The goal of this program is to provide interdisciplinary training in research, practice, and policy analysis relevant to the planning, administration, management, and evaluation of health and public health programs. The degree program will prepare students to advance research, policy, and practice to order to improve access, cost, and quality of health services, with a particular emphasis on federal, state, and local health policy.

The Department of Health Services Administration requires a Master's Degree in Health Administration, Health Services, Public Health, Policy, Economics, Business Administration or a related field in order to enter the PhD program in Health Services. If the student's completed master's degree does not include public health content, students are expected to master competencies in those areas before graduation.

The Ph.D. in Health Services Research requires a minimum of 50 credits organized in four modules. After module 1 (required core health services research courses), students select a cognate area or track. Potential tracks are: health economics, health policy, health equity/sociology of health, and an interdisciplinary track (developed with advisor’s approval). Together with their advisor, students select 5 elective courses in the track of which 2 must be methods courses relevant to the cognate area. After completing the track coursework, students must pass a qualifying exam. It is strongly recommended that students take HLSA 766 Foundational Readings in Health Services Research to prepare for the qualifying exam as one of the elective courses. All students must pass an oral proposal defense to be admitted to candidacy. After candidacy, students take a graduate seminar, and dissertation credits which culminate in a doctoral dissertation and an oral dissertation defense.

We admit full-time students and expect the program to take approximately 3 to 5 years to complete. We also admit a number of outstanding part-time students who are able to maintain a high-level of commitment and determination to obtain their degree through all phases of their program including the dissertation phase. All students must complete their degree in nine years in accordance with the University of Maryland Graduate School policy.

All PhD students will complete the following four modules:

Module Description and Course Details

* The elective courses in the cognate area (track) are selected by the student and approved by the advisor.

Click here for the program plan & competency checklist

Tentative Course Schedule

How to Apply:

For best consideration, completed applications should be received by November 15 for Fall admission. We encourage you to read carefully and follow instructions by the Graduate School for identifying and selecting programs on the Graduate School website.

When applying, select the 4-letter program code PHHS.

For interested PhD applicants, please contact Dr. Luisa Franzini, Professor and Chair, at or 301-405-2470.

Admission Criteria:

Ph. applications are reviewed with consideration to the following criteria:

  • Minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA
  • Undergraduate and any graduate transcripts
  • GRE scores taken within the past 5 years (Submit electronically to the University of Maryland, code 5814)
  • 3 letters of recommendation that address your academic capabilities
  • Statement of goals and interests
  • Relevant academic/work experience