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PhD in Health Policy and Management

The doctoral program in Health Policy and Management (HPM) is designed to develop scholars that are able to apply theoretical frameworks from the social sciences (such as economics, political science, organizational theory and management, sociology) to address pressing health policy and management research questions. The program is purposefully interdisciplinary and seeks to prepare students for research careers in academics as well as in public and private sector agencies and organizations. Students complete courses in a broad set of health policy and management areas, biostatistics and econometrics, and a selected area of depth (i.e., economic theory and application, political and policy analysis, and organizational theory and management). Students in the department of HPM take qualifying examinations in:

  1. health policy and management
  2. quantitative methods
  3. their chosen area of depth.

In addition, students work directly with a specific faculty member on an individualized readings course on which they will also take a qualifying examination. The program typically requires 4-5 years to complete, including 2 years of coursework followed by 2-3 years to complete and defend the doctoral dissertation. Individuals applying to this program usually have a master’s degree and/or relevant research experience, however the minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree.

Degree Requirements - PhD in Health Policy and Management

2020-21 Matriculation
The Ph.D. degree in Health Policy & Management requires a total of 16 course units with the option of obtaining credits for previous courses. With the approval of the academic adviser and DGS, course substitutions that better suit the needs of the student may satisfy the course work requirement.

PhD Required Courses (3 course units)

  • EPH 508 Foundations of Epidemiology and Public Health - 1 unit
  • EPH 600Research Ethics and Responsibilities - 0 units
  • EPH 608 Frontiers of Public Health* - 1 unit
  • HPM 610 Applied Area Readings - 1 unit
  • HPM 617 Colloquium in Health Services Research - 0 units
  • HPM 618 Colloquium in Health Services Research - 0 units

Required Methods and Statistics (minimum 4 course units)

Suggested course are:

  • BIS 623 Advanced Regression Models - 1 unit
  • BIS 628 Longitudinal and Multilevel Data Analysis - 1 unit
  • ECON 556 Topics in Empirical Economics and Public Policy - 1 unit
  • ECON 558 Econometrics - 1 unit
  • HPM 583 Methods in Health Services Research - 1 unit
  • PLSC 500 Quantitative Methods I: Research Design & Data Analysis - 1 unit
  • PLSC 503 Quantitative Methods II: Foundation of Statistical Inference - 1 unit
  • PLSC 504 Advanced Qualitative Methods - 1 unit
  • SBS 580 Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health - 1 unit
  • SOCY 580 Introduction to Methods in Quantitative Sociology - 1 unit
  • SOCY 581 Intermediate Methods in Quantitative Sociology - 1 unit
  • SOCY 582 Statistics III; Advanced Quantitative Analysis for Social Scientists - 1 unit
  • S&DS 563 Multivariate Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences - 1 unit
  • S&DS 565 Applied Data Mining and Machine Learning - 1 unit

Required Health Policy and Management Courses (minimum 4 course units, all with PhD Readings)

Suggested courses are:

  • EPH 510 Health Policy and Health Care Systems - 1 unit
  • HPM 514 Health Politics, Governance and Policy - 1 unit
  • HPM 560 Health Economics & US Health Policy - 1 unit
  • HPM 570 Cost-effectiveness Analysis and Decision Making - 1 unit
  • HPM 573 Advanced Topics in Modeling Health Care Decisions - 1 unit
  • HPM 587 Advanced Health Economics - 1 unit
  • HPM 590 Economics, Addiction and Policy - 1 unit
  • HPM 597 Capstone Course in Health Policy - 1 unit
  • HPM 688 Managing Health Care in Complex Systems - 1 unit

Required Courses in Economics Specialization (4 course units)

Required courses:

  • ECON 545 Microeconomics - 1 unit
  • ECON 558 Econometrics - 1 unit

Students take two field courses in a concentration to develop expertise. Sets of courses across topics can be selected to meet research interests.

Behavioral Economics:

  • MGMT 758 Foundations of Behavioral Economics - 1 unit
  • PSYC 553 Behavioral Decision Making I: Choice - 1 unit

Industrial Organization:

  • ECON 600 Industrial Organization I - 1 unit
  • ECON 601 Industrial Organization II - 1 unit

Labor Economics:

  • ECON 630 Labor Economics - 1 unit
  • ECON 631 Labor Economics - 1 unit

Public Finance:

  • ECON 556 Topics in Empirical Economics and Public Policy - 1 unit
  • ECON 680 Public Finance I - 1 unit
  • ECON 681 Public Finance II - 1 unit

Required Courses in Organizational Theory and Management Specialization (4 course units)

Minimum of 4 courses are required selected in consultation with the student’s adviser

  • HPM 600 Directed Readings: Organizational Behavior and Theory in Health Care - 1 unit

Required Courses in Political and Policy Analysis Specialization (4 course units)

Suggested courses:

  • PLSC 800 Introduction to American Politics - 1 unit
  • PLSC 801 Political Preferences and American Political Behavior - 1 unit
  • PLSC 803 American Politics III: Institutions - 1 unit

Elective(s) (must be approved by adviser)

Minimum of 1 elective

*Students entering the program with an MPH or relevant graduate degree may be exempt from this requirement

rev: 9.23.2020

Research

Research in HPM applies the conceptual frameworks and research methods from economics, health policy, and organizational theory and management. Examples of ongoing faculty research include the following Current Divisional Research Projects

  • Examining School Policy Effects and Consequences of Childhood Obesity
  • Understanding Social Network Effects on Health Behaviors
  • The Long-Run and Intergenerational Effects on Early Life Experiences: Evidence from Developing Countries
  • Economic and Policy Analysis of Adolescent Mental Health Behaviors
  • Organizational learning and quality improvement
  • Health systems strengthening in low-income settings
  • Impact of work life and habits of health
  • Economic and policy analysis of substance abuse (drugs, alcohol, and smoking) including treatment effectiveness, cost effectiveness and outcomes.
  • Examining the impact of health care spending on the economic well being of households
  • End-of-life care such as use and impact of hospice care
  • Impact of health insurance design on cost, quality and access to health services
  • Variation in quality of hospital care and mortality rates