Doctor of Philosophy in Health Services Research

The mission of the PhD Program in Health Services Research is to develop research scientists/scholars who are equipped to frame and answer important questions about health services, drawing upon a diverse array of theoretical and methodological approaches. The program is particularly focused on developing graduates who can generate and translate knowledge to solve critical problems in health services.

What is health services research?

Health Services research is the multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviors affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being.

Its research domains are individuals, families, organizations, institutions, communities, and populations.

(Defined by AcademyHealth, June 2000)

The program engages the individual in a comprehensive, hands-on experience of health services research, in which students are encouraged to link course-based projects with their own emerging research interests and their applied research apprenticeships. Students are assisted, encouraged, and expected to begin independent research projects early in their studies that may provide the basis for their subsequent dissertation work.

Students pursue a program of study that provides breadth in key theoretical bases and methodologies through required courses and the opportunity to craft an area of specialization through elective choices.

We offer doctoral level training programs in health disparities, addiction sciences, and health policy and economics. Please see the Funding & Time to Completion section for details on each program. Interest in any of these training programs should be indicated in the application to the Health Services Research Program.

Faculty & Research Portfolio

A key strength of the PhD program in Health Services Research is the engagement of a talented interdisciplinary faculty that is eager to mentor doctoral students in a variety of areas.

Faculty are actively engaged in diverse areas of research & scholarship, and the department is closely affiliated with two internal research centers focused on health services related to disability, along with a nearby multi-site center for health services research within the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

PhD students are invited to the Department of Health Policy and Management seminars and the work in progress lunches where they can engage with the faculty. The research centers also offer a variety of research-in-progress meetings, journal clubs, methods analysis seminars, writing groups, and many other activities in which PhD students can engage with faculty.

Additional Information

Visit the pages below for more details. You are also welcome to review the HSR Guidebook.

For inquiries regarding the PhD program in Health Services Research, please contact Steve Pizer, Director.