Skip to main content
Tulane Home Tulane Home

Get to know our new dean, Dr. Thomas LaVeist

Executive Doctor of Science (ScD) Degree

The Executive ScD in Health Systems Management is designed to prepare mid-career professionals seeking to advance their skills to attain higher level management and leadership positions in health care The curriculum features four major learning themes: public health disciplinary frameworks, research design and implementation strategies, analytical and quantitative methods, and economic evaluation,  These content areas are designed to provide the student with the knowledge and skills required to undertake independent research and to identify health systems management and policy research issues which merit further analysis and evaluation.  Students in this program frequently have backgrounds in health services administrators, health care clinicians, health scientists, health policy analysts, and public health leaders).

The program is delivered in an executive format that combines [[ fill in ]] concentrated weekend study in New Orleans and distance learning.

Students can remain employed while undertaking this academic program.

Program Competencies
  1. Demonstrate the ability to design research projects to address a specific research question
  2. Be able to select and apply appropriate quantitative and qualitative tools for the analysis of a research question
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of higher level statistical methods and their research applications
  4. Be able to analyze health systems, health management, and health policy issues from a multi-disciplinary prospective.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to clean, organize and describe data to be used in a research project
  6. Be able to review and critique scholarly articles in the literature
  7. Write a comprehensive review of the literature addressing issues in one or more of the core areas of public health.
  8. Apply ethical standards in research and data analysis including submission of an IRB protocol
  9. Prepare scholarly publications and grant applications for submission. Present research methodology and research findings orally in formal settings

Admission to the ScD degree in Health Systems Management requires the following:

  • MPH, MSPH, MHA or terminal clinical degree.* 
  • Three years of professional experiences in health care, public health or related field
  • GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 Scale
  • GRE scores in the upper percentiles
  • For applicants from non-English speaking nations, a minimum Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 88 for the Internet Based Test (IBT), 230 for the computer based test (CBT), or 570 for paper based test (PBT) is required. 

Students apply through SOPHAS and will need to provide

  • Official transcript of bachelors and master’s degrees
  • Official GRE scores
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with the applicant's academic and/or professional performance
  • Statement of career goals and objectives

Students without a degree in public health or who have not been completed one or more of the public health core courses, must fulfill the core courses as a prerequisite requirement for the ScD.

Degree Requirements

The ScD program requires a minimum of 75 post-baccalaureate degree credits with at least 45 credits of doctoral study at Tulane SPHTM. Up to 30 credits may be applied from the MPH or equivalent master’s degree.  These credits will be reviewed and those that do not fulfill the PhD competencies may not be accepted. If a prerequisite course or equivalent has not been fulfilled, the student must take the course in addition to the 30 credits of advanced doctoral study, but may count toward the total 72 credits.

The advisor works with the student to outline a course of study in the doctoral program. If the doctoral student does not have a prior public health degree, they must obtain a grounding in public health. 

Prerequisite Coursework 

  • BIOS 6030 Introductory Biostatistics (3)
  • EPID 6030 Epidemiological Methods 1 (3)
  • GHSD 6030 Introduction to Health Systems, Management and Policy (3)

Advanced Doctoral Study (at least 45 credits)

  • ESCD 8310          Seminar in Organizational Theory
  • ESCD 8410          Cost Benefit and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
  • ESCD 8430          Decision Analysis/Advance Utility Theory
  • ESCD 8510          Seminar in Applied Health Economics
  • ESCD 8610          Seminar in Health Policy Analysis
  • ESCD 8710          Health Outcomes
  • ESCD 8730          Intermediate Biostatistics: Regression Analysis
  • ESCD 8750          Advanced Research Methods
  • ESCD 8770          Health Services Research Design and Methods
  • ESCD 8780          Qualitative Research Methods
  • ESCD 8790          Advanced Research Methods
  • ESCD 8900          Research Strategies
  • SPHL 8500           Interdisciplinary Seminar
  • Dissertation Research (9)

Research Ethics

Students are required to take online research ethics training via CITI or another equivalent training program in research ethics. This certification must remain current throughout the program duration.

Comprehensive Exam

On completion of the coursework listed above, students will be required to pass a comprehensive examination to demonstrate ScD program competencies.


Students must prepare and defend a prospectus of proposed research.


Students must conduct original health services research and defend a dissertation based on that research.

Practicum (SPHL 9980)

The ScD in Health Systems Management requires a 300 hour practicum that is done in a practice setting to apply management and leadership skills.  If done in their workplace, the project or activity is beyond their job responsibilities and under the leadership of a mentor. 

The comprehensive exam and dissertation serve as the Culminating Experience.