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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

Browse titles in D-Scholarship, the institutional repository for research output at the University of Pittsburgh. 


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
Co-director, MS and PhD programs
A613 Public Health

Wesley Rohrer
Associate professor
Co-director, MS and PhD programs
A667 Public Health

Jessica Dornin
Recruitment and academic affairs administrator
A631 Public Health

PhD News in HPM


Alumna, Kathryn Puskar, inducted into international research hall of fame 

Alumna, Kathryn Puskar, inducted into international research hall of fame

THE ALMANAC - Associate dean for undergraduate nursing education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, KATHRYN PUSKAR (BCHS '78, HPM '81) has been inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, one of 20 inductees for this year. “It’s really humbling. I ... (11/16/2018)

Hernandez is one of Forbes 30 under 30 for 2019 

Hernandez is one of Forbes 30 under 30 for 2019

FORBES - Congratulations to INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM '16) for being selected as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2019. She will be joining the most exclusive club in the world of young entrepreneurs and game-changers. After graduating from Pitt Public Health with her doctorate, Inma has led wo... (11/14/2018)

Hernandez says drug prices rise twice as fast during shortages 

Hernandez says drug prices rise twice as fast during shortages

HEALIO - During a shortage, drug prices increase two times as quickly as they would have in the absence of a shortage, according to findings published in Annals of Internal Medicine. “Prescription drug shortages may result in substitution of less effective drugs, delays in necessary treatments, and... (09/18/2018)
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