The competencies for the PhD Concentration in Health and Public Policy are met through required and elective coursework, independent research, and the process of writing a thesis. Upon successful completion of the concentration, students will have mastered the following and department-wide competencies:
Health and Public Policy Concentration Competencies
- Demonstrate how to identify, describe and analyze a public health problem, and recommend an appropriate policy solution to address it (e.g. legislative, regulatory, judicial, organizational).
- Describe the steps of the policymaking process, including problem setting, formulation, implementation, analysis, and evaluation.
- Critically compare and apply theories of the policy process to the study of public health problems.
- Identify the major institutions, sectors, and stakeholders involved in the policymaking processes at the federal, state, and local levels.
- Critically analyze research literature and identify gaps for further inquiry.
- Recognize and use the appropriate research methods to design a public health policy study.
- Effectively translate and disseminate public health policy research, in both oral and written forms, to policymakers, key stakeholders, and the public.
Department-wide PhD Competencies
- Analyze the nature, scope, and determinants of major health policy problems by applying conceptual frameworks from key academic disciplines, formulating testable hypotheses, and identifying appropriate interventions based on an understanding of the existing evidence base.
- Critique the policymaking process, including the underlying roles of legislation, regulation, litigation, and advocacy; the differences between federal, state, and local policies; and the influence of academic research in the policy formulation and evaluation processes.
- Assess the organization and financing of both public health and medical services and critique their impact on access and use, quality of care, costs, and outcomes.
- Apply appropriate rigorous empirical methods to the evaluation of health policy, including a well-rounded foundation of the methods and tools of public health, such as biostatistics, epidemiology, and survey design.
- Communicate scientific findings effectively through written and oral methods to technical and lay audiences, demonstrating an ability to interpret study results in light of study limitation and prior research.
- Conduct research in accordance with the highest ethical standards, scientific integrity, and interpersonal collegiality.