About this Program

The primary mission of the Ph.D. in health services research is to develop leaders and problem solvers whose professional services will improve the health of the population not only in Eastern Virginia but also statewide, nationally, and internationally. Health services researchers examine health care quality and effectiveness, primary and managed care, new technologies, and other critical health services and related public health research practice topics. Health services researchers pursue careers in many settings, including academia, industry, professional organizations, research centers, health policy groups, clinical settings, and in federal, state, local, and international agencies.

Program Highlights

  • The goals of the program are to enable students to conduct and interpret health services research, to formulate and analyze public health policy, to lead programs and organizations that address the health care needs of populations and to work directly with community members to empower them to be a part of the policy formulation process.

  • Graduates from the program will develop the critical skills necessary to integrate knowledge and competencies applicable to public health and health services questions and problems.

  • Students will be able to design viable programs, manage resources, and measure the effectiveness of service delivery public health interventions to populations.

  • Students have the option of selecting the 3-article format to satisfy the dissertation requirement.

  • Students are matched with a research mentor upon entrance to the program.

Degree Level
Degree Earned
Doctor of Philosophy
Delivery Modes


Check out these ideas from ODU Career Development Services and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). A median salary is a midpoint of what people typically earn—half of those surveyed earned above the median salary, and half earned below.

Medical and Health Services Managers

$111,680 Median Salary

Plan, direct, or coordinate medical and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies, or similar organizations.

Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary

$122,890 Median Salary

Teach courses in health specialties, in fields such as dentistry, laboratory technology, medicine, pharmacy, public health, therapy, and veterinary medicine.

Alumni Careers

Department of Health & Human Service
Office of Minority Health
George Washington University
Sentara Health Systems


What are the requirements to apply for Health Services Research at ODU?
Students entering the Doctor of Philosophy program in Health Services Research should meet the minimum university admission requirements Graduate Admission.

Students are admitted to the Ph.D. program during the fall term only. Applications for admission are reviewed by the Ph.D. in Health Services Research Program admissions committee. Complete the application form and submit all required materials to the Office of Admissions, Old Dominion University. To qualify for admission, an applicant must meet the general University admission requirements at the graduate level as well as specific program requirements, including:

  • A completed master’s degree from a program that is accredited by a specialized accrediting agency; degrees such as M.D., J.D., and D.D.S. are also acceptable;

  • A minimum acceptable grade point average of 3.50 (on a 4.0 scale) overall for the master’s degree;

  • The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required although strongly recommended.

  • For those whose native language is not English a TOEFL score of at least 550 (79 for internet-based test);

  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended;

  • A current curriculum vitae or resume;

  • Three letters of reference from sources capable of commenting on the applicant’s readiness and commitment for doctoral studies. At least two, and preferably all letters should be from academic sources; other letters must be from professional supervisors;

  • A 1500- word essay discussing the applicant’s academic and professional goals. This essay should discuss how the Ph.D. in Health Services Research program will contribute towards meeting these goals; and

  • An interview (Zoom or face-2-face) to discuss applicant's research focus and fit with the program faculty's expertise.

For Admission to the Health Services Research Program


Complete the application form and submit all required materials to the Office of Admissions, Old Dominion University.


Estimated rates for the 2023-24 academic year. Rates are subject to change. Anyone that is not a current Virginia resident will be charged non-resident rates. That includes international students.

Virginia Resident
Cost Per-Credit $599
Technology Delivered Courses Outside Virginia and/or the United States
Cost Per-Credit $623
Cost Per-Credit $1,439

Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending ODU. For more information visit University Student Financial aid



NORFOLK, 23529