PhD Health Services & Policy Concentration

The PhD program in Public Health Sciences prepares professionals for research, teaching, and service with the overall objective of improving the health of populations.  To meet this objective, all students in the program pursue excellence in conducting research and disseminating knowledge. The primary focus is on research that advances knowledge and facilitates discovery regarding etiology, interventions, and policies that promote health at the individual, population, societal, and/or global levels. The concentration in health services research prepares student for careers in research, teaching, and service in the broad field of health care services and policy. The program’s aim is to strengthen students’ knowledge and skills with respect to theories, research methodologies, and analytical skills. By developing these tools, students will be able to address a variety of issues including health care access, cost-effectiveness, and process quality and outcomes evaluation.

PhD Core Competencies

PhD Health Services & Policy Curriculum

Upon completion of the PhD in Public Health Sciences degree with a concentration in Health Services Research, the student will have demonstrated proficiency in the following competencies:

  • Apply knowledge of the structures, performance, quality, policy, and environmental context of health and health care to formulate solutions for health policy problems.
  • Identify and compare survey, qualitative and mixed methods of collecting primary health and health care data, and assemble secondary data from existing public and private sources.
  • Develop a conceptual model to specify study constructs for health services and policy research question and develop variables that reliably and validly measure these constructs..
  • Ensure the ethical and responsible conduct of research in the design, implementation, and dissemination of health services research.

The PhD program requires a minimum of 90 semester credit hours (SCH) post-baccalaureate degree and is offered on a full time or part-time basis. Any graduate credits post-baccalaureate, including master’s degree courses may be applied to coursework outlined within the PhD degree plan. A student may apply up to 42 SCH of previously taken graduate level courses toward the completion of the Ph.D. coursework (Advanced Standing). All such courses are subject to approval by the advisor and the PhD Program Committee.

PhD CORE COMPETENCIES Upon completion of the PhD in Public Health core courses, the student will have demonstrated proficiency in the following competencies:

  • Research Theories: synthesize historical, contemporary, and emerging theories and paradigms of significance to public health.
  • Critical Analysis: Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of existing research evidence and identify significant gaps in knowledge.
  • Research Methodology: Comprehend,  design and apply relevant and advanced research methods based on rigorous standards of evidence.
  • Scientific Communications: Develop professional skills in scientific and grant writing, oral communication, and teaching.
  • Ethics: Uphold the highest ethical standards in all professional endeavors, including the design and implementation of research and the participation of human subjects.
  • Discovery and Translational Theory: Conduct investigative research, including areas that facilitate the translation and application of discovery to practice.





2013-2014 PhD in Public Health Sciences Curriculum- Health Services Research: 90 SCH
Core Courses: 33 SCH
BACH 5300 Theoretical Foundations of Individuals & Community Health 3 SCH
BIOS 5300 Biostatistics for Public Health I 3 SCH
EOHS 5300 Environmental Health 3 SCH
EPID 5300 Principles of Epidemiology 3 SCH
HMAP 5300 Health Management & Policy 3 SCH
BIOS 5310 Biostatistics for Public Health II 3 SCH
BIOS 6300 Applied
Statistical Methods for Data Analysis
HMAP 6360 Ethical Issues in
Public Health
PHED 6118 Seminar/Grand
Rounds in Public Health Research
PHED 6220 Scientific and
Grant Writing
PHED 6314 Methods for Public Health Studies 3 SCH
PHED 6321 Pedagogy in Public

Concentration Required Courses: 27 SCH
HMAP 5326 Public Health Planning and Evaluation 3 SCH
HMAP 5350 Health Economics 3 SCH
HMAP 6300 Health Care Systems 3 SCH
HMAP 6310 Advanced Health Policy 3 SCH
HMAP 6330 Health Insurance and Managed Care 3 SCH
HMAP 6340 Health Care Law 3 SCH
HMAP 6350 Advanced Health Economics 3 SCH
HMAP 6380 Health Services Research I 3 SCH
HMAP 6382 Health Services Research II 3 SCH

Elective Courses: 18 SCH

No more than 9 SCH at the 5000 level. Advisor
approval must be provided for all electives.

Culminating Experience: 12 SCH
HMAP 6000 PhD Comprehensive
HMAP 6395 Doctoral
12 SCH
PhD Portfolio
Course Descriptions