Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Center for Education in Health Sciences
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Curriculum

Learn more about the required curricula for our degree and certificate programs below. Visit our Courses page for descriptions of each course.

 Master of Science in Health Services and Outcomes Research

The HSOR master’s curriculum is designed to prepare students for successful careers in academic medicine and other research organizations. Coursework emphasizes quantitative and qualitative research skills, grant writing and writing for peer-reviewed journals.

Master’s students are admitted each summer quarter. Degree coursework can be completed in either one or two years:

  • Part-time: Students take courses part-time (one to two courses per quarter) to complete the degree in two or more years.
  • Full-time: Students take courses full-time (three courses per quarter) and complete degree coursework in one year. This option is suitable for students who have protected time for research and study. Students may continue work on the Capstone research project after other coursework is completed. 

The core curriculum includes 11 course units: 10 required course units and one elective. In addition to coursework, all master’s students complete a Capstone Project, an independent research project designed and conducted over the course of the degree under the guidance of mentors and academic advisers. The Capstone Project course HSR 500 is taken after data collection and analysis, when the student is ready to write the final project manuscript.

Courses are offered once a year in the quarters listed below. The table below summarizes the quarterly enrollment for the one-year master's program. The two-year course plan (PDF) involves taking about half the courses in year one and the remainder of courses during the following year. 

One-Year Master's Curriculum

Summer

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)

Fall

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)

Winter

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)

Spring

March - June

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

HSR 463: Topics in HSR: Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety (0.5)

HSR 470: Federal Policy Making and Healthcare Reform (1) [suggested elective]
HSR 500: Capstone Project (1.0)

 Methodology Certificate

The Methodology Certificate is designed to provide targeted training for scientists and clinicians who wish to expand their knowledge of research methods and design. It can be completed in one or two years. Its courses are offered in the hybrid format like the master's degree, so students can pursue the certificate remotely by participating in online coursework and attending the quarterly on-campus residency sessions.

By successfully completing the Methodology certificate, students demonstrate an understanding of multidisciplinary health research methods and an ability to employ these methods to design their own studies. Certificate coursework includes applied instruction in Stata statistical software and will involve independent research papers and proposals.    

The Methodology Certificate is comprised of 4.5 course units: 2.5 required units and two electives. The numbers in parentheses below indicate the number of course units assigned for that course. 

Required Courses

  • HRS 461: Topics in Health Services Research: Methods & Measurement (0.5)
  • HSR 425: Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Health Services & Outcomes Research (1.0)
  • HSR 465: Intermediate Quantitative Methods in Health Services & Outcomes Research (1.0)

Elective Courses (choose two)

  • HSR 456: Applied Qualitative Methods & Analysis for Health Researchers (1.0)
  • HSR 433: Health Economics and Healthcare Financing (1.0)
  • PUB_HLTH 302: Introduction to Biostatistics (1.0)
  • PUB_HLTH 421: Intermediate Biostatistics (1.0)
  • HSR 401: Introduction to Health Measurement Science (1.0) 
  • PUB_HLTH 425: Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis for Public Health (1.0) (requires Chicago-area residence)
  • PUB_HLTH 438: Survey Design & Methodology (1.0) (requires Chicago-area residence)

 Contemporary Issues Certificate (Traditional Campus Format)

This certificate sequence aims to familiarize students with the contemporary challenges and areas of inquiry in the fields of health services and outcomes research. The curriculum and courses are designed for pre- and post-doctoral trainees, including methodologists (e.g., statisticians and informatics specialists), who have graduate-level research experience but who would benefit from further training in health services research and outcomes-related content.

Students who pursue the Contemporary Issues certificate will enhance their capabilities as independent scientists through new and deeper understanding of the relevant contemporary issues in healthcare. 

Students must reside in Chicago, as many courses are offered only in the traditional on-campus format. 

The Contemporary Issues Certificate is comprised of 4.5 course units: 2.5 required units and two electives. The numbers in parentheses below indicate the number of course units assigned for that course. 

Required Courses 

  • PUB_HLTH 323: Health Equity (1.0)
  • HSR 460: Ethical Issues in Health Services Research (0.5)
  • HSR 470: Health Policy (1.0)

Elective Courses (choose two)

  • HSR 462: HSR Topics: Grant Writing (0.5)
  • HSR 463: HSR Topics: Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety (0.5)
  • HSR 456: Applied Qualitative Methods & Analysis for Health Researchers (1.0)
  • PUB_HLTH 301: Behavior, Society, & Health (1.0)
  • PUB_HLTH 303: Environmental Health Sciences (1.0)
  • PUB_HLTH 390: Introduction to International Public Health (1.0)
  • PUB_HLTH 393: Introduction to Health and Human Rights (1.0)
  • PUB_HLTH 415: Health Promotion (1.0)
  • PUB_HLTH 420: Introduction to Health Management (1.0)
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