MS in Health Services & Systems Research

The MS in Health Services & Systems Research program provides graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to conduct both primary and secondary research on clinical, scientific, and other issues related to the delivery of health services within health care systems, industry, and/or other parts of the health care sector. Coursework provides grounding in relevant research methods and theoretical approaches, and culminates in a major paper analyzing existing literature and/or data to generate new insights. Students also are required to develop advanced skills in either qualitative or quantitative research methods. Proficiency in communicating research findings is also emphasized, as is training in the essentials of project management.


Students entering the program should have completed two years of full-time work experience in the health care field (or be in an approved dual degree program) and have completed a graduate-level course in biostatistics. Applications from students with no formal graduate coursework in biostatistics will be considered and students provisionally accepted will be expected to complete this requirement prior to starting the program.

Degree Requirements

The MS in Health Services & Systems Research requires a minimum of 32 graduate credits of coursework. Of the 32 course credits, 6 credits should be chosen from the list of approved electives.


  • SPH PH 842 Introduction to Research Theory & Design (2 cr)
  • SPH PH 843 Quantitative Methods for Public Health and Health Services Research (2 cr)
  • SPH PH 844 Qualitative Methods for Public Health and Health Services Research (2 cr)
  • SPH PM 740 Comparative Health Systems and Policy in Industrialized and BRIC Countries (4 cr) or PM 760 Health Law, Policy, and Policymaking (4 cr) or PM 844 Health Policy and Policymaking for Public Health Researchers (4 cr) or PM 834 Health Regulation and Planning (4 cr)
  • SPH PM 821 Advanced Quantitative Methods for HSR (4 cr) or PM 828 Advanced Qualitative Methods for HSR (4 cr)
  • SPH PM 814 Contemporary Theoretical & Empirical Issues in Health Services (4 cr)
  • SPH PM 831 Implementation Science: Translating Research into Practice
  • SPH PM 790 Proseminar: Tools for Project Management, Communication, Budgeting (2 cr)
  • SPH PM 950 Applied Studies in Health Services Research (4 cr)

Approved Electives

  • SPH BS 723 Intro to Statistical Computing (4 cr)
  • SPH BS 730 Introduction to R: Software for Statistical Computing (4 cr)
  • SPH BS 750 Essentials of Quantitative Data Management (2 cr)
  • SPH BS 775 Applications of Statistical Methods in Clinical Research (4 cr)
  • SPH BS 805 Intermediate Statistical Computing and Applied Regression Analysis (4 cr)
  • SPH BS 810 Meta-Analysis for Public Health and Medical Research (4 cr)
  • SPH PH 801 Community Engaged Research: Theory, Methods, and Applications (4 cr)
  • SPH PM 807 Introduction to Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (2 cr)
  • SPH PM 824 Theory and Research on Organizations (4 cr)
  • SPH PM 826 Health, Illness, and the Use of Health Services (4 cr)
  • SPH PM 830 Developing Patient-Based Health Status and Outcomes Measures (4 cr)
  • SPH PM 833 Health Economics (4 cr)
  • SPH PM 837 Evaluating Health Care Quality (4 cr)
  • SPH PM 842 Health Economics for Health Services Research (4 cr)
  • SPH PM 855 Cost Effectiveness Analysis and Decision Analysis (4 cr)
  • QST OB 844 Managing Organizational Change (4 cr)