Health policy is an interdisciplinary field that considers issues of social rights, economics, and the law in the distribution of medical care. The discipline brings economics, finance, sociology, medicine, political science, and more to create a comprehensive look at policies that influence health outcomes. At the doctoral degree level, theoretical and analytical issues in the development of health policies are the main concern. A doctoral education in health policy trains you to critically examine health policies and identify the factors that determine the success and failure of policy strategies.
Why a Ph.D. Degree?
An online PhD in health policy online PhD in health policy is for you if you want to become an expert in the health policy field. A PhD makes you eligible for positions that require skills in critical analysis as well as breadth and depth of knowledge in health policy issues. If you want to understand why some health policies work and others don’t, and how to create change in the national, or even international, health economy and industry, you should consider pursuing a Ph.D. While a master’s degree dives into some of these concepts, a doctoral program explores them in depth, and carries the most weight in the professionals and academic spheres.
Getting Into a Ph.D. Degree Program
Admission to health policy PhD programs can be fierce and can require qualifications well beyond the minimum. However, you can be eligible to apply to doctoral programs with the following items:
- A master’s degree in health policy or a related field
- Passing score on the GRE
- Experience in the healthcare industry or other related experience
- Competitive graduate GPA
Inside a Health Policy Ph.D. Degree Program
The courses in a health policy Ph.D. program are designed to develop your qualitative and quantitative analysis abilities, research methods, and expert knowledge health policy issues. You can expect advanced courses in statistics, econometrics, data analysis, applied regression analysis, and quantitative methods. In the policy analysis realm, you might take courses like health finance, health economics, managing healthcare organizations, and health systems.
The independent research portion of the degree is most significant part of the program. With the guidance of the program faculty, you will develop a research interest to pursue for the doctoral thesis. The research into this topic should be extensive and may take several years. To complete your degree, you will present the findings of your research in a dissertation that you will defend in front of an academic jury. In the case of an online program, you may need to travel to campus for a brief residency period and to formally present your thesis.
What’s Next for Health Policy Ph.D. Holders?
After completing a Ph.D. in health policy, many graduates go on to careers in academia in faculty positions at colleges and universities. However, some graduates also go on to corporate careers in research, working for pharmaceutical companies, research organizations, medical schools, hospitals, and other entities aligned with the health care industry. A doctoral degree often leads to lead research positions in this realm, as opposed to the master’s degree, which often leads to assistant researcher or analyst positions.