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 2023

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.

DHSc Student Thesis Projects
  • The Social Media Impact on COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake in Pregnant People
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Evaluating the Diagnostic Process for Children and Adolescents in the Connecticut School System
  • Factors Associated with Referral to Genetic Testing Among Patients at High Risk of Cancer
  • A Healthcare Business Micro-credential Curriculum for Residents and Fellows
  • Achieving Health Equity in Connecticut: an Examination of the Role of Local Health Departments
  • Public Health Emergency Management Curriculum for Interprofessional Learners
  • An Exploratory Study on the Experiences of Burnout and Compassion Fatigue on Athletic Trainer Who Managed Catastrophic Injury
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a Ph.D. and a DHSc?

Both the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc) are doctoral degrees, the terminal degree in the field of health sciences. The goal of a Ph.D. program is to train students for careers in research and so Ph.D. curriculum is generally very methods and analysis oriented. The DHSc is an advanced professional degree which aims for students to develop advanced leadership and management skills. Graduates from both Ph.D. and DHSc programs can go on to careers in the public and private sectors, academia, and clinical settings. The DHSc degree also leads to a career in high-level administration, teaching, and applied research or practice, where advanced analytical and conceptual capabilities are essential to advance careers to top executive and academic appointments.

What are the goals of the DHSc program?

The four program goals include:

  1. Apply advanced knowledge in health sciences systems thinking, scholarship, pedagogy, and evidence-based practice.
  2. Integrate knowledge and skills for designing, conducting, analyzing and disseminating health sciences research, education, and programs.
  3. Apply knowledge and critical analytical thinking skills in foundational areas of health sciences.
  4. Illustrate advanced and effective skills in communication, ethical practice, systematic thought, and professional writing.
How many credits is the DHSc program?

Between 36-48 credits. While the program is 48 credits, students can transfer between 3-12 graduate credits if they’ve taken one of the foundational classes as part of a previous graduate degree. The foundational classes include the US Healthcare System, Healthcare Ethics, Healthcare Leadership, and Quantitative Research/Statistics.

Do I need a graduate degree to apply?

No. Those with a bachelor's degree can earn an MPH/DHSc or MHA/DHSc via the joint degree program.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Between 2-3 calendar years depending on how many credits are needed.

Is the program online or in-person?

The DHSc program is designed to be a flexible online asynchronous program for adult learners. However, there are two required in-person meetings, called ‘residencies’ where students interact with peers and instructors. Students earn course credit while at the residencies. The first residency is in late August at the beginning of the program for 2 days (weekend) and the second is in May between the first and second year for 3 days (long weekend). All week-to-week coursework will be asynchronous and online.

What are the two DHSc tracks?

The DHSc coursework prepares students to critically analyze ongoing challenges in the health sciences, with a focus on one of two select tracks: educational leadership (EL) and healthcare leadership (HL). Those in the EL track are generally interested in pursuing or continuing their careers in higher education. EL track courses include Theories and Principles of Teaching and Learning in the Health Sciences, Curriculum Design and Development in the Health Sciences, Curriculum Assessment and Evaluation in the Health Sciences, and Evidence-Based Leadership in Health Sciences Education. Those in the HL track are generally interested in pursuing or continuing their careers in health administration or public health practice. HL track courses include Change Management in Healthcare Organizations, Quality Improvement in Healthcare Organizations, Population Health Management for Healthcare Leaders, and Health Informatics for Healthcare Leaders.

What classes are offered in this program?

For a list and description of DHSc courses, please visit here.

How does the doctoral thesis work?

DHSc students are expected to complete a culminating project which integrates knowledge and experience. The project can be clinical in nature (i.e., quality improvement), practical (i.e., course development), or research (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods). Students receive support in the form of 12 credits taken over three semesters as well as a doctoral thesis chair and committee members.

What type of writing sample are you looking for?

If you’ve completed an academic program within the last five years, you can submit a writing assignment from a course. Please make sure it’s an assignment that you are proud of and reflects your writing ability. Please also make sure it’s not a group project and only written by you. If you’ve been out of school for more than five years or prefer submitting a professional writing sample, please submit a written document from your job such as a memo, white paper, brief report, etc. There is no page length expectation or requirement for the writing sample.

What should I write about in my personal statement?

The DHSc Admissions Committee is looking for a 2-3 page, double-spaced statement that describes why you are interested in pursuing a doctoral degree, what attracts you to our DHSc program, and what you hope to do with the DHSc once you graduate. Please do not summarize information that is found in your resume/CV. Please also note the DHSc Admissions Committee will have an opportunity to ask follow-up questions during the Zoom interview that takes place after completed applications are reviewed (see admissions timeline).

Can international students apply to the program?

Unfortunately, because of the online nature of the DHSc program, we are unable to legally enroll international students on the F-1 visa to this program. The use of B-2, ESTA, VWP, or other temporary visitors' visas for the required in-person residencies is not possible because these visas do not permit study toward degree attainment.

Who do I contact for more information?

For program-related questions, please contact Dr. Jill Moore at For questions related to the application process or information sessions, please contact Brianna Jackson, Assistant Director of Online and Micro-Credential Recruitment at

Distinguished, Expert Faculty

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

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Doctor of Health Sciences and Master of Public Health Joint Degree

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Application Submission
  • Applications are accepted throughout the calendar year, apply early to save your spot! The DHSc Admissions Committee will review completed applications monthly.
Candidate Interviews
  • Select candidates will be invited to participate in a virtual interview with 2-3 members of the Admissions Committee. Interviews will be conducted within one month of application submission.
Admissions Notification
  • Applicants will be notified within one month following their interview.
Priority Deposit Deadline
  • April 15 (note: the priority deposit deadline is the same regardless of when you apply or receive an admissions decision). Candidates accepted past April 15 have four weeks to submit their deposit. Failure to submit your deposit by the deadline may open your seat in the program to other applicants. We have a limited number of seats available each fall.
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 (full term)

    • 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.

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