Health Systems and Policy Ph.D.
The Doctoral Program in Health Systems and Policy (HS&P) is an interdisciplinary program of study. It is administered through the OHSU - PSU School of Public Health and draws on faculty with educational backgrounds in public health, health policy, health services research, public affairs, management, economics, epidemiology, social work, psychology, systems science, and sociology from the OHSU - PSU School of Public Health, PSU’s College of Urban and Public Affairs, and other academic units at Portland State University (PSU) and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). The program is designed to provide doctoral students with advanced knowledge, analytic skills, and competencies in conducting research and developing teaching and learning skills in health systems and policy with foundations in public health, management theory, health services research, and policy analysis. The program provides a unique educational experience for students interested in immediately applying theory to practice as they prepare for careers as researchers and teachers.
The HS&P curriculum includes core content in health systems and public health, extensive study of policy domains and applications, and intensive training in research methods and research design. This program design helps students to integrate coursework with applied research and practice, and emphasizes community-engaged learning and scholarship reflecting the mission of the SPH.
Students in the HS&P PhD program will master the following competencies by graduation.
- Apply relevant theories and frameworks to issues pertaining to health systems and policies.
- Select and apply appropriate qualitative and quantitative research techniques to identify strategies to improve health system effectiveness.
- Formulate a testable research question and propose a relevant study design and analytic approach that has the potential to advance knowledge of health systems and policy.
- Conduct an independent study that demonstrates synthesis of knowledge and application of research skills.
- Apply principles of ethics and cultural competence when conducting health systems and policy research and education
- Evaluate evidence-based public health policy and health systems transformation strategies to identify emerging issues in health systems and policy.
- Create and deliver effective presentations of scholarly activities to academic and lay audiences.
The HS&P curriculum reflects the vision, mission and competencies of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. It prepares graduates to address the social determinants of health, and lead in the implementation of new approaches and policies to improve the health of populations. The curriculum is framed around seven competencies that reflect the expectations of doctoral programs in public health. The HS&P program includes core curricular content in health systems and public health, extensive study of policy domains and applications, and intensive training in research methods and research design. The curriculum is designed to help students integrate coursework with applied research and practice, and emphasizes community-engaged learning and scholarship.
Research and Teaching Opportunities
The HS&P program offers students a number of research and teaching opportunities.
Graduate research assistantships
Dependent on available funds, graduate research assistantships are available each year with faculty in the School of Public Health and in various research centers. Assistantships pay tuition and a small stipend. Additional summer research opportunities may be available.
Doctoral students may wish to gain experience teaching prior to completing their program. There are a number of opportunities available within the School of Public Health, the Hatfield School of Government, the College of Urban and Public Affairs, and PSU’s University Studies program. More information is available in the HS&P handbook.