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Doctor of Philosophy in Health Policy and Management

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Ph.D. Degree Program

The Ph.D. in Health Policy and Management prepares experts in health services research for careers in academic settings or in public and private organizations where advanced research and analytic skills are required. Course work is offered at KU Medical Center. Classes for the Ph.D. are held during daytime and late afternoon hours, Monday through Thursday.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

The doctoral program is a 56-credit-hour, post-master’s program in health services research consisting of 3 stages. An additional set of prerequisite courses representing 6 core areas of health policy and management and graduate-level statistics must be completed before entering the program. The program, including dissertation, is designed to be completed in a minimum of 4 academic years (see Plan of Study). Students are expected to maintain continuous, full-time enrollment.

Stage 1 consists of basic courses in health policy, health care management, and quantitative and qualitative research methods. A notable feature of this stage is that students begin to participate in the research process immediately upon beginning the program through a series of five 1-credit-hour immersion courses, taken within the first 2 semesters along with other basic courses.

Stage 2 involves specialization in a specific substantive area of either policy or management research or a combination, as well as advanced statistical analysis and research methods. Students also complete a teaching seminar and practicum.

After completion of course work, students enter Stage 3, which consists of 3 written preliminary examinations. the comprehensive oral examination, and defense of the dissertation proposal. Students then carry out their dissertation research. The written dissertation itself consists of a series of 3 research papers, suitable for publication. The dissertation is formatted and published according to university guidelines. See Electronic Thesis and Dissertations on the Graduate Studies website.

Research and Responsible Scholarship Requirement

Before taking the comprehensive oral examination, the student must meet the research skills and responsible scholarship requirement of the university.

HPM Ph.D. students meet these requirements as follows:

The research skills requirement for the Ph.D. in Health Policy and Management is met through completion of the required sequence of health services research methods courses with an average grade of 3.0. The sequence consists of HP&M 819, HP&M 870, HP&M 871, HP&M 872, HP&M 873, HP&M 875, and HP&M 886, and a graduate-level course in qualitative research methods.

The responsible scholarship requirement for the Ph.D. in Health Policy and Management is met through the research ethics modules in HP&M 819, HP&M 870, and HP&M 886. Topics include protection of human subjects, conflicts of interest, data management, mentor/student responsibilities, collaborative research, authorship/publication issues, peer review, confidentiality, and research misconduct. Students also are expected to complete the KUMC Human Subjects Protection training module during the first semester of the doctoral program and keep their certification current throughout their tenure in the Ph.D. program.

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