Master of Science Degree in Health Policy
The Masters Degree in Health Services Research provides students with the skills to conduct and interpret research in health policy and clinical decision-making.
The MS program is typically completed in two years. All candidates must satisfactorily complete 45 units of graduate course work with a 3.0 (B) or better, as well as a master’s thesis that represents original health services research. In addition to satisfying the core course requirements, students must take additional courses in one of three concentration areas.
Advisors, Mentors and Thesis
Each student will have a thesis committee comprised of at least two faculty members associated the HSR MS faculty. One committee member will be a faculty advisor drawn from the core faculty. In addition to serving as a mentor for the student’s thesis, the faculty advisor will be responsible for advising the student on curriculum-related issues and ensuring that the student is progressing sufficiently toward completion of the program. Both committee members will be responsible for reading and approving the final thesis. Depending on the topic of the project, additional faculty members may serve as mentors, either as a committee member or in a less formal arrangement. Affiliated faculty often serve as mentors on specific research methods, and other medical school faculty may serve as “content experts” for projects concerned with specific diseases or medical treatments.
Each student will submit a 1-2 page thesis proposal by the end of the first year in the program. The proposal should describe the research project which will fulfill the requirement for the master’s thesis including identifying the research question and describing the data sources and empirical methods which will be used to answer the research questions. For collaborative projects, the student should identify the collaborators and describe in detail his or her role on the project. For projects using proprietary data, the student should provide evidence that the data will be available for the proposed research and describe how he or she will access the data. In the proposal, the student should identify the members of the thesis committee.
Funding of Graduate Studies
The department has limited funding available for MS students, which is awarded at the time of admissions by the program coordinator. In addition, prospective students are encouraged to seek funding through:
- Graduate aid at Stanford
- Stanford School of Medicine graduate student funding opportunities
- Clinical training programs: KL2 or TL1 support through Spectrum, the Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Education and Research
- Stanford School of Medicine financial aid
- External funding sources
- Research or teaching assistantships: Contact individual professors upon acceptance.