Programs by Campus


Health Policy Management
School of Medicine

Department URL:

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



Degrees Offered

Doctor of Philosophy

The Master in Public Health, Health Policy and Management Concentration; Master in Health Administration; .  Masters degrees are d granted by the Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Public Health. For information on these programs, visit the Department 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
  • 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)
  • Personal interview
  • 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 hours):  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 will include:
Course Name, Course level, Credit hours      

  • US Health Care: Systems, Policies and Ethical Challenges P504 or H501 (3 hours)      
  • Health Economics H514 (3 hours)     
  • Biostatistics for Public Health I P551 (3 hours)  
  • Biostatistics for Public Health II P652 (3 hours)     
  • Health Outcomes Research 600 (3 hours)     

Required courses still under development will 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: All Health Policy and Management PhD students are required to complete three Methods courses (9 credit hours).  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 credit hours): 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, public health genomics, or long-term care policy.

Minor Area (12 credit hours): 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 credit hours): 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 cover the subject matter on which the dissertation work will be based and 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 admitted to candidacy.

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 Public Health 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 Public Health 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.

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