Frequently Asked Questions about the Doctor of Health Science (DHS) Program
Doctor of Health Science (DHS) Program in Downers Grove
I. What are the general admissions requirements for the DHS Program
- Practice as a health professional in a U.S. jurisdiction
- Master's degree or Bachelor's degree plus demonstrated mastery of content equivalent to a Master's degree
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0; strong applicants with a GPA of 2.75 to 2.99 will be considered on an individual basis
- Two completed DHS reference forms
II. How does an applicant without a Master's degree or higher demonstrate mastery of content equivalent to a Master's degree?
- Students matriculating in the DHS Degree program without a Master's degree or higher will be required to demonstrate mastery of content equivalent to a Master's degree.
- A committee of three DHS faculty members will evaluate an applicant's knowledge in a clinical area and utilization of scholarly information.
- The student would need to have completed one criteria related to mastery of knowledge in a practice area and one criteria related to utilization of scholarly information.
- Evidence of knowledge in a clinical area includes the following:
- graduation from a credentialed residency or fellowship program
- certification as a clinical specialist
- certification from a recognized professional organization (e.g.; certified by National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist®, certified by Academy Of Lymphatic Studies as a lymphedema specialist, neurodevelopment therapy certificate)
- instructor of two or more distinct short courses on advanced practice topics approved by a professional association or state licensing body for continuing education of health professionals
- two or more clinically-oriented graduate courses with a grade of B or higher.
- Evidence of the ability to utilize scholarly information includes the following:
- a scholarly publication in a peer-reviewed journal
- two or more scholarly presentations in peer-reviewed venues
- two or more chapters published in professional textbooks
- two or more graduate courses with a grade of B or higher in research and statistics or requiring the analysis and synthesis of research
III. How does the DHS degree differ from other doctoral degrees?
- The DHS recognizes advanced knowledge and skills associated with a specialized or applied area of a discipline.
- The DHS is particularly attractive to health professionals who want to attain advanced knowledge and skill, contribute to clinical research, teach in professional education settings and assume leadership positions.
- The DHS emphasizes the application of scientific knowledge to clinical practice, delivery of health services, and education of health professionals.
- A scholarship project, rather than a traditional PhD dissertation, is the culminating degree requirement. For more information, refer to the question "What is the scholarship requirement?"
- The PhD is an academic degree that recognizes mastery of a body of knowledge and completion of an original scholarly work (a dissertation) that adds to the body of knowledge in the discipline.
- The t-DPT (Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy) degree enables physical therapists to attain degree parity with therapists whose first professional degree is a DPT.
- The t-DPT fills gaps between a physical therapist's entry-level baccalaureate or master's degree in physical therapy and current professional DPT degree education.
- The t-DPT degree does not reflect the acquisition of advanced knowledge; rather, it reflects an augmentation in the physical therapist's professional body of knowledge and practice over the last 5-10 years.
- Many therapists do not wish to return to academia to earn a second degree representing entry-level education.
IV. When are DHS courses offered?
- Most DHS courses are offered once a week in the evenings or in an intensive weekend format (Friday-Sunday).
- Most DHS courses are offered at Midwestern University, Downers Grove campus.
- Midwestern University is on a quarter system. DHS courses are offered in fall, winter, spring and summer quarters. Each quarter includes 10 class weeks and 1 final exam week.
V. What emphasis areas are currently available within the DHS degree program?
- Currently, geriatrics, pediatrics, and health professions education emphasis areas are offered.
VI. What are the components of the DHS curriculum?
- The 72-credit, quarter-based curriculum includes 32 credits of required core courses, 16 credits in an emphasis area, 8 credits of elective coursework and 16 credits of practice scholarship that are specific to the emphasis areas of individual students.
- Core Courses
DHSC 1501 Foundations of Research, 4 credits
DHSC 1502 Public Policy and Healthcare, 4 credits
DHSC 1503 Scholarship of Practice, 4 credits
DHSC 1504 Clinical Inquiry, 4 credits
DHSC 1505 Educational Roles in Healthcare and Higher Education, 4 credits
DHSC 1606 Methods in Qualitative and Quantitative Research Design, 4 credits
DHSC 1607 Statistics for Clinical Research, 4 credits
DHSC 1608 Scientific Writing, 4 credits
- Emphasis Area Coursework
Students complete 16 credits of advanced courses related to the emphasis area and 8 additional credits of coursework that may include independent study
- Pediatric Emphasis Area Courses
DHSC 1611 Standardized Assessment of Infants and Children with Disabilities, 4 credits
DHSC 1612 Interventions for Infants and Children with Disabilities, 4 credits
DHSC1613 Advances in School-Based Services, 4 credits
DHSC 1714 Advanced Practice: Families of Infants and Children with Disabilities, 4 credits
DHSC 1715 Independent Study in Pediatric Therapy, 1-4 credits
- Geriatric Emphasis Area Courses
DHSC 1621 The Aging Sensory Motor System, 4 credits
DHSC 1622 Motor Control in Late Life, 4 credits
DHSC 1623 Comprehensive Geriatric Evaluation, 4 credits
DHSC 1724 Advances in Geriatric Exercise, 4 credits
DHSC 1725 Independent Study In Geriatric Therapy, 1-4 credits
- Health Professions Education Emphasis Area Courses
DHSC 1631 Health Professions Education: History of Health Professional Education, 4 credits
DHSC 1632 Principles of Teaching for Health Professional Educators, 4 credits
DHSC 1633 Roles and Responsibilities of Academic Faculty, 4 credits
DHSC 1734 Curriculum Development in Health Professional Education, 4 credits
DHSC 1735 Independent Study in Health Professions Education, 1-4 credits
VII. What is the DHS scholarship requirement?
- Each student completes a scholarship project in his/her emphasis area at a depth and breadth that is suitable for dissemination in a peer reviewed venue.
- Four areas of scholarship are appropriate for the DHS degree scholarly project: scholarship of discovery, scholarship of integration, scholarship of application or scholarship of practice.
- The scholarship of discovery involves the creation of new knowledge (traditional research).
- The scholarship of integration involves analysis of a body of knowledge within a discipline or synthesis of knowledge across different disciplines.
- The scholarship of application involves applying research to solve real problems.
- The scholarship of practice includes utilizing research to develop and evaluate a practice technique or product.
VIII. Do DHS students have to be continuously enrolled in the DHS program?
Students do not need to be continuously enrolled as long as the student's enrollment is consistent with the student's approved individualized plan of study. The time limit for completing the DHS program is 7 years. In collaboration with a faculty advisor, each student creates an individualized curricular plan. The curricular plan identifies:
- The student's emphasis area (pediatrics, geriatrics, or health professions education)
- Student-specific educational objectives
- The courses that the student must complete to fulfill the DHS degree requirements and achieve the student-specific objectives
- One or more potential DHS topics for the student's scholarly project
IX. Is fieldwork required?
- Field work is NOT required
- Field work focusing on the acquisition, integration, expansion and refinement of advanced practice or leadership skills may be a component of a student's individualized curricular plan.
- Because field work is considered independent study, the field work experience will need to fulfill all of the independent study requirements.