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Health Systems, Managment & Policy


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 www.sophas.orgLearn more

Program Curriculum

Required Core Courses (14 credits)

BIOS 6601                     Applied Biostatistics I                                         3 credits

EPID 6630                     Epidemiology                                                     3 credits

EHOH 6614                    Environmental & Occupational Health                3 credits

CBHS 6610                    Social & Behavioral Factors & Health                  3 credits

PUBH 6600                    Foundations in Public Health                              2 credits


Required Health Systems, Management & Policy Courses (11 credits)

HSMP 6604                    Health Care Economics                                      3 credits

HSMP 6605                    Health Policy                                                     3 credits

HSMP 6609                    Cost Benefit & Effectiveness in Health                2 credits

HSMP 6612                    Principles in Health Care Management                2 credits

HSMP 6616                    Introduction to Health Policy Analysis                 1 credit


Required Health Systems Research Core Courses (13 credits)

BIOS 6680                     SAS Design and Management                            3 credits

HSMP 6630                    Grant Writing for Public Health Prof                    2 credits


HSMP 6602                    Health Equity                                                    2 credits

HSMP 7010                    Foundations in HSR (Fall)                                   1 credit


HSMP 7010                    Foundations in HSR (Spring)                              1 credit

HSMP 7607                    Methods in Health Services Research I               3 credits


HSMP 7609                    Methods in Health Services Research II              3 credits


Practice Based Learning (4 credits)

PUBH 6606                      Practicum                                                        2 credits

PUBH 6955                      Capstone                                                         2 credits


TOTAL                                                                                                   42 credits​

​​Sample Schedule and Updated MPH-HSR Information Packet (as of April ​2014)      

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.

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