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PhD in Health Services Research

In this program, you'll study how the interplay of social factors, health technologies, and personal behaviors impact healthcare access, healthcare costs, and quality of life. You’ll be trained to think like a scientist, implementing and developing research studies that assess predictors of disease and the effectiveness of interventions. Our faculty are studying everything from disaster preparedness to health insurance to financing hospitals, which means you can find the mentor who’s right for you.

Quick facts, careers, and skills

When you complete this program, you’ll have the knowledge and skills you need to pose innovative health services research questions and leverage data to inform evidence-based clinical practices and health policies.

Quick facts

Program location: CU Anschutz
Credit hours: 69-72
Est. time to complete: 5-7 years

Sample careers

Program analyst
Research director
Health Services Researcher
& more

Skills you'll gain

Grant writing
Study design
Data analysis and interpretation
& more


In this program, you’ll take courses in biostatistics, research methodologies, study design, healthcare economics and policy, epidemiology, and clinical outcomes assessment. You'll also complete a dissertation based on work completed under the supervision of one of our world-class researchers.

Total credits: 69-72


IdentifierCompetenciesCourse Where Competency is Addressed/Assessed
​PHD-HSR 1​Identify the main components and issues of the organization, financing and delivery of health services and public health systems in the U.S.HSMP 6604
​​PHD-HSR 2​Identify and measure clinically meaningful and/or policy relevant outcomes and apply evidence-based practice principles.CLSC 7202
​​PHD-HSR 3​Critically appraise existing literature and evaluate manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals.HSMP 7010
​PHD-HSR 4​Demonstrate a breadth of health services research theoretical and conceptual knowledge by applying alternative organizational and behavioral models from a range of relevant disciplines.

HSMP 7010

HSMP 7601

​PHD-HSR 5​Pose innovative and important health services research questions, informed by systematic reviews of the literature, stakeholder needs, and relevant theoretical and conceptual models.HSMP 7601
​PHD-HSR 6​Select the appropriate econometric/statistical specification and estimation technique, including using specification tests and theoretical justifications for distributional assumptions, the choice of link function, and estimation approach for a variety of outcomes.HSMP 7609
​PHD-HSR 7​Choose and define the appropriate unit of analysis and approach to computing standard errors for conducting a hypothesis test.HSMP 7609
​PHD-HSR 8​Understand and apply methods for causal inference and identify the assumptions that may or may not hold for a causal interpretation. HSMP 7609
​PHD-HSR 9​Write and know how to submit grant proposals to federal, state, and non-governmental organizations.CLSC 7101
​PHD-HSR 10​Describe and adhere to legal, ethical and regulatory issues related to clinical research.CLSC 7150
​PHD-HSR 11​Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate the findings and implications of health service research through multiple modalities to an interdisciplinary audience.CSLC 6210
​PHD-HSR 12​Independently design, conduct, and defend research studies using health services research methods.HSMP 7609
​PHD-HSR 13​Participate in interdisciplinary collaboration, provide constructive reviews and feedback to colleagues, and demonstrate leadership in the appropriate application of health services research methods CSLC 6210
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