Healthcare Policy and Research Ph.D.

One of two doctoral training programs offered by the Department of Health Behavior and Policy, the Ph.D. in Healthcare Policy and Research (HCPR) equips students with an understanding of economic, political, and social factors that affect healthcare equity as it relates to access, costs and outcomes.

Student learning is focused in the following areas:

  • Content and theory: Students will critically articulate how health policies are developed, implemented and evaluated.
  • Critical and analytical thinking: Students will accurately analyze and synthesize health policy research.
  • Research methods: Students will demonstrate proficiency in designing, conducting and interpreting health policy research. Students will write and submit a manuscript and grant proposal.
  • Effective communication: Students will communicate effectively to translate and disseminate research findings for health policy audiences.

Graduates of the program will be able to:

  • Synthesize health policy research to identify critical gaps in knowledge.
  • Translate and disseminate health policy research evidence into practice through multiple channels to diverse audiences.
  • Design and execute a research study in health policy, health services, or related areas, utilizing advanced analytical techniques and data.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the major health policies, identify policy problems, formulate, implement, analyze, and evaluate health policies.

Alumni of the Healthcare Policy and Research program work successfully in a wide variety of areas and sectors including academia, government, and the private sector.

About the Program

Under the guidance of faculty mentors, doctoral students develop portfolios by conducting independent, original research. Students also contribute to faculty-led research projects during their time at VCU.

Andrew J. Barnes, Ph.D.
Askar S. Chukmaitov, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.A.
Peter J. Cunningham, Ph.D.
Bassam A. Dahman, Ph.D.
Anika L. Hines, Ph.D., M.P.H.
April D. Kimmel, Ph.D.
Morgan Snell, Ph.D.
Emmanuel A. Taylor, M.Sc., Dr.PH.

Students complete a minimum of 59 graduate credit hours in subject areas such as the following:

  • Econometrics
  • Data analysis
  • Health services research
  • Health disparities and health inequity

Learn more about the program’s curriculum and other degree requirements in the VCU Bulletin.

Life in Richmond

Urban life with a small-town feel

We encourage our students and researchers to maintain a healthy work-life balance, and Richmond is a wonderful place to engage in that well-rounded lifestyle. As the capital of Virginia since 1779, Richmond attracts students, faculty and staff from around the globe. The city’s location affords easy day trips to destinations like Washington, DC, Virginia Beach, Colonial Williamsburg and the Blue Ridge Mountains, among others.

As a mid-sized city with a metropolitan population of 1.3 million, Richmond provides stimulating activities while maintaining its intimate feel and unique vibe. Vibrant neighborhoods offer distinct, diverse experiences, with no shortage of art galleries, museums, music venues, restaurants, breweries and parks. For the outdoor enthusiast, you can’t beat the offerings in the city’s riverfront parks and urban wilderness areas such as white-water rafting, hiking, mountain biking and festivals.

Learn more about our community

Admission Requirements

Contact Us

For more information about the Healthcare Policy and Research Ph.D. program, please contact:

Nerice Lochansky Luu
Education Administrator