Methods for Policy Research

Concentration Chairs: Mary Beth Landrum and Michael McWilliams

Training in the MPR concentration (formerly called Evaluative Science & Statistics) will position students to conduct rigorous, policy-relevant research. The concentration includes intensive methodological training that draws from several quantitative fields, including statistics, econometrics, and epidemiology, and also offers opportunities to learn qualitative methods. Students in the MPR concentration will also develop proficiency in experimental and quasi-experimental research designs. The MPR concentration does not require training in a specific discipline of social science, but students are allowed to use two of their distributional requirements to acquire some disciplinary training (e.g., in economics or sociology), and many students pursue additional coursework in a substantive area of interest or advanced levels of statistics. By virtue of this training, MPR students develop a multi-disciplinary toolkit that borrows from the strengths of different quantitative sciences and supports novel applications to health-related questions. Graduates are able to communicate and collaborate effectively with statisticians, economists, epidemiologists, and clinician-investigators, as they lead their independent work.  The concentration’s broad methodological training flexibly supports scholarship on a wide range of topics, including common areas of interest in health services research related to health care access, quality, costs, and disparities, but also questions focused on clinical decision-making, behavior (e.g., of patients, physicians, or organizations), social determinants of health, and social programs with implications for health.

Methods for Policy Research Curriculum Guide