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PhD, Health Services Research

A nurse and patient in a hospital

Advance research, policy and practice to improve access, cost and quality of health services

The goal of this program is to provide interdisciplinary training in research, practice and policy analysis relevant to health programs.

Perfect for...

  • Individuals with a Master's Degree in Health Administration, Health Services, Public Health, Policy, Economics, Business Administration or a related field
  • Individuals interested in the planning, administration, management and evaluation of health and public health programs

Career Paths

  • Health administration
  • Federal, state, or local policy analysis
  • Research
  • Academia

Program Overview

The University of Maryland School of Public Health offers a Doctorate of Health Services Research (PhD) degree with an emphasis on health services research. 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 in order to improve access, cost, and quality of health services, with a particular emphasis on federal, state and local health policy.

See all Health Policy and Management graduate student resources.

For more information, see the Health Policy and Management flyer.

3-5
The PhD in Health Services takes about 3-5 years to complete. Students pick a cognate area or track, such as health economics or health equity.

The Ph.D. in Health Services Research requires a minimum of 50 credits organized in four modules. 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.

See the PhD program plan and competency checklist.

See the tentative schedule for HPM courses.

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


See all program requirements on the UMD Catalog

MODULE SEMESTER COURSE# COURSE NAME CREDIT
Module 1: Health Services Research Fall HLSA711 Health Economics and Analysis 3
Module 1: Health Services Research Spring HLSA714 Economic Evaluation of Health and Medical Care 3
Module 1: Health Services Research Spring HLSA723 Policy Analysis and Advocacy 3
Module 1: Health Services Research Fall HLSA725 Econometrics in Public Health 3
Module 1: Health Services Research Spring HLSA787 Minority Health and Health Equity 3
Module 1: Health Services Research Fall HLSA790 Advanced Methods in Health Services Research 3
Module 2: Track Courses Spring HLSA766 Foundational Readings in Health Services Research 3
Module 2: Track Courses Fall, Spring, Summer Electives PhD level courses in track* Various 3
Module 2: Track Courses Fall, Spring, Summer Electives PhD level courses in track* Various 3
Module 2: Track Courses Fall, Spring, Summer Electives PhD level courses in track* Various 3
Module 2: Track Courses Fall, Spring, Summer Electives PhD level courses in track* Various 3
Module 3: Dissertation Courses Fall HLSA765 Oral and Written Communication / Proposal Development (after passing Qualifying Exam) 3
Module 3: Dissertation Courses Fall, Spring HLSA709 Doctoral Seminar (after Advancing to Candidacy) 1
Module 3: Dissertation Courses Fall, Winter, Spring SPHL612 Research Ethics 1
Module 4: Dissertation Credit Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer HLSA889 Doctoral Dissertation Research Minimum of 12
  1. To acquire a strong foundation of knowledge in the organizational, policy, economic and social factors which influence health and health services delivery;
  2. To acquire foundational and advanced research skills which result in the ability to develop an independent project in health services research;
  3. To demonstrate the ability to complete an independent project in health services research;
  4. To demonstrate oral and written communication skills appropriate for the dissemination of knowledge in health services research to both academic and professional/practitioner audiences