Doctor of Health Science

Doctor of Health Sciences

Kristine Himmerick, Program Director

Admission Requirements:

  • Earned masters or doctoral degree from an ARC-PA accredited PA program
  • Proof of active state licensure and/or NCCPA certification as a Physician Assistant State license or NCCPA certification must be received prior to matriculation; NCCPA PA-C Emeritus will also be accepted
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.65 or better in all post-secondary coursework or in the last 60 units of baccalaureate and/or post-baccalaureate work
  • Official transcript from all post-secondary institutions.
  • A single letter of recommendation from an MD, DO, or PA familiar with the student’s professional work
  • Meet Technical Standards TBD
  • GRE not required
  • Advanced placement credits up to 12 units may be applied for students with a master’s or doctorate degree in a health science field of study
  • No credit will be granted for work-related experiences.

Doctor of Health Sciences

Program degree requirements: All students will complete all required curriculum in the education or clinical leadership track, and a doctoral project suitable for peer-reviewed publication or presentation. The Doctor of Health Sciences program includes 39 credits for degree completion. The curriculum is designed for working health science clinicians and educators with 27 units spread equally over 3 trimesters in 12 months, and 12 units of advanced standing credit for  students with a master’s or doctorate degree in a health science field of study. The program will offer two tracks, clinical leadership and education.

Education Track

Trimester I
DHSC 300Healthcare Leadership3
DHSC 310Business of Healthcare3
Required Elective3
Trimester 2
DHSC 380Science of Teaching and Learning3
DHSC 382Instructional Design and Assessment3
DHSC 384Program Design and Assessment3
Trimester 3
DHSC 390Doctoral Project 1: Research Design3
DHSC 392Doctoral Project 2: Research Methods3
DHSC 394Doctoral Project 3: Scholarly Writing *3

Clinical Leadership Track

Trimester I
DHSC 300Healthcare Leadership3
DHSC 310Business of Healthcare3
Required Elective3
Trimester 2
DHSC 370Health Promotion in Practice3
DHSC 372Applied Interprofessional Practice3
DHSC 374Applied Clinical Reasoning3
Trimester 3
DHSC 390Doctoral Project 1: Research Design3
DHSC 392Doctoral Project 2: Research Methods3
DHSC 394Doctoral Project 3: Scholarly Writing *3

Doctorate of Health Sci Courses

DHSC 300. Healthcare Leadership. 3 Units.

This course explores various leadership styles as they relate to organizational, educational, and clinical leadership. Leadership concepts related to healthcare administration, organizational behavior, and change management will also be discussed. Prerequisites: Admission into the Doctor of Health Science program, OR permission of instructor.

DHSC 310. Business of Healthcare. 3 Units.

This course provides an overview of the business of healthcare including health systems, health education institutions, health delivery, medical-legal issues, and health economics. Prerequisites: Admission into the Doctor of Health Science program, OR permission of instructor.

DHSC 320. Behavioral Health in Practice. 3 Units.

The course explores treatment modalities for psychological and behavioral conditions across health care disciplines. This course provides a fundamental understanding of behavioral therapy concepts and skills through practical application. Prerequisites: Admission into the Doctor of Health Science program, OR permission of instructor.

DHSC 331. Foundations of Behavioral Science. 3 Units.

This course introduces the biopsychosocial model of health care. It addresses basic psychology concepts, biological and psychosocial development across the life span, stress management, basic counseling and behavior modification principles, social determinants of health. Prerequisites: Admission into the Doctor of Health Science program, OR permission of instructor.

DHSC 332. Foundations of Evidence Based Practice. 3 Units.

This course emphasizes general research principles and the impact of research, social determinants, and health literacy on public and population health. Principles addressed include research design and methods, basic research statistics, evaluation and application of clinical research, identification and critical review of the medical literature, and clinical decision-making driven by evidence based medicine. Prerequisites: Admission into the Doctor of Health Science program, OR permission of instructor.

DHSC 333. Foundations of Professional Practice and the Health System. 3 Units.

This course explores the healthcare system from a professional, legal, economic, and patient care perspective. Professional practice issues will also be explored including scope of practice, legal regulations, and professional organizations. Team-based patient care will be taught through interprofessional education activities. Prerequisites: Admission into the Doctor of Health Science program, OR permission of instructor.

DHSC 370. Health Promotion in Practice. 3 Units.

This course explores the numerous societal and system influences on health promotion and population health. This course focuses on chronic disease prevention, social determinants of health, health care equity, and cultural humility in clinical practice. Prerequisites: Admission into the Doctor of Health Science program, OR permission of instructor.

DHSC 372. Applied Interprofessional Practice. 3 Units.

This course advances understanding of interprofessional health care team practice. Topics include practical application of team dynamics, communication skills, and scope of practice knowledge in clinical practice. Students will actively participate in interprofessional teams to improve patient care and practice settings. Prerequisites: Admission into the Doctor of Health Science program, OR permission of instructor.

DHSC 374. Applied Clinical Reasoning. 3 Units.

This course advances understanding and application of clinical reasoning skills in clinical practice. This course explores clinical decision making, diagnostic error, and metacognitive skills to advance clinicians along the novice to expert continuum. Prerequisites: Admission into the Doctor of Health Science program, OR permission of instructor.

DHSC 380. Science of Teaching and Learning. 3 Units.

This course explores theories of teaching and learning in graduate health sciences education. The course provides guidance for practical approaches to improve student knowledge retention, engagement, and curriculum delivery. Prerequisites: Admission into the Doctor of Health Science program, OR permission of instructor.

DHSC 382. Instructional Design and Assessment. 3 Units.

This course explores practical and systematic processes for effectively assessing needs, designing a process, developing materials, and evaluating effectiveness in graduate health sciences education. Prerequisites: Admission into the Doctor of Health Science program, OR permission of instructor.

DHSC 384. Program Design and Assessment. 3 Units.

This course examines graduate health sciences program design including program learning outcomes and curriculum mapping. The course also explores systematic processes of ongoing assessment required for accreditation. Prerequisites: Admission into the Doctor of Health Science program, OR permission of instructor.

DHSC 390. Doctoral Project 1: Research Design. 3 Units.

This course advances knowledge of research design including research topic selection, literature search techniques, critical review of the literature, and research ethics. This course series aligns the development through execution of a doctoral project suitable for peer-reviewed publication or presentation. Prerequisites: Admission into the Doctor of Health Science program, OR permission of instructor.

DHSC 392. Doctoral Project 2: Research Methods. 3 Units.

This course provides an overview of research methodology including concepts employed in quantitative and qualitative research. This course series aligns the development through execution of a doctoral project suitable for peer-reviewed publication or presentation. Prerequisites: Admission into the Doctor of Health Science program, OR permission of instructor.

DHSC 394. Doctoral Project 3: Scholarly Writing. 3 Units.

This course examines scholarly writing and distribution of scholarship in the health sciences. This course series aligns the development through execution of a doctoral project suitable for peer-reviewed publication or presentation. Prerequisites: Admission into the Doctor of Health Science program, OR permission of instructor.