Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Health Sciences

Description of Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Health Sciences Program is an interdisciplinary doctorate in the School of Health Sciences, and has two specializations (in either Public Health Applications or Nursing Leadership Applications). The Program is designed to help practicing health sciences professionals in developing countries for leadership roles in research, academic and/or global health science settings. The Program emphasizes the rigorous application of research and scholarship as the basis for identifying and addressing the many issues and questions arising in complex global health science systems. The Program requires a minimum of 63 credits beyond the master’s degree.

The Program includes opportunities for independent/directed study and research under the guidance of a faculty advisor. In collaboration with the advisor, a student shall tailor the remainder of the Program to meet individual research goals and career aspirations, including the number of credits devoted to specialization courses and dissertation study topic. In addition, the Program provides several options for meeting course requirements, including independent study, pre-approved registration at other colleges or universities (including online courses), and a 10-day summer residential institute in Turks and Caicos Islands.


The Program is specifically designed for health and health-related professionals with experience in the application of scientific knowledge or methods in the health sciences and/or related delivery of health and human services for at least three years prior to admission to the doctorate. In addition, applicants must have earned at least a master’s degree with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher from an accredited institution, and, where applicable, be licensed to practice in their field.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Successfully defend dissertation (including publication of findings in an open-access, peer-reviewed journal)
  • Functions in a leadership role in the academic and professional health science setting.
  • Demonstrate competency in the health science coursework.
  • Critically review, appraise, and synthesize the health sciences literature into an applied health science report.
  • Demonstrate competency in oral, written, and electronic modes of communication, using both scholarly and technical formats.
  • Work collaboratively with others.
  • Demonstrate competency in applied public health or applied nursing leadership.

Course Requirements

A doctoral student shall select Graduate Certificate courses as the basis of the specialization studies that have not been used else where in the master’s degree studies. The Graduate Certificate specialization will be indicated on the doctoral transcript.

Public Health Applications (6 courses selected with approval of Advisor); or

Nursing Leadership Applications (6 courses selected with approval of Advisor)

The following courses in dissertation are all required for graduation Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Health Sciences Program. Dissertation must be taken when all the non-dissertation courses are completed.
No more than one dissertation course should be taken per session.
Dissertation Guidelines

DHS 999a Dissertation – Practical Research I (Proposal)
DHS 999b Dissertation – Practical Research II (Review of Related Literature & Methodology)
DHS 999c Dissertation – Practical Research III (Data Collection & Analysis)
DHS 999d Dissertation – Practical Research IV (Dissertation complete and Oral Defense)

Total Credits required for Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Health Sciences is 63.

Please refer to the University Catalog or website for admissions requirementstransfer credits policy; and tuition fees.