Doctor of Philosophy in the Field of Health Policy

Co-Program Directors:  A. Dor, L. Ku


The PhD in Health Policy is focused on understanding and critically assessing the political, legal, economic, and social aspects of health policy and management and learning to apply innovative research tools to analyze processes and outcomes in the health care delivery and public health settings to inform policy decision-making. Special emphasis is placed on US health policies, systems, and population health.  


Knowledge acquired in this PhD program will prepare candidates for work in academic, non-academic, and public research institutions, as well as in decision-making capacities in the field.   

The objectives of this specialty field are to:

  • Equip candidates with the research and analytic methods they need to analyze and evaluate the social, economic, legal and health aspects of public and private policies.
  • Provide advanced training in health policy analysis using cutting edge quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Gain familiarity on existing data sources and data collection methods pertaining to health programs and behaviors.
  • Synthesize information on population health, legislative processes, finance and insurance schemes to motivate policy analysis

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 48 credits, including 15 credits in public health fundamentals and advanced health policy courses; 12 credits in methods and advanced statistics; 9 credits minimum in elective courses, 12 credits in dissertation preparation and dissertation research; and successful completion of a comprehensive examination.

Core fundamental courses
PUBH 6340Health Economics and Finance
PUBH 8401Foundations in Public Health Leadership and Practice
PUBH 8620Seminar: Foundations of U.S. Health Policy
PUBH 8610Statistical Methods for Health Policy
or PUBH 8418 Applied Statistical Analysis
PUBH 8622Health Care Payments, Systems, and Delivery Models
PUBH 6080Pathways to Public Health
Core methods courses
PUBH 8404Advanced Topics: Health Systems and Health Policy Research
PUBH 8405Advanced Topics: Health Economics Research
PUBH 8417Qualitative Research Methods and Analysis
PPPA 8022Econometrics for Policy Research II
9 credits in elective courses. A recommended list of electives is available in the program guide. Other doctoral-level electives may be approved by the advisor.
PUBH 8422Advanced Health Care and Public Health Research Design
or PUBH 8435 Dissertation Proposal Development for Social and Behavioral Sciences
PUBH 8999Dissertation Research

Graduation requirements as follow:

  1. Credits: Successful completion of 48 credits.
  2. Comprehensive examination: Once the course of study is completed, students are required to pass the comprehensive exam to be officially admitted to the candidacy phase.
  3. Dissertation: PUBH 8422 or PUBH 8435 dissertation preparation course plus 10 credits in dissertation research are required. Once the proposal has been successfully defended and the dissertation research credit requirements has been met, the oral defense may be scheduled.
  4. Grade-point average: A minimum overall grade-point average of B (3.0).
  5. Time limit: The degree must be completed within seven years.