Areas of Specialization

Areas of Specialization

The Department offers several areas of concentration.   Each area focused on certain competencies, which are met with a focused selection of course work and research experiences. This aspect of specialization notwithstanding, students will have exposure to all areas through exchange with faculty and students, joined seminars and journal clubs, and all areas share the same core didactic course work.  All areas cross disciplinary boundaries and many faculty are engaged in several areas of concentration.

Some students have concrete ideas about their specialty before they join our graduate program, but some do not or gain a better understanding after they have had more in-depth exposure.  The selection of a concentration area should be based upon individual student interests and future career and research goals.  The areas of concentration in the Department’s graduate program are:


Pharmacoepidemiology applies epidemiologic reasoning, methods, and knowledge to the study of the uses and effects of drugs in human populations.  Examples of research include drug safety studies, drug effectiveness studies, and drug utilization studies. Click here for more information.


Pharmacoeconomic studies describe the cost, utilization and economic efficiency of pharmaceutical products and related services in the delivery of health care and the development and application of health care policy.  Examples of research include cost-effectiveness or cost-benefit studies. Click here for more information.

Patient Safety and Program Evaluation

The concentration established the competence to evaluate the quality of medication use and medication use systems, to develop target interventions for identified quality deficits, and to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of such interventions. Examples of research include the development and validation of quality measures, or the implementation and evaluation of quality improvement programs. Click here for more information.


[1] National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. A Definition of Behavioral and Social Sciences  Research (BSSR).  Accessed 11/23/2016.