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Health Systems, Managment & Policy

Health Systems, Managment & Policy

Doctor of Philosophy

Health Services Research

 The Health Services Research (HSR) PhD Program is a collaborative program between the Clinical Science Graduate Program and the Department of Health Systems, Management and Policy at the Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH). HSR is an interdisciplinary program that evaluates organization, delivery and reimbursement in health care.

Studies focus on efficacy, outcomes, access to care, patient satisfaction, and cost efficiency of diagnostic, preventive, interventional, and therapeutic approaches. HSR includes identifying predictors of disease and determining the effectiveness of preventive interventions. The HSR PhD Program includes formal training in biostatistics, health services research methodologies, study design, health economics, health policy, and grant writing.

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PhD Health Services Research Curriculum:







Biostatistical Methods I


BIOS 6611*



SAS Database Design and Management

BIOS 6680


Clinical Science Research Seminar

CLSC 6210+


Critical Appraisal Seminars in Clinical Science

CLSC 6270


Grant Writing I

CLSC 7101


Ethics and Regulation in Human Subjects Research

CLSC 7150*


Clinical Outcomes Assessment and Applications

CLSC 7202



EPID 6630*


Health Systems & Management Elective***



Health Care Economics

HSMP 6604


Methods in Health Services Research I

HSMP 7607*


Methods in Health Services Research II

HSMP 7609


Foundations in Health Services Research

HSMP 7010++


Foundations in Public Health

PUBH 6600**


Total Required Health Services Research Credits


Cognate Course Credits


Doctoral Thesis



66 (MIN)


* Courses required before Preliminary Exam (biostatistics, ethics, epidemiology, and methods--HSMP 7010 fall semester and HSMP 7607)).  BIOS 6611 is required before taking HSMP 7607. Students must complete HSMP 7609 and CLSC 7202 prior to HSR-specific preliminary exam.

+ CLSC 6210 must be taken over three consecutive terms, but is only worth 1 credit granted at the end of the third term pending successful fulfillment of mandatory requirements.

++ HSMP 7010 must be taken over four consecutive terms, but is worth only 2 credits (1 credit granted at the end of each academic year pending successful fulfillment of mandatory requirements.

**PUBH 6600 is required for Health Services Research students without a public health background.

***3 credits of HSMP electives; recommended courses include HSMP 6605 (3 credits) or either HSMP 6602 (2 credits) or HSMP 6609 (2 credits) and HSMP 6616 (1 credit).

****Must complete all required coursework or be concurrently registered for remaining coursework prior to registering for HSMP 8990.


  • Accurately use and interpret statistics commonly used in HSR studies.
  • Appropriately use research designs and methods to address research questions/hypotheses.
  • Understand the methods for measurement and assessment of clinical outcomes .
  • Utilize healthcare databases and other information technologies in research.
  • Understand legal, ethical and regulatory issues related to clinical research and human subjects.
  • Critically appraise existing literature.
  • Prepare and submit grant proposals.
  • Prepare and submit peer-reviewed manuscripts.
  • Identify the main components and issues of the organization, financing and delivery of health services and public health systems in the US.
  • Discuss the policy process for improving the health status of populations.
  • Apply quality and performance improvement concepts to healthcare systems.
  • Demonstrate communication and leadership skills for collaboration with other disciplines and providing constructive review and feedback to colleagues.


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