Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required to Earn the Degree: 45

Required Courses:

Core Courses
HPM 8005Theor Hlth Policy Making3
HPM 8008Health Economics3
HPM 8014Comparative Health Policy3
HPM 8015Public Health Policy and Legal Issues3
HRPR 5001Current and Emerging Issues in Public Health and Health Professions 10
Research Methods Courses
EPBI 8012Multivariable Biostatistics3
EPBI 8212Grantsmanship in Health Research3
HPM 8013Research Methods in Health Policy3
Electives 218
Select electives in Health Policy Theory:
HPM 5016
Public Health Advocacy
HPM 5500
Seminar in Current Issues in Public Health
POLS 8103
Legislative Behavior
Select electives in Research Methods:
EPBI 8201
Structural Equation Modeling
EPBI 8204
Multilev Mod in Int Res
EPBI 8208
Data Management and Analysis
POLS 8002
Qualitative Research Methods
POLS 8112
Research in State Politics
SBS 8001
Research Methods in Public Health
Econometric Methods for Health Services Research course
Research Courses 36
HPM 9994
Preliminary Examinations
HPM 9998
Dissertation Proposal Research
HPM 9999
Dissertation Research
Total Credit Hours45

Minimum Grade to be Earned for All Required Courses: B-

Culminating Events:
Area Paper:
Prior to sitting for the preliminary examinations, students must have successfully published or written a publishable paper in their chosen area of research interest. The purpose of the paper requirement is to demonstrate critical and interpretive knowledge in specialized areas of one's chosen program, as well as a high proficiency in written communication and a capacity to contribute to generalizable knowledge in the field. The student must be the lead or sole author. For students who enter the program without already having published a first-authored, peer-reviewed article, they typically initiate efforts toward this requirement during their first term of residency.

A student cannot advance to the preliminary examinations without passing the paper requirement. Failure to satisfactorily complete the area paper requirement within the specified time frame can result in dismissal from the PhD program. Students entering the PhD program who have already published a peer-reviewed paper related to their programmatic discipline can submit the published document to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval.

Preliminary Examinations:
Students typically take their preliminary examinations during their third year of residency in the program, after completing the paper requirement. All students are required to take the preliminary examinations prior to completing and defending their dissertation research proposal. The exams should be taken within one term of completing all coursework. Students are required to meet with their mentor and Director of Graduate Studies before the beginning of the term in which they plan to take the examinations to establish eligibility.

The preliminary examinations are designed to test fundamental core competencies of the students' training. The student must register for 1 credit of HPM 9994 in the term in which the examinations are taken. To register for HPM 9994, the student must have completed all coursework or be enrolled in final courses in the term in which the examinations are taken. Note that all Incomplete and/or "NR" grades must have been removed, and the area paper requirement must have been satisfied. Special authorization is required to register.

The preliminary examinations consist of the following components:

  • A comprehensive one-week take-home written examination, with an emphasis on the student’s concentration, about the scientific foundations as well as social and behavioral sciences underpinnings of public health;
  • A methods exam, which is a four-hour in-class examination on research methods and statistics; and
  • A two-hour oral examination to give a 30-minute scientific presentation and answer any questions from the Examination Committee. The Committee may also ask the student any questions related to the two written exams.

Students who fail these exams may have one opportunity to take the examinations again. A second failure results in automatic dismissal from the PhD program.

Dissertation Proposal:
After passing the preliminary examinations, students may enroll in HPM 9998. Students must be enrolled for 1 credit of HPM 9998 each term until they file their dissertation proposal with the Graduate School.

All students must form a Doctoral Advisory Committee (DAC) with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. The DAC is composed of at least three Graduate Faculty members: two members, including the chair, must be from the PhD program faculty of the Department of Health Services Administration and Policy. The DAC Chair must be approved as Doctoral Graduate Faculty by the Dean of the College of Public Health and by the Graduate School. The Chair is responsible for overseeing and guiding the student's progress; coordinating the responses of the Committee members; and informing the student and the Director of Graduate Studies annually of the student's academic progress.

To fulfill the requirements of HPM 9998, students must submit a dissertation proposal, successfully defend it orally before their Committee, apply for Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for the proposed research, and submit the proposal to the Graduate School. Students may enroll in HPM 9998 for only two terms without permission. Students needing more time may, with the support of their advisor, formally petition the Director of Graduate Studies for an extension, although an extension is not guaranteed. Failure to meet these requirements can result in dismissal from the program.

Once the proposal is defended, the student is elevated to candidacy and eligible to register for dissertation credits.

The doctoral dissertation is an original theory-based research study that makes a significant contribution to the field of Health Policy and Health Services Research. It should expand existing knowledge and demonstrate the student's mastery of theory and research methods, particularly within a concentration or specialty area. The research should be rigorous, while upholding the ethics and standards of the field. Students are expected to submit their dissertation study for publication and presentation to professional audiences.

To fulfill the dissertation requirement, students must prepare and orally defend the final dissertation in a public meeting. Students must be enrolled continuously in HPM 9999 until their dissertation is successfully defended. The Graduate School requires a minimum of 2 credits of HPM 9999. Students must be enrolled in the term that they graduate.

The Dissertation Examining Committee (DEC) consists of the DAC plus at least one additional external reviewer. The external reviewer must be doctorally prepared. If this person is not a member of the Temple University Graduate Faculty, they must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies, the Dean of the College, and the Graduate School to take part in the final dissertation examination. The DEC evaluates the student’s written dissertation and oral defense, including the student’s ability to articulate orally the research question; methodological approach; primary findings; interpretation of the findings; and implications for theory, research, and practice. The DEC votes to pass or fail the dissertation and the defense at the conclusion of the public presentation.

If a student needs to change a member of a committee, the new member must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and registered with the Graduate School.

Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation should confirm a time and date with their DEC and work with their department’s administrative assistant to secure a room. This should be done at least one month in advance of the proposed date. The administrative assistant arranges the time, date and room within two working days. After the time, date and room are secured, the student must send to the Graduate School a completed "Announcement of Dissertation Defense" form, found in TUportal under the Tools tab within “University Forms.” This must be submitted at least 10 working days before the defense. The department posts flyers announcing the defense, and the Graduate School lists the defense on its website.