|Health Services Research PhD|
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Health Services Research offers opportunities to study both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and students are encouraged to develop facility in mixed research methods. Students specialize either in health economics or health outcomes and quality during their studies. The program also has particular strengths in health services research on organizational behavior and transformation, and on how to improve the implemenation and sustainability of desired changes in health care. Graduates of the program are prepared for academic faculty positions and research positions in industry and the public sector.
The BUSPH Health Services Research program focuses on developing independent research scientists and scholars with excellent methodological skills, strong substantive knowledge of health care settings and policies, and an understanding of diverse interdisciplinary perspectives. The desired program outcome is for students to develop the necessary skills to conceive, design, and execute innovative research projects of high quality within the peer review process. The program's practical context will enable students to produce research findings that address challenging problems in clinical and management settings and to apply them in those settings.
Doctoral students in this program develop the ability to create theoretical and conceptual models that incorporate elements of frameworks from across fields. Conceptual frameworks available for study include social sciences (e.g. economics, sociology, anthropology); the management sciences (e.g. organizational theory, operations research); epidemiology and clinical sciences; and law and political science.
The PhD program engages the individual in a comprehensive, hands-on experience of health services research. This program ties classroom education closely to practical experience in research. Students are assisted, encouraged, and expected to begin dissertation research projects early in their studies. Students also have the opportunity to collaborate with senior faculty mentors in innovative research crucial to the improvement of healthcare delivery, treatment outcomes and government policies.
Faculty are actively engaged in diverse areas of research, and the department is closely affiliated with two centers for health services research in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Find out: What is health services research?
See Eligibility for Admission and Funding Information for more program details. For complete program information, including departmental contact information, download the PhD Guide.
In addition to the MS in Health Services Research competencies, upon completion of the PhD in Health Services Research, the graduate is able to:
The core courses required for the PhD are an extension of the core courses required for the MS. The PhD includes 69 credits of coursework, approximately half in core courses and half in field courses and electives.
Core PhD Courses
- CAS EC 501 Microeconomic Theory or
- GRS EC 701 Microeconomic Theory (a one-semester first-year course required for PhD students in the Health Economics field, offered in the Boston University Economics Department on Charles River Campus)
PhD Field Courses
Required field courses for PhD students in the Health Outcomes & Quality field:
Required field courses for PhD students in the Health Economics field:
- 8 credits (two 4-credit courses) from the Boston University Economics Department chosen with approval by PhD Program Director.
- 1-credit Health Economics Research Seminar (register as PM932)
Successful applicants hold a Master's degree in a field related to health services research (i.e. social/behavioral science, epidemiology, management, biological sciences or health professions), or should have completed substantial course work in these fields. Exceptional candidates holding a Bachelor's degree may be considered for an articulated MS/PhD program and should indicate their intention to enroll in an articulated program in an application to the MS program.
Information on the application process is available from the School of Public Health Admissions Office. Questions regarding the application process can be directed to email@example.com.
[Top]PhD Funding Information
Students will be eligible to work as research assistants on funded research projects in the Department of Health Policy & Management and we expect that all students will do so in the course of their studies unless they are employed in health services research environments in other settings.
In addition to research within the department, many of the faculty members conduct research and have funding opportunities at our affiliated U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs research centers: the Center for Health Quality, Outcomes, and Economic Research (CHQOER); the Center for Organization, Leadership, and Management Research (COLMR); and the Office for Productivity, Efficiency and Staffing (OPES).
The Program Director, department faculty, and program manager will actively assist students in obtaining funding and identifying employment opportunities on funded faculty projects. Some of these projects may take place outside of the department and include placement at the Boston University School of Medicine or the Boston Medical Center.
In addition, some advanced students, with assistance from program faculty, have sought and obtained dissertation research grants from federal agencies and other funders.
Recent PhD Dissertation Abstracts (PDF):