The required core courses consist of a minimum of 37 credit hours of general health services knowledge, theory and methods. These courses emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of health services research. All entering students receive grounding in the theory and methods as applied to health services research from the disciplines of Health Services, Biostatistics, Economics, and the other Social and Behavioral Sciences, Epidemiology, and Policy Analysis. (Advanced students entering with equivalent training in these areas will be allowed to opt out of a specific course by passing an exam or presenting documentation of the level of course work completed.)
HSERV 512 (3)
Health Systems and Policy
HSERV 513 (3)
Health Policy Research
HSERV 514 (3)
Social Determinants of Population Health and Health Disparities
HSMGMT 514 (4)
HSERV 590 (1), Study Designs and Causal Inference
BIOST 511 (4), Medical Biometry I
BIOST 512 (4), Medical Biometry II
BIOST 513 (4), Medical Biometry III
EPI 512 (4), Epidemiologic Methods I
EPI 513 (4), Epidemiologic Methods II. . . and one theory course from the following list:
- ECON 400 (5), Advanced Microeconomics
- ECON 500 (4), Microeconomic Analysis I
- PPM 506 (4), Advanced Microeconomics for Policy Analysis
- SOC 416 (5), Sociological Theory
- SOC 586 (3), Special Topics in Organization and Industrial Sociology
- MGMT 583 (4), Contemporary Research in Organizational Behavior
- PSYCH 443 (5), Motivational Theories in Social Psychology
Doctoral students are required to complete three advanced courses in health services methods. A broad range of methods are covered from the fields of biostatistics, econometrics, and other social sciences. In these three courses, students pose a research question, identify a large data set to answer it, conduct the analysis and write a paper. Students are strongly encouraged to take additional research methods courses throughout the university.
HSERV 523 (4)
Advanced Health Services Research Methods I
This course covers study design and sampling, as well as cutting edge qualitative and quantitative methods for measurement of concepts and data collection. During this course students pose a research question and identify a large data set to answer it.
HSERV 524 (4)
Advanced Health Services Research Methods II
This course focuses on specific topics in analyzing health services studies, different approaches for testing health services models, correcting for self-selection bias, taking intra-class correlation into account, etc. Students prepare a proposal defining their study variables and plan of analysis.
HSERV 525 (4)
Advanced Health Services Research Methods III
This course is designed as an introduction to methods of handling data and conducting basic analyses in the broad and heterogeneous field of health services research. Students choose a large, public use data set to answer a research question.
Seminar and DissertationDoctoral students are required to attend at least 9 quarters of the Health Services Research Seminar, unless they complete the program in under three years.
HSERV 592 (2)
Health Services Research Seminar (minimum of 9 quarters, beginning with 2007 cohort)
These seminars are a combination of presentations by students on their work in-progress and by UW faculty on the methods they are using and problems they face in conducting health services research. This course also builds professional skills by teaching successful strategies for: (1) writing grants and papers for publication and successfully navigating the peer review process;(2) disseminating results at national and state conferences, and to lay audiences; (3) translating research into practice and policy; (4) career development and job searches.
HSERV 600 (variable)
Independent study or research
HSERV 800 (variable)
Doctoral dissertation (minimum of 30)
There are many opportunities for student and faculty interaction during attendance at seminars and faculty meetings of specific interests, such as Maternal and Child Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Family Medicine, General Internal Medicine, Anthropology, Psychiatry and Health Services, Center for Statistics and Social Sciences, Sociology/Demography, Center for Cost and Outcomes Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Brown Bag Seminars, Group Health Research Institute, etc.
Doctoral students are strongly recommended to pursue independent studies under faculty supervision or to conduct collaborative research by working as research assistants on faculty projects. These collaborations provide a base of experience from which the doctoral student can form a research question and conduct dissertation research. A student may choose to conduct a dissertation that is an offshoot of a faculty member's research project. Or a student may choose a dissertation topic unrelated to currently funded research, but supervised by faculty interested in the area. In either case, the dissertation proposal would outline an independent research study conceived and implemented by the student.
The dissertation proposal is developed in three steps. First, the dissertation committee (also known as the "supervisory committee") is formed and registered officially with the Graduate School. Second, a Preliminary Dissertation Proposal (PDP) is written and approved by the dissertation committee before the written general examination is conducted. Third, a Final Dissertation Proposal (FDP) is written and reviewed by the dissertation committee prior to the oral general examination, which is a defense of the FDP.
Students take a minimum of 30 dissertation credits. Funding for the dissertation is procured from dissertation grants from private foundations or federal agencies. If the topic is closely linked to a faculty member's currently funded research, the dissertation could be supported by that grant. Or if the research takes place in a health care organization, that organization may pay for it.