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College of Health Sciences > PhD in Health Sciences > PhD in Health Sciences
About Rush University

The curriculum for the PhD in Health Sciences has been designed to offer a rigorous and comprehensive program of study in Health Sciences. It is aligned on three core competencies of Education, Research and Statistics, Leadership and ten professional tracks including Medical Laboratory Science, Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology, Health Systems Management, Medical Physics, Clinical Nutrition, Occupational Therapy, Perfusion Technology, Physician Assistant Studies, and Respiratory Care.

Courses are also available online. Please note that distance students may be required to travel to campus for their dissertation defense.


Education Core Courses 12   Professional Tracks 16
HSC 601Education Theories and Methods 3 See Professional Sections for Listings *
HSC 602Curriculum and Instruction 3
HSC 603Methods and Evaluation 3 Elective Courses 19
HSC 604Teaching Practicum 3 Electives **
Research Core Courses 21 Independent Study (Variable Credit) VAR
HSC 610Research Design I 4 Independent Study ***
HSC 611Research Design II 4
HSC 612Statistics I 4 Dissertation 12
HSC 613Statistics II 4 HSC 617 Dissertation Research ****
HSC 614Grantsmanship 3
HSC 615Research Seminar I 1 MS Graduate Transfer Credit 30-45
HSC 616Research Seminar II 1 Graduate Course credit Transfer
Leadership Core Courses 10    *       Variable: Minimum 16QH
 **     Elective courses may be taken at
          Rush or other appropriate institutions
 ***   Variable credit with Advisor approval
 **** Variable: Minimum 12QH
HSC 620Leadership Theory 3
HSC 621Issues in Health Care 3
HSC 622Ethics in Clinical and Research Settings 1
HSC 623Management and Supervision 3

Student Learning Outcomes

Prior to graduation, all students in the program will demonstrate achievement of the competencies described below in each of the core competency areas of education, research, and leadership. Students will also demonstrate achievement of the required competencies in their individual professional track cognate areas.

Education Core (12 QH)

Upon completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate enhanced critical thinking and analytical skills related to educational program design, development, implementation, administration and evaluation.
  2. Exhibit the capacity for educational leadership within the setting of higher education.
  3. Understand learning theory as applied to professional and adult education.
  4. Apply learning theory to development and application of teaching methods and specific learning platforms.
  5. Integrate learning theory and methods into the curriculum to include program and course design, delivery, administration and evaluation.
  6. Integrate the historical, philosophical, social and cultural foundations of curriculum as a field of study with the development and administration of allied health professional training programs.
  7. Perform a needs analysis for health science course and program development.
  8. Design and implement competency-based health science program curricula.
  9. Develop course descriptions, course outlines, syllabi, goals, objectives, content, learning activities and evaluation methods for specific programs and learning audiences.
  10. Evaluate health science program curricula using both process and outcomes assessment.
  11. Develop and implement specific teaching and learning methods for course content delivery in the classroom, teaching laboratory and clinical or practicum settings.
  12. Select and apply appropriate learning platforms for course and program delivery to include traditional lecture-discussion, small group work, projects, and the use of educational technology and web-based instruction.
  13. Develop criterion related testing for courses and programs to include the use of both objective and subjective testing methods and evaluation of the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains.
  14. Develop and apply program evaluation to include measurement tools and program revision based on evaluation results.
  15. Develop assessment-driven, standards-based instruction for education and training.
  16. Work as scholar-practitioners by applying current educational research and theory to lead the development of the health science/allied health professions.
  17. Demonstrate effective teaching and evaluation methods that assure that learning occurs through:
    1. The development and/or improvement of course syllabi that facilitate assurance of learning.
    2. Preparation of effective lectures, discussions and presentations using the appropriate venue to support learning.
    3. Delivery of course topics under the guidance of faculty mentors.
    4. Evaluation of learning outcomes and feedback to students
    5. Maintenance of a Teaching Portfolio.

HSC 601: Education Theories and Methods maps to Education Core outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 15 and 16.
HSC 602: Curriculum and Instruction maps to Education Core outcomes 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15 and 16.
HSC 603: Methods and Evaluation maps to Education Core outcomes 1, 2, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16.
HSC 604: Teaching Practicum maps to Education Core outcomes 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 17.

Research and Statistics (21 QH)

The overall aim of the research core is to enhance the student's knowledge of scientific methods to include how to define the scientific problem, the rationale behind the review of literature, selection of the research design, data analysis, results and discussions. These courses will deepen the student's knowledge and understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods with a focus on interdisciplinary, collaborative and outcomes research in the health sciences.

Upon completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of research design and methods.
  2. Understand and have the ability to interpret and apply basic and advanced research statistical models.
  3. Effectively evaluate and critique research reports.
  4. Identify knowledge gaps for selected allied health fields, synthesize relevant information, and formulate focused research questions to address these gaps.
  5. Identify specific problem areas for research and conduct a thorough review of the literature.
  6. Develop and refine specific aims, research questions, and hypotheses based on the review of the literature.
  7. Select and apply appropriate research methodology to address specific research questions.
  8. Develop appropriate research protocols.
  9. Obtain institution review board approval for conducting research studies.
  10. Initiate approved research protocols and collect data.
  11. Apply appropriate statistical analyses to data collected and interpret the results.
  12. Write research reports and present and publish research findings.
  13. Engage in collaborative, interdisciplinary research, with a focus on outcomes and evidence-based practice.
  14. Conduct research as scholar-practitioners to lead the evolution of practice in professional settings.
  15. Seek funding for a collaborative, interdisciplinary research agenda.
  16. Address issues in research management including:
    1. Formation and leadership of multidisciplinary teams.
    2. Staffing, budgeting, tracking.
    3. Subject recruitment and retention.
    4. Data quality control and data safety management.
    5. Funding mechanisms and Grantsmanship.
    6. Research ethics and regulations.
    7. Professional quality peer-review, oral and poster presentation, report, grant, and manuscript writing.
  17. Conduct investigations that support evidence-based problem solving of direct relevance to their work and career development.
  18. Identify appropriate funding agencies and opportunities
  19. Develop and submit proposals to obtain grant funding.

HSC 610: Research Design 1 and HSC 611: Research Design II map to Research outcomes 1, 3, 7, 8, 13, and 14.
HSC 612: Statistics I and HSC 613: Statistics II map to Research outcomes 2, 3, 7, 8, and 11.
HSC 614: Introduction to Grantsmanship map to Research outcomes 15, 16, 18, and 19.
HSC 614: Research Seminar 1 and HSC 615: Research Seminar 2 map to Research Outcomes 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17.

Demonstration of Research Core Competencies is further achieved by passing the Doctoral Qualifying Examination and by successful development, conduct, completion, defense and publication of the dissertation.

Leadership Core (10 QH)

Upon completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe evidence-based methods for developing and evaluating leadership.
  2. Demonstrate leadership development in an interdisciplinary health care environment.
  3. Achieve interdisciplinary goals in practice, education, scholarship and service.
  4. Practice in an interdisciplinary manner to model collaborative care.
  5. Engage in reflective practice for continuous professional growth and improvement.
  6. Demonstrate professional and ethical leadership.
  7. Demonstrate the capacity for educational leadership within the setting of higher education.
  8. Describe current issues and trends in health care and apply these to professional practice and research. Examples include:
    1. Health care reform
    2. Health care costs, access and quality
    3. Interdisciplinary and collaborative health care and health care research
    4. Evidence-base practice and comparative-effectiveness research
    5. Health care disparities
    6. Health care finance
    7. Workforce issues
    8. Health promotion and disease prevention
    9. Management of chronic disease
    10. Implications of targeted therapy and genetic testing
    11. Issues in higher education
  9. Conduct informed thinking and planning for organizational strategies with appropriate data.
  10. Apply standards of ethical leadership and management.
  11. Work as scholar-practitioners by applying current research and theory to lead the development of the health science/allied health professions.
  12. Describe the principles of management as they apply to health care organizations and institutions to include planning, organizing, controlling, and directing an operational unit.
  13. Apply motivational theory and conflict management to interpersonal relationships within an organization.
  14. Apply principles of management and supervision to the administration of college and university academic programs and departments.
  15. Demonstrate an understanding of the governance, organization, finance, and administration of institutions of higher learning.
  16. Understand the attributes and skills necessary to lead and manage professional organizations as complex and adaptive systems.
  17. Engage in critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving that reflects scholarly intellectual standards, incorporation of sound reasoning, and equity and fairness.

HSC 620 Leadership Theory maps to Leadership outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
HSC 621: Issues and Trends in Health Care maps to Leadership outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8.
HSC 622: Ethics in Clinical and Research Settings maps to Leadership outcomes 5, 6, 9, 10 and 17.
HSC 623: Management and Supervision in Higher Education maps to Leadership outcomes 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16.

Professional Track (16 QH)

Professional track cognate courses in the various professional areas in which students hold certification or licensure are provided with associated learning outcomes as follows:

Upon completion of the program, the student will demonstrate:

  1. An increased knowledge base in the professional specialty area.
  2. Synthesis of an interdisciplinary perspective related to everyday activities and application of these perspectives as well as knowledge generated in health science to promote evidence-based practice.
  3. Presentation of research related to the professional track at state and national meetings.
  4. Teaching allied health-health science students in undergraduate and/or graduate programs.
  5. Initiation and participation in communities of practice and other collaborations with professionals and community members to mobilize resources to best meet learner needs and enhance professional growth.
  6. Development of expertise in ways that cross conventional disciplinary lines.
  7. Identification of professional venues including conferences and journals for publication and dissemination of results.
  8. Presentation of research findings to peers during organized extracurricular research seminars.
  9. Preparation of research manuscripts suitable for submission for publication.
  10. Maintenance of a Research Portfolio.
  11. Use of evidence based practice as part of daily clinical decision making.

Professional Tracks include:

Clinical Nutrition
Health Systems Management
Medical Laboratory Science
Medical Physics
Occupational Therapy
Perfusion Technology
Physician Assistant Studies
Respiratory Care
Speech-Language Pathology

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