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School of Public Health
The Department of Health Services offers the Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Health Services.
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1772
Leading to the degree of
Admission Limited to
Deadline to apply
GRE (General and/or Subject), TWE
Letters of Recommendation
In addition to the University’s minimum requirements and those listed above, all applicants are expected to submit the departmental application through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS] and a statement of purpose.
MS: Admission requirements for the M.S. in Health Services are the same as for the M.P.H..
Ph.D.: At least a 3.5 GPA in graduate studies or demonstrated superiority in graduate work, and at least a B in each of the mandatory core courses, a positive recommendation by the Health Services Department, approval by the doctoral admissions committee and the department chair, completion of the M.S. in Health Services or an appropriately related field is preferred. Submission of a writing sample, preferably a master’s thesis or equivalent, is required. Screening examinations may be required by the department.
An adviser is appointed for each new master’s student by the head of the respective department. Student and adviser together agree upon a study list for each academic quarter and any subsequent alterations must be approved by the student’s adviser. Students are expected to meet with their advisers each quarter. A departmental guidance committee is established when the student has completed approximately half of the program for the master’s degree. Members of the departmental guidance committee are nominated by the department chair after consultation with the student and the student’s adviser.
An adviser is responsible for the student’s academic progress. Progress is evaluated on an ongoing basis. At the end of each quarter the Associate Dean of Student Affairs reviews academic listings of students and notifies them and the advisers when the cumulative grade-point average is below 3.0. Advisers review each case with their advisees and make recommendations to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for continuance or dismissal. Students who wish to change advisers must file a petition which must be approved by the new adviser, the department chair, and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
Areas of Study
Consult the graduate adviser.
Foreign Language Requirement
Students must complete Health Services 200A, 200B, 237A, 237B, 237C, M422, Biostatistics 200A, 200B, and Epidemiology 100. Students must complete 16 full courses (68 units) and at least one year of graduate residence at the University of California. A minimum of five courses must be in the 200 or 500 series. Only four units of either Health Services 596 or 598 may be applied to the degree. Health Services 597 may not be applied toward the degree requirements. Students are strongly encouraged to take the following courses or equivalents: Epidemiology 20B-200C. Elective courses should be selected in consultation with an advisor. Electives may be chosen from offerings in the department or other departments in the School of Public Health.
Students with a prior doctoral-level degree (M.D., Ph.D., J.D., D.D.S., or equivalent), and relevant experience, must complete 12 full courses (52 units). The four courses (16 units) not required for these students are identified through a waiver petition when the student advances to candidacy. Required courses include Health Services 200A, 200B, 237A-237B, 237C, Biostatistics 200A-200B, and Epidemiology 100. Students must take two courses in statistics and a minimum of one course in Epidemiology. Biostatistics 200A and 200B and Epidemiology 100 will satisfy these requirements. However, students are encouraged to substitute advanced courses in these areas if previous academic work provides adequate preparation. This determination will be made on a case by case basis in consultation with the advisor.
Only courses in which a grade of C- or better is received may be applied toward the requirements for a master’s degree. Students must maintain an average of no less than 3.0 (B) in all courses required or elected during graduate residence at the University of California.
Comprehensive Examination Plan
If the comprehensive examination/report plan is approved, a guidance committee of three faculty members is appointed. The comprehensive examination consists of an extensive written research report in the major area of study. It must be approved by the guidance committee which also must certify successful completion of all degree requirements.
Every master’s degree thesis plan requires the completion of an approved thesis that demonstrates the student’s ability to perform original, independent research.
If the thesis option is approved, a thesis committee is established. The committee approves the thesis prospectus before the student files for advancement to candidacy. The thesis must be acceptable to the thesis committee.
From graduate admission to award of the degree, normal progress is from three to seven quarters. Upper time limit for completion of all requirements is seven quarters of enrollment, including quarters enrolled in previous graduate study at a UC campus prior to admission to the School of Public Health. Maximum time allowable from enrollment to graduation, including leaves of absence, is five years.
An academic adviser is assigned to each new student by the department chair. The student and the adviser together agree upon a study list for each academic quarter; any subsequent alterations must be approved both by the adviser and the department chair.
Within the first three quarters of study, students file Doctoral Form 1, Petition for Establishment of Three-Member Guidance Committee and Study in Major and Cognate Field for the Ph.D. The guidance committee consists of three members including the student’s adviser in the major field and the student’s adviser in the minor field. Courses to be taken for the cognate field are listed on this form, which must be approved by the student’s adviser and the chair of the department.
Major Fields or Subdisciplines
Consult the graduate adviser.
Foreign Language Requirement
In addition to the requirements for an M.S. degree in Health Services, major field course requirements include Health Services 249I and Biostatistics 200A and 200B. A cognate is required with at least 12 units (three courses) from a department that grants a Ph.D. degree. Cognate courses must be at the graduate level and should be core theory and research courses for the discipline chosen. Acceptable cognate areas would be from one of the following disciplinary areas: economics, epidemiology, health care outcomes research, history, management, pharmaceutical economics, policy studies, political science, psychology, and sociology.
Teaching experience is recommended but not required for the doctoral degree.
Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations
Academic Senate regulations require all doctoral students to complete and pass University written and oral qualifying examinations prior to doctoral advancement to candidacy. Also, under Senate regulations the University oral qualifying examination is open only to the student and appointed members of the doctoral committee. In addition to University requirements, some graduate programs have other pre-candidacy examination requirements. What follows in this section is how students are required to fulfill all of these requirements for this doctoral program.
Before advancement to candidacy, students must pass a written examination in the major field, complete the requirements in a minor field, and pass an oral qualifying examination on the major and minor fields. Normally no more than one reexamination is allowed. When the student is ready to take the University Oral Qualifying Examination, a doctoral committee is nominated. The doctoral committee consists of at least four faculty members who hold professorial appointments. Two of the faculty must be tenured. Three of the four must hold appointments in Health Services; at least one must hold an appointment in another department at UCLA. The doctoral committee administers the oral qualifying examination after the student has successfully completed the written examination.
After passing the University Oral Qualifying Examination, the student may be advanced to candidacy and commence work on a dissertation in the principal field of study. The doctoral committee guides the student’s progress toward completion of the dissertation.
Advancement to Candidacy
Students are advanced to candidacy upon successful completion of the written and oral qualifying examinations.
Every doctoral degree program requires the completion of an approved dissertation that demonstrates the student’s ability to perform original, independent research and constitutes a distinct contribution to knowledge in the principal field of study.
Final Oral Examination (Defense of Dissertation)
Required for all students in the program.
Maximum allowable time for the attainment of the degree is 20 quarters of enrollment or eight years. This limitation includes quarters enrolled in previous graduate study at a UC campus prior to admission to the doctoral degree program and leaves of absence. However, the approved normative time-to-degree is 18 quarters (six years).
Termination of Graduate Study and Appeal of Termination
A student who fails to meet the above requirements may be recommended for termination of graduate study. A graduate student may be disqualified from continuing in the graduate program for a variety of reasons. The most common is failure to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average (3.00) required by the Academic Senate to remain in good standing (some programs require a higher grade point average). Other examples include failure of examinations, lack of timely progress toward the degree and poor performance in core courses. Probationary students (those with cumulative grade point averages below 3.00) are subject to immediate dismissal upon the recommendation of their department. University guidelines governing termination of graduate students, including the appeal procedure, are outlined in Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.
Special Departmental or Program Policy
In addition to the standard reasons outlined above, a student may be recommended for termination for failure to complete the required course work within seven quarters of matriculation.
In addition to the standard reasons outlined above, a student may be recommended for termination for: failure to maintain a 3.00 grade point average for two consecutive quarters following matriculation into the doctoral program; a second failure of any written qualifying examination in the major or minor fields; a second failure of either oral examination; or exceeding enrollment time limits.
A student may appeal a recommendation for termination first to the departmental chair, then to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, then to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and finally to the dean of the school.