Apr 23, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Health Sciences (Ph.D.)

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Program Overview

This online program is designed for the practicing health care professional who wants to assume leadership roles in academia, research and/or health and human services practice settings. The core curriculum is comprised of four content themes: teaching, leadership and healthcare issues, discipline related and research (including dissertation). There are limited expectations for face-to-face contact through resident experiences at an initial orientation, a one-week dissertation boot camp and the defense of your dissertation. Learn more at usd.edu/onlinephd-hs.


Master of Science, Health Sciences

*Note: The M.S. in Health Sciences is not offered as a terminal degree. Students who are [accepted to and] enrolled in the Ph.D. in Health Sciences program but are unable to complete the dissertation for personal or academic reasons, may earn the M.S. in Health Sciences.

Major Area Coursework - 30 Credit Hours

Teaching (6 credit hours):

Leadership & Issues in Health & Human Services (6 credit hours):

Research (6 credit hours):

Capstone (3 credit hours):

Discipline-Related coursework (9 credit hours):

*Subject to Advisor and Graduate Committee Approval

Doctor of Philosophy, Health Sciences

Major Area Coursework - 75 Credit Hours

Teaching (9-15 credit hours):

Discipline-Related coursework (15 credit hours):

  • May choose 15 credits from prior master’s or professional doctorate coursework - Subject to Advisor Approval

Research (15-27 credit hours minimum):

Dissertation (15 credit hours):


60% of coursework must be completed at USD. Up to  30 credits from an institutionally-accredited institution (including USD) may be transferred in from the master’s or professional doctorate, subject to approval by the Program director and the Graduate School.

Application Requirements

  1. Completed application
  2. $35 application fee
  3. Official transcripts*
  4. Letters of recommendation*
  5. Admission test scores*
  6. Statement of purpose
  7. Resume/CV*

*Requirements for admission vary by program and may require different documentation and have different deadlines. For specific program requirements and submission deadline, visit: catalog.usd.edu.

State Authorization - It Matters Where You Live

If your learning placement course (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) or your online course will be taken outside South Dakota, please reference USD’s State Authorization webpage.

State Authorization


School of Health Sciences
605-658-6500 | health@usd.eduusd.edu/health

Graduate Admissions
605-658-6140 | gradadmissions@usd.edu  | usd.edu/grad

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