In your first two years as a Health Services Research (HSR) graduate student, you will be participating in on-going research and completing coursework. In the third year, emphasis is placed on developing your dissertation research topic. The fourth and fifth years of the program are spent doing research and writing your dissertation. Students must take at least 74 total semester hours. 

Core Competency Coursework (18 semester hours)
*Health Services Research (9 semester hours) 

Students are required to take these courses before taking the Core Competency Qualifying Exam

  • HMP:4000 Introduction to Health Care Organization and Policy (or equivalent)
  • PHAR:6330 Models of Patient Choice and Behavior
  • PHAR:6331 Models of Provider Choice and Behavior

*Research Methods and Statistics (9 semester hours)
Students are required to take these courses before taking the Core Competency Exam

  • PHAR:5350 Introduction to Research Methods
  • 6 semester hours of Statistics (in Biostatistics, Economics, Education Psychology, Mathematics, or Sociobiology)
Specialty Coursework (at least 24 semester hours)

With the guidance of their faculty advisor, students develop a plan of study that encompasses an area of expertise, or a specialty. The specialty area must be comprised of at least 24 semester hours, and should include course work. 

Additional Requirements

Seminar (1 semester hour per semester)

Students are required to take the Seminar in Health Services Research (PHAR: 5310) each semester they are on campus, excluding summer. 

Research Experience 

Students are expected to participate in specific aspects of ongoing research in the HSR program. These research activities often are part of paid graduate research assistantships. In addition, course credit may be obtained for specific research activities in conjunction with HSR faculty members. Course credit cannot be obtained for research activities performed under paid graduate research assistantships. By their third year in the program, students are expected to present the results from one completed research project at a regional or national meeting. 

Preliminary Guided Research Experience

We help all our graduate students to gain research experience prior to starting their dissertation.  This preliminary research experience will take place sometime during your first three years in the program.  Most students get guided early research experience working with their advisor or other faculty member on an ongoing project, sometimes as part of a research assistantship.  Some students have an idea for a small research project of their own that they complete with support from their major advisor.  This early research experience is very valuable in helping students acquire the necessary research skills to do their dissertation. 


Dissertation Research

​Your dissertation research is a key component of your Ph.D. education.  Students typically work on their dissertation research in their 4th and 5th years in the program. With guidance from your major advisor, you will choose a research topic, design the study, complete the study and write up the results.  The oral defense of this research is the final examination for the Ph.D. degree.  You will register for PHAR:6320 Health Services Research credits while conducting your research.  

Principles of Scholarly Integrity (BMED: 7270)

This course needs to be completed in year two and is comprised of a four hour introductory orientation workshop followed by eight bi-monthly workshops over two academic semesters. 

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree

Students must take at least 36 semester hours and not more than 9 hours can be thesis or project research credits. 

Required Courses

PHAR: 6330 Models of Patient Choice and Behavior
PHAR: 6331 Models of Provider Choice and Behavior
Research Methods  

Required Prerequisite Courses

PHAR: 8308 Pharmaceutical Economics and Insurance must be audited in the first semester they are taught during the student's residence. Exceptions will be made for students with similar course work or experience. All students will be required to know the contents of these courses for comprehensive examinations.