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The PhD program in Health Services Policy and Management is structured to prepare students to conduct health services research and/or teach at a university level. Emphasis in the program is in research methods, statistics, and advanced concepts in health policy and management.


  1. Students should have a Master's degree in Health Administration, Business Administration, Public Health, or Public Administration. Exceptions to this list of masters’ programs will be considered by petition to the faculty. An academically exceptional student may be admitted with only a Bachelor's degree.
  2. An applicant must have earned at least a 3.0 grade point average (based on a 4.0 scale) in previous graduate course work.
  3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores should be submitted (GMAT scores may be substituted for GRE). The GRE/GMAT requirement may be waived for applicants with professional degrees (MD, MBBS, etc.) on a case by case basis.
  4. Foreign applicants whose native language is not English must submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores or other equivalent English language test.  If prior academic experience in the U.S. illustrates that the student is proficient in English, this requirement may be waived, with the concurrence of the Graduate School.
  5. Three letters of recommendation must be submitted from persons who can reflect upon the applicant's prior academic and professional performance.
  6. The applicant must provide a career goal statement with a focus on the applicant’s research interests and how the USC program melds with these interests and a current curriculum vita with the application.
  7. All eligible applicants are interviewed by departmental faculty members as part of the admission process.


Apply to the PhD in Health Administration program online through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS).


(subject to change)

PhD in Health Services Policy and Management requires completion of 60 hours of post-baccalaureate course work, including 12 hours of dissertation preparation. With the exception of MPH core courses (EPID 700, BIOS 700, HPEB 700, ENHS 660, HSPM 700 or their equivalents), up to 18 hours may be transferred from previous graduate coursework, with the approval of the student’s advisor and the Graduate Director. Therefore, students in the PhD program must complete a minimum of 42 semester credit hours at USC (including the dissertation research hours).  The students should complete the departmental core as well as the courses in a concentration area within the first two years of study.  The departmental core requirements are essential for passing the qualifying examination.  All courses require the approval of academic advisor of the student.

The required Ph.D. curriculum is:
Public Health Core: 6 hours (students with an MPH may transfer credit hours to waive one or both of the courses, subject to the maximum of 18 hours of credit transfers)
Perspectives in Public Health (PUBH 700) 3 hrs
Concepts and methods of Epidemiology (EPID 700/701) 3 hrs
Departmental Core: 16 hours
Advanced Topics in Health Policy & Management I & II (HSPM 845 & 846) 6 hrs
Health Services Research Methods I & II (HSPM 717 & 719) 6 hrs
Doctoral Seminar (HSPM 800, one credit hour each) 4 hrs
Concentration (designed by student): 12 hours
Health Services Policy and Management related electives: 14 hours
HSPM 899 - Dissertation/Project:  12 hours
Total credit hours 60 hours


For further information about this program, please contact Mitchell Taylor, phone: (803)777-1627.


Columbia, SC 29208 • 803-777-1627 • sphweb@mailbox.sc.edu