Course Catalog

Health Research and Policy


Phil W. Lavori, PhD

Robert Tibshirani, PhD

Department web site:

Faculty of Health Research and Policy:

Courses offered by the Department of Health Research and Policy are listed under the subject code HRP on Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

The Department of Health Research and Policy has three principal areas of scholarly interest:

  1. Biostatistics deals with scientific methodology in the medical sciences, emphasizing the use of statistical techniques.

  2. Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of illness and impairment in human populations. Epidemiology training provides analytic tools for clinical and translational research, including studies of disease etiology, prevention, and therapy.

  3. Health Services Research is concerned with many aspects of health policy analysis in the public and private sectors.

The department, and each division, offers courses in its areas of specialization.


The Program in Epidemiology and the Program in Health Services Research offer MS degrees and are housed in the Department of Health Research and Policy. More information about these programs can be found below.

Students with an interest in pursuing advanced degrees with an emphasis on biostatistics can do so through programs offered by the Department of Statistics. Division of Biostatistics faculty participate in these programs.

For additional information, address inquiries to the HRP Program Educational Coordinator.


Victor W. Henderson (Health Research and Policy; Neurology and Neurological Sciences)

Program web site:

Faculty and Training Staff:

Raymond R. Balise (Health Research and Policy)
Gary D. Friedman (Health Research and Policy)
Victor W. Henderson (Health Research and Policy;
   Neurology and Neurological Sciences)
Abby C. King (Health Research and Policy; Medicine)
Allison Kurian (Health Research and Policy; Medicine)
Philip Lavori (Health Research and Policy)
Yvonne A. Maldonado (Pediatrics)
Lorene M. Nelson (Health Research and Policy)
Julie Parsonnet (Medicine; Health Research and Policy)
Rita A. Popat (Health Research and Policy)
Kristin L. Sainani (Health Research and Policy)
Weiva Sieh (Health Research and Policy)
Dee W. West (Health Research and Policy)
Alice S. Whittemore (Health Research and Policy)

Program Office:

HRP Redwood Building, Room T138C
Mail Code: 5405
Stanford, CA 94305-5405
(650) 723-5456

The Graduate Program in Epidemiology offers instruction and interdisciplinary research opportunities leading to the MS degree in Epidemiology. Most core faculty and academic teaching staff are administratively housed within the Department of Health Research and Policy. Affiliated faculty come from a large number of Stanford University departments and centers, and from notable Bay Area research facilities. The program seeks students with the potential to be future leaders in clinical and translational research, epidemiology, and allied disciplines. The program provides researchers from diverse clinical backgrounds the knowledge and skills to become clinical investigators; it also offers an introduction to epidemiology for individuals with research experience in the behavioral and social sciences and for others without a clinical background. Research strengths include cancer epidemiology, cardiovascular disease epidemiology, infectious disease epidemiology, musculoskeletal disease epidemiology, neuroepidemiology, and aspects of epidemiologic methods, genetic epidemiology, reproductive epidemiology and women’s health, and environmental and occupational epidemiology. The Program receives K12 and T32 support through a Clinical and Translational Science Award, the Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Education and Research (SCCTER).

Two academic tracks lead to the MS degree; these tracks are not declared on Axess and they do not appear on the transcript or the diploma. The Clinical Research track is for physicians and others with specific interests in clinical and translational research. Students in this track receive training in epidemiologic methods, statistical analysis, and other areas essential to patient-oriented clinical research. These students are usually clinical investigators with an MD or comparable clinical degree, often in the fellowship stage of their postgraduate training, or in an early stage of faculty development. Typically, they are anticipating careers in academic medicine. The Traditional track serves students without prior clinical training. One category of such students consists of behavioral and social scientists who wish to bring an epidemiologic orientation to their research. Students pursuing a PhD in these disciplines may wish to consider a concurrent master degree in Epidemiology. The Traditional track also serves as an introduction to epidemiology for students with baccalaureate degrees who are considering careers in epidemiology or a related discipline.

To receive the MS degree, students in both instructional tracks are expected to obtain a grounding in epidemiologic methods and applied biostatistics and to demonstrate research skills through the completion of a master’s thesis. Required courses are HRP 225 Design and Conduct of Clinical and Epidemiologic Studies; HRP 226 Advanced Epidemiologic and Clinical Research Methods; HRP 236 Epidemiology Research Seminar (3 units required); HRP 259 Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Epidemiology; HRP 261 Intermediate Biostatistics; HRP 262 Regression, Prediction, Survival Analysis; and a master’s thesis with 12 or more units. Students in the Clinical Epidemiology track must also complete HRP 251 Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials and MED 255 Responsible Conduct of Research. Students are required to select at least two other courses in Epidemiology. Students are assigned a methodology mentor, who is usually from the Department of Health Research and Policy, and they also select a research mentor, who may be from another department. For the students in the Clinical Research Epidemiology track, the research mentor is often an affiliated faculty member from the department of the student’s clinical specialty. Other programmatic requirements are described in Graduate Program in Epidemiology, Information and Guidelines, available from the educational coordinator in the Department of Health Research and Policy.


Mark Hlatky

Program Web Site:

Executive Committee:

Laurence Baker (Health Research and Policy)
M. Kate Bundorf (Health Research and Policy)
Alan M. Garber (Medicine)
Mary Goldstein (Medicine)
Mark Hlatky (Health Research and Policy; Medicine)
Douglas Owens (Medicine)

Faculty and Training Staff:

Laurence Baker (Health Research and Policy)
Paul Barnett (Health Research and Policy)
Jay Bhattacharya (Medicine)
Margaret Brandeau (Management Science and Engineering)
M. Kate Bundorf (Health Research and Policy)
Alain Enthoven * (Business)
Victor R. Fuchs * (Health Research and Policy)
Alan M. Garber (Medicine)
Mary Goldstein (Medicine)
Michael K. Gould (Medicine)
Henry Greely (Law)
Trevor Hastie (Health Research and Policy)
Paul Heidenreich (Medicine)
Mark Hlatky (Health Research and Policy; Medicine)
Daniel Kessler (Business)
Phil W. Lavori (Health Research and Policy)
Alex Macario (Anesthesia)
Grant Miller (Medicine)
Rudolph Moos (Psychiatry)
Richard A. Olshen (Health Research and Policy)
Douglas Owens (Medicine)
Ciaran Phibbs (Health Research and Policy)
Richard Scott * (Sociology)
Joseph Selby (Health Research and Policy)
Robert Tibshirani (Health Research and Policy)
Paul Wise (Pediatrics)

* Emeritus/Emirita Active

Program Offices:

HRP Redwood Building, Room T138C
Mail Code: 5405
Stanford, CA 94305-5405
(650) 723-5456

The Master’s Degree Program in Health Services Research seeks to train students in the quantitative analysis of issues in health and medical care. The program emphasizes an individually designed program of course work and completion of a master’s project under the mentorship of a faculty member. The typical student in the program is either a physician who has completed residency training and is preparing for a research career, or a student with a strong background in policy analysis who wishes to focus on problems in health or medical care. Faculty interests include outcomes research, health economics, health care organization, health care access, quality of care, decision analysis, clinical guidelines, and assessment of patient preferences and quality of life.

To receive the degree, students are expected to demonstrate knowledge of issues in health services research and the quantitative skills necessary for research in this area. Students must take at least 45 units of course work (9 of the units may be double-counted to meet other degree requirements) and write a University thesis. The course work requirements are:

  1. At least 8 units from the following group of Health Research and Policy (HRP) core courses: HRP 256 Economics of Health and Medical Care; HRP 391 Political Economy of Health Care in the United States; HRP 392 Analysis of Costs, Risks, and Benefits in Health Care.

  2. At least 6 units of graduate-level statistics courses. The sequence of HRP 261 and HRP 262 is strongly recommended.

  3. At least 3 units of HRP 283 Health Services Research Core Seminar.

  4. At least 15 units of HRP research credit from HRP 299 Directed Reading or HRP 399 Research.

  5. An additional set of approved elective courses to complete the program total of at least 45 units.

For additional information, address inquiries to the Educational Coordinator for the Department of Health Research and Policy.


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