quality
  • Start up owner of healthcare service company
  • Manager of County Mental Health Program
All students will have, from the start of their program, an opportunity to intern with a hospital in their area. Although not required, they can learn with the hospital about performance improvement during their degree program.

Employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups.”

- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 9/1/2020


Auroop Roy

Auroop Roy, MS HSME
Vice President, Cope Health Solutions

"The HSME Degree from USC has been the single greatest catalyst to my career in healthcare. The dual focus of engineering and health administration has given me a unique perspective and complement of tools necessary to support the transformation of the healthcare delivery system towards one that is grounded in the triple aim."

Youngjae Kim

Youngjae Kim, MS HSME
Director, Performance Improvement, Center of Excellence, Providence St. Joseph Health

"At USC, I learned how to optimize complex processes, systems and organizations in health care to best serve others in need. This program solidified my interest in working at the intersection of healthcare and industrial engineering, and has provided continuous opportunities to collaborate with world class faculty. USC equipped me with skill sets to be recognized by top organizations, and flourish as a leader in healthcare administration."

Beril Behruz

Beril Behruz, MS HSME
Health Systems Management Engineer / COO
Millennium Group, Medical device and biologics distributor

"My MS HSME degree was a great curriculum, a great program overall. It helped me focus on the Health Care Industry applications, I can say it opened up my horizon as to what the issues are and how can an IE/SE point of view can make a difference. The fusion between IE classes that focus on Health Care related issues and Policy Planning classes that shines a light into so many different constraints/opportunities really helped me understand how the industry suffers in so many aspects whereas in a private business, say like manufacturing, the plant operations are not that heavily regulated, thus can improve more rapidly and efficiently."

Fabricio Bermeo

Fabricio Bermeo, MS HSME
Managerial Consultant at Kaiser Permanente

"The experience and education that I received through the Master of Health Systems Management Engineering at USC helped me become a more conscientious leader. From my experience, the approaches, tools, and techniques learned in the program makes it possible for one to be dropped into virtually any healthcare environment and be able to serve and provide value within a relatively short period of time."


Topics that the program will cover include:

  • Historical development of the American health care system; determinants of health care utilization; role of health care providers; health policy; public health services; and health care finance.
  • Quality assessment at different levels of the health care system including health plans, physicians, hospital and integrated system performance.
  • Electronic medical records, use of health statistics; health indicators; confidentiality, security, privacy.
  • Improvement methods such as Lean and Six Sigma, use of analytic and technology to improve operations.
  • A capstone course in which students work with a hospital on a project to improve operations.

The MS HSME exists at the intersection of engineering systems, clinical environment and hospital management.

Some of our Instructors

Sue KimSue Kim, Assistant Professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine

Researcher in topics such as assessing the role of health insurance coverage on patterns of health care utilization among childhood cancer survivors.

Shinyi WuShinyi Wu, Associate Professor of Social Work and Industrial and Systems Engineering

Researcher in technology to provide care for chronic disease and for aging populations.

David Belson

David Belson, Program Director, Lecturer in Industrial and Systems Engineering

Experienced in healthcare performance improvement. Trainer for the State of California and the California Hospital Association as well as projects at the VA and over 50 hospitals.

Ali NowrooziAli Nowroozi, Lecturer of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Extensive experience in higher education teaching in strategic planning and project management. Expert in project management methods.

Message from the Program Director

The USC Master of Science in Health Systems Management Engineering uniquely blends management, clinical and engineering disciplines into a single degree. We asked hospital executives who they want to hire - which is the rigor we have in our long established schools at USC.

We have many decades of online teaching and a vast number of alumni in the healthcare industry. I’ve worked for over 20 years solely with hospitals of 5 beds and 500 beds, with private and government hospitals, in research and in healthcare business development. It seemed to me that we must combine healthcare systems knowledge, improvement tools and hands-on industry experiences to produce the best qualified graduates. This degree does just that.

- David Belson, Program Director

Sample Study Plan

The degree can be completed in 1 or 2 years. A study plan might be:

Semester One

ISE 508 Health Care Operations Improvement

PM 508 Health Service Delivery in the U.S.

PM 504 Quality in Health Care

ISE 515 Engineering Project Management

Semester Two

PPD 511 Health Information Systems

ISE 500 Statistics for Engineering Managers

ISE 505: Modeling for Health Policy and Medical Decision Making

Semester Three

PPD 515: Strategic Management of Health Organizations

PPD 510b: Financial Management of Health Services

ISE 509 Practicum in Health Care Systems

Seminar Series

Summer 2021: Learning from the Pandemic to Improve Healthcare

Watch the Seminar Videos