MS in Health Services Research

Changes to this program will take effect in the 2017–2018 academic year.

The Master of Science (MS) program offered by the Department of Health Policy & Management equips graduates with a breadth of knowledge and advanced technical research skills. This program offers training in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. The MS distinguishes an individual in both the professional world and academia, functioning as preparation for a career in research and/or analytics, or as preparation for a doctoral program. Graduates pursue careers as health care consultants, research managers, and analysts for insurance entities or provider-based organizations. Graduates who hold clinical degrees may become clinical principal investigators.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Health Services Research program consists of a minimum of 31 graduate credits of coursework (including 11 elective credits) and a thesis equivalent to one health services research paper publishable in a refereed journal. All students are required to complete the degree within five years. A minimum grade of B or better is required for each of the core MS courses.

Core MS Courses (required)
  • BS 704 Introduction to Biostatistics
  • EP 713 Introduction to Epidemiology
  • PM 814 Contemporary Theoretical and Empirical Issues in Health Services Research
  • Quantitative Methods for Health Services and Other Public Health Research
  • Research Theory and Design
  • Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods

and one of the following “Conceptual Framework” courses:

  • PM 824 Theory and Research on Organizations or
  • PM 826 Health, Illness, and the Use of Health Services or
  • PM 831 Implementation Science or
  • PM 837 Measuring and Evaluating Healthcare Quality
  • PM 842 Health Economics for Health Services Research* or
  • CAS EC 581 Health Economics* or
  • Understanding Health Policy for Health Services Researchers or
  • additional alternatives with permission of program director

*Only one health economics course may be counted toward this MS program.

The program has a list of recommended elective courses. Choice of electives must be reviewed with and approved by the academic advisor.

Students may request to have required courses waived on the basis of coursework performed elsewhere or through other avenues of learning. Waivers will not reduce the overall number of course credits to be taken.

Students who have completed the MS coursework must register for PM 980 Continuing Study for each fall and spring semester until the thesis is defended and accepted. PM 980, which is ungraded and zero credits, certifies a student as full-time and carries the equivalent of a 2-credit tuition charge plus the fee for student health insurance (unless waived).

All Master of Science students must adhere to the MS Graduation Calendar in preparing and submitting the thesis in 2015–2016.