Doctor Of Health Sciences

Our DHSc program offers an original approach to doctoral education that meets the needs of learners throughout their careers. Health professionals earning a doctorate from our School of Health Sciences acquire the higher level of skills and training needed to be true leaders and to even change the course of healthcare in a variety of settings.

Now Enrolling for Fall 2022

Reach the Pinnacle of a Career in the Health Sciences

The University of New Haven’s Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc) program takes you to the top of your field — to a career in administration, teaching, or applied research or practice – where advanced capabilities in conceptual thinking, original research, data analysis, and writing are essential in order to advance to high-level executive positions or academic appointments. With our Doctor of Health Sciences degree in hand, you will have achieved the highest formal degree in the field and can increase your earning potential, job prospects, and respect from your peers.

The healthcare sector continues to show high demand for employees who have advanced skill sets and can provide effective leadership in both practice and higher education settings. In fact, there is currently a national shortage of doctoral-trained health science faculty with the qualifications to teach at the master’s or doctoral level. You can help fill that gap by earning your Doctorate in Health Sciences.

Our program is one of only 12 similar programs in the entire nation and one of only three in New England that offers a Doctor in Health Sciences degree. Within that group, no other program places as strong a focus on health leadership in the domains of education and administration as ours does.

A Novel Approach to the Doctorate

This degree doesn’t just give you more knowledge. It prepares you to be a leader and a change agent in the numerous settings where healthcare is taught, practiced, or delivered. It starts with an innovative curriculum in a flexible, online format. Students can choose to study full-time or part-time.

The program progresses to two, short summer residencies and culminates — in the final year of the program — with a doctoral thesis, which will incorporate a research project, clinical project, or practical experience, depending on your career interests and program track. After undergoing preliminary coursework, you can choose one of two tracks: Educational Leadership or Healthcare Leadership.

Possible thesis topics could include:

  • Designing and developing a course from start to finish
  • Conducting a quality improvement program implemented in your health system
  • A formal research-focused thesis

All students are assigned a thesis advisor to oversee their project and mentor them throughout the experience.

A Program That Transforms You

You will emerge from the program prepared to direct the course of events in healthcare rather than to simply keep up with them. Through the program, you will acquire the advanced leadership skills that will set you apart as a go-to expert who doesn’t simply react to challenges in 21st century healthcare education and delivery but innovates solutions to them. You will become that expert by building competencies in:

  • health sciences systems thinking,
  • evidence-based practice,
  • professional ethics,
  • pedagogy,
  • research methods, and
  • professional writing

This suite of high-level skills is the toolkit you will use to evaluate, plan, and implement solutions in either higher education or in practice settings such as hospitals, physician groups, managed care plans, long-term care, and nursing homes.

The Natural Pathway to the Degree

Many students received their B.S. in Health Sciences, went on to earn their Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) or Master of Public Health (MPH), and now will add the Doctor of Health Sciences as a natural extension to their portfolio of skills, knowledge, and capacity to make a real impact in their field. Current or recent alumni of University of New Haven MHA or MPH programs can complete the DHSc program in as few as 36 credit hours. Transfer credits from other institutions may also be accepted.

Other students who join our program come from a variety of academic backgrounds and have diverse practical experiences. Those who have previously earned a master’s degree in any discipline can complete the program in 48 credit hours.

However, a previous graduate degree is not required for admission to the DHSc program. Exceptional students who have earned a bachelor’s degree can pursue the DHSc program, earning an MHA or MPH degree en route.

Students can complete the program on a full-time or part-time basis, depending on their needs and interests.

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Distinguished, Expert Faculty

Our faculty are leaders and innovators in their fields, bringing both deep professional experience and academic rigor to the classroom.

Application Submission
  • Priority deadline is February 1. The DHSc Admissions Committee will review completed applications monthly in October-January, prior to the priority deadline.
Application Review and Interviews
  • Completed applications will be reviewed by the DHSc Admissions Committee within a few weeks of submission. For those applying for the priority deadline, applications will be reviewed between February 1-March 1.
Candidate Interviews
  • Select candidates will be invited to participate in a virtual interview with two members of the Admissions Committee. Typically, these interviews will be in late February/early March. Those who apply early will be interviewed early (November-January).
Admissions Notification
  • March 15 for priority deadline applicants. Those applying early will receive an admissions notification within 6 weeks of receiving their completed application.
Priority Deposit Deadline
  • April 15 (note: the priority deposit deadline is the same regardless of when you apply or receive an admissions decision).
Program Start
  • Late August.
Selected Courses
  • Sample Schedule – Year 1 (48 credit plan starts here)

    FALL 1

    • HLTH7700 - US Healthcare System (3 credits)

    • HLTH7702 - Healthcare Ethics (3)

    SPRING 1

    • HLT7703 - Healthcare Leadership (3)

    • HLTH7705 - Quantitative Research & Analysis for Health Professionals (3)

    • Note: these courses are offered multiple times a year; in-person and remote

    Sample Schedule – Year 2 (36 credit plan starts here)

    FALL 2

    • HLTH 7701– Academia for Health Professionals with 2-day residency (3)

    • HLTH 7705 – Qualitative Research & Analysis for Health Professionals (3)

    • Educational Leadership (EL) Track: HLTH 7710 – Principles and Theories of Teaching and Learning in Health Sciences (3)
      Healthcare Leadership (HL) Track: HLTH 7721 – Quality Improvement in Healthcare Organizations (3)

    SPRING 2

      EL Track
    • HLTH 7711 – Curriculum Design and Development in Health Sciences (3)

    • HLTH 7712 – Curriculum Assessment and Evaluation in Health Sciences (3)
    • or
      HL Track
    • HLTH 7722 – Population Health Management for Healthcare Leaders (3)

    • HLTH 7720 – Change Management in Healthcare Organizations (3)

    Sample Schedule – Year 3

    SUMMER 2

    • HLTH 7707 – Foundations of Scholarly Inquiry and Professional Writing in Health Sciences with 3-day residency (6)

    • HLTH 7790 – Doctoral Thesis Proposal Writing & Defense (3)

    FALL 3

    • HLTH 7791 – Doctoral Thesis Data Collection & Analysis (3)

    • EL Track: HLTH 7713 – Evidence-based Leadership in Health Sciences Education (3)
      HL Track: HLTH 7723 – Health Informatics for Healthcare Leaders (3)

    SPRING 3

    • HLTH 7792 – Doctoral Thesis Writing, Dissemination, & Defense (6)
  • This intensive 3-day on-campus course serves as the start of the Doctor of Health Sciences program. Students will be introduced to the core competencies of doctoral study, including pedagogy, research, and professional writing.

  • This course is designed to introduce students to qualitative research methods and analytic techniques in the health sciences using a combination of didactic, interactive, and applied techniques.

  • Students in the educational leadership track will take this course, which is focused on the analytic and developmental approach to the roles and functions of the health professional teacher. Discussions will focus on teaching roles, style and philosophy, and the application of learning theory to instructional design and lesson planning in higher education.

  • Students in the healthcare leadership track will take this course, which is focused on healthcare evaluation systems and the role of health informatics in quality improvement, clinical pathways, case management, utilization management, risk management, infection control, and medical staff credentialing.

  • All students will take this 6-credit course as the final thesis course, which addresses the written components of the thesis, including linking all elements of introduction, methods, analysis, results, and discussion in preparation for defense and dissemination of the thesis.

  • See a full list of courses in the course catalog.

    Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc)

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