Applied Learning Projects

The Healthcare MBA faculty are dedicated to ensuring that what our students learn in the classroom can be applied to the workplace. Our students apply their learning through Summer Application Projects and the culminating Capstone Project.

Capstone Project

This six-credit course (4 credits in winter, 2 credits in spring) provides students with valuable consulting experience as they address a real-world business problem posted by their client, a participating healthcare organization in the region.

Students collaborate in teams over a 20-week period, developing their analysis and recommendations to complete the project. The teams then prepare a final report and conduct a presentation to the participating client.

The objectives for the course are to provide students with:

  • A challenging business problem that inspires them to integrated the skills learned in the MBA program.
  • The opportunity to learn and practice teamwork in creative problem solving, research and analysis.
  • An opportunity to practice and demonstrate their executive leadership, as well as verbal and written communication skills.

Students are expected to invest an average of 10-12 hours per week in the project throughout the two terms. Teams usually consist of 4-5 students. The capstone course is the final project before graduation. Throughout the terms prior to the capstone project, students complete courses in leadership, accounting, finance, economics, marketing, operations management, program management and strategy. In the capstone course, students are expected to integrate prior learning, seek opportunities to reinforce areas of weakness, and acquire new knowledge to complete the project successfully.

Summer Application Projects

Application projects are 1-credit courses offered during the summer terms. These projects enable students to apply the learning of the previous year into their current workplace, working on a project that covers different areas than their current responsibilities. The Division of Management works with students coming from outside of the healthcare industry to establish an application project within a healthcare setting.

Examples of past Application Projects:

  • The business case for a clinical decision unit at Harbor Medical Center
  • The Shingo model for operational excellence - Is it right for OHSU?
  • Process improvement using Lean & Six Sigma in a family medicine clinic
  • Introducing complementary and alternative medicine into a geriatric care setting