Health Policy and Health Services Research PhD

The Health Policy and Health Services Research PhD program in Temple’s College of Public Health emphasizes the use of economics, health services and outcomes research—as well as healthcare administration and leadership—to study today’s challenging health policy issues. Students graduate from this doctoral degree program ready to pursue careers as academic researchers in universities or as policymakers who can help address critical questions in healthcare and public health.

Health Policy and Health Services Research PhD students work closely with faculty on key public health topics, such as

  • eliminating health disparities;
  • examining healthcare costs;
  • improving the quality and the outcomes of healthcare services; and
  • developing policy initiatives that target areas of population health such as aging, chronic diseases, mental health, risk behaviors, substance use and violence/injury prevention.

Students have opportunities to improve community health and reduce public health inequities in one of the largest urban settings in the nation. Many doctoral students in the Health Policy and Health Services Research PhD program collaborate with community-based and healthcare delivery organizations in Philadelphia while they conduct research projects for their dissertations. The Health Policy and Health Services Research PhD program allows you to work closely with faculty and peers to collaborate on research studies, develop collegial bonds, meet potential mentors and collaborators, and prepare for your future in health policy.

Health Policy and Health Services Research PhD graduates enter academic research and teaching positions, or work in private and public institutional settings to develop, evaluate and implement health policy at local, state, national and global levels. These institutions may include health foundations, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies and public health departments.

What sets apart our Health Policy and Health Services Research PhD?

  • Collaboration with renowned faculty: Our faculty are experts in emergency management, health policy analysis, healthcare organization leadership, patient experience and quality of care, population health, and primary and long-term care.
  • Interdisciplinary opportunities: The College of Public Health incorporates healthcare and health services disciplines as well as traditional public health fields. Students can learn from and collaborate with expert faculty across 17 disciplines ranging from social work to physical therapy and nursing.
  • Preparation for academic teaching: Our students may enroll in the Teaching for Higher Education certificate program, offered by Temple’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching, while pursuing their PhD.
  • Applied experience: All students participate in a Grantsmanship in Health Research course, which culminates with a student-authored grant submission. The mentored grant-writing experience is the first step to becoming an independent investigator with a funding record.

Program Format

The PhD is a full-time doctoral program. The curriculum is 45 credits, including essential courses in health policy, such as comparative policy, health economics, legal issues and policy making, with an emphasis on training in research methodology, grant writing and teaching.

See a full list of program courses.

Funding for Doctoral Students

The College of Public Health offers all PhD students a competitive level of support, including tuition, stipend and health insurance, for four years. Graduate assistantships sponsored by the College of Public Health are outlined below.

  • Research assistants perform supervised research activities and work with faculty on grant proposals and ongoing research. Through these experiences, you will develop both research and grant writing competencies.
  • Teaching assistants are assigned to assist in teaching courses, including grading exams and papers or teaching lab sections. Teaching assistants learn current pedagogies that prepare them for academic teaching. They can also receive certification in higher education teaching.

Highly qualified candidates are nominated for university fellowships, and candidates from minority groups can be nominated for Temple’s Future Faculty Fellow program.


Additional Program Information