What Can I Do with a Ph.D. in Health Services?

Students earning a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in health services learn the structure, finances and policy of the United States health care industry. A doctorate degree in health services enables graduates to pursue careers in teaching, research and policy analysis. Schools offering Health Care Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Opportunities for Ph.D. in Health Services Graduates

Students who earn a Doctor of Philosophy in Health Services can become researchers to help address many issues within the United States health care industry. Those individuals who are looking to hold management or administrative roles in hospitals or health care facilities typically only need a bachelor's or master's degree in health services, health administration or a related field. Doctoral degrees in health services are more geared towards individuals who want to conduct extensive research into health care issues to better understand the complex nature of these issues and to better affect policies. According to Johns Hopkins University, these issues include:

  • Increasing health care costs
  • Decreasing quality of care
  • Inadequate access to health care

Those with doctorate degrees in health services can work as researchers in the health care industry, colleges, universities and government agencies, according to the University of Washington. Depending on the type of organization and exact job duties, they may have titles like research associate, research scientist, executive director or director of economic outcomes, according to the University of Minnesota.

Important Facts About Health Services Ph.D. Holders

Medical Scientists Health Specialties Professors Health Services Managers
Median Salary (2014) $79,930 $90,210 $92,810
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 8% growth 13% growth 17% growth
Work Environment Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences; colleges, universities, and professional schools; hospitals Colleges, universities, and professional schools; junior colleges; career and technical schools Hospitals; nursing and residential care facilities; offices of physicians
Similar Occupations Biochemists and biophysicists; physicians and surgeons; medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians Career and technical education teachers; postsecondary education administrators; sociologists Human resources managers; insurance underwriters; social and community service managers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Health Care Organizations

Individuals who work as researchers in the health care industry usually focus on the delivery of health care services, according to the University of Florida. These individuals strive to increase the quality and efficiency of patient care while decreasing the cost. Graduates with a Ph.D in Health Services can also work for insurance companies, consultant groups and think tanks in the health care industry.


Individuals with a Ph.D. in Health Services can work as professors at universities. Working in academics allows those with doctorates in health services to continue conducting research. Researchers who work for colleges and universities also teach undergraduate and graduate classes as professors or assistant professors.

Policy Analysis

Researchers in government agencies such as the Veterans Administration help shape policy and health care programs. Individuals who earn a doctorate degree in health services can help politicians, clinicians and business leaders make decisions about health care issues and policies. These individuals also look to researchers to help determine what health care programs are necessary for people across the United States.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Chapel Hill
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

    Campus Locations:

    • New Jersey: Newark
  • Tulane University of Louisiana

    Campus Locations:

    • Louisiana: New Orleans
  • Medical University of South Carolina

    Campus Locations:

    • South Carolina: Charleston
  • Loma Linda University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Loma Linda
  • The University of Tennessee

    Campus Locations:

    • Tennessee: Knoxville
  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford