PhD in Health Services Research

The Doctor of Philosophy in Health Services Research (PhD) degree program offered by the Department of Health Policy & Management is designed to provide individuals with excellent research skills for use in academic, industry, or government settings. Students have the opportunity to collaborate with senior faculty in innovative research crucial to the improvement of health care delivery, treatment outcomes, and government policies. Graduates are known for their excellent methodological skills and substantive knowledge of health care settings and policies, skills that enable students to translate research findings into practical applications.

The doctoral program supports a focus on quantitative research methods or qualitative methods, and fosters mastery of mixed methods.

Program Requirements

The doctoral program includes a minimum of 32 credits of coursework beyond an appropriate master’s degree. Course requirements include nine core courses, and at least four elective courses, two of which should be elective courses related to methods. Students without such preparation will be required to take additional coursework in those areas. A minimum grade of a B is required in each of the core PhD courses.

Core PhD Courses

  • Research Theory and Design
  • Quantitative Methods for Health Services and Other Public Health Research
  • Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
  • Understanding Health Policy for Health Services Researchers
  • PM 814 Contemporary Theoretical and Empirical Issues in Health Services
  • PM 824 Theory and Research on Organizations
  • PM 826 Health, Illness, and the Use of Health Services
  • PM 837 Evaluating Health Care Quality
  • PM 842 Health Economics for Health Services Research or equivalent

Additional Course Requirements

  • A minimum of 12 credits is required in elective courses. These 12 credits can and should be used to define an area of emphasis (e.g., health economics, implementation, patient-centered outcomes).
  • One course must be PM 821 Advanced Health Services Research Methods or PM 828 Advanced Qualitative Methods.
  • At least one additional course must be a methods course from an approved list.

Students are required to complete all the requirements for graduation within seven years of matriculation. PhD students are required to complete and pass the qualifying process, a doctoral dissertation, and dissertation defense.

Students who have completed the PhD coursework must register for PM 980 Continuing Study each fall and spring semester until the dissertation is defended and accepted. PM 980 is ungraded and zero credits; it 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). Students must adhere to dissertation submission deadlines and requirements.

All PhD students must adhere to the Doctoral Graduation Calendar in preparing and submitting the dissertation in 2015–2016.