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Doctor of Philosophy in Health Science

DHSc Graduates to Ph.D. Completion

Beginning Fall 2015, returning NSU D.H.Sc. graduates will follow the separate admission requirements and application procedures. D.H.Sc. graduates may need to complete DHS core courses as non-degree seeking students before beginning the HPD PhD core research courses. Completion of the required DHS core courses does not guarantee acceptance into the Ph.D. program.

  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 in to the program.
  2. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative masters or a professional doctorate GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores of 150 - Verbal, 149 - Quantitative and 4 Analytical Writing. GRE scores must be less than five years old at the time of matriculation into the Ph.D. program.
  4. Prior health care or health research experience is required and is strongly considered in the admissions process. Applicants must submit a copy one’s current state license and/or professional certification or verifiable documentation regarding this experience to the Office of Admissions.
  5. 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.
  6. One writing sample that reflects masters or doctoral level original work.
  7. One written statement that describes the applicant's interest in pursuing a Ph.D. in Health Science program, past research experiences, current research interests, and how the Ph.D. will impact his/her professional goals.
  8. Personal interview with Ph.D. Committee on Admissions (telephonic or Skype interview is accepted based on the applicant's needs).
  9. Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  10. Completion of the application for admission along with official transcripts from all graduate study.
  11. All applicants must show evidence of computer skills through coursework or self-study prior to the end of the first term. Students may obtain instruction through the NSU Student Microcomputer Laboratory, the Health Science on line Orientation, or other training facilities.

DHSc graduates will also complete the following courses:

HPD Research Core (18 Credits)

Students can take either HPH 7500 or HPH 7600.

Course NameSemester Hours
HPH 7300: Biostatistics I
The application of quantitative techniques has expanded rapidly in medical decision-making. The emphasis on evidence based healthcare means that health care workers must be able to evaluate the results from published health care research studies. This course is the first of two courses designed to provide students with the knowledge of quantitative techniques. The course will cover descriptive statistics, parametric group comparison statistics, basic non-parametric statistics, and provide an introduction to linear modeling.
HPH 7310: Biostatistics II
The aim of this course is to enable students to appreciate the richness of statistical science and to invite them to the concept of probabilistic thinking. Statistics is the science of the future. Any technique that they are going to learn will help them to understand the unknown better, and in turn it will increase their success in other courses and in future professional careers. Principles of statistical inference build upon the course Fundamentals of Biostatistics. As such, a prerequisite for enrolling in this course is satisfactory completion of Fundamentals of Biostatistics. The goals of this course are threefold: (1) introduce the basic concepts of probability as well as methods for calculating the probability of an event, (2) assist students in developing an understanding of probability theory and sampling distributions, and (3) familiarize students about inferences involving one or two populations, ANOVA, regression analysis, and chi-square tests.
HPH 7400: Research Design
The course will provide students with a basic understanding of the basic methods and approaches used in health care research. A major emphasis of the course will be on the conceptualization and design of research studies. The course will cover ethics, formulation of research questions, study design, reliability, validity, sampling, measurement, and interpretation of research findings. It will prepare students to critically evaluate published literature, and to design sound research studies. The course will be both theoretical and applied. Students will be challenged to apply the theoretical concepts presented in the classroom and in the readings to design a study to address a health related issue of their choice.
HPH 7410: Qualitative Research Design
This course will focus primarily on the knowledge and skill competencies needed to conduct qualitative research successfully. In this pursuit students will immerse themselves in the epistemological, theoretical, ethical, methodological, and procedural understanding of qualitative research, apply this knowledge to the conceptualization and conduct of qualitative research, report the findings of the research in the form of a research article, and appraise the quality of such qualitative research products. Upon completion of the course students will demonstrate that they have mastered the basic competencies needed to create, plan, and complete a qualitative research dissertation.
HPH 7500: Philosophy of Science
This course covers schools of thoughts in philosophy of science. To address the need of laying the foundation for the generation and expansion of new professional knowledge that will guide evidence-based practice for the health professions, this course also covers topics on the acceptance of theories in the scientific community and epistemology of applied scientific inquiry. This course is designed to allow PhD students in the health professions to gain appreciation for the philosophical underpinnings of unity in science, to be able to apply philosophical frameworks and epistemological paradigms in their future research, and to eventually become a creative researcher in his or her area of practice.


HPH 7600: Grants and Publications
This course is designed to provide writing experiences which prepare the learner for manuscript and grant proposal submissions. This introductory experience into the grant process from proposal to funding to management will include project management, funding sources, and funding challenges. Other course requirements include a research proposal (manuscript) that is ready for submission for publication and development of a dissertation proposal.
HPH 7700: Test and Measurements
The course provides a foundation in the basic principles of measurement with a focus on how to assess and control for error through research design methods and statistical analysis. Students will explore test construction and parsimonious data analysis methods to develop an understanding for designing instruments and assessment tools. A focus on issues specific to measurement error in the medical science will also be examined throughout the course.

Health Science Research Core: (25 credits)

Course NameSemester Hours
HSP 9006: Evidence-Based Medical Practice
This course provides a working knowledge of evidence-based medicine. Cases will be used as the backbone of this course to assist the student in analyzing data to justify the treatments used in clinical practice. Students will also learn to critically appraise the literature, evaluate diagnostic test performance, design clinical pathways and standard of care, and implement evidenced based medicine findings in their own clinical or administrative setting.
HSP 9001: Behavioral Theories in Health Science
The purpose of this course is to understand health behavior theories to make decisions on appropriate theories that will guide dissertation research questions and methodology, data analysis, and interpretation. This course presents behavior theories commonly used in the analysis of health care sciences research data. Emphasis is on understanding and applying these concepts and techniques to dissertation and other research data through writing in APA style.
HSP 9002: Survey Methodology
This course introduces students to a set of principles of survey methodology that are the basis of standard practices in the field. The course provides guidelines for developing survey objectives, designing survey studies, sampling respondents, and administering surveys. Emphasis is on the skills and resources needed to design and conduct a survey.
HSP 9004: Research Ethics
This course introduces students to ethics concepts as they apply to questions and challenges in conducting research with human subjects. The aim is to increase students' awareness of and ability to reason through ethical issues that arise in human subjects research. The course will draw upon historical examples, codes, declarations, and other sources of ethical guidance including discussions of contemporary controversies in human subjects research.
HSP 9007 - Research Practicum
This is a required winter institute course. Research Practicum requires students to conduct a research activity under faculty member supervision. Objectives include ability to critically review literature, to abstract salient points from literature and present them cogently, to summarize conceptual and methodological issues in the literature, to formulate a research problem derived from the literature, to derive research hypotheses from research questions, to develop a research methodology, to test stated hypotheses, to implement research methodology, to analyze and interpret data, and to write research in APA style.
HSP 9010 - Research Practicum Continued
Students who do not complete HSP 9007 in the required 16 weeks, must enroll in HPH 9010. A charge of 2 credits for continuing services will be made to maintain the student's full time status in the program. Students who do not complete HSP 9010 in one semester may be dismissed from the program.
HSP 9008 - Comprehensive Exam
The comprehensive examination is a written examination that students take after the completion of all Ph.D. in Health Science course work, and before beginning the dissertation phase of the Ph.D. program. It is designed to evaluate a student's ability to demonstrate that he or she is a suitable candidate for a Ph.D. degree. Successful completion of the comprehensive examination is required for students to move to advanced standing and begin dissertation research. The comprehensive examination is given two times per academic year during the summer and winter semesters, and takes place on the Nova Southeastern University main campus in the greater Ft. Lauderdale, Florida area.
HSP 9011, 9012, 9013, 9014, 9015, and 9016 - Dissertation
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 main campus. The oral defense must be arranged at least 45 days in advance. For more information, check out Health Professions College of Health Care SciencesDissertation 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 a NPR (not in progress) grade. Students who earn a NPR 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 67.
2 credit cont. service charge

Total Credits needed beyond the D.H.Sc. degree:

Forty-three (43) credits beyond the D.H.Sc. degree are required for Ph.D. completion. Students' progress through dissertation continuation may increase their total number of degree credits beyond the required for degree completion.

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