Master of Science in Health Services and Systems Research

Currently Accepting Applications

Dedicate your career to improving the healthcare system.

Your opportunity to make a difference in healthcare.

In our MS in Health Services and Systems Research degree program, you will examine all aspects of the healthcare sector, from individual patient experiences of healthcare delivery to the wider economics of our healthcare systems. You will learn to conduct primary and secondary research on organizational and economic issues, policy implementation, and other factors influencing the delivery of health services. And you will develop advanced skills in qualitative or quantitative research methods as well as the ability to communicate those findings to other researchers, government bodies, public policy makers, and the general public.

How it works

In this influential program, you will:

  • Build a foundation in relevant research methods and theoretical approaches.
  • Study both quantitative and qualitative research methods, with an emphasis on analyzing questions of healthcare quality, outcomes, and economics.
  • Develop the ability to conceive, design, and execute innovative high-quality research projects.
  • Absorb the essentials of project management— key to success in driving research projects.
  • Learn to produce, translate, and apply research findings that address challenging problems in clinical and management settings.
  • Analyze pertinent healthcare literature and data to gain new insights and produce a publishable manuscript.

Move forward

Leverage the MS in Health Services and Systems Research to enhance your clinical or research career or to prepare for a doctoral program. Completion of this degree program distinguishes you in both the professional world and in academia and equips you for a wide range of careers, including:
  • research manager
  • data analyst for insurance or provider-based organizations
  • healthcare consultant

At a glance

Full-time Schedule:

Complete your degree within 12 months.


  • Introduction to Research Theory and Design
  • Quantitative Methods for Public Health and Health Services Research
  • Qualitative Methods for Public Health and Health Services Research
  • Comparative Health Systems and Policy in Industrialized and BRIC Countries and/or Elective credits from approved list
  • Foundations of Health Services and Systems Research


  • Advanced Quantitative Methods for Health Services Research and/or Advanced Qualitative Methods for Health Services Research
  • Health Law, Policy, and Policymaking or Health Policy and Policymaking for Public Health Researchers
  • Approved Elective courses
  • Proseminar: Tools for Project Management, Budgeting, and Communication


  • Major paper

Part-time Schedule:

Part-time students take 1-2 courses per semester and complete the program in 24 months on average. Contact the Admissions Office at for more information.

Next steps

Let’s discuss admission eligibility, degree requirements, and application deadlines. Email us at or call us at 617-638-4640.

And please consider a visit. It’s the best way to get a feel for our community and to know whether Boston University School of Public Health is the best fit for your personal, professional, academic, and career goals.

Click here for application requirements

Program Directors:
Mari-Lynn Drainoni
Victoria Parker