PhD Program Requirements in Detail

  • Two years (generally) of graduate level coursework, including the full-year core course in health policy in the first year. 
  • Concentration in one academic discipline (decision sciences, economics, ethics, evaluative science and statistics, management, or political analysis) and specialization at the dissertation stage in one policy area (health care services, mental health, public health, or global health). 
  • Two semesters of statistics. See the general requirements curriculum guide below for courses that may be used to satisfy this requirement.
  • A one-semester course in two of the five concentrations other than statistics that are not a student’s field of concentration. (Students in the evaluative science and statistics concentration must take a course in three of the six concentrations outside their track.) See the general requirements curriculum guide below for courses that may be used to satisfy this requirement.
  • A weekly research seminar where students present research in progress, beginning in the third year.
  • Written general (i.e., health policy) and concentration examinations following two years of coursework; the general exam also has an oral component.
  • A dissertation prospectus and oral examination on that prospectus, in the third or fourth year of the program.
  • A dissertation based on original research and a dissertation defense.  The dissertation may be comprised of three publishable papers or one major monograph, although the latter option is rarely used.

 MD/PhD student Aaron Schwartz sits in class during his second year of the program

View general requirements curriculum guide.