The decision to undertake a doctoral studies leading to the Ph.D. is a serious one. After reviewing the purpose and requirements of our program, should you conclude that there is a strong match between your research interests and your talents, we hope that you will consider applying for admission. The Health Services Research and Health Policy (HSR&HP) doctoral program is designed for individuals interested in developing or continuing a career in health services research. Graduates pursue their careers in research organizations, academic settings, policy units of large health care organizations and policy units of governmental entities.
As an applied research program, the HSR&HP program at Emory is unique in its design. Doctoral studies are predicated on building a theoretical and conceptual framework from one of the social sciences. Two options are offered: Economics and Political Science. Basic course work in each discipline is taken from discipline faculty with doctoral students in the respective discipline. The Health Services Research & Health Policy program is offered only on a full-time basis. There are no part-time or distance program options. The program matriculated its first four students in August of 2006. All have graduated and are gainfully employed.
Since the Ph.D. is awarded by Emory University’s Laney Graduate School, applications for admission are made through the Laney Graduate School rather than the Rollins School of Public Health. Applications are made online and admissions related correspondence is done by e-mail. The application website becomes available in the September before initial matriculation the following August. The program normally accepts three students each year. At any given time there are fifteen to eighteen students actively pursuing their degrees.
Saturday, September 15, 2012: Online applications open through the Laney Graduate School website at http://graduateschool.emory.edu/.
Thursday, January 3, 2013: Applications close. All components of the application must be received by this date. In the interest of equity, late applications are not accepted.
Sunday, March 31, 2013: All applicants will be notified by e-mail of the final decisions on their applications by this date.
Monday, April 15, 2013: Deadline for applicants responding to offers of admission.
Questions about the curriculum, faculty and degree requirements should be addressed to the HSR&HP Director of Graduate Studies, Walter Burnett, Ph.D. His e-mail address is:
Questions about admissions procedures, scheduling a campus visit and financial support should be addressed to the HSR&HP Program Administrator, Kent Tolleson. His e-mail address is:
Questions about the MPH and MSPH programs offered by the Health Policy and Management (HPM) faculty should be addressed to the HPM Associate Director for Academic Programs, Kathy Wollenzien. Her email address is:
Career Interests: When preparing your application, make sure your health services research career interests are clearly stated and explained.
Research Interests: When preparing your application, make sure your research interests are clearly articulated. This information is essential for identifying potential fit between an applicant’s interests and the current research activities of the HPM faculty.
Supportive Material: When preparing your application, please feel free to append any written materials which you think will provide evidence of your potential as a future health services researcher.
At a minimum, applicants must have completed the requirements for a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an institution of higher education. It is not necessary to have completed a Master's degree.
Submit a transcript from each post-secondary institution you have attended – your present school included. Scanned transcripts are uploaded as part of the online application process.
The transcript must be issued by the registrar’s office, but an unofficial copy issued to the student may be used for application purposes. Copied web pages from a university’s student information system will not be accepted. If you are admitted and accept, you'll need to submit official (printed) copies before you can enroll.
Transcripts must be in English. Transcripts in languages other than English must be translated and evaluated by the World Education Services (WES). Information about WES may be found at the following website: http://www.wes.org/.
Students must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from an exam taken within five years of the application deadline. When taking the GRE, request the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send your scores to Emory. If the GRE has been taken, contact the ETS and request that the scores bent sent to Emory University. It is important that the name used on the GRE match the name used on the Emory application form. Information about the GRE may be found at: http://www.ets.org/gre.
Applicants whose native or first language is not English must attain a score of 560 or more on the paper-based Test (PBT) of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or 94 or higher score on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT). Information about the TOEFL may be found at: http://www.ets.org/toefl .
In special cases advanced standing may be granted to an applicant if he or she has satisfactorily completed a Master of Arts or a Master of Science degree in economics or political science, or its equivalent, within the preceding five calendar years. The previous course work will be evaluated in the context of its relevance to health services research and health policy and the curriculum requirements of the program. In some cases award of advanced standing may be predicated on taken specified coursework in the base discipline at Emory. The master's program should represent a specialization significantly related to the applicant's research interests.
If an applicant has finished a minimum of one year of study in economics or political science, but not obtained a master's degree, up to 12 hours of credit may be transferred to Emory as part of the preparation for the discipline-based comprehensive exam. Such course work must be comparable to the discipline-based course work required for the program. Course work used for the completion of a degree program may not be transferred. Previous course work in public health does not serve as a basis for granting advanced standing but does allow for flexibility in course scheduling for the preparation for the health services research and health policy comprehensive exam.
Advanced standing does not reduce the minimum credit hours required for candidacy but may exempt the student from taking the comprehensive exam in the discipline for which advanced standing is granted and allows for greater flexibility for course work selection. An MPH or MSPH does not serve as a basis for exemption the health policy comprehensive exam.
Since the HSR&HP program is predicated on working in a multidisciplinary, collaborative learning environment, we encourage campus visits prior to or during the application process. Such visits allow applicants to meet with faculty who share common interests as well as to interact with students currently pursing doctoral study. Setting up campus visits involves scheduling coordination. Consequently, we suggest that visits be planned several weeks in advance. If an applicant is interested in scheduling a visit, he or she should contact the program Administrator, Kent Tolleson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All students, including international students, receive an annual stipend for the first 24 months of their doctoral study. The stipend for the 2012-13 academic year is $22,032. In return for the stipend, each student is expected to function as either a teaching or research assistant for three of the six academic periods of the first two years of study. The assistantships normally involve twelve to fifteen hours each week of the academic period. The scheduling of the assistantships is incorporated into the academic plan of study. Assistantships usually do not begin until the second semester.
The Laney Graduate School in cooperation with Rollins School of Public Health provides tuition and limited fee support for five years. Tuition and fee support beyond the fifth year may be negotiated if circumstances can be justified to grant an extension.
Parking fees are not supported by the University. Students are encouraged to select living quarters that have easy access to the University’s shuttle system. Information about the Emory’s transportation options may be found at: http://transportation.emory.edu/. Many students prefer to use bicycles and choose their living quarters accordingly.
Stipend support beyond the first two years is developed in the context of the student’s research and dissertation interests. Most students negotiate research employment in conjunction with a faculty member’s ongoing externally funded research or with a health organization in Atlanta with ongoing research activities. In the latter case, students have worked with various units at the CDC and the American Cancer Society.
The primary objective of the HSR&HP doctoral program is to prepare students to undertake independent, original, applied research, relying on social science theory while using sophisticated empirical analyses to evaluate current issues in health policy and the delivery of health services. The program begins with disciplinary focus and is built on a flexible structure.
Students choose either economics or political science as their base discipline. During the first two years of the program Students focus on their basic coursework. Students in the economics track take their statistics, microeconomics, and econometrics in courses offered by the Economics faculty. Students in the political science track take public policy, political theory, American national government, public opinion and voting behavior and courses in comparative politics offered by the Political Science faculty. Depending upon a student’s dissertation interests, he or she may take additional coursework as electives in the base discipline department.
All students in the program take a two year-long doctoral seminar in health policy during the first two years. In addition, students take courses in data management, statistics, and epidemiology and research methods. The selection of these courses is predicated on previous coursework, professional experience and research interests. Finally, the program of study is complemented with elective coursework in health policy and management.
During the summer of the second year students take their comprehensive exams.
During the third year students develop and defend their dissertation proposals. Dissertations consist of three publishable papers developed around a central health policy, public health or health services delivery issue. With the acceptance of the prospectus by the student’s dissertation committee, the completion of required coursework, and passing the comprehensive exams, the student becomes eligible to move to candidacy status.
During the fourth and fifth year, students execute their dissertation research. During these years students normally work in a research position half-time and do their dissertation research half-time.
This two year-long seminar will acquaint students with the major areas of health policy research, active areas of research in health policy and economics, and faculty from the Department of Health Policy and Management and elsewhere in the University who conduct health policy research. The course will address a different topic every week, and the instructor for that week will provide an overview of the topic, discuss the research methods that are used to study the topic, highlight the seminal works in the area, and lead a discussion of the readings.
This course is designed to guide students through the process of writing a research proposal in health services research that is grounded in theory. The course emphasizes the development of a conceptual framework tailored to a specific research topic by drawing on existing theory, conceptual frameworks, and literature. Other course topics include literature review skills, construct measurement, omitted variables bias, and an introduction to mixed methods research
This course provides an introduction to the science and art of teaching, with an emphasis on instruction in the disciplines relevant to public health. Topics will include course design, student motivation and classroom environments which facilitate learning, design of tests and assignments that will motivate learning, and syllabus development.
This course is taken during the first semester of the doctoral program. It includes newly matriculating students from all the doctoral programs sponsored by Rollins School of Public Health Faculties. The course draws upon the variety of disciplines shaping public health knowledge and demonstrates how that knowledge can be translated into applications or practice by public health professional.
Each student must be able document that he or she has undertaken coursework which is based on the competencies of the baseline course in epidemiology offered by the Epidemiology faculty at Emory University. This may be accomplished by having completed an MPH or MSPH from a CEPH accredited school of public health or by having completed the first course in epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health. Others who have taken graduate course work in the US or abroad may submit transcript and syllabus evidence to the Epidemiology faculty for review for a course waiver. Additional coursework in epidemiology is predicated on the student research objectives.
- TATT 600 Graduate School Workshop (2 credit hours)
- TATT 605 Teaching Assistantship (2 credit hours)
- BSHE 760 Professional Seminar: Teaching in Public Health
- (1 credit hour)
Each student is expected to complete three assistantships during the first six academic periods:
- One as a teaching assistant for the TATTO requirement (TATT 605)
- One as a research assistant
- One as either a teaching assistant or research assistant
- ECON 526 Quantitative Methods I
- ECON 500 Microeconomics I
- ECON 501 Microeconomics II
- ECON 520 Probability & Statistics
- ECON 521 Econometrics
- ECON 721 Advanced Microeconomics
- 740 Doctoral Seminar in Health Economics (4 credit hours)
This reading course is designed to acquaint students with advanced mathematical theoretical economics and their application to health economics. Students will learn basic models for describing physician and hospital behavior, and personal health decisions, and the functioning of insurance markets. Additional topics include competition in pharmaceutical markets, managed care, and reimbursement will be covered. Readings will include a mix of seminal works in the field and more recent papers on discipline's cutting edge.
Students may also take economics field courses, which will vary depending on what is being offered each year. These include: ECON 723: Topics in Econometrics, ECON 724: Applied Econometrics, ECON 761: Market Structure and Imperfect Competition, ECON 762: Theory of the Firm, ECON 742: Law and Economics, and ECON 707: Public Choice. For more information, visit the website of the Department of Economics.
Economics track students will also have room to take courses in other departments around Emory. These include: HPM 505: Women and Children's Health Policy, HPM 522: Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programs, HPM 566: Mental Health Policy, SOC 759: Inter-group Relations: Medical Sociology, and BIOS 708: Categorical Data Analysis.
POLS 500 Political Theory
POLS 540 American National Government
POLS 542 Public Opinion and Voting Behavior
POLS 560 Public Policy
BIOS 500 Statistical Methods I
BIOS 501 Statistical Methods II
Depending on the Department of Political Science's offerings, students should also take several additional political science courses in their field of interest. Courses include but are not limited to: POLS 520: Comparative Governments and Politics, POLS 572 Modeling Social Phenomenon, and POLS 526: Comparative Political Economy. For more information, visit the website of the Department of Political Science.
Political science track students will also have room to take courses in other departments around Emory. These include: HPM 505: Women and Children's Health Policy, HPM 522: Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programs, HPM 566: Mental Health Policy, SOC 759: Inter-group Relations: Medical Sociology, and BIOS 708: Categorical Data Analysis.
- Completion of required and elective courses (48 credit hours),
- Satisfactory Performance on a Comprehensive Examination in one's track
- Satisfactory Performance on a Comprehensive Examination in health policy.
- Completion of TATTO requirements.
- Successful defense of the dissertation prospectus
The faculty members in the Department of Health Policy & Management represent a range of disciplines focused on the study of health care systems, policy and finance: Economics, Sociology, Political Science and Epidemiology. They are complemented by faculty members sharing their interests in other departments of the Rollins School of Public Health such as Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Epidemiology and Global Health.
Faculty members share a commitment to research, teaching and the translation of their work into public health applications. Faculty and students collaborate with the Departments of Economics and Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences and with professionals at neighboring health institutions such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer Society, many holding adjunct faculty appointments in the School.
The following members of the Health Policy and Management faculty hold appointments in the Laney Graduate School and are activate participants with the HSR&HP doctoral program.
To view addition information about the Department of Health Policy and Management, please go to http://www.sph.emory.edu/hpm.
To view additional information about the Rollins School of Public Health, please go to: http://www.sph.emory.edu.
To view additional information about the Laney Graduate School, please go to: http://www.graduateschool.emory.edu.