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Programs and Degrees
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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

 

Program Mission Statement

programs and degreesThe mission of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Global Health Systems and Development (GHSD) is to develop and train future scholars and educators for future academic and research careers in health systems management and policy in global healthcare settings.

Program Description

The PhD program in GHSD has been developed to provide doctoral level training in research methodology, health policy and planning, analysis of health systems, and management strategies.  This program will be most useful to individuals interested in teaching, research, and policy analysis because of the emphasis on research approaches and skill application in the health services area. The PhD program develops new scholars in Health Systems research.  The highly variable character of health systems around the world necessitates the production of capable researchers to analyze and understand these changes and trends and to make recommendations.  The program also helps strengthen existing and new research initiatives within the department.  Applicants with relevant master's degrees or exceptionally qualified bachelor's degree holders are welcome to apply. Depending upon the prior graduate level course work of the applicant, credit hour requirements will vary.

Program Competencies

Domain 1: General Knowledge

  1. Acquire knowledge of theories and supporting concepts pertinent to applied, multi-disciplinary, public health research in the US and internationally. (Core theory course –GHSD 7960, doctoral seminars -GHSD 8050, substantive component of comprehensive exams; prospectus development, work as a research or teaching assistant)
  2. Outline and articulate the key elements of the research process from identifying the research question, selecting a theoretical framework, developing a study design, using appropriate methodologies, conducting the analysis, and interpreting the results. (Core courses - GHSD 7950, GHSD 7960, and GHSD 8250, EPID 7120 or equivalent, doctoral seminars-GHSD 8050, comprehensive exam, prospectus development and defense)

Domain 2: Research Questions, Theoretical Models and Hypotheses Generation

  1. Summarize and synthesize the state of knowledge in a problem area, articulate key concepts, assess relevant findings, identify significant gaps, and compare the advantages and disadvantages of different study designs and methodologies used to date. (Core courses GHSD 7960, GHSD 8250, EPID 7120 or equivalent; approved field electives; comprehensive exams, prospectus development and defense)
  2. Formulate priority research questions relating to a specific area of global health knowledge based on existing gaps in the literature. (Core course GHSD 7960, field electives, prospectus development)

Domain 3: Research Design

  1. Compare advantages and disadvantages of different formal study designs and approaches. Provide feasible alternative standard research designs for given research questions (Core courses GHSD 7960, GHSD 8250, EPID 7120 or equivalent, doctoral seminars-GHSD 8050 and SPHL 9990, and other research design courses, prospective development and defense)
  2. Develop and write an original research protocol or prospectus that includes identifying the research question, selecting a theoretical framework, developing a study design, using appropriate methodologies, conducting the analysis, and interpreting the results. (Core courses GHSD 7950, GHSD 7960, GHSD 8250, EPID 7120 or equivalent; field elective courses, doctoral seminars-GHSD 8050, prospectus development, serve as research assistant with faculty mentors)

Domain 4: Research Conduct

  1. Develop and use instruments for primary and secondary data collection and perform data analysis using correct and appropriate research methods. (Core course-GHSD 8250, advanced methods electives, prospectus development and defense)
  2. Apply for and receive IRB approval for a specific research project using approved and ethical research protocols. (Complete IRB application process for independent study and/or faculty research project; prospectus development)

Domain 5: Dissemination of Knowledge

  1. Disseminate and discuss research knowledge and findings to appropriate audiences (serve as teaching assistant or course instructor; do presentations and posters at local and national meetings; present a seminar for a departmental audience --required of all students; prepare and defend dissertation)
  2. Demonstrate ability to educate others and assess retention. (Work with faculty mentor in appropriate course classroom setting; serve as a teaching assistant; develop and give class lectures and tests; participate in seminars; do a training exercise during fieldwork to the beneficiary population)

 

Admissions Requirements

Each prospective student applying for the PhD degree must submit the following:

  • A completed online SOPHAS application by December 1 (Note: only completed applications received by the December 1 deadline will be considered for scholarships; incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline are unlikely to receive scholarship funding.  Applications received after March 15 will not be considered for admission to the fall PhD class);
  • Official transcripts of all baccalaureate and graduate course work (Note: transcripts should be sent directly from each College or University through the online application, SOPHAS); a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 point scale for graduate course work within the past five years is preferred for admission;
  • For non-US applicants submitting transcripts from foreign institutions, World Education Services (WES) certifications are required;
  • GRE test scores.  A GRE combined score of 1200 in verbal and quantitative sections (old GRE version) or 306 (new GRE scoring system), and minimum GRE scores of 75th percentile or higher on all sections of the GRE is expected;
  • Statement of career goals and research ideas.  This statement/essay should be between 500 to 1000 words;
  • A resume (or curriculum vitae);
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with the academic and/or professional performance of the applicant; at least one of the recommendations must be from a person with an earned doctoral degree;
  • For applicants from non-English speaking areas, TOEFL is required;
  • GHSD faculty will also conduct interviews with applicants and will match them with faculty able and willing to advise and mentor the student for the duration of the program.

Program Requirements

Students entering the GHSD Doctor of Philosophy program of study must take or have already taken the introductory Public Health Core Courses in biostatistics (BIOS 6030) and epidemiology (EPID 6030) or equivalent. If they are taken at TUSPHTM as part of the doctoral degree program, these courses will count toward the 72 credits needed for the PhD degree but not toward the 30 hours of doctoral credit. Doctoral students who lack these two core courses will need to take 36 didactic hours at TUSPHTM to fulfill the doctoral degree requirements of 30 hours of doctoral coursework plus introductory biostatistics (3 hours) and epidemiology (3 hours).

The GHSD PhD Program requires two departmental core courses (in theory and research design) and a non-credit departmental Doctoral Seminar. Students must also take a departmental course in advanced statistical research methods and the one-credit SPHTM required Doctoral Interdisciplinary seminar (for at least two semesters). EPID 7120 or equivalent (with approval of advisor) will complete the SPHTM requirement for an “additional course in advanced research design or methods”. Beyond these core course requirements, the PhD program is very flexible. In consultation with their academic advisor, students tailor their program of coursework, independent study, research practice, teaching practice, fieldwork experience, and language training to meet their professional goals. Much of the coursework builds methodological skills. Students must take at least 72 credit hours of didactic coursework (plus additional seminar and dissertation research credits) beyond the undergraduate level, of which up to 30 can usually be transferred in from a master’s program. A minimum of 30 academic credit hours must be completed at the doctoral level at Tulane.

Required Departmental Core and SPHTM Courses (14 credits)

  • GHSD 7950, Doctoral Core Course: “Research Approaches and Design for Global Health” Exposure to major research approaches and designs for interdisciplinary research, reflecting experimental, quasi-experimental and non-experimental approaches. 3 credits, Fall
  • GHSD 7960, Doctoral Core Course, “Applied Interdisciplinary Theory for Global Health Research”. Integrating and applying interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks to guide research. 3 credits, Fall
  • GHSD 8250, “Advanced Research Methods in Global Health” (or equivalent advanced research methods course covering econometrics or related empirical methods for global health research). 3 credits, Spring, second semester
  •  EPID 7120, “Epidemiological Methods II”, advanced epidemiological research design or equivalent “advanced research methods or design” (with approval of advisor)
  • GHSD 8050. Departmental Doctoral Seminar. 0 credits, every semester
  • SPHL 8800, Essential in Research Readiness Skills to prepare students to compete for research funding.  2 credit, Fall and Spring

Additional Recommended Coursework for GHSD Doctoral Students

Beyond the 14 credits of minimum departmental core and SPHTM required courses, each doctoral student must take at least 18 additional credits of advanced formal coursework. A program of study should be developed with your faculty advisor before enrolling in other courses. Students may select from the following list of doctoral level courses offering specialized statistical or qualitative methods, advanced research design, theory, and substantive/technical content areas. Substantive coursework in specific area of interest also may come from independent study or advanced statistical methods offered by uptown units such as Sociology, Economics, Psychology, or International Development. In choosing advanced courses, students should pay special attention to course prerequisites and, if not met, students must obtain permission from the instructor before enrolling. Below are courses recommended for doctoral study in the GHSD Department.

GHSD 7020 COMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH FOR FAMILY PLANNING AND HEALTH (3)
GHSD 7090 PUBLIC NUTRITION: ASSESSMENT AND ADVANCED ANALYSIS (3)
GHSD 7120 MONITORING AND EVALUATING MCH PROGRAMS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES (3)
GHSD 7130 HIV SURVEILLANCE USING RESPONDENT-DRIVEN SAMPLING (RDS) (2)
GHSD 7170 STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT AND PLANNING FOR HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONS (3)
GHSD 7200 DEVELOPMENT THEORY (3)
GHSD 7300 HEALTH AND SOCIAL MARKETING IN INTERNATIONAL SETTINGS (2)
GHSD 7330 NEGOTIATION ANALYSIS (2)
GHSD 7350 MORTALITY: MEASUREMENT, TRENDS, AND VARIATION (3)
GHSD 7440 HOUSEHOLD SAMPLING APPLICATIONS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES (3)
GHSD 7540 MANAGERIAL ACCOUNTING (2)
GHSD 7550 DYNAMICS OF PAYMENT SYSTEMS - POLICY AND FUNCTION (3)
GHSD 7580 FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT (2)
GHSD 7660 HEALTH POLICY ANALYSIS (3)
GHSD 7710 QUANTITATIVE DECISION MODELS (2)
GHSD 8990 INDEPENDENT STUDY (DOCTORAL LEVEL)

Doctoral Students in the residential GHSD PhD program may also choose from the following doctoral courses offered in 8 executive format sessions over five weekends each semester (based on course schedules and space, with permission of the instructor):
ESCD 8310 ORGANIZATIONAL THEORY AND ASSESSMENT (3)
ESCD 8410 COST BENEFIT AND COST-EFFECTIVE ANALYSIS (3)
ESCD 8430 DECISION ANALYSIS/ADVANCED UTILITY THEORY (3)
ESCD 8510 APPLIED HEATH ECONOMICS (3)
ESCD 8610 HEALTH POLICY ANALYSIS (3)
ESCD 8710 HEALTH OUTCOMES (3)
ESCD 8730 BIOSTASTICS: REGRESSION ANALYSIS (3)
ESCD 8750 ADVANCED REGRESSION (3)
ESCD 8770 HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH METHODS (3)
ESCD 8780 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS (3)
ESCD 8790 ADVANCED RESEARCH METHODS (3)
ESCD 8900: RESEARCH THEORY AND DESIGN (3)

Doctoral students may also choose from advanced courses in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, including:
BIOS 7060 REGRESSION ANALYSIS (3)
BIOS 7150 CATEGORICAL DATA ANALYSIS (3)
BIOS 7250 PRINCIPLES OF SAMPLING (3)
BIOS 7300 STATISTICAL METHODS FOR SURVIVAL DATA ANALYSIS (3)
BIOS 7350 CLUSTERED AND LONGITUDINAL DATA ANALYSIS (3)
BIOS 7400 CLINICAL TRIALS (3)
BIOS 7420 PRINCIPLES OF MEASUREMENT (3)
BIOS 7600 ADVANCED EVALUATION RESEARCH (3)
BIOS 7820 MULTIVARIATE METHODS (3)
EPID 7120 EPIDEMIOLOGIC METHODS II (3)
EPID 7210 EPIDEMIOLOGY OF SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS/HIV (3)
EPID 8220 ANALYTIC EPIDEMIOLOGY (3)

Other courses in advanced methods, theory and content at the 7000 or 8000 level are offered by other departments, including units on the uptown campus. Please check the schedules and consult with your faculty advisor.

Introductory master’s courses (at the 6000 level) cannot be used to fulfill the 30 credit hours of required doctoral coursework. To study special content areas, students should make arrangements with an instructor to undertake independent study (GHSD 8990). Independent study courses are registered at the 8000 level and may include attending class sessions of 6000 level courses, but must contain doctoral requirements and content, such as a research paper, additional readings, and individual exams or assessments.


Scholarships

Funding packages are available for exceptionally qualified students which include tuition scholarships and research/teaching assistant stipends. Contact the program director for more information.

 

For more information, contact:

Vanessa J. Bailey
Program Coordinator
E-mail: vbailey1@tulane.edu
Phone: 504-988-1313
Fax: 504-988-3783
Location: Tidewater Building, 19th Floor
 

 
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1440 Canal Street | Suite 1900 | Box TB-46 | New Orleans, LA 70112 | 504-988-5428 | ghsd@tulane.edu