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What is a PhD in Health Services Research and Policy?

This Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Health Services Research and Policy program is designed to train doctoral students to pursue original quantitative, qualitative and/or mixed methods research in the broad areas of health policy and health services research in the United States and abroad, with an emphasis on research that can be translated into policy, programs and/or practice.

Students will benefit from engagement with the Department of Health Management and Policy’s interdisciplinary faculty, the Dornsife School of Public Health’s emphasis on urban health and social justice, and the School’s location in Philadelphia—the 5th largest city in the United States—where dynamic networks of academic, government, non-profit, and community-based organizations share a commitment to addressing health problems.

Funded Slots for Students for 2023-2024 Academic Year


The PhD program in Health Services Research and Policy in the Department of Health Management and Policy at Dornsife is accepting applications for multiple fully-funded slots for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Tuition, health insurance, and a stipend at the NIH rate are provided. Faculty in the Department who are potentially accepting students for these funded slots include, but are not limited to:

  • Dr. Jan Eberth, focus on cancer or health delivery research; place and health, spatial analysis, and geographic information systems.
  • Dr. Alex Ortega, Latino health and health care disparities; health and health care in Puerto Rico
  • Dr. Kasim Ortiz, focus on sexual and/or gender minority (SGM) population-level health inequities; intersectionality; measurement of structural racism; lifecourse contributions to racial/ethnic (e.g., U.S. Afro-Latino/a health) and SGM inequities in Alzheimer’s Disease and its Related Dementias (ADRD)
  • Dr. Lindsay Shea, focus on administrative data, policy implementation, and disability policy

Feel free to reach out to Brent Langellier, PhD, MA, Associate Professor, with questions.

Why Pursue a PhD in Health Services Research and Policy at Drexel

Unique benefits of the PhD in Health Services Research and Policy program at Drexel Dornsife include:

  • The ability to choose a cognate to further your research interests
  • Renown faculty with a mix of practice and research backgrounds. Faculty specialize in health services research and policy across broad areas of topics and methods. Examples of areas of expertise within the department include:
  • Implementation science
  • Population mental health
  • Health disparities and immigrant health
  • Maternal and child health policy
  • Systems science methods

All applicants are automatically reviewed for a graduate assistantship, which includes full tuition remission, a health insurance subsidy and a stipend in exchange for 20 hours-a-week of teaching and/or research support, based on department needs. Graduate assistantships can be renewed yearly based on student's performance and available funding.

Prospective doctoral students are also eligible for the Urban Health Collaborative Doctoral Fellowship Program. Fellows will be supported to conduct urban health research under the mentorship of a faculty research sponsor. Fellows will receive a stipend, full tuition remission and additional support for research and travel. Awards are renewable for a second year.

Students in the PhD in Health Services Research and Policy program will be prepared to:

  • Weigh the social, political, behavioral, and economic contexts of health and health services
  • Develop and use theoretical frameworks to formulate testable research questions in health services research
  • Apply quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods to answer health services research questions
  • Translate and disseminate research findings to inform health services practice and policy
  • Ensure the ethical and responsible conduct of health services and policy research

Enhance your skill set and propel your career forward with a PhD in Health Services Research and Policy from the CEPH-accredited number one school of public health in Philadelphia. Start your application today.

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PhD in Health Services Research and Policy Admissions Requirements

The Dornsife School of Public Health seeks students who wish to use their training to improve the U.S. health care system, individual health, and population health outcomes through research and advocacy. Applicants who demonstrate a strong commitment to research are preferred.

To be considered for the PhD in Health Services Research and Policy program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of a Master's degree with a concentration in public health, health services research, health policy, health care management, or other social science-related fields.
  • Successful completion of undergraduate- and graduate-level coursework in quantitative analytic methods.
  • Evidence of prior research experience.

Application Requirements for the PhD in Health Services Research and Policy Program

In order for your application to be reviewed, applicants must complete the following:

  • Online application
  • Official transcripts from every college-level institution you attended (academic records from institutions outside the U.S. must undergo a credentials evaluation).
  • English proficiency test score (TOEFL or IELTS), if applicable
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Statement of Purpose and Objectives
  • Writing sample

A note on official GRE scores: GRE scores will not be a part of the Drexel University Department of Health Management and Policy application for those applying for Fall 2023 entry. The Admissions Committee will continue to evaluate candidates based on a holistic and overall assessment of the required application materials. This policy will be reviewed and reconsidered at the end of the 2023-2024 academic year.

Admissions and Application requirements

Health Services Research and Policy PhD Curriculum

The PhD in Health Services Research and Policy curriculum equips students with the skills to identify and answer important questions regarding health services and policies in the United States and to disseminate and translate findings into action.

Students will focus on core areas of study, including:

  • Social and political determinants of health and health systems
  • Research methods
  • Health economics
  • Implementation science

Required Courses

Core courses in the PhD in Health Services Research and Policy program include:

  • HMP 511 Legal Aspects of Public Health – 3 credits
  • HMP 802 Health and Human Rights – 3 credits
  • BST 560 Intermediate Biostatistics I – 3 credits
  • ECON 550 Econometrics – 3 credits
  • HMP 810 Health Services Research – 3 credits
  • HMP 815 Cost Benefit Analysis for Health Services – 3 credits
  • HMP 852 Health Economics I – 3 credits
  • HMP 820 Methods in Implementation Science – 3 credits

Degree Requirements for the PhD in Health Services Research and Policy

Completion of the PhD in Health Services Research and Policy will require:

  • A minimum of 90 quarter credit hours (21 credits from master's degree will be transferred over)
  • Passing the doctoral comprehensive examination;
  • Passing the dissertation proposal defense;
  • Completing a research dissertation of publishable quality; and
  • Passing the final dissertation defense.

To learn more about the PhD in Health Services Research and Policy degree requirements, courses, and plans of study, visit the links below.

Review degree requirements and courses

Sample Plan of Study

Career Options with a PhD in Health Services Research and Policy

The PhD in Health Services Research and Policy prepares researchers and scholars for careers in universities and other organizations, such as state and local governmental agencies and private health-related industries (insurers, pharmaceuticals, philanthropic foundations, etc.), where health services research is conducted.

With a PhD in Health Services Research and Policy, individuals have the opportunity to explore unique and valuable career paths, including:

  • University Professor
  • Program Director
  • Public Health Policy Analyst
  • Research Scientist
  • Senior Policy Manager
  • Health Policy Consultant

Program graduates find rewarding and successful careers, serving to improve the U.S. health care system, individual health, and population health outcomes through research and advocacy.

PhD in Health Services Research and Policy Salary Scale

While salary can range across industries, the median salary for a research analyst was $82,360 in May 2021.

To learn more about the PhD in Health Services Research and Policy, request more information and get in touch with one of our academic advisors today.

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image of graduation cap with percent of Doctoral student's that receive some kind of funding

Paying for Your Public Health Degree


95 percent of PhD students receive tuition remission, stipend, and health insurance.

In general, PhD students finance their education through a variety of sources, and the Dornsife School of Public Health provides financial support through training grants, scholarships, stipends, and working as a teaching or research assistant.

Explore scholarships and financial aid


Contact


Brent A. Langellier, PhD, MA
Program Director
Assistant Professor, Health Management and Policy
267.359.6025
bal95@drexel.edu

David A. Wood, MBA, MS
Executive Director, Enrollment Management
267.359.6092
daw348@drexel.edu