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Doctor of Philosophy in Health Services Research and Policy

The Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) PhD program meets an ongoing need for public health researchers who focus on cost, access and quality of the health care system. Graduates will be prepared to conduct research on policy issues affecting the organization, financing, and delivery of health care and public health services.


Graduates are prepared for positions in:
  • academia
  • government
  • private sector as experts in health services research and policy

Recent Dissertation Titles

  • Rural Access to Primary Care: Diversity of Sites and Transdisciplinarity in the Knowledge Production System
  • Is Mental Health a risk factor for 30-day Readmission Rate for chronically medically ill patients admitted for Acute Myocardial Infarction, Heart Failure or Pneumonia?
  • Benchmarking Hospital Performance: Exploring the Inclusion of “Transfer-In” Acute Myocardial Infarction Patients in 30-Day Risk-Adjusted Mortality Rates


Graduates will be able to:
  • Students will be able to read and effectively analyze published research in health services research at the level necessary to generate research proposals of their own.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the structures, performance, quality, policy and environmental context of health and health care to formulated solutions for health policy problems.
  • Students will be able to summarize and present health services research orally and in writing.
  • Students will be capable of conducting all aspects of a health services research and policy related research project, including generating and testing research hypotheses, analyzing data, and interpreting research results.


  • 72 credits, about half coursework and half research
  • Coursework in health economics
  • Coursework in foundations of public health
  • Advanced coursework in statistics and research methods
  • Advanced dissertation research and coursework in an area of focus


Julie Donohue, PhD
Co-Director, MS and PhD Programs
A613 Crabtree Hall

Wesley Rohrer, PhD
Associate Professor
Co-Director, MS and PhD Programs
A667 Crabtree Hall

Jessica Dornin, MSL
Doctoral Program Coordinator
A668 Crabtree Hall

PhD News in HPM


Celebrate 70: Research and practice showcase 

Celebrate 70: Research and practice showcase

An update on Pitt Public Health work making headlines around the world.  (04/19/2018)

Meet HPM alumna, Johanna Bellon 

Meet HPM alumna, Johanna Bellon

JOHANNA BELLON (HPM '15) is the Senior Director of Quality Analytics and Performance at the UPMC Wolff Center. UPMC is a 40+ hospital integrated finance and delivery system with over 3,500 providers and a multitude of clinical sites. (03/01/2018)

Meet alumna Inmaculada Hernandez from HPM 

Meet alumna Inmaculada Hernandez from HPM

INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM ‘16) is working on developing her own independent research program at Pitt's School of Pharmacy, which is built at the intersection of pharmaceutical health services and outcomes research, pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacoeconomics and pharmaceutical policy.  (01/01/2018)
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