Programs by Campus


Health Policy Management
Department of Health Policy Management
Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health

School URL:

School E-mail: pbhealth [at] iupui [dot] edu

(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Degrees Offered
Doctor of Philosophy in Health Policy and Management

(The Master in Public Health, Health Policy and Management Concentration and Master of Health Administration are granted by the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. For information on all five of the concentrations offered in the M.P.H. Program, visit the Fairbanks School of Public Health website, (

Special Department Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School Requirements)

The Health Policy and Management PhD program is designed for advanced graduate students who wish to be prepared to conduct research and take leadership roles in health policy, health services, and health care management. Completion of a baccalaureate degree is required and professional experience in public health is preferred.  It is anticipated that many applicants will have a post-baccalaureate degree in public health, other health related disciplines, behavioral or social science, law, or business or health administration.

Admission Requirements

The application deadline for the Health Policy and Management PhD program is January 15 of each year for matriculation in the following fall semester. Application documents to be submitted include:

  • Formal application to the Indiana University Graduate School
  • Resume or curriculum vita
  • Personal statement
  • Sample of scholarly writing authored solely by the applicant
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from people who can comment on the applicant’s suitability for doctoral level studies (e.g., former professors, employers or other professionals involved in health policy and management)
  • Competitive scores on the GRE, GMAT, MCAT, LSAT, or DAT
  • TOEFL score of 213 on the computer version (or iBT equivalent of 79) required for applicants whose native language is not English
  • Cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all prior academic work and a letter grade of B or higher in all courses serving toward prerequisites, as documented by official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.

Selected candidates will be invited for a personal interview with members of the Admissions Committee.

Course Requirements

A minimum of 90 credit hours are required for the Health Policy and Management PhD degree. The 90 credit hours will consist of the following:

Required Courses (33 cr.):  A common core of 11 classes (33 credit hours) is required for all students who begin the Health Policy and Management PhD program after the completion of a bachelor’s degree.  Required courses address contemporary challenges in health policy and management; ethical, legal and policy issues in public health; global perspectives on health policy and health systems; health services research methods; and practical experiences in health policy and management.

Methods Elective Courses (9 cr.): All Health Policy and Management PhD students are required to complete three Methods courses (9 cr.).  Students may select courses on management science for health administration, cost-effective analysis, action research and community health policy, health care financial management, applied spatial statistics, qualitative research methods, advanced public health survey methods, analysis of cohort studies, multivariate analysis, or organizational research methods.

Substantive Courses (9 cr.): All Health Policy PhD students must take 9 hours of substantive elective courses. Students may choose courses on the history of public health, strategic management in healthcare, ethical and policy issues in international research, public health law, health informatics, mental health and addictions.

Minor Area (12 cr.): All students must complete a minor in any area related to a health and life science.  The minor choice must be approved by the student’s advisor.  Examples of minors include:  bioethics, international research ethics, biostatistics, epidemiology, health economics, medical sociology, medical anthropology, nursing administration, business administration, and bioinformatics.  The minor must contain a minimum of four graduate level courses (12 credit hours) in the chosen area and comply with the minor requirements of the respective department/unit.

Doctoral Seminars (4 cr.): Students will enroll in 4 doctoral research seminars; each seminar is 1 credit for a total of 4 credits.

Dissertation (23 credit hours): The remaining hours to total 90 will be guided research dissertation hours. The dissertation will be written on an original topic of research and presented as one of the final requirements for the PhD degree. 

Qualifying Exam

All Health Policy and Management PhD students must pass a qualifying examination before they can proceed to their dissertation. The qualifying exam will be taken after the coursework for the PhD has been completed.  Students who fail the qualifying examination are normally allowed to retake it only once. The qualifying exam will consist of written and oral components.

Admission to Candidacy

Following the passing of the qualifying examination and the completion of all required coursework, the student’s advisory committee will nominate the student to candidacy. Upon approval by the dean of the University Graduate School, the student will be in a written format.

Students who have passed the qualifying examination and have been admitted to candidacy must enroll each semester (excluding summer sessions) for dissertation credits. Once such students have accumulated 90 credit hours in completed course work and deferred dissertation credits, they may maintain continuous enrollment by enrolling in one credit of G901; G901 may be taken for no more than a total of six credits.


The dissertation will be written on an original topic of research and presented as one of the final requirements for the Ph.D. degree. The student’s dissertation research committee will be comprised of members of the graduate faculty.  The chair of the dissertation research committee must be a regular faculty member in the Department of Health Policy and Management and a full member of the Graduate Faculty.  The student will submit to the IUPUI Graduate Office, acting for the University Graduate School, a two-page prospectus of the dissertation research and the membership of the research committee at least six months before the defense of the dissertation for their approval.

When the dissertation has been completed and approved by the dissertation research committee chair, the student will submit an unbound copy to each member of the research committee as the initial step to the dissertation defense.

After the committee has reviewed the dissertation, the decision to schedule the defense will be made.  The student will then present and defend the dissertation orally in a public forum before the committee.  Following the dissertation defense, all deficiencies must be adequately addressed to obtain approval by the dissertation research committee.

Final Examination

This is an oral examination, primarily a defense of the dissertation.

Normal Progress and Termination

The Department of Health Policy and Management will monitor the students’ progress toward the PhD degree and will make recommendations to the University Graduate School regarding the nomination to candidacy, the appointment of a research committee, the defense of the dissertation, and the conferring of the PhD degree.

Doctoral Minor in Health Policy and Management

The Health Policy and Management minor is a rigorous, highly focused 12-credit hour program which provides a thorough grounding in the background and application of health policy and management principles.  The field is growing in national and international importance, is integral to many area of pursuit, offers population-based research perspectives in health policy and management, offers skills that are of interest to the private and public sectors, and formally acknowledges the course work that doctoral students take through the Department of Public Health.

The minor provides students with concepts and principles of the research, field, theory and practice of health policy and management so that they will be able to:

  • Identify and analyze the components and issues of leadership, including financing and delivery of public health services and systems.
  • Apply policy process, development and analysis methods to address current national, state and local public health issues.
  • Use systems methods to analyze the effects of political, social and economic influences on public health systems at the individual, community, state, national and interntional levels.
  • Discuss the policy process for improving the health status of populations.
  • Apply principles of strategic planning and organizational development to public health agencies.
  • Apply principles of budgeting, management and performance evaluation in organizational and community initiatives.

Required Courses:  The core course PBHL-H501 (3 cr.) plus three courses from the following 3 cr. courses:  PBHL-P682; PBHL-P514; PBHL-P680; PBHL-P611; PBHL-P616; PBHL-P619; PBHL-H508; PBHL-H509; PBHL-H514; PBHL-H516; PBHL-H518; PBHL-H521; PBHL-H523; PBHL-H612; PBHL-H615; PBHL-H623; PBHL-H624; PBHL-H628; and PBHL-HXXX.

Other courses may be taken if approved by the student's minor advisor; however, all courses must be taken in the Department of Public Health; no transfer credit is allowed.  Satisfactory completion of the requirements will be monitored by the student's minor advisor.  Doctoral students must notify the IU School of Medicine's Department of Public Health before beginning the course of study.  No credit will be awarded toward the minor in Health Policy and Management if the student earned a Master of Public Health degree, Master of Health Administration degree, or Graduate Certificates in Public Health or Health Administration.

Academic Bulletins

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