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Online Doctor of Health Science Programs

While earning an online PhD in health sciences, programs teach the current theories, research, and concepts in providing effective and efficient health care to patients. While health sciences encompasses a wide variety of topics that range from speech pathology to health informatics to physical therapy, each are focused on understanding how to better use technology and science to serve patients.

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Telehealth, which uses technology to help people receive timely medical care no matter their location, is gaining popularity. In fact, the National Business Group on Health estimates that 97% of large employers will provide telehealth services to employees by 2019.

Online PhD in Health Sciences: Basics

As technology and research continues to improve our health care system, many online PhD in health sciences programs are designed to teach the shift from treating diseases to promoting health and wellness.

As a result, programs strive to provide students with the skills and knowledge for graduates to become leaders and provide their own research and findings in the health care field. Usually, this is through a thorough and complete analysis of current research, techniques, and methods in the field. Many courses use data analysis and experimentation to apply these concepts.

With so many fields covered under the general topic of health science, many programs also offer you the ability to choose a major in order to tailor your course of study to meet your individual goals upon earning your doctorate. This may also include working with an academic advisor to develop an individualized curriculum.

Plus, because health sciences includes so many different fields and aspects of health care, there are many options for you to choose the concentration and program that is perfect for you.

Online DHSc Programs: Admissions Requirements

Pursuing an online PhD in health science may interest students from a wide variety of professions have health science covers so many aspects of health care. For instance, some of these professions may include RNs, PTs, ATs, PAs, health care practitioners, pharmaceutical industry leaders, C-suite or executives, and many others.

Combined with a number of different concentrations available at some schools, there may be different admissions requirements for different programs at the same school. For instance, some schools require a certain number of years of professional experience in the health care industry. Other schools require state licensure or credentials, though that may only be for specific concentrations.

However, there are many common admissions requirements for online doctorates in health science programs. Some of these are:

  • Masters degree from an accredited university with a 3.0 GPA
  • Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Statement of goals

Remember that some schools may have stricter requirements than others. One example is that some schools may require a 3.5 GPA for all graduate work. Other schools may require GRE scores. Keep this in mind while searching for the perfect school for you.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a PhD in Health Science?

Many full-time students earn their PhD in health science in three to five years. However, this depends on a number of circumstances, such as the specific major, the unique makeup of the school, and whether you’ve chosen a concentration.

Some schools offer students the ability to pursue their PhD as a part-time student and to set their own pace. For example, at some schools, students take one to three courses per semester and the program is generally completed in less than eight years.

What Are the Graduation Requirements of Health Science PhD Programs?

Depending on the school, concentration, and type of degree (PhD or DHSc) the specific graduation requirements may vary. However, many programs require students to pass a comprehensive exam upon completing all required courses.

After passing the exam, many doctorate programs require students to propose, write, present, and defend a dissertation to a board of faculty members. However, some DHSc programs may not have this requirement, so you should check with a few schools to find one that matches your goals. Some online programs require that students come to campus to present and defend their dissertation.

Every school has their own requirements and some may be stricter than others. For example, some schools require that students maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. In addition, you must earn higher than a 2.0 for each individual course.

Concentrations for Health Science Doctorate Programs

Many schools offer a concentration for your online PhD in health science in order to tailor your course of study to examine all of the components of a particular field. By choosing a concentration, you may analyze the theories and concepts of a particular aspect of the field of health science more in depth rather then if you’d chosen the broad subject of health science. As a result, some schools require students to choose a concentration or major.

This may provide you with a more complete understanding of the principles in the field in order for you to provide your own research and findings. In fact, many programs are designed in order to meet the expectations of leadership positions, such as studying different leadership styles and how they fit into different types of health care organizations. However, keep in mind that every school is different.

Some of the concentrations available for health science PhD programs include:

  • Health Professions Leadership
  • Movement Science
  • Speech-Language Pathology
  • Health care Education
  • Health care Clinician
  • Nutrition
  • Psychiatric Rehabilitation

While searching for online PhD in health sciences programs, keep in mind that some schools may have other concentrations, while others may not offer any at all.

What Does DHSc Stand For?

A Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) is a post-professional degree that typically includes clinical practice, education, administration, and research. While pursuing a DHSc, students may learn how to achieve health gains and results by understanding and adapting scientific knowledge.

Typically, students who earn a DHSc are inclined to pursue careers in health care leadership. On the other hand, an online PhD in health sciences is geared more towards developing research and critical analysis skills. This typically leads to careers in research or postsecondary education.

What Is Health Science About?

Health sciences is about using science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to deliver quality health care to humans and animals. This can be in a wide variety of settings and through a wide variety of fields.

Though many people assume that health science is strictly a western discipline, many of the fields inside of health sciences have been known to use alternative medicine or spiritual healing.

That’s because health sciences is focused on providing the best health care in order to treat patients by combining health care and science. Therefore, health science programs may teach how to diagnose, treat, and prevent illnesses and diseases through the use of technology and science.

Some of the topics under the umbrella of health sciences include:

  • Diagnostic services
  • Therapeutic services
  • Support services
  • Health informatics
  • Biotechnology research and development

Online PhD in Health Sciences: What You’ll Learn

Because health sciences encompasses so many different components of health care, many doctorate programs attempt to narrow the focus of your curriculum and research through concentrations.

However, some of the overall topics you may study while pursuing your online PhD in health sciences are research methodology and critical analysis of the current topics and theories in the field.

While earning an online PhD in health sciences, you may also learn:

  • The ethical values fundamental to the provision and receipt of health care services and research
  • Use pedagogical skills to deliver health care efficiently and effectively
  • Apply the principles of scientific inquiry to investigate challenges
  • Analyze public policy related to health care services
  • Integrate evidence-informed complementary medicine modalities into health care delivery

Keep in mind that these are just some of the key topics you may learn while pursing your online DHSc. Specific topics may vary depending on the program and concentration you choose.

What Is the Study of Health Science?

While earning an online PhD in health sciences, you may study how to use technology and science to provide a higher quality of care to your patients. Typically, the field is broken into two different parts:

  1. The study, research, and analysis of health care
  2. The application of that knowledge to understand how humans and animals function

As a result, the study of health science is analyzing current methods and concepts in the field, as well as using technology to test new techniques. This approach may add to the field in order to better understand how to prevent, treat, and diagnose diseases.

List of Health Science Courses

As health science consists of so many different fields and aspects of the health care industry, and with the number of concentrations available, there are a wide variety of courses while earning your PhD.

Some of the courses you may take while earning your online PhD in health sciences include:

  • Globalization and Health
  • Leadership and Management in Health Care
  • Research Design and Data Analysis
  • Biostatistics for Public Health
  • Community Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Health Policy, Planning, and Management
  • Global Epidemiology
  • Curriculum Development in Health Professions Education
  • Issues in Motor Control: Reaching and Manipulation
  • Topics in Language Acquisition and Disorders

Keep in mind that the specific courses you may take will vary from school to school and that these are just a sample of some of the courses. Each program has a distinct design and each major or concentration may have different requirements.

What Is the Definition of Medical Science?

Medical science is the research of diseases, the prevention and treatment of those diseases, and the maintenance of health. This typically includes the study of the viruses and bacteria that cause diseases.

Medical Science vs. Health Science

Typically, the difference between medical science and health science is that medical science falls under the umbrella of health science. Therefore, it is a piece of the overall scope of health sciences field and is part of the diagnostic services.

What Can You Do With a PhD in Health Science?

Similar to the variety of fields that fall under the topic of health sciences, and the number of majors and concentrations that may be available, there are many careers that you may pursue upon earning your online PhD in health sciences.

Each of the positions listed below require a doctorates degree, though there are some exceptions.i For instance, some employers only require that medical and health services managers have a bachelors degree, though more are looking for candidates with a masters degree.ii

  • Physical Therapists: $85,400iii
  • Speech-Language Pathologists: $74,680iv
  • Medical and Health Services Managers: $96,540v
  • Postsecondary Teachers, Health Specialties: $99,360vi
  • Medical Scientists: $80,530vii

Though the day-to-day responsibilities of each of these positions may vary widely, the overall goal of each is to improve the efficiency and the quality of the health care services delivered.viii This may be through research, administrative tasks, or teaching the next generation of health care professionals.

Additional Licenses or Certifications for Health Science

Some of the positions listed above may require additional licenses or certifications. For instance, all physical therapists need to be licensed by the state in which they operate in. The requirements vary, but all include passing the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).i

Similarly, all speech-language pathologists need to be licensed by a state as well. This typically includes at least a masters degree and supervised clinical experience, though additional requirements vary from state to state.ix

Medical scientists typically perform research. Therefore, they do not need any licenses or certifications. However, any medical scientist who administers drugs, gene therapy, or practices medicine through clinical trials or in a private practice needs to be licensed as a physician.x

Find the Perfect Online Program in Health Science For You

Are you interested in finding a health care degree where you can combine your passion for helping others and technology? Then click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to find the perfect online PhD in health sciences program for you.

Each of the school pages have program descriptions, common curriculum, and if they offer concentrations. You can even reach out to your favorite schools directly to request more information and learn how to apply today.


[i] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-4 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-4 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-5 [iv] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/speech-language-pathologists.htm#tab-5 [v] bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-5 [vi] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-5 [vii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/medical-scientists.htm#tab-5 [viii] bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-2 [ix] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/speech-language-pathologists.htm#tab-4 [x] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/medical-scientists.htm#tab-4

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