Make your mark in research or academic leadership

The NSU Ph.D. in Health Sciences hones the research expertise of senior-level health care administrators, clinical health professionals and public health practitioners. Build the rigorous credentials that will position you as a standout candidate for exciting research positions or academic leadership.

Your program challenges you to examine the current state of health care; apply sophisticated knowledge of research design, biostatistics and epidemiology to the literature of your core discipline; and design and conduct original health care research.

What makes NSU’s Health Science Ph.D. program so successful?

  • Collaborate with professors across diverse allied health professions, as well as national leaders in medicine, psychology, anthropology, public health, education, computer science, conflict resolution and other disciplines.
  • Customize your program and faculty collaborations to your specific interests. Our faculty team is widely published on a variety of health issues: policy, practice and research. They also serve as peer reviewers for health-related journals and sit on peer review journal editorial boards.
  • Advance your career without interrupting it. The NSU Ph.D. in Health Science program is designed for busy health care leaders. Its professor-driven, student-centered online course delivery combines with a research practicum, two one-week online institutes, comprehensive examination and dissertation with oral defense.


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Quick Facts

Delivery Options

Flexible online-based format for working professionals.

Start Dates

January and August. See Application Procedures below for specific start dates and application deadlines.


Visit the Tuition and Fees page for more information.

Credit Hours

The Ph.D. in Health Science program totals 64 credit hours.

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NSU Sharks are Shaping Health Care Nationwide

NSU Health Science Ph.D. alumni are university professors and deans at major universities, including Columbia and Harvard. Others lead teams at the Centers for Disease Control or hold high-level executive positions in state governments, large foundations and other health organizations.

Earning Potential

Median annual wage of health specialties teachers, postsecondary

Why Choose NSU?

  • Fully accredited programs
  • Empirically-based
  • Online delivery: won’t interrupt your career

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Prefer to speak with someone directly?

Email Brian Tachick your Admissions Counselor, or call him at (954) 262-7496.

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Ph.D. in Health Science Brochure

Ph.D. Health Science: Program Details

The Ph.D. Office of Admissions will admit students for the fall and winter semesters. All final documentation must be received at least 30 days prior to tentative enrollment.

Term Application Deadline Dates:

  • Fall - April 20 - July 20
  • Winter - July 21 - November 24

To be reviewed for admission, you must first submit the following:

  1. A completed application form along with a $50 nonrefundable application fee.
  2. Official transcripts sent directly from all previously attended professional and graduate institutions

    Send the official transcripts to:

    Nova Southeastern University
    Enrollment Processing Services
    3301 College Avenue, P.O. Box 299000
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33329-9905

  3. An evaluation for U.S. institutional equivalence for all coursework from international institution(s), if you attended or graduated from any international institution(s)

    Coursework taken at a foreign institution must be evaluated for U.S. institution equivalence by an approved National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) organization, such as one of the services listed below.

    Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
    International Education Consultants
    7101 SW 102nd Avenue
    Miami, FL 33173
    Phone: (305) 273-1616
    Fax: (305) 273-1338

    Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
    P.O. Box 415070
    Milwaukee, WI 53203
    (414) 289-3400

    World Education Services, Inc.
    P.O. Box 745
    Old Chelsea Station
    New York, NY 10113-0745
    (212) 966-6311

    It is the applicant's responsibility to have this coursework evaluated. An official course-by-course evaluation with a cumulative grade point average must be sent directly from the evaluation service to Nova Southeastern University, Enrollment Processing Services, College of Health Care Sciences, Department of Health Science Admissions, 3301 College Avenue, P.O. Box 299000, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 33329-9905.

  4. A complete resume or CV
  5. Copies of state, national, and professional certifications or licenses recognized by certifying bodies.
  6. Two letters of recommendation supporting that the applicant possesses the aptitude and determination to complete this course of study. The letters should originate from professional colleagues/supervisors or from course instructors at the last school attended.
  7. One writing sample that reflects masters or doctoral level original work.
  8. A written statement describing the applicant's interest in: pursuing a Ph.D. in Health Science, past research experiences, dissertation research interests, and career goals.
  9. Personal interview with Ph.D. Committee on Admissions (telephonic or Skype interview is accepted based on the applicant's needs).

Non-clinical applicants (health administrators) must also include a letter of recommendation from a supervisor describing their position in the organization and the scope and duration of their responsibility, a personal statement describing their career goals, and an organizational chart. (This is not required for clinically licensed, registered, or certified applicants or for public health practitioners with an MPH). Clinically-qualified applicants should include a copy of their registration, certification and/ or licensure.

Important Note: You must be accepted to the program no later than 21 days prior to the start of a semester in order to register for classes in that particular semester. If not, you will be placed on the accepted student list, but will not be able to start courses in that particular semester. In any case, you must register for your course no later than 14 days prior to the start of the course in any semester.

The Ph.D. Committee on Admission will not consider an application until all required fees, credentials, exam scores, transcripts, and documents are received by the Committee on Admissions.

Transfer Credits

Students matriculated in the Ph.D. program may petition for transfer of credits to the program. Up to and not to exceed eight credit hours may be considered for transfer from a regionally accredited doctoral program of study and only if the transferred courses meet the goals and objectives of the course in question.

The Ph.D. Program will admit health care professionals with diverse graduate education, professional level health care work history, and life experiences, who have demonstrated the capacity to pursue a rigorous course of graduate study and increasingly responsible positions in health care.

Beginning Fall 2015, applicants interested in the Ph.D. in Health Science program will apply directly to the program. Prospective students will be selected by the Committee on Admissions which will consider the following qualities of the applicants and their suitability for this course of study:

  1. All applicants must hold a master's degree or a professional doctorate (AuD, DPT, OTD) from a regionally accredited college or university, prior to matriculation into the program.
  2. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative masters or professional doctorate GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Prior health care or health research experience is required and is strongly considered in the admissions process. Applicants must submit a copy of your current state license and/or professional certification or verifiable documentation regarding this experience to the Office of Admissions. The Ph.D. is a post-professional degree designed for health practitioners, public health professionals, and health care administrators from a wide variety of disciplines. Our students demonstrate expert practice of a recognized health occupation at a professional level, or five years of administrative experience in a health care organization with progressively increasing responsibilities during that time. The successful applicant's health profession may emphasize delivery of services to individual clients (e.g., AuD, PA, PT, OT, RN, LCSW, etc.) or be population-based (MPH, MHA). An appropriate level of professional practice is generally recognized by health professions licensure (e.g., AuD, RN, PT, OT, RDH), a national certification or registration (e.g., PA-C, RVT, RRT, CRNA, FACHE), a recognized health professions academic credential (e.g., M.P.H., M.S.N., M.S.W., M.H.A., M.B.A., M.A. or M.S. in Audiology, DPT,OTD), or a combination of the above. The successful administrative applicant will demonstrate at least five years of professional experience with increasing levels of responsibility in a health care setting. Professional experience will be documented by an organizational chart demonstrating the applicant's position within the organization and a letter of recommendation from a supervisor attesting to the applicant's level of responsibility within the organization. Health care administrators will also need to submit a statement concerning their career and professional goals within the health care environment. Fellowship or certification with a recognized health certifying body (FACHE, etc.) is desirable.

    All questions regarding the appropriateness of an applicant's qualifications for admission can be asked to the department chair or program director on an informal basis, but the official recommendations are made by the Committee on Admissions to the Dean of the College of Health Care Sciences, who makes the final determination.
  4. Two letters of recommendation supporting that the applicant possesses the aptitude and determination to complete this course of study. The letters should originate from professional colleagues/supervisors or from course instructors at the last school attended.
  5. One writing sample that reflects masters or doctoral level original work
  6. A written statement describing the applicant's interest in; pursuing a Ph.D. in Health Science, past research experiences, dissertation research interests, and career goals.
  7. Personal interview with Ph.D. Committee on Admissions (telephonic or Skype interview is accepted based on the applicant's needs).
  8. Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  9. Completion of the application for admission along with official transcripts from all graduate study; undergraduate transcripts are not required for review, but are required for a complete application file of accepted applicants.
  10. All applicants must show evidence of computer skills through coursework or self-study prior to the end of the first semester. Students may obtain instruction through the NSU Student Microcomputer Laboratory, the Health Science online Orientation, or other training facilities.

The Ph.D. in Health Science program totals 64 credit hours. 20 semester credit hours shared between Doctor of Health Science (D.H.Sc) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Health Science are required.

DHS Core Courses

All of the following general core courses and the two summer institute courses are required. For descriptions of the courses please view our Catalog.

Course Name Semester Hours
DHS 8030: Community Health Promotion and Disease Prevention 4
DHS 8071: Conflict Resolution for Health Care Leaders 4
DHS 8090: Health Policy, Planning and Management 4
DHS 8810: Global Epidemiology 4
HSP 9006: Evidence-Based Medical Practice 4

HPD Research Core Courses

18 semester credit hours are required

Course Name Semester Hours
HSP 7300: Biostatistics I 3
HSP 7310: Biostatistics II 3
HSP 7400: Research Design 3
HSP 7410: Qualitative Research Design 3

HSP 7500: Philosophy of Science

HSP 7700: Test and Measurements 3

Health Science Research Core Courses

Course Name Semester Hours
HSP 9001: Behavioral Theories in Health Science 3
HSP 9002: Survey Methodology 3
HSP 7220: Research Ethics 3
HSP 9007: Research Practicum 4
HSP 9010: Research Practicum Continued 0
HSP 9008: Comprehensive Exam 1
HSP 9011, 9012, 9013, 9014, 9015, 9016
The dissertation is scheduled as 6 courses over 2 years. This includes the dissertation preparation seminar, proposal, dissertation, and oral defense. Students will conduct original research in an area of the student's expertise or concentration, as approved by the program chair and dissertation committee, with verification of presentation or publication. The dissertation will culminate with an oral final defense, which will occur in person at the summer or winter institute, or on the Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus. For more information, check out Health Professions College of Health Care Sciences Dissertation Guide.
HSP 9017: Dissertation Continuation
For any additional semester after the initial 6 courses, students will register for a dissertation continuation course with a continuing service charge to maintain the students' full-time enrollment. At the end of each semester, students who demonstrate forward progress on their dissertation will earn a PR (in progress) grade. Students who do not demonstrate forward progress will earn an  F (fail) grade. Students who earn an F grade in any dissertation course may register for the next semester, although they may not be eligible for Federal funds. Students' progress through dissertation continuation may increase their total number of degree credits beyond the required 64.
2 credit cont. service charge

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