PhD Requirements

Each student in the PhD program will, in the core courses, receive exposure to a broad range of analytic and conceptual tools with which to investigate issues in health services. However, in order to provide the students with an opportunity to develop a higher level of skill in using a single conceptual approach to the evaluation of health services, they will take nine credit hours in one of two cognate areas: organizational theory and analysis or health politics and policy. In addition, each student will, with the assistance of his or her adviser, choose an area of substantive specialization for nine credit hours of work. This combination of a general core, a cognate conceptual area, and an area of substantive specialization will provide graduates with both the depth and breadth of knowledge in health services research that should make them very competitive in both the academic and research community job markets.

Below are two illustrative programs of study, one in each cognate area, which students might pursue in the proposed doctoral program. These programs of study demonstrate how students can use the cognate and substantive segments of the program to complement their more general training and prepare themselves for work in their chosen area of expertise.

General Required Coursework Summary

PhD core courses 26 credit hours
Prescribed Statistics and Methods Electives 12 credit hours
Prescribed Cognate Electives 9 credit hours
Free Electives (Specialty) 9 credit hours
Capstone (papers/dissertation) 9 credit hours
Total 65 credit hours


Prior to admission to the PhD program, students are expected to have successfully completed courses for their PhD work in the following areas: rural health, basic statistics, epidemiology, and health policy and administration. Students entering the program without appropriate foundation courses in these areas will do so with the understanding that courses in these areas must be taken prior to comprehensive examinations. The departmental doctoral committee will be responsible for noting deficiencies upon admission.

Courses required of all students in the proposed program

Core Health Research Methods

Section Course Credits
PHPH 671 Introduction to Health Services Research. 3 credit hours
PHPM 672 Health Services Research Methods. 3 credit hours
PHPM 668 Applied Health Services Research I. 1 credit hour
PHPM 669 Applied Health services Research II. 1 credit hour
PHPM 674 Secondary Analysis of Health Data. 3 credit hours
SOC 624 Qualitative Methodology. 3 credit hours
PHPM 675 Survey Research Methods. 3 credit hours

Core Conceptual Framework

Section Course Credits
PHPM 641 Health Politics and Policy. 3 credit hours
PHPM 661 Introduction to Health Economics. 3 credit hours
PHPM 619 Organization Theory and Applications in the Study of Health Services. 3 credit hours
    26 credit hours

Elective courses prescribed for those students

Four additional statistics/research methods courses to be approved by the student's committee, which may include:

Section Course Credits
STAT 636 Methods in Multivariate Analysis. 3 credit hours
STAT 607 Sampling. 3 credit hours
STAT 608 Least Squares and Regression Analysis. 3 credit hours
STAT 620 Statistical Large Sample Theory. 3 credit hours
STAT 626 Methods in Time Series Analysis. 3 credit hours
STAT 659 Applied Categorical Data Analysis. 3 credit hours
PHEB 610 Epidemiological Methods I. 3 credit hours
PHEB 611 Epidemiological Methods II. 3 credit hours
PHEB 612 Data Management and Computing. 3 credit hours
PHEB 613 Public Health Epidemiological Methods. 3 credit hours
    12 credit hours

Required Cognate area

There are two cognates in the PhD in Public Health with a Concentration in Health Services Research: (1) health policy and politics; and (2) organization theory and analysis. There are a number of courses that may be appropriate to each of these cognates. The following includes required courses in each of the cognates. The student's adviser with approval of the departmental doctoral committee can substitute other courses for either of these cognates.

Health Policy and Politics (illustration)

Section Course Credits
PHPM 645 Critical Issues in Health Policy 3 credit hours
PHPM 652 Health Reimbursement 3 credit hours
PHPM 689 Special Topics in Health Politics and Policy 3 credit hours

Organization Theory and Analysis (illustration)

Section Course Credits
SOCI 635 Sociology of Complex Organizations 3 credit hours
MGMT 634 Seminar in Organizational Behavior 3 credit hours
PHPM 620 Interorganizational Relations 3 credit hours
    credit hours

Courses freely elected by students


Each student will select three courses/nine semester credit hours in a specialized substantive field such as: long term care; child health services; substance abuse; service quality; or other areas approved by the student's adviser and doctoral committee.

9 credit hours

Other course requirements

All students, regardless of whether they choose to complete three research papers or a dissertation, will complete at least nine hours of research.

PHPM 695 Doctoral Capstone.

3-9 credit hours