Online PhD in Health Sciences

Jun 24, 2019

Due to online programs, a doctorate in health sciences is now more obtainable for students who are geographically challenged, need a flexible schedule, or have other constraints limiting their ability to study on campus. Learn more about earning your degree online and whether a senior healthcare profession is right for you.

You might find this type of doctoral degree ideal if you are interested in improving the overall healthcare available to your community, country, and the world at large. Focus includes the ethical and legal responsibilities of healthcare, contemporary challenges, and scientific advancements that impact health. Within that scope, you'll find opportunities to specialize depending on your choice of careers and employers.

General Requirements for Acceptance into an Online Ph.D. Program in Health Sciences

Most programs require, at a minimum, a master for admittance to the program. Dependent on whether the graduate degree is in a related field, some require additional course completions in topics such as environmental health and social and behavioral sciences. References, transcripts with minimum GPA, professional experience, writing sample, and standardized test scores are also standard requirements for entry. Once you've crossed those bridges, schools may also request several interviews to help ensure you are well prepared for the level of competency and coursework needed to earn a Ph.D.

Can I Complete My Degree Entirely Online?

While some programs allow you to earn your degree entirely online, others require occasional campus visits as part of the program. You can feel more connected to your teachers and classmates through the use of live chats, streaming video, and other specialized education apps. Sometimes classes will be held 'live' with active student participation, while you can complete other courses whenever your schedule permits. It is, of course, essential that you meet the minimum technology requirements to complete your coursework in an online format.

What Types of Doctorates Are Available in this Field?

The term 'health sciences' has a broad application, and you'll find many related programs with slight variations on their focus. Some throw a wide net on topics such as global healthcare concerns, while others target specific areas of healthcare, like primary care in the marketplace. You might find yourself directly impacting a medical practice, or you could apply your research in the academic world to educate others. Here are just a few choices when selecting the right path for you.

Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership

Leadership is the lynchpin of this program. It's designed with the professional administrator in mind. There are options to complete most of your credits online with minimal campus trips, and programs require about 50 hours to complete. A Masters in a related field (or additional prerequisite courses if not) is generally needed to get into the program. About three years can be spent earning your degree if you skip summer sessions, and requirements can include written and oral exams, a capstone or dissertation, and courses such as Global Health and Fundamentals of Research Analysis.

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences

If you're already a practicing health care professional, a program designed for working professionals might be just the thing. Sometimes you can even tailor your curriculum to fit with your career objectives, and opportunities to complete classes online may help accommodate work schedules. About 80 credit hours for completion might include topics such as Public Health and Native American Communities, Long-term Care Administration, and Applied Clinical Research.

Doctor of Behavioral Health

This program can also require about 80 hours, with potentially more if you count internships and capstone projects that may be needed. If you want to focus on directly impacting specific clinical facilities, and courses like Population-based Health Management, Models of Integrated Primary Care, and Financial Management in Healthcare sound compelling, this type of program may be a good option.

Ph.D. in Health Services

Conducting research and promoting dialogue between health-care professionals who directly impact healthcare may be a career that requires a Ph.D. specifically in Health Services. Whether it's the private or public sector, you could prepare to take on the role of a thought leader with a well-rounded program in this area. Core coursework samples will often include a heavy emphasis on research and healthcare delivery. A global perspective on health will probably be introduced as well, but potential opportunities for internships will help you decide where your focus will be after graduation. Included among graduation requirements can be the completion of over 100 quarter-credits, a dissertation, or a capstone project.

It makes no difference whether you work on a micro or macro level with one of these Ph.Ds., since either approach could provide ample opportunity for you to positively impact the health and well being of patients and their families through research, education, and practical applications. Several different types of online Ph.D. programs in health sciences are available, and completion times may vary according to your previous degrees in the field.

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