PhD in Health Management

Course of Study

The Ph.D. program in Health Management and Health Policy emphasizes academic preparation, and focuses on specialization in either health management or health policy. Depth is achieved by electing advanced specialty courses in either health management or health policy. In addition to choosing health management or health policy as a major, students also choose two minor concentration areas. At least one minor must be from one of the other four public health disciplines (biostatistics, behavioral sciences, environmental sciences, or epidemiology) or be a breadth. A breadth is a topic- or methods-related interdisciplinary set of courses based on the student’s research interest, methods required for the dissertation, and/or future plans. In addition, all Ph.D. students are expected to have completed PH 1700 Intermediate Biostatistics (or equivalent) and to take one epidemiology course (if not already covered in the major, minor or breadth area).

All entering Ph.D. 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 UTHealth Institutional Review Board (IRB), the student can start work on a dissertation project, culminating in the formal written presentation and oral defense of the project.

Special Entrance Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. program requires a post-baccalaureate degree in the social sciences, policy, law, management or public health. Applicants with backgrounds in more than one relevant subject are preferred. The program also requires advanced knowledge of quantitative methods; applicants with strong math and/or statistics backgrounds are preferred. The GRE is required.

Current Degree planner for Ph.D. in Health Management and Health Policy

Competencies for Health Management and Health Policy Tracks

Shared competencies:

  1. Evaluate the function and integration of major institutions, actors and processes in the development of public health policy.
  2. Appraise the role of public policy in public health at the local, state, national and international levels.
  3. Examine major health policy programs from a historical point of view.
  4. Interpret and draw conclusions on the healthcare policy development process, identifying the input and impact of agendas from varied constituents.
  5. Project and define potential outcomes from healthcare policy strategies..
  6. Demonstrate the ability to develop and evaluate policy research proposals and policy briefs, to interpret results of policy-relevant studies, and to present findings in both research and practice settings.
  7. Summarize and correlate the interconnectedness of the regulatory, financial, quality, and research domains within the health sector.
  8. Describe and analyze the importance of financial transactions within the healthcare delivery system and the resulting impact on both organizations and stakeholders.
  9. Perform systematic literature reviews that identify research gaps in important healthcare areas.
  10. Compose research questions that clearly articulate theory development and methodologies for conducting research.
  11. Assess research designs, sources of evidence, and alternative methodologies appropriate for independent research.
  12. Demonstrate skill in quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  13. Develop and deliver effective oral presentations across a variety of topics.

Health Management Competencies:

  1. Examine the integration and complexities of the multidisciplinary managerial functions necessary for improving the health of a population.
  2. Evaluate the impact of the payment policies and reform that govern healthcare financing on access, quality, and cost.
  3. Assess and critique current healthcare organizational performance through existing and new outcome metrics and process improvement initiatives.
  4. Formulate, prioritize and defend recommendations for organizational strategic decision-making
  5. Demonstrate management and leadership skills through collaborative projects.

Health Policy Competencies:

  1. Identify, explain and evaluate the determinants of success and failure of public health policies and proposals.
  2. Analyze and critically assess public policies relevant to health from an interdisciplinary, social science perspective.
  3. Identify, defend, and critique the normative, ethical, and philosophical underpinnings of health policies.