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Master of Public Health

Health Services Research

The Health Services Research Master of Public Health program provides training in the scientific foundations of the multidisciplinary field of health services research (HSR). HSR studies the interplay of financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, social factors, and personal behaviors which affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and quantity and quality of life.


Our HSR students develop sophisticated analytic and research skills, as well as an understanding of the environmental, social and ethical factors that contribute to health and wellness in the community. Students are trained as scientists and prepared for careers where they develop and evaluate new approaches to improving public health.


Didactic course work is required in health policy, economics, econometrics, biostatistics and public health. While health services research is grounded in theory, the discipline exists to perform research that can be applied by physicians, nurses, health managers and administrators, and other professionals who make management and policy decisions, or who deliver care in the health care system. The culmination of this degree program is a project in the form of a peer-reviewed, publishable paper. Students are prepared to conduct research studies that examine outcomes at the individual, family, organizational, institutional, community, and population level.


Program Admission


To apply to the MPH program, please follow the standard MPH admissions process and instructions. Applications are accepted online through

Learn more​.

Program Curriculum

MPH-Health Services Research Curriculum Checksheet


Required Core Courses (14 credits)
Course Title Credits
BIOS 6601 Applied Biostatistics I 3
EPID 6630 Epidemiology 3
EHOH 6614 Environmental & Occupational Health 3
CBHS 6610 Social & Behavioral Factors & Health 3
PUBH 6600 Foundations in Public Health 2

Required Health Systems, Management & Policy Courses (11 credits)
Course Title Credits
HSMP 6604 Health Care Economics 3
HSMP 6605 Health Policy 3
HSMP 6609 Cost Benefit & Effectiveness in Health 2
HSMP 6612 Principles in Health Care Management 2
HSMP 6616 Introduction to Health Policy Analysis 1

Required Health Systems Research Core Courses (13 credits)
Course Title Credits
BIOS 6680 SAS Design and Management 3
HSMP 6630 Grant Writing for Public Health Prof 2
HSMP 6602 Health Equity 2
HSMP 7010 Foundations in HSR (Fall) 1
HSMP 7010 Foundations in HSR (Spring) 1
HSMP 7607 Methods in Health Services Research I 3
HSMP 7609 Methods in Health Services Research II 3

Practice Based Learning (4 credits)
Course Title Credits
PUBH 6606 Practicum 2
HSMP 6990 Capstone Preparation 1
​PUBH 6991 ​Capstone Integration ​1

​​​Sample Schedule and Updated MPH-HSR Information Packet (as of October 2017)

The following sample schedule and information packet are designed to assist students in planning their course of study at the Colorado School of Public Health. The number of credits in a given semester, the order in which the required courses are taken, and the courses that are taken to meet the concentration requirements can vary.


Download the following:


​Course descriptions and additional courses are available in Course Options​​.​


 Concentration Competencies



MPH Health Services Research Concentration (CN) Competencies

Compared to the HSMP concentration, the HSR concentration has additional required coursework to build greater depth and breadth in analytical competencies. Two additional competencies (13 and 14) address this.

Health Systems and Health Economics


Analyze the effects of markets and political processes on the organization, financing and delivery of public and private health services in the U.S. system.


Apply commonly used methods for evaluating health economic policy, including the use of cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis.


Evaluate differences between different models used for financing and delivering healthcare.

Management and Leadership


Assess key tenets of effective organizational and financial management and evaluate the strengths and limitations of different management approaches for improving population health.


Explain key elements of human resource management: defining roles and responsibilities; recruiting, motivating and retaining staffing; and assessing and applying measures for performance improvement.


Apply common quality and performance improvement tools in public health and healthcare settings.


Apply principles of budgeting and financial decision analysis in public health and healthcare settings.   


Examine attributes of strategic leadership, including the use of vision, mission, values, goals and objectives.



Differentiate key public health laws, regulations, and policies affecting health programs and the delivery of health services


Investigate commonly used frameworks for systematically and critically evaluating the policy development and implementation process at the federal, state, and local levels and outside the U.S. 


Develop a plan for engaging stakeholders and building coalitions in the development or implementation of health policy.


Analyze ethical considerations (such as social justice and human rights) affecting health policy and how the organization and delivery of health care in the U.S. contributes to health equity.

Health Services Research Methods


Accurately select, use and interpret commonly used statistics in health services research to test theory-driven hypotheses.


Appropriately select healthcare databases and utilize information technologies in research.

Colorado School of Public Health

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Mail Stop B119
Aurora, CO 80045


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