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Doctor of Philosophy

Health Services Research


Studies focus on efficacy, outcomes, access to care, patient satisfaction, and cost efficiency of diagnostic, preventive, interventional, and therapeutic approaches. The Doctor of Philosophy in Health Services Research will help you develop skills in identifying predictors of disease and determining the effectiveness of preventive interventions. Additionally, you will receive formal training in biostatistics, health services research methodologies, study design, health economics, health policy, and grant writing.

PhD Health Services Research PhD Program Handbook​

 PhD Health Services Research Curriculum




Biostatistical Methods I

 BIOS 6611*


SAS Database Design and Management

BIOS 6680


Clinical Science Research Se​​​​minar

CLSC 6210+


Critical Appraisal Seminars in Clinical Science

CLSC 6270


Grant Writing I

CLSC 7101


Ethics and Responsible Conduct of Research

CLSC 7150*


Clinical Outcomes Assessment and Applications

CLSC 7202



EPID 6630*


Health Systems Management Policy 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**

Public Health Concepts for Non-MPH**

PUBH 6600

EHOH 6601



Total Required Health Services Research Credits


Cognate Course Credits^



  Doctoral Thesis




* Courses required before Preliminary Exam (biostatistics, ethics, epidemiology, and research 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 is taken over 1 year typically during the second or third year of the PhD (after passing the Preliminary Exam but before completing the Comprehensive Exam).

++ HSMP 7010 is must be taken in a Fall and Spring semester (1 credit per semester).

**All PhD students matriculating in or after Fall 2018 are required to take PUBH 6600 and EHOH 6601. Only students with a prior graduate degree from a CEPH-accredited institution may waive this requirement.

***3 credits of HSMP electives; recommended courses include HSMP 7601 (3 credits), HSMP 6605 (3 credits), HSMP 6602 (3 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.

^The goal of the cognate courses is to develop a minor area of study that supports the student's research interest. The student will need to present his/her ideas to their academic advisor for approval.


 Concentration Competencies

​Identifie​r ​PhD Health Service Research Competencies
​PHD-HSR 1 ​Identify the main components and issues of the organization, financing and delivery of health services and public health systems in the U.S.
​​PHD-HSR 2 ​Identify and measure clinically meaningful and/or policy relevant outcomes and apply evidence-based practice principles.
​​PHD-HSR 3 ​Critically appraise existing literature and evaluate manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals.
​PHD-HSR 4 ​Demonstrate breadth of health services research theoretical and conceptual knowledge by applying alternative organizational and behavioral models from a range of relevant disciplines.
​PHD-HSR 5 ​Pose innovative and important health services research questions, informed by systematic reviews of the literature, stakeholder needs, and relevant theoretical and conceptual models.
​PHD-HSR 6 ​Select the appropriate econometric/statistical specification and estimation technique, including using specification tests and theoretical justifications for distributional assumptions, the choice of link function, and estimation approach for a variety of outcomes.
​PHD-HSR 7 ​Choose and define the appropriate unit of analysis and approach to computing standard errors for conducting hypothesis test.
​PHD-HSR 8 ​Understand and apply methods for causal inference and identify the assumptions that may or may not hold for a causal interpretation.
​PHD-HSR 9 ​Write and know how to submit grant proposals to federal, state, and non-governmental organizations.
​PHD-HSR 10 ​Describe and adhere to legal, ethical and regulatory issues related to clinical research.
​PHD-HSR 11 ​Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate the findings and implications of health service research through multiple modalities to an interdisciplinary audience.
​PHD-HSR 12 ​Independently design, conduct, and defend research studies using health services research methods.
PHD-HSR 13 ​Participate in interdisciplinary collaboration, provide constructive reviews and feedback to colleagues, and demonstrate leadership in the appropriate application of health services research methods.

Colorado School of Public Health

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Aurora, CO 80045


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