Date of Award

Summer 8-9-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Ashli Owen-Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephanie Dopson



Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess Georgia State University (GSU) graduate students’ healthcare and health insurance knowledge, attitudes, and experiences, particularly among the international graduate students.

Methods: Data were collected from a web-based and paper-based survey administered to GSU graduate students who were willing and consented to participate. Participants were asked about: (1) current health insurance, (2) health care use, experiences, and knowledge, (3) GSU student health center experiences and use, and (4) demographic information.

Results: Approximately 98% of the respondents reported having some type of health insurance and the majority of the respondents (72%) reported that they are in very good health. Overall, health insurance-related knowledge was relatively poor among both the U.S. citizens and international students, though, U.S. citizens demonstrated better knowledge of health insurance terms compared to the international students. Knowledge about the GSU health insurance and coverage, specifically, was alarmingly poor, particularly among GSU-insured international students. About 73% of the respondents reported that they do not anticipated using GSU health services in the upcoming year.

Conclusion: GSU graduate students’ health insurance knowledge is relatively poor, particularly among the international students. It is essential that students better understand health insurance terms and benefits so that they can make more informed health care decisions.