Programs and Degrees


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Program Mission Statement

programs and degreesThe mission of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Global Health Management and Policy (GHMP) is to develop and train future scholars and educators for future academic and research careers in health systems management and policy in global healthcare settings.

Program Description

The PhD program in GHMP has been developed to provide doctoral level training in research methodology, health policy and planning, analysis of health systems, and management strategies.  This program will be most useful to individuals interested in teaching, research, and policy analysis because of the emphasis on research approaches and skill application in the health services area. The PhD program develops new scholars in Health Systems research.  The highly variable character of health systems around the world necessitates the production of capable researchers to analyze and understand these changes and trends and to make recommendations.  The program also helps strengthen existing and new research initiatives within the department.  Applicants with relevant master's degrees or exceptionally qualified bachelor's degree holders are welcome to apply. Depending upon the prior graduate level course work of the applicant, credit hour requirements will vary.

Program Competencies

Domain 1: General Knowledge

  1. Acquire knowledge of theories and supporting concepts pertinent to applied, multi-disciplinary, public health research in the US and internationally. (Core theory course –GHSD 7960, doctoral seminars -GHSD 8050, substantive component of comprehensive exams; prospectus development, work as a research or teaching assistant)
  2. Outline and articulate the key elements of the research process from identifying the research question, selecting a theoretical framework, developing a study design, using appropriate methodologies, conducting the analysis, and interpreting the results. (Core courses - GHSD 7950, GHSD 7960, and GHSD 8250, EPID 7120 or equivalent, doctoral seminars-GHSD 8050, comprehensive exam, prospectus development and defense)

Domain 2: Research Questions, Theoretical Models and Hypotheses Generation

  1. Summarize and synthesize the state of knowledge in a problem area, articulate key concepts, assess relevant findings, identify significant gaps, and compare the advantages and disadvantages of different study designs and methodologies used to date. (Core courses GHSD 7960, GHSD 8250, EPID 7120 or equivalent; approved field electives; comprehensive exams, prospectus development and defense)
  2. Formulate priority research questions relating to a specific area of global health knowledge based on existing gaps in the literature. (Core course GHSD 7960, field electives, prospectus development)

Domain 3: Research Design

  1. Compare advantages and disadvantages of different formal study designs and approaches. Provide feasible alternative standard research designs for given research questions (Core courses GHSD 7960, GHSD 8250, EPID 7120 or equivalent, doctoral seminars-GHSD 8050 and SPHL 9990, and other research design courses, prospective development and defense)
  2. Develop and write an original research protocol or prospectus that includes identifying the research question, selecting a theoretical framework, developing a study design, using appropriate methodologies, conducting the analysis, and interpreting the results. (Core courses GHSD 7950, GHSD 7960, GHSD 8250, EPID 7120 or equivalent; field elective courses, doctoral seminars-GHSD 8050, prospectus development, serve as research assistant with faculty mentors)

Domain 4: Research Conduct

  1. Develop and use instruments for primary and secondary data collection and perform data analysis using correct and appropriate research methods. (Core course-GHSD 8250, advanced methods electives, prospectus development and defense)
  2. Apply for and receive IRB approval for a specific research project using approved and ethical research protocols. (Complete IRB application process for independent study and/or faculty research project; prospectus development)

Domain 5: Dissemination of Knowledge

  1. Disseminate and discuss research knowledge and findings to appropriate audiences (serve as teaching assistant or course instructor; do presentations and posters at local and national meetings; present a seminar for a departmental audience --required of all students; prepare and defend dissertation)
  2. Demonstrate ability to educate others and assess retention. (Work with faculty mentor in appropriate course classroom setting; serve as a teaching assistant; develop and give class lectures and tests; participate in seminars; do a training exercise during fieldwork to the beneficiary population)


Admissions Requirements

Each prospective student applying for the PhD degree must submit the following:

  • A completed online SOPHAS application by December 1 (Note: only completed applications received by the December 1 deadline will be considered for scholarships; incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline are unlikely to receive scholarship funding. Applications received after March 15 will not be considered for admission to the fall PhD class);
  • Official transcripts of all baccalaureate and graduate course work (Note: transcripts should be sent directly from each College or University through the online application, SOPHAS); a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 point scale for graduate course work within the past five years is preferred for admission;
  • For non-US applicants submitting transcripts from foreign institutions, World Education Services (WES) certifications are required;
  • GRE test scores. A GRE combined score of 1200 in verbal and quantitative sections (old GRE version) or 306 (new GRE scoring system), and minimum GRE scores of 75th percentile or higher on all sections of the GRE is expected;
  • Statement of career goals and research ideas.  This statement/essay should be between 500 to 1000 words;
  • A resume (or curriculum vitae);
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with the academic and/or professional performance of the applicant; at least one of the recommendations must be from a person with an earned doctoral degree;
  • For applicants from non-English speaking areas, TOEFL is required;
  • GHMP faculty will also conduct interviews with applicants and will match them with faculty able and willing to advise and mentor the student for the duration of the program.




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