OverviewPhD Faculty Interaction

The Ph.D. in Health Economics is designed to train scientists to engage in modern economic research related to questions pertinent to the health care sector and to personal and public health.  It is an on-campus program. Students take courses both from the Economics Department, which is housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and from the Health Systems, Management & Policy (HSMP) Department, which is housed in the Colorado School of Public Health. The ECON coursework grounds students in rigorous economic theory and modern statistical methods, whereas the HSMP coursework connects students to institutional details of the health care sector, administrative data methods, grant writing, and the development of interdisciplinary health care research.

A note about the fall 2020 semester:  The econ graduate programs at CU Denver are on-campus programs.  For the fall 2020, the first semester graduate courses will likely be taught in the classroom, but also streamed live and/or recorded for students who are unable to attend class.  Most professors will require students to attend lectures live, either in the classroom or remotely via Zoom Meetings.  This means that graduate students in the fall 2020 semester will be able to attend lectures from anywhere in the world that has a solid internet connection.  Please note that graduate econ courses start at 5pm or 6:30pm local Denver time.  Many of the required courses after the first semester will be on-campus only and so students will not be able to complete the entire degree via remote learning.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the Ph.D. degree in Health Economics, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the economic approach to studying the healthcare sector, health behaviors, and health outcomes.
  2. Understand how different markets function in the health care sector, such as the market for health care, health insurance, health labor (such as physicians and nursing), and pharmaceuticals.
  3. Understand the challenges in identifying causal relationships using health data. 
  4. Use and develop statistical and econometric models, based on economic theory, to analyze various economic issues and make policy recommendations.
  5. Communicate, in written form and verbally, theoretical and econometric findings to an audience of economics professionals and to a general audience. 

The Emphasis of the Program

Students begin the program with extensive training in microeconomic theory along with substantial exposure to applied econometrics and quantitative analysis. This training includes working with large and diverse data sets, and becoming proficient using statistical software. The Ph.D. core and elective courses provides the foundation for students to engage in innovative and original research in health economics, including evaluating the effectiveness of health interventions and health policy, and conducting economic cost-benefit analysis.

Financial Aid

General financial aid is managed and awarded to students through the CU Denver Office of Financial Aid (FAFSA code: 004508). You can find more information here. The department offers specific financial assistance to Ph.D. students in form of partial tuition scholarships, teaching assistantships (TAs), research assistantships (RAs), and grader positions. These positions are awarded on a competitive basis, and are initially based on information provided in the student’s application to the Ph.D. program. Students admitted to the Ph.D. program are automatically considered for a gradaute assistantship position. No separate application or further information is needed.

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