Admission Requirements


Students seeking admission to the Doctor of Health Science degree program must submit the following documented evidence:

  1. Practice as a health professional or health educator in a United States jurisdiction. A current license may not be required of applicants to the Health Professions Education track only.
  2. Complete a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. It is anticipated that most students will have a Master's degree or higher. 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. Evidence of knowledge in a clinical area requires achievement of one of the following criteria: graduation from a credentialed residency or fellowship program, or certification as a clinical specialist, or 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), or 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 or completion of two or more clinically-oriented graduate courses with a grade of B or higher. Evidence of the ability to utilize scholarly information includes completion of one of the following criteria: a scholarly publication in a peer-reviewed journal, or two or more scholarly presentations in peer-reviewed venues, or two or more chapters published in professional textbooks, or completion of two or more graduate courses with a grade of B or higher in research and statistics or requiring the analysis and synthesis of research. Applicants must submit notarized copies of certificates of completion, copies of publications, copies of handouts from invited presentations and documentation of teaching experience.
  3. Provide transcripts for all post-secondary and professional education.
  4. Demonstrate achievement of a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale; applicants with a cumulative GPA between 2.75 and 2.99 will be considered on an individual basis.
  5. Provide two completed DHS reference forms that describe a candidate's potential to complete the DHS degree program.
  6. Successfully complete an interview with DHS faculty.
  7. Provide a statement of how the DHS degree fits into the applicant's career goals.
  8. Possess oral and written communications skills necessary to interact with patients and colleagues.
  9. Commitment to abide by the Midwestern University Drug-Free Workplace and Substance Abuse Policy.
  10. Pass the Midwestern University criminal background check.

Additional Application Information

Return to TOP

Degree Description


Midwestern University's Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Programs jointly offer a course of study leading to the Doctor of Health Science (DHS) degree. The goal of this part-time, inter-professional doctoral degree curriculum is to prepare licensed physical therapists, occupational therapists and other health professionals for advanced and specialized professional roles. 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 area of individual students. Twenty (20) additional quarter credit hours of graduate level coursework will be required of students who are accepted for the DHS degree without a post-baccalaureate degree. These additional credit hours may be taken prior to or after matriculation in the DHS program and may include DHS courses outside the student's emphasis area, graduate courses offered by other Midwestern University Programs, and graduate courses taken at other accredited institutions provided: 1) the courses were not used to fulfill the requirements for the awarding of another degree; and 2) the courses are approved by the DHS Curriculum Committee for inclusion in the student's individualized curricular plan. Initially geriatrics, pediatrics, and health professions education emphasis areas will be offered. To accommodate the needs of working professionals, the coursework is offered in a variety of formats.

The focus of the post-professional doctorate degree curriculum is to prepare licensed physical therapists, occupational therapists and other health professionals to advance their professions through leadership, scholarship and advocacy in a wide range of community, institutional, and non-traditional practice settings. The degree also prepares graduates to develop and implement solutions to the health issues of our society and to teach in academic and clinical settings.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the DHS degree, graduates are expected to be able to:

  1. Evaluate and validate clinical practice through scientific investigation
  2. Analyze and influence public policy related to healthcare services
  3. Evaluate, synthesize, utilize, and disseminate the scholarship related to discovery, integration, application and teaching
  4. Utilize evidence-based practice and outcomes assessment and scientific thinking for making clinical decisions
  5. Synthesize the scholarship related to a specific area of practice and use it to develop novel solutions to practice problems
  6. Write and defend a proposal for a scholarly project
  7. Complete a scholarly project in an emphasis area at a depth and breadth that is suitable for dissemination in a peer-reviewed venue

These objectives are accomplished through:

  1. An innovative, part-time interdisciplinary program
  2. Individualized plans of study that are collaboratively developed by a student and a faculty advisor
  3. A strong foundation of content in the scholarship of health professional practice
  4. An emphasis on scholarly thinking, complex clinical decision-making, outcomes analysis, and evidence-based practice
  5. An educational environment designed to promote learning
  6. Coursework offered in a variety of formats including evening and weekend on-campus instruction, web-based instruction, and independent study

The Doctor of Health Science degree curriculum is part time and may be completed in 2.0-4.75 years. The maximum allotted time for completion of the doctorate program is 7 years.

Planned Program Improvements

No significant changes in the DHS Program admission requirements, academic standards, or curriculum are anticipated for the 2012-2013 academic year.


The Midwestern University Doctor of Health Sciences degree prepares occupational therapists, physical therapists and other health professionals to acquire and integrate knowledge in an advanced practice area, engage in clinical scholarship, and teach in academic and clinical settings.