May 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Health Sciences (Ph.D.)

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 and a one-week dissertation boot camp. Learn more at


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.

General Application Requirements

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

*Requirements for admission vary by program and may require different documentation and have different deadlines. This list is not all-inclusive, to view specific program requirements and submission deadlines, follow the  “Admissions Information” hyperlink at the top of this page OR visit the specific program/dept. page found here:

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 |

Graduate Admissions
605-658-6140 |  |