PhD in Health Economics/Health Service Research

Course of Study

The PhD program in Health Economics/Health Services Research emphasizes academic preparation, and focuses on specialization in either health economics or health services research. Students choose two minor concentrations in addition to their major. At least one minor must be in another division and can be a breadth minor. All entering PhD students are assigned an academic advisor to assist them in planning and completing their program of work. Students take a preliminary examination following completion of six required courses in the major. Additional courses for completing the major, as well as courses for the discipline or breadth minors can be taken at any point, but are strongly recommended to be taken after successful completion of the preliminary examination.

Upon successful completion of the preliminary examination, each student will identify faculty to serve on their doctoral dissertation committee, and will request that the committee be appointed. The student will work with this committee to prepare a proposal for an original dissertation research project. Once the research proposal is approved by the dissertation committee and the UT Health Science Center s Institutional Review Board (IRB), the student can start work on their dissertation project, culminating in the formal written presentation and oral defense of their project.

All PhD students are expected to have intermediate statistics or equivalent and to have a background in the disciplines of public health.

Current Degree planner for PhD in Health Economics and Health Services Research


Competencies for the PhD in Health Economics and Health Services Research

  1. Critically synthesize the literature in health economics and health services research.
  2. Apply the concepts and methods for the economic analysis of public health and health care decisions.
  3. Use microeconomic theory to thoroughly describe issues associated with the organization, financing and delivery of public health and health care.
  4. Describe the theoretical and analytical concepts of medical outcomes and quality of care assessment.
  5. Develop skill in quantitative methods for the analysis of complex models containing economic and/or outcomes data.


  1. Describe and apply cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness, cost-utility analyzes, and other methods of decision analysis in the evaluation of alternative health programs.
  2. Describe the economic forces that influence the economic dimensions and trends in the health sector.
  3. Describe and critique the leading economic theories of consumer and producer behavior in the health sector.
  4. Use an economic perspective to critically review appraisals of health programs and policies.
  5. Identify and describe key issues related to the evaluation of quality of health care.
  6. Describe study designs, data sources, risk adjustment methods, and analytical techniques used to measure outcomes and quality in healthcare settings
  7. Apply methods, procedures, and analysis of medical outcomes to health services research and policy.
  8. Critically evaluate public health research using econometric methods.