Online Doctor of Health Sciences (DHS)
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Professionals in healthcare who are looking to advance their careers or earn a terminal degree can earn a doctor of health sciences degree from several institutions across the country. This degree provides students with the foundational research, leadership, and teaching skills. Graduates of these programs work in all aspects of healthcare but primarily in leadership in clinical practices, healthcare administration, higher education, and public health.
Since a wide variety of careers can be pursued with this degree, earning can vary widely. Also, because of the aging population in the US, there is an increased demand for professionals in this role. Between 2021 and 2031, there is an anticipated 28 percent growth nationally in jobs in medical and health services management—nearly four times the expected growth among all professions in the country during that same period (BLS 2022).
Earning a doctorate can be a challenge for many working professionals. However, many institutions now offer doctor of health sciences degrees entirely online. These programs can be either full-time or part-time to help students balance work, studies, and family all without having to relocate. All programs require that coursework be completed within a given quarter or semester.
Below are seven exceptional online doctor of health sciences (DHS) programs. Continue reading to learn about career options, coursework, admission requirements, tuition, and accreditation.
Featured Online Doctor of Health Sciences Programs
At the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, students can complete a doctorate of health sciences (DHSc) leadership in clinical practice and education in just 30 months. Graduates of this program have the skills to lead teams and evaluate new research in healthcare. Since this program is primarily online, students will not have to quit their jobs, relocate, or sacrifice family time in order to complete their studies.
For this program, students choose either education or clinical practice as their concentration. Required coursework includes interprofessional collaboration, program theory and innovation in the health professions, and bioethical implications of health research. Each concentration has more specialized courses such as knowledge translation in healthcare for the clinical practice concentration and technology and education in health professions for the education track.
Admission requirements for this program include a master’s degree from an accredited institution, a personal statement, one year of clinical or health-related practice, an entry-level professional or clinical degree (MD, PA, DPT, OTD, MSN, DNP) in biomedical science or a health-related field, and two letters of recommendation.
- Location: Washington, DC
- Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- Expected Time to Completion: Two and a half years
- Estimated Tuition: $47,520 total tuition
Professionals looking to advance their healthcare careers and step into leadership roles should consider the online doctor of health sciences (DHSc) program at Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions. This program balances academic studies and clinical leadership to produce graduates with strong research skills and visionary leadership knowledge. Because this program is a DHSc versus a PhD program, students can develop a practical knowledge base with real-world applications outside the academic setting.
Drexel University runs on a quarter system, meaning students will take more courses in a shorter period. Students must complete a total of 45 credits in classes such as informatics in the health professions, an introduction to biostatistics, foundations in research methods, and scholarship question development. Admission requirements to this program include two letters of recommendation, a master’s degree, a personal statement, and a writing sample of a paper or manuscript.
- Location: Philadelphia, PA
- Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- Expected Time to Completion: Two to four years
- Estimated Tuition: $997 per credit
The doctorate in health science and exercise leadership at the Pennsylvania Western University, California emphasizes health and wellness over treating diseases. Students in this program examine real-world scenarios, implement problem-solving techniques, and develop solutions. This program aims to help create a shift in society and our aging population to increase awareness and importance in preventative healthcare.
Graduates of this program go on to have successful careers in health education, in clinical practices, and in leadership roles in healthcare. This 48-credit doctorate can be completed with or without a dissertation.
Required coursework includes values, ethics, and the promotion of health and wellness; leadership in wellness education and professional practice; and community and corporate wellness. To be eligible for admission, applicants must have a master’s degree with a 3.5 GPA, provide two letters of recommendation, submit a personal statement, and provide any writing work already completed or published, such as a master’s thesis or journal articles.
- Location: California, PA
- Accreditation: Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- Expected Time to Completion: Three years
- Estimated Tuition: $1,024.65 per credit
Evidence-informed care is the emphasis of the online doctor of health sciences degree at the University of Bridgeport School of Health Professions. Students refine their research skills, learn about quantitative and qualitative data, explore curriculum development, and understand how to address public health issues. Education in this program can be personalized with one of three concentrations: clinical nutrition, education, or clinician. Students must also complete 18 elective credits allowing them to focus on their interests even further.
To graduate from this program, students must complete a dissertation demonstrating their research skills and innovative ideas in their chosen concentration. Graduates of this program go on to careers such as healthcare administrators, professors in higher education, researchers, or even advanced clinical practitioners. Experience in healthcare is required in order to be considered for admission, as is having already completed a master’s degree.
- Location: Bridgeport, CT
- Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Expected Time to Completion: 40 months
- Estimated Tuition: $700 per credit
The online doctor of health sciences program at the Nova Southeastern University Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences is designed for medical administrators, public health professionals, and clinical practitioners. As part of this program, students will study alternative methods of care, current national and international best practices, epidemiology, global health issues, and how to deliver care cross-culturally. While this program is rigorous, it is structured for working professionals and considers other obligations in addition to completing coursework.
To graduate, students must attend two one-week on-campus institutes, complete both an internship and practicum, and go through a thorough doctoral analysis. There are four concentrations to choose from: education in healthcare professions, global health, telehealth, and generalist. A total of 55 credits must be completed to graduate from this program.
Admission requirements for this program include a master’s degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher, healthcare experience, and demonstrable computer literacy in order to complete online studies successfully.
- Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
- Expected Time to Completion: Three years
- Estimated Tuition: $692 per credit
The online doctor of health sciences degree at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is offered exclusively part-time. This allows working professionals the ability to balance work and studies. Topics addressed in this program include trends in healthcare, the health of a population, and how to improve the quality of care. The objective of the program is to create scholar-practitioners who can be leaders in healthcare.
Students are required to complete 54 credits to graduate from this program. The final project for this program is an evidence-based healthcare project where students must search out data, analyze it, and present their findings. This program offers students three concentrations to choose from: global health, systems health administration, and educational leadership.
Applicants for admission must have already earned a master’s degree and have a credential or experience in the healthcare field.
- Location: Boston, MA
- Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
- Expected Time to Completion: Four-and-a-half years
- Estimated Tuition: $1,325 per credit
At Radford University’s Carilion College of Graduate Studies and Research, students can complete their doctor of health sciences degree in one of three concentration areas: healthcare administration, community and public health, or education and academia. General coursework emphasizes scholarly research with a focus on public policy and community health.
Graduates of this program typically pursue careers in public health, healthcare administration, clinic management, and higher education. This program requires students to complete 42 credits, which can be completed in two-and-a-half years.
To be eligible for admission, candidates must already have a master’s degree and have four years of experience in healthcare, public health, or healthcare education.
- Location: Radford, VA
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
- Expected Time to Completion: Two-and-a-half years
- Estimated Tuition: $840 per credit
Professors to Know in Online Doctor of Health Sciences (DHS) Programs
Carol Biddington, EdD
Pennsylvania Western University, California
Dr. Carol Biggington works at the California University of Pennsylvania as a professor of exercise and sport studies. She received the C.B. Wilson Distinguished Faculty Award in 2009 in recognition of her research and scholarship in the department.
She serves as a committee member and the chairperson for the doctoral students in the DHSc Program. Her areas of emphasis in both her research and teaching include athletic training, online learning, and education. She earned her doctorate in education in curriculum and instruction from West Virginia University.
Marisa Birkmeier, DPT
The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Dr. Marisa Bikmeier is the director of clinical education and assistant professor of health, human function, and rehabilitation sciences at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
While her primary focus is physical therapy, she also teaches courses in health sciences. Her specialty focus is in pediatrics and has earned her Specialist Certification in Pediatrics (PCS) from the Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. In addition to being a key faculty member, she also is a well-published scholar.
Albert Grazia, PhD
University of Bridgeport School of Health Professions
Dr. Albert Grazia serves as the director of the doctor of health science degree at the University of Bridgeport School of Health Professions. He completed his doctorate in biomedical health sciences from Rutgers University and his master’s degree in clinical nutrition from the University of Bridgeport.
Currently, he serves as an advisor on the dissertation committees and teaches the lifestyle and health issues and health promotion and disease prevention courses. Prior to working at Bridgeport, he spent more than 25 years as a clinical and natural healer with a specialization in cancer and serious illnesses.