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The PhD curriculum at the Heller School is comprised of 15 courses divided into three categories.

A.  Core Curriculum in Social Policy Analysis

B.  Curriculum in Research Methods, Statistics, and Analytic Skills

C.  Curriculum in Social Policy Concentrations

Students take a balance of required courses and open electives. Electives can be chosen from a variety of offerings in all three categories to meet your needs and interests. Such flexibility allows you to tailor the program to best prepare you for a career in research, teaching, or administration.

In addition to coursework, you must:

A.  Core Curriculum in Social Policy Analysis

In this sequence you will take courses that highlight the distinctive concepts, theories, and models of the various social science disciplines as applied to common social policy problems. Incorporating historical and institutional lenses, you will strengthen your multidisciplinary perspectives and integrative skills.

The following course is required in Category A:

Students choose one to three of the following courses, depending on their concentration.

B.  Curriculum in Research Methods, Statistics, and Analytic Skills

Given the diverse methods used in social policy research, you are expected to acquire a facility with qualitative and quantitative approaches. You must master the principles of various research designs and the analytical skills to address critical social policy issues in a systematic and logical manner.

The following courses are required in Category B:

  1. HS 401b, Research Methods
  2. HS 404b, Applied Regression Analysis
    (including an applications lab)
  3. HS 414f, Ethical Issues in Social Science Research
  4. A course in Applied Research:
  5. Two (full-semester equivalents) advanced methodological electives from the following:

C.  Curriculum in Social Policy Concentrations

The Heller School has always been synonymous with extraordinary opportunities in social policy research and training. As a Heller doctoral student, you are expected to develop a specialization that has breadth and depth. You can do this by choosing several options, including formal course work, projects, tutorials, and attendance at professional meetings, lectures, workshops and colloquia. The Heller School offers five areas of concentration from which you can choose:

  1. Health
  2. Behavioral Health
  3. Children, Youth, and Families
  4. Assets and Inequalities
  5. Global Health and Development

Each concentration requires up to three courses in that area of social policy.