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College of Health Sciences > PhD in Health Sciences > PhD in Health Sciences
Overview & Career Outlook
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Program Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy in health sciences (PhD) degree program is designed to prepare health science professionals to assume major leadership, research and educational roles within their professions, as well as to provide career advancement opportunities.

This interdisciplinary PhD program of study includes core course work in education, leadership, management, research and statistics. Advanced course work in a health science professional track, as well as elective courses in related areas are included. The completion of a research project, culminating in the successful defense of a dissertation, is also required.

In addition to core requirements in management, leadership, research and statistics, the Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences offers ten specialization tracks. Specialty areas available include medical laboratory science, speech pathology, audiology, health systems management, nutritional sciences, medical physics, occupational therapy, perfusion technology, physician assistant studies and respiratory care.

Full-time students may complete formal courses by the end of the second year. After passing a comprehensive written examination on fundamental principles related to education, leadership, management, research and the student’s chosen area of concentration, the student must present a dissertation proposal that meets the approval of his or her advisory committee.

For the remainder of graduate training, the degree candidate concentrates on the dissertation research project under the direction of his or her advisor and committee. The research is conducted over a one- to three-year period. The PhD degree, which can usually be earned in four to five years, demonstrates the capability for independent research and recognizes a unique contribution to scientific knowledge.

The program is intended to advance the science and practice of the health care by providing a link between the biomedical sciences, clinical research and practice. By incorporating a required research project, the program will increase knowledge within the discipline, provide for interdisciplinary collaboration, and help train future faculty for the field.

 Goals of the Program

The PhD in health sciences program graduates are prepared to assume roles as academicians, clinical researchers and leaders in allied health. Research skills will be based on the integration of knowledge from the biological, behavioral, educational, management and clinical sciences. Research will contribute to the scientific basis of care provided to patients in order to improve quality, access and cost of health care and related services. Graduates will also have the leadership skills necessary to serve as senior level professionals in their allied health disciplines and influence health care systems and policy.

The curriculum is designed to provide core competencies in the areas of research, education and leadership. The specialty tracks are intended to offer advanced, discipline-specific cognate courses to ensure that these practitioners are well versed in the latest science related to their specific allied health disciplines. The goal is to provide experienced allied health professionals with a broad-based, interdisciplinary education that will prepare graduates to teach, practice and perform research across the continuum of health care.

The PhD in health sciences at Rush is intended to be a broad-based, interdisciplinary degree that will allow graduates to place their individual health field in the context of the allied health disciplines, the health care delivery system as a whole, and the larger issues of health and wellness across the continuum of the health care system. Graduates will be able to conceptualize health outcomes and research provided by the interdisciplinary care teams of the future. Graduates will also be prepared to address the issues and problems associated with interdisciplinary training and education of future health care professionals.

 Specific Goals of the Program

  1. To prepare students to discover and disseminate new knowledge to provide high quality, accessible and cost-effective health care and related services in the allied health sciences
  2. To prepare students to conduct outcomes research to improve patient care and inform health policy
  3. To prepare students to develop interprofessional/interdisciplinary collaboration in the design and conduct of research
  4. To prepare students to conduct research that is ethical and responsible.
  5. Provide core competencies in the areas of research, education and leadership
  6. Provide advanced, discipline-specific cognate courses to ensure these practitioners are well versed in the latest science related to their specific allied health disciplines
  7. Prepare future faculty and leaders in the allied health sciences to teach, practice and perform research across the continuum of health care
This program is offered in collaboration with the College of Health Sciences at Rush University and core faculty hold appointments in both the Graduate College and the College of Health Sciences. The Division of Health Sciences is dedicated to the mission, vision and values of the Graduate College, the College of Health Sciences, the University and Medical Center.

Career Outlook

The PhD in health sciences program graduates are prepared to assume roles as academicians, clinical researchers and leaders in allied health. Research skills will be based on the integration of knowledge from the biological, behavioral, educational, management and clinical sciences. Research will contribute to the scientific basis of care provided to patients in order to improve quality, access and cost of health care and related services. Graduates will also have the leadership skills necessary to serve as senior level professionals in their allied health disciplines and influence health care systems and policy.

The overall purpose of the program is to provide an outstanding, high quality education that is relevant and professionally sound to meet the allied health leadership needs of the health care community. Inherent in this purpose is the goal to prepare future faculty and leaders who are able to discover and disseminate new knowledge in the allied health sciences.

The curriculum is designed to train and educate leaders in the health sciences. The specialty tracks are intended to offer advanced, discipline specific cognate courses to ensure that these practitioners are well versed in the latest science related to their specific allied health disciplines. The goal is to provide experienced allied health professionals with a broad-based, interdisciplinary education that will prepare graduates to teach, practice and perform research across the continuum of health care.

 



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