Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Center for Education in Health Sciences

Master of Science in Health Services and Outcomes Research

The Master of Science in Health Services and Outcomes Research offers interdisciplinary training to MDs, PhDs, and healthcare professionals who want to build their research acumen and contribute new knowledge to the fields of health services and outcomes research. The degree program provides a comprehensive foundation in the methods and substantive topics relevant to these fields, with the goal of preparing graduates for academic positions or leadership roles in research or nonprofit organizations. 

Master's students are admitted each Summer quarter. In the executive hybrid model, the program's in-person class meetings are organized into four executive-style residency sessions across the year, allowing the degree to be pursued by students living outside Chicago (see graphic below). Attendance during on-campus residencies is required for credit. Some courses also hold several synchronous meetings between residencies. These can be attended remotely by videoconference.

The master's degree can be earned by taking courses part-time over two years or by completing all courses in one year of full-time study. Tuition charges are determined by whether a student is enrolled part-time (0.5 to 2.5 courses) or full-time (3 or more courses).

The part-time degree program is intended to be pursued alongside a research or professional appointment, such as residency or fellowship training or a position in which a student's research and study time is protected. Click here to view the recommended part-time course plan.

It is also possible to complete the degree in one year of full-time coursework, which may be preferable for students who can take a year between other professional engagements to focus on research. View the full-time curriculum here.

graphic showing annual schedule with four campus meetings

This overview graphic shows the annual schedule for students pursuing the one-year, full-time master's degree. Part-time students follow the same executive meeting pattern over a two-year timeframe. They take about half the courses in year one and then finish the required curriculum and their research projects in year two. 

Master's Program Curriculum 

The master's curriculum is comprised of 11 required course units: 13 required core courses (equal to 10 units) and one required elective unit. Courses are offered once a year in the quarter in which they appear in the table below. The numbers in parentheses after each course indicate the course units assigned (0.5 or 1.0).

The table below summarizes the quarterly enrollment for the one-year master's program. A typical two-year schedule involves taking about half the total courses in the following year. 

In addition to program coursework, master's students complete a Capstone Project, an independent research project developed and carried out over the course of the degree. The half-credit Capstone courses are taken when the student prepares the project proposal (HSR 500) and when the student writes the final manuscript following project data collection and analysis (HSR 501).   

The suggested electives offered by our program, HSR 470: Federal Policy Making and Healthcare Reform and HSR 401: Introduction to Health Measurement Science, take place in the spring. Students may choose an elective from another program upon consultation with advisors.

One-Year Master's Curriculum


July - September

HSR 456: Applied Qualitative Methods & Analysis for Health Researchers (1)

PUB_HLTH 302: Introduction to Biostatistics (1)
HRS 461: Topics in HSR: Methods and Measurement (0.5)
HSR 463: Topics in HSR: Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety (0.5)


September - December

HSR 425: Intro to Quantitative Methods in Health Services and Outcomes Research (1)

PUB_HLTH 421: Intermediate Biostatistics (1)
HSR 433: Health Economics and Healthcare Financing (1)


January - March

HSR 465: Intermediate Quantitative Methods in Health Services and Outcomes Research (1)

PUB_HLTH 445: Writing for Peer Review and Publication (1)
HSR 460: Ethical Issues in Health Services Research (0.5)
 HSR 500: Capstone I  (0.5)


March - June

HSR 462: Topics in HSR: Grant Writing (0.5)                

Choose one elective:  HSR 401: Intro to Health Measurement Science (1) -OR- HSR 470: Federal Policy Making and Healthcare Reform (1)
HSR 501: Capstone II (0.5)

Further Information

Learn more about the degree program via the links below:

Programs in Health Services Outcomes Research

Upcoming Admissions Deadlines

Online Application Opens Sept. 1st

January 28, 2018
1st Round Summer 2018 Applications

April 15, 2018
Summer 2018 Application Deadline

Visit the Admissions page for application instructions

2017-2018 Chicago Residency Dates

July 24-27, 2017
Sept. 25-28, 2017
January 10-12, 2018
April 23-25, 2018

2018-2019 Chicago Residency Dates

July 23-26, 2018
Sept. 24-27, 2018
January 9-11, 2019
April 22-24, 2019

Useful Links

Program Tuition 
2016-2017 Academic Calendar
The Graduate School 
Galter Health Sciences Library

Contact Us

Emily McElroy
HSOR Program Coordinator
Center for Education in Health Sciences
633 N Saint Clair Street, 18th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611