Ph.D. Coursework

The content covered in these courses consists of the basic competencies regarding the healthcare system that are expected of Ph.D. graduates:

Foundation Courses (Taught Every Year)

  • US Health Care System (Fall Semester) HSA 6114
  • US Health Insurance System (Spring Semester) HSA 6126
  • Intro to Mgmt of HS Organizations (Spring Semester) HSA 6115
  • Health Policy (Spring Semester) HSA 6152
  • Health Economics (Spring Semester) HSA 6436
  • Epidemiology (Fall Semester) PHC 6001
  • Statistics Methods for Research I (Fall & Spring) PHC 6052
  • Regression Analysis (Fall & Spring) PHC 6053

The following seminars cover the core areas of competency in health services research:

Core Courses (Taught Every Other Year)

  • Costs & Financing (Fall Semester) HSA 7936
  • Access & Utilization (Fall Semester) HSA 7106
  • Quality & Outcomes (Spring Semester) HSA 7759
  • Health Services Organizational Research (Spring Semester) HSA 7116
  • Health Policy Research (Spring Semester) HSA 7157
  • Advanced Health Economics (Spring Semester each year) HSA 7437

Health Services Research Methods Courses (Taught Every Year)

These courses provide the quantitative skills required for a successful career in health services research. The supporting field or minor area methods course is chosen in conjunction with the student’s supporting program or minor area program of study:

  • HSR Research Methods I (Fall Semester) HSA 7707
  • HSR Research Methods II (Spring Semester) HSA 7708
  • Survey Research Methods (Summer Semester) PHC 6716
  • Supporting Field or Minor Area Methods
  • Advanced Statistics

Advanced Seminars

Students take these courses to prepare for the preliminary examinations and the defense, and to further refine and hone their ability to become productive health services researchers:

  • Advanced Seminar: Integrative (Summer each year) HSA 7938
  • Advanced Seminar: Grant Proposal (Summer each year) HSA 7938
  • Advanced Seminar: Defense (Each Semester) HSA 7980
  • Advanced Seminar: Professional Development (Each Semester)

Students must choose either a supporting field or a minor area. Students create these programs of study and submit them for approval by the faculty. A minor area must be approved by the relevant department at the University of Florida in addition to approval by the student’s Supervisory Committee. Examples of supporting programs, including related methods courses, are shown below. Other potential areas of supporting or minor programs could include health policy, health outcomes, finance, epidemiology, medical sociology and other health related areas.

Example of Supporting Program: Organization Science

  • MAN 7108 – Concepts and methods in the behavioral sciences
  • MAN 7205 – Organization theory
  • MAN 7275 – Organization behavior
  • SYO 6545 – Complex organizations
  • SOP 7319 – Seminar: research in social psychology

Example of Supporting Program: Health Economics

  • ECO 7424 – Econometric models and methods
  • ECO 7115 – Microeconomic theory I
  • ECO 7116 – Microeconomic theory II
  • ECO 7525 – Welfare economics and the second best
  • ECO 7534 – Empirical public economics

See Graduate Catalog for course listings.


Electives may be taken in areas that fit the student’s program of study and are approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee. The University of Florida is an extremely large and very diverse setting, encompassing virtually all academic and professional disciplines. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities provided in such a setting.

Course Descriptions

Course Code Course Title Credits Descriptions
HSA 6910 Supervised Research 1-5; max: 5 S/U.
HSA 6911 Research Seminar in Health Services Research 1; max: 6 Research presentations by graduate students. S/U.
HSA 6940 Supervised Teaching 1-5; max: 5 S/U.
HSA 7106 Seminar in Health Care Access and Utilization 3 Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Overview of context and processes in which individuals seek and obtain health care services; distributional issues; equity.
HSA 7116 Health Services Organizational Research 3 Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Major perspectives in organization theory and their applications to health care sector.
HSA 7157 Research Foundations of Health Policy 3 Prerequisite: permission of instructor. In-depth examination of U.S. health policy issues concerning cost, quality, and access, and interdisciplinary research methods used to address such issues.
HSA 7936 Seminar in Health Care Costs and Financing 3 Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Examination of health services research related to costs and financing. Cost measurement and analysis, health insurance, sources and methods of payment, current policy.
HSA 7437 Advanced Health Economics 3 Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Exposure to advanced economics models of health care sector, including static and dynamic models of consumer and producer behavior, risk selection in insurance markets, and optimal reimbursement mechanisms.
HSA 7707 Health Services Research Methods I 3 Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Current and historical thinking about philosophy of science and scientific modeling. Experimental and quasi-experimental design. Introduction to measurement and sampling.
HSA 7708 Health Services Research Methods II 3 Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Review and appraisal of methods. Findings and examples from historical and contemporary studies. Introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.
HSA 7759 Quality and Outcomes in Health Services Research 3 Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Current research concerning small area variation, outcomes, appropriateness, and effectiveness. Theory and specifics of alternative quality improvement and assurance approaches. History of approaches to health care quality assessment.
HSA 7905 Advanced Individual Study in Health Services Research 1-3; max: 6 ––
HSA 7938 Advanced Seminar in Health Services Research 3 Prerequisite: completion of graduate core program and preliminary dissertation topic.
HSA 7979 Advanced Research 4-Jan Research for doctoral students before admission to candidacy. Designed for students with a master’s degree in the field of study or for students who have been accepted for a doctoral program. S/U.
HSA 7980 Research for Doctoral Dissertation 15-Jan S/U.