Health Policy PhD

The Health Policy PhD program in the 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 program ready to pursue careers as academic researchers in universities or policy makers who can help address critical questions in healthcare and public health.

Health Policy 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 U.S. Many doctoral students collaborate with community-based and healthcare delivery organizations in Philadelphia while they conduct research projects for their dissertations. The onsite format of the Health Policy 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.

The program trains students in developing, evaluating and implementing health policy at the local, state, national and global levels in both private and public institutional settings.


The Department of Health Services Administration and Policy offers all students accepted to the Health Policy PhD program a competitive level of support, including tuition, stipend, and health insurance, for four years.

Graduate assistantships sponsored by the College of Public Health include

  • research assistants (RAs), who perform supervised research activities. Research assistantships are frequently supported by faculty grant funding, and RAs are expected to work with faculty on grant proposals and develop both research and grant-writing competencies.
  • teaching assistants (TAs) could be assigned to assist in teaching courses, including grading exams and papers or teaching lab sections. TAs learn current pedagogies that prepare them for academic teaching careers and can receive certification in higher education teaching.

Highly qualified candidates will be nominated for university fellowships, and minority candidates will be nominated for Temple’s Future Faculty Fellows program.


Program admissions are highly competitive; only a small number of well-prepared students are admitted each year. We recommend that students contact faculty in the Department of Health Services Administration and Policy to discuss their areas of interest and opportunities for mentored research before applying to the Health Policy PhD program. For additional information on this program, contact

Michael Halpern
Associate Professor and Director of Doctoral Program
Department of Health Services Administration and Policy
Phone: 215-204-5814


Additional Program Information