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Ph.D. in Health Services Research

Program Description

Health care systems are ever-changing and under constant pressure to improve quality of care and outcomes its consumers. Leaders in the current health care delivery environment seek a broad based graduate education that offers the opportunity to assume a leadership role in diverse health care delivery settings that serves a broader spectrum of the population.

This program provides a broad foundation in public health concerns, research and evaluation methods, and health and social policy analysis to meet the demands of a dynamic health services delivery environment. The Ph.D. program in Health Services Research (HSR) provides opportunities for specialized expertise across several Concentration areas: Applied Gerontology, Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology, Behavioral Analysis, and Rehabilitation Science.

We have a core faculty that has a vast array of experience in a variety of health care delivery environments, and broad expertise in health care and health-related research and policy. The focus will be on developing academic research scientists who are interested in contributing to the health services discipline through research, education and policy analysis.

Graduates of the PhD Program in Health Services Research will be prepared to function as educators, researchers and leaders in health services. You may find future graduates working as university faculty; health research policy analysts with government and non-profit agencies; or as health systems administrators in the public or private industry. The degree program graduates will be prepared to address research, education, service delivery, and policy challenges requiring an interdisciplinary perspective across various service settings.

Admission Requirements

Spring 2020 Application Deadline is December 1, 2020.

Admission to the PhD program is a holistic process that includes a broad assessment of the applicant's background and potential for success. 

Applicants must submit the following materials to the Graduate School:

  • Apply Texas Application
  • Application Fee
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended 
  • Official GRE Scores 
  • Official TOEFL score for international students

Applicants are reviewed based on the following:

  • Graduate GPA and GRE Scores
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from former professors and related professional supervisors, that speak to your academic capability to be successful at doctoral studies. 
  • Comprehensive resume
  • Prior related professional experience
  • Statement of Intent (approximately 1000 words) detailing: 
    • Rationale for choosing the Ph.D. program in Health Services Research.
    • Your short- and long-term career goals.
    • Your qualifications and readiness for doctoral study, including research experiences and interests.
    • Discuss a specific area in Health Services Research on which you would like to focus during your doctoral program.
  • Sample of written work (may include prior course assignments, manuscripts or projects in which the applicant is the first author).

Applicants will be asked to interview with faculty members as a part of the application process. Interviews for early acceptance into the Fall 2018 semester will be held December 8th and 11th. Invitations will be sent out to students after December 1 deadline. A second round of interviews will be held for students who apply after December 1. Those interviews will be held February 16th and 19th.

Because we believe that a successful doctoral experience depends on faculty guidance, a Doctoral Program Faculty Member must agree to serve as an applicant’s primary mentor/advisor/chair before an applicant can be accepted into the program.


General Degree Requirements

The minimum program for the PhD with a major in health services research requires 51 hours beyond the master's degree.

Specific requirements include:

  • 18 semester hours in foundation core courses covering research methods and design, statistics, grant proposal writing and analysis and writing for publication.

  • 15 designated semester hours in the student's chosen concentration

  • 9 semester hours of approved electives

  • A minimum of 9 semester hours of dissertation

Prospective students should be aware that the HLSR PhD is a traditional on-campus program with most classes scheduled during regular business hours. If you have any questions, please email hsprogram@unt.edu.


Applied Gerontology Concentration

The PhD in Health Services Research with a Concentration in Applied Gerontology is designed for the applied gerontology practitioner who is interested in making a contribution to the discipline through research, while maintaining their focus on active engagement with the aging population. In the current health care environment, the emphasis is on increasing quality, decreasing the cost of service delivery and on achieving positive, measurable outcomes that improve the health of seniors and that make services accessible and affordable. Practitioners experienced in the delivery of services for the aged are in the best position to identify opportunities for improvement and to conduct experience based research that will result in improved service delivery and improved outcomes.  

Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology Concentration

The objective of the Ph.D. in Health Services Research with a concentration in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (ASLP) is to prepare researchers, educators and leaders in the academic fields of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology with an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration. This program focuses on developing competent researchers, educators and leaders with advanced knowledge and technical expertise necessary for improving the overall quality of life for persons with speech, language and hearing disabilities.

Behavior Analysis 

The mission of the PhD with a major in health services research with a concentration in behavior analysis is to train the next generation of behavioral scientists and scientist-practitioners to work across disciplinary boundaries to expand scientific understanding and capability and to solve socially relevant problems. Within the behavior analysis concentration, students can focus on a variety of research and application areas such as populations with learning differences (autism and dd), social justice, teaching sciences, animal behavior, behavioral neuroscience, and behavioral health and contingency management. The program relies on a junior-colleague model to develop world-class researchers, educators, and leaders inside and outside the academy.

Rehabilitation Science 

The mission of the Ph.D. in Health Services Administration with a concentration in Rehabilitation Science  is to advance knowledge and research in the psychosocial impact of disability across the lifespan, well-being and health disparities. This program focuses on developing skilled researchers, educators and leaders to be at the forefront of knowledge translation on improving the overall quality of life of persons with disabilities. Graduates are expected to demonstrate advanced knowledge and skill in addressing critical areas of research, education, service delivery, clinical practice, and/or policy. 

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