Health Behavior, Society & Policy

PhD in Health Systems & Policy (72 credits)

The PhD Program in Public Health in the Department of Health Systems and Policy (HSAP) offers doctoral studies specializing in health systems research and policy analysis. The program is designed to provide qualified and motivated students with the analytical and quantitative skills, institutional knowledge, and research experience necessary to become independent and creative scholars. Through the doctoral program, students acquire the necessary skills in contemporary policy analysis and applied quantitative research that are essential for addressing the unique problems and challenges of public health and health care delivery. Content areas for specialization and dissertation work include private and public health insurance, health care and health insurance reform, health care for vulnerable and underserved populations, determinants of risky health behaviors, and the relationship between socioeconomic status and health.

Guidelines for Students

Upon admission, students are assigned a faculty advisor in the Department of Health Systems & Policy. At the Student Orientation, HSAP faculty members are available to advise students regarding courses to take in their first semester as well as relevant Department policies. Thereafter, students are expected to meet each semester with their assigned faculty advisor to review their planned coursework.

Students are advised to take core introductory courses first. These are often prerequisites for required courses. Fieldwork research should only be initiated once a student has completed all five (5) core courses and at least three (3) or four (4) of the five required courses (unless approved by their Academic Advisor). Students must have their faculty advisor’s approval before registering for Fieldwork I.

Students should work with a Graduate Practicum Director in starting the plan for their Fieldwork research. The Graduate Practicum Directors maintain a list of available research projects. Other projects may be identified with help from the student’s faculty advisors. And some students also identify Fieldwork projects on their own. Click here for more information about Fieldwork.

Dual concentrations with other departments (e.g., HSAP and Epidemiology) may be arranged . When doing a dual concentration, the student must meet the requirements of both departments for coursework and Fieldwork, and faculty advisors in both departments must sign the Fieldwork contract and application for graduation.

Competencies

Competencies for the PhD in Health Systems & Policy (72 credits)

Each Department identifies competencies for each degree offered. These competencies reflect the full range of knowledge, skills, and other attributes that a student will acquire as a result of completing the requirements for a particular degree.

Upon graduation, a student completing the PhD curriculum in Health Systems & Policywill be able to:

  • Apply economic theories and demographic methods to the analyses of basic issues and trends in the population’s health, health care use, spending, and delivery, health insurance status, and with regard to specific health policy interventions
  • Construct conceptual and empirical models describing the behavior of individuals and households regarding their health status and their access to and use of health care services and private and public health insurance
  • Apply relevant statistical techniques and software to the analyses of large data sets
  • Critically evaluate both proposed and implemented health policy interventions and the empirical research seeking to assess the impact of policy interventions in the health care sector

Curriculum (Prior to Fall 2018)

PhD in Health Systems & Policy (72 credits)

For Students Enrolled Prior to Fall 2018

Students seeking the PhD in Health Systems & Policy degree must complete a minimum of 72 credits of academic work with a minimum GPA of least 3.2 overall and a 3.2 in the set of required courses specified by their department; earn no more than nine (9) credits bearing grades less than B; and complete the degree requirements within nine years. Courses are three credit hours unless otherwise noted.

  • CORE COURSES (11 credits)
    • PHCO 0501 - Health Systems and Policy
    • PHCO 0502 - Principles and Methods of Epidemiology (Prerequisite: Quantitative Skills Assessment)
    • PHCO 0504 - Introduction to Biostatistics (Prerequisite: Quantitative Skills Assessment)
    • PHCO 0508 - Issues in Environmental and Occupational Health (1 credit)
    • PHCO 0510 - Issues in Health Education and Behavioral Science (1 credit)
  • REQUIRED COURSES (21 credits)
    • HSAP 0614 - Health Services and Policy Research Methods
    • HSAP 0615 - Health Care Economics
    • HSAP 0661 - Health Care Policy
    • HSAP 0663 - Issues in Private and Public Health Insurance
    • HSAP 0671 - Topics in Health Systems & Health Care Policy
    • HSAP 0673 - Population Health and Public Policy
  • -also-
  • Choose one of the following four:
    • BIST 0551 - Applied Regression Analysis for Public Health Studies
    • BIST 0615 - Categorical Data Analysis
    • BIST 0650 - Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis
    • EPID 0563 - Introduction to Outcomes Research
  • RECOMMENDED ELECTIVE COURSES (16 credits)
    • HSAP 0515 - Data for Health Services Research and Policy
    • HSAP 9523 - Sociology of Health
    • HSAP 9585 - American Social Policy
    • HSAP 9594 - Program Evaluation
    • HSAP 9595 - Economics of Poverty
    • SBHS 0705 - Intermediate Survey Methods
    • UGPH 0600 - Introduction to Global Public Health
    • PHEL 0580 - Independent Study in Research Methods (1-3 credits)
  • REQUIRED RESEARCH (24 credits)
    • RESH 0760 - Doctoral Research

Curriculum (Fall 2018 and After)

Curriculum for PhD in Health Systems & Policy (72 credits)

For Students Enrolled Fall 2018 and After

Students seeking the PhD in Health Systems & Policy degree must complete a minimum of 72 credits of academic work with a minimum GPA of least 3.2 overall and a 3.2 in the set of required courses specified by their department; earn no more than nine (9) credits bearing grades less than B; and complete the degree requirements within nine years. Courses are three credit hours unless otherwise noted.

  • PREREQUISITES
    • PHCO 0501 - Health Systems and Policy (or equivalent)
  • CORE COURSES (9 credits)

    MPH from an accredited school or program meets Public Health core requirements. PHCO 0502 and PHCO 0504 must be completed before Year 1, Fall semester (e.g., online summer before) if student does not have graduate level coursework in these two areas.

    • PHCO 0502 - Principles and Methods of Epidemiology (Prerequisite: Quantitative Skills Assessment)
    • PHCO 0504 - Introduction to Biostatistics (Prerequisite: Quantitative Skills Assessment)
    • PHCO 0512 - Public Health Foundations (available in Spring 2019)
  • REQUIRED COURSES (24 credits)

    The following represents a typical course schedule and the order in which courses would be taken for a student in the PhD program. Schedule is subject to change.

    YEAR 1 COURSE
    CREDITS
    FALL
    BIST 0535 - Biostatistical Computing (formerly Biometrics Computing) (Mon, 6-8pm)
    3
    EPID 0656 - Intermediate Epi Methods (Mon, 3-5pm)
    3
    HSAP 0773 - Population Health and Public Policy (Tue, 3-5pm)
    3
    SBHS 0715 - Evaluation & Research Design for Public Health Interventions
    (Wed, 3-5pm)
    3
    RESH 0700 - Doctoral Colloquium1
    0
    TOTAL
    12
    SPRING
    BIST 0551 - Applied Regression Analysis for Public Health Studies2 (Thu, 6-8pm)
    3
    SBHS 0705 - Intermediate Survey Research Methods (Wed, 3-5pm)
    3
    NEW: Theories and Models for Public Health (under development)
    3
    RESH 0700 - Doctoral Colloquium1
    0
    RESH 0760 - Doctoral Research
    2
    TOTAL
    11

    YEAR 2 COURSE
    CREDITS
    FALL
    BIST 0615 - Categorical Data Analysis (Wed, 6-8pm)
    3
    Specialization Courses
    6
    RESH 0700 - Doctoral Colloquium1
    0
    RESH 0760 - Doctoral Research
    2
    TOTAL
    11
    SPRING
    Specialization Courses
    9
    RESH 0700 - Doctoral Colloquium1
    0
    RESH 0760 (Section 000) - Doctoral Research: Dissertation Proposal Seminar
    3
    TOTAL
    12

    YEAR 3 COURSE
    CREDITS
    FALL
    RESH 0700 - Doctoral Colloquium1
    0
    RESH 0760 - Doctoral Research
    9
    TOTAL
    9
    SPRING
    RESH 0700: Doctoral Colloquium1
    0
    RESH 0760 - Doctoral Research
    8
    TOTAL
    8
  • REQUIRED SPECIALIZATION COURSES (15 credits) Note: Students should review the Course Descriptions in the School Catalog for specific information about prerequisites required for courses.
    • HSAP 0615 - Health Care Economics
    • HSAP 0661 - Health Care Policy
    • HSAP 0663 - Issues in Private & Public Health Insurance 
    • HSAP 0671 - Topics in Health Systems & Health Care Policy
    • HSAP Elective - Elective (3 credits) Selected with advisor approval
  • REQUIRED RESEARCH (24 credits)
    • RESH 0760 - Doctoral Research (21 credits)
    • RESH 0760 (Section 000) - Doctoral Research: Dissertation Proposal Seminar (3 credits)
  • All PhD students are expected to engage in research activities with their faculty advisor.

    Notes:
    1PhD students should register for RESH 0700-Doctoral Colloquium each Fall and Spring semester they are enrolled at the School of Public Health.
    2With Advisor approval, may substitute with BIST 0610 - Advanced Regression Methods for Public Health Studies