PhD Requirements

Each student in the Ph.D. 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 advisor, 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.

Appearing 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

Ph.D. core courses 26cr hrs
Prescribed Statistics and Methods Electives 12cr hrs
Prescribed Cognate Electives 9cr hrs
Free Electives (Specialty) 9cr hrs
Capstone (papers/dissertation) 9cr hrs
Total 65cr hrs


Prior to admission to the Ph.D. program, students are expected to have successfully completed courses for their Ph.D. 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 so do 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 cr hrs
PHPM 672 Health Services Research Methods. 3 cr hrs
PHPM 668 Applied Health Services Research I. 1 cr hrs
PHPM 669 Applied Health services Research II. 1 cr hrs
PHPM 674 Secondary Analysis of Health Data. 3 cr hrs
SOC 624 Qualitative Methodology. 3 cr hrs
PHPM 675 Survey Research Methods. 3 cr hrs

Core Conceptual Framework

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

Elective courses prescribed for those students

Four (4) 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 cr hrs
STAT 607 Sampling. 3 cr hrs
STAT 608 Least Squares and Regression Analysis. 3 cr hrs
STAT 620 Statistical Large Sample Theory. 3 cr hrs
STAT 626 Methods in Time Series Analysis. 3 cr hrs
STAT 659 Applied Categorical Data Analysis. 3 cr hrs
PHEB 610 Epidemiological Methods I. 3 cr hrs
PHEB 611 Epidemiological Methods II. 3 cr hrs
PHEB 612 Data Management and Computing. 3 cr hrs
PHEB 613 Public Health Epidemiological Methods. 3 cr hrs
    12 credit hours

Required Cognate area

There are two cognates in the Ph.D. in Public Health with a Concentration in Health Services Research: (1) Health Policy and Politics (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 advisor 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 cr hrs
PHPM 652 Health Reimbursement 3 cr hrs
PHPM 689 Special Topics in Health Politics and Policy 3 cr hrs

Organization Theory and Analysis (illustration)

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

Courses freely elected by students


Each student will select 3 courses/9 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 advisor 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 9 hours of research.

PHPM 695 Doctoral Capstone.

3-9 credit hours