Ph.D. Degree Program
The Ph.D. in Health Policy and Management prepares experts in health services research for careers in academic settings or in public and private organizations where advanced research and analytic skills are required.
Health services research is a multidisciplinary field that examines the uses, costs, quality, accessibility, delivery, organization, financing and health outcomes of healthcare systems in the U.S. and elsewhere. Health Services researchers investigate and interpret the complexities of healthcare systems, including how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and individual and group behaviors affect access, cost and quality of care. The program is offered on a full-time basis only with course work at the KUMC campus.
Ph.D. Degree Requirements
The doctoral program is a 56-credit-hour, post-master’s, competency-based program in health services research consisting of 3 stages. A set of prerequisite courses representing 6 core areas of health policy and management and graduate-level statistics are required prior to entering the program. The program, including dissertation, is designed to be completed in a minimum of 4 academic years (see Plan of Study). Students are expected to maintain continuous, full-time enrollment.
Stage 1 consists of basic courses in health policy, health care management, and quantitative and qualitative research methods. A notable feature of this stage is that students begin to participate in the research process immediately upon beginning the program through a series of five 1-credit-hour immersion courses, taken within the first 2 semesters along with other basic courses.
Stage 2 involves specialization in a specific substantive area of either policy or management research or a combination, as well as advanced statistical analysis and research methods. Students also complete a teaching seminar and practicum.
Stage 3 consists of the doctoral dissertation demonstrating the development, execution, and results of original research. Students work primarily with their dissertation advisor and doctoral committee at this stage in order to prepare and defend their dissertation proposal and to carry out and complete their dissertation research project. There are two options for the written dissertation, the traditional book format or a three publishable articles format. The written dissertation is formatted and published according to university guidelines. See Electronic Thesis and Dissertations on the Graduate Studies website.
Research and Responsible Scholarship Requirement
Before taking the comprehensive oral examination, the student must meet the research skills and responsible scholarship requirement of the university.
HPM Ph.D. students meet these requirements as follows:
The research skills requirement for the Ph.D. in Health Policy and Management is met through completion of the required sequence of health services research methods courses with an average grade of 3.0. The sequence consists of HP&M 819, HP&M 870, HP&M 871, HP&M 872, HP&M 873, HP&M 875, and HP&M 886, and a graduate-level course in qualitative research methods.
The responsible scholarship requirement for the Ph.D. in Health Policy and Management is met through the research ethics modules in HP&M 819, HP&M 870, and HP&M 886. Topics include protection of human subjects, conflicts of interest, data management, mentor/student responsibilities, collaborative research, authorship/publication issues, peer review, confidentiality, and research misconduct. Students also are expected to complete the KUMC Human Subjects Protection training module during the first semester of the doctoral program and keep their certification current throughout their tenure in the Ph.D. program.