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University of Pittsburgh    
2017-2018 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 13, 2024
2017-2018 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Health Services Research and Policy, PhD

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Other Requirements

*HPM 3064: Health Policy Analysis is the prerequiste to HPM 3065 and must be taken during the spring term of the first year. In addition to required courses, students must have a minimum of 72 credits to graduate. Full Time Dissertation Study (b) Current Topics; Must attend all semesters and register for at least 2 Semesters Teaching (1 credit); Must serve as teaching assistant at least one semester (c) Area of Focus (Minimum 12, including electives)


(a) Students without previous experience in health care are expected to take HPM 2105: Health and Medical Care Organization
(b) Students must register for 3 dissertation credits or one semester of Full Time Dissertation Research (FTDR).
(c) Students may optionally take the PUBHLT 2013 and PUBHLT 2017 sequence (2 credits total).

Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree:

(Note: This is not a complete list of requirements.)

For an overview of University-wide regulations for doctoral students, see Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Degrees. All Pitt Public Health doctoral students must:

  • Complete specific courses as determined by the program or the school, including at least 3 credits of 3100 (dissertation) or one term of FTDR (full-time dissertation research).
  • Fulfill the University’s residency requirement.
  • Satisfactorily complete the preliminary/qualifying examination, the comprehensive examination, the dissertation overview, the dissertation defense, and the annual Individual Development Plan.
  • Meet the requirement for proficiency in tools of research.
  • Register for two terms of Public Health Grand Rounds.
  • Complete the online Academic Integrity Modules in the first semester.

Individual programs will provide specific information on fulfillment of these requirements.

The Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) PhD program meets an ongoing need for public health researchers who focus on cost, access and quality of the health care system. Graduates will be prepared to conduct research on policy issues affecting the organization, financing, and delivery of health care and public health services.

The PhD requires a minimum of 72 credits. Students will work with their academic advisors to develop an area of focus with at least 12 credits (included in the 72 credit total) that focuses on a discipline or area of interest. The area of focus is the opportunity for students to gain specialized skills and knowledge relevant to their chosen research area. The courses for the area of focus can be based in a traditional discipline, an established field, or can be thematically linked based on the students’ interests and goals. For example, students may choose from a traditional discipline such as economics, psychology, sociology or bioethics. Others may choose to focus on a technical area such as quantitative or qualitative research methods or survey design, or a substantive area such as quality and patient safety, gerontology, pharmacoeconomics, substance abuse, or mental health. Students must successfully pass a preliminary exam given after the first year, a comprehensive exam given after the second year, and typically present their dissertation overview towards the end of the third year. The doctoral dissertation will take the form of three thematically linked manuscripts of publishable quality. 

PhD Curriculum   

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