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The program is designed as a full-time, residential program, and is typically completed in 3 to 6 years (average completion time is 4.9 years), including the dissertation phase. Students may be admitted on a part-time basis. Students spend two years completing core course work. The third year and beyond are spent preparing for comprehensive examinations, developing and defending a dissertation proposal, and writing and defending the dissertation. Students must pass comprehensive examinations in three areas (health services, research methods, and their area of specialization) before submitting a dissertation proposal.

Six Major Components

  • Prerequisite

    One graduate statistics course and one health care systems course. In addition, two other prerequisite health services courses may be required for those with no prior background or experience in health services (6-12 hours).

  • Core Requirements

    Areas of study will include the following: health economics, health insurance and managed care, growth and development of the U.S. health care system, health care finance, health policy, administrative theory, and doctoral seminars (24 hours).

  • Research Methods

    Areas of study will include philosophy of science, research methods, regression, multivariate statistics, and one additional research/statistics course (15 hours).

  • Specialization

    Students will select a specialization under the guidance of a curriculum committee and take seven additional courses (21 hours).

  • Comprehensive Examinations

    Students must successfully complete a comprehensive examination in each of the areas of health services, research/quantitative methods, and the specialization area during or after the completion of coursework.

  • Dissertation

    The final stage of the program is the preparation, submission, and defense of a doctoral dissertation representing a significant scholarly contribution to health services or health informatics research. Coursework includes dissertation research (9 hours).