Doctoral Program: Ph.D. Health Sciences

Program Overview

The Health Sciences Ph.D. is an exciting, interdisciplinary-oriented degree program uniquely designed to develop future teaching and research faculty who will fill the critical need for doctoral-prepared faculty in such academic areas as Communication Sciences & Disorders, BioMedical Sciences, Kinesiology, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy. The program is also designed to prepare researchers employed or seeking employment outside higher education.

Students enrolling in the program will work with research faculty in a selected area of concentration and also complete cross-disciplinary and core courses that emphasize the adoption of an interdisciplinary perspective in health-related education and research.

The Ph.D. in Health Sciences is an interdisciplinary degree program designed to accomplish three major objectives:

  1. provide advanced study and research training opportunities in the human health sciences;
  2. produce cohorts of scholars capable of advancing the discovery, dissemination, and application of new knowledge in the health sciences; and
  3. prepare future academic leaders in the health sciences.

The curriculum includes a set of core courses providing a comprehensive structure for doctoral education including:

  • philosophical foundations;
  • concepts and practices that contribute to students, development as teaching scholars;
  • research methods; and
  • a series of seminars that build students, critical thinking skills, familiarity with a range of health sciences research topics, and experience in scholarly dialogue and presentation.

In addition to the core courses, the program includes concentration and cross-disciplinary courses in areas such as disability and rehabilitation, diagnostic and biomedical sciences, human movement sciences, population health, and health administration/policy. Independent research and the dissertation will be structured according to the choice of specialization.

The Graduate School description of the program provides more details at