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Master's Degree

Master of Applied Science (MAS) in Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality

Online | Part-Time | 24 years

About This Program

The Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality master’s program is an interdisciplinary degree offered by the Johns Hopkins University. It is a first of its kind collaboration between the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. It combines coursework from JHU’s top-ranked schools with the Armstrong Institute’s pioneering advances in patient safety. The program is designed to educate students in the transformative mechanisms and evidence-based protocols that reduce preventable patient harm and improve clinical outcomes. View the curriculum.

Advantages of this fully online graduate program:

  • Led by renowned experts who are shaping the field through research and application, including one of the world’s leading authorities on patient safety, Dr. Peter Pronovost, Former Director of the Armstrong Institute, and Former Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Online delivery gives flexibility and accessibility to students around the world
  • Adds to your current experience to take your career to the next level
  • Competitive price point for tuition

The Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality Movement

"Organizations profess patient safety as a top priority, but they are still figuring out how to manage it with the same rigor, discipline and accountability that they do their budgets."
– Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, FCCM

The year 2000 marked the birth of the patient safety movement. Its focus: to end preventable harm and improve patient outcomes and experiences in health care. Since then, there has been groundbreaking work and innovation across the continuum of care. Advances in the science of safety have allowed meaningful discoveries that highlight defective processes. Resulting risk reduction strategies are being implemented, leading to greater efficiency and performance improvement.

This movement has much more to accomplish and great potential to drive further widespread advances in safety and quality. Re-engineering care is rife with complexities. There are hierarchies, limited funding, high patient volumes, time pressures, interruptions, distractions, communication challenges, and siloed data. Making changes can feel like a colossal task. The great news – we CAN effect change. In fact, we are already doing it.

the impact on public health

The patient safety problem is staggering. For instance:

  • More than one in ten hospitalized people are harmed while receiving care
  • One in ten hospitalized patients acquire health care associated infections
  • Every American will experience a missed or delayed diagnosis at some point in his or her lifetime
  • There are at least 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events in the U.S. every year

What Can You Do With This Degree?

It can turn your passion for patient safety into a career in which you help to lead the charge. The Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality master’s program focuses on the measurement of safety and quality, designing safer systems, organizational and cultural change, patient-centric care and preventing patient harm.

Sample Careers

  • Director of Quality Management and Patient Safety Officer
  • Director or VP of Quality Outcomes/Assurance/Patient Safety
  • Patient Safety Officer or Consultant
  • RN Director of Clinical Quality Improvement
  • Director of Clinical Professional Services
  • Quality & Outcome Data Specialist

LEARN MORE about careers in patient safety


Browse an overview of this program's requirements in the JHU Academic Catalogue and explore all course offerings in the Bloomberg School Course Directory




required courses


culminating project

Admissions Requirements

For the general admissions requirements see our How to Apply page. The specific program also requires:

Prior Work Experience

3+ years of health-related experience

Standardized Test Scores

Standardized test scores are not required and not reviewed for this program. If you have taken a standardized test such as the GRE, GMAT, or MCAT and want to submit your scores, please note that they will not be used as a metric during the application review. Applications will be reviewed holistically based on all required application components.

Program Faculty Spotlights

Albert Wu

Albert Wu

Health Policy and Management

Albert Wu, MD, MPH, studies the impact of safety problems on patients and health care workers.

Kathleen Sutcliffe


Catherine Sutcliffe, PhD '10, ScM ‘05, seeks to understand and prevent infectious diseases in low-resource settings around the world.

Tuition and Funding

The OPAL MAS programs have competitive price points and substantial tuition scholarships. The admission application also serves as your scholarship application. All admitted students are awarded the OPAL scholarship.

Contact Us

Questions about the program? We're happy to help.

Director, Online Programs for Applied Learning (OPAL)
Elizabeth Topper Golub, PhD, MEd, MPH

Director, MAS in Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality
Albert Wu, MD

Academic Program Manager, OPAL
Christina Potter, MBA

Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.

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