Online Ph.D. Health Sciences

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A Ph.D. program in health sciences is created to equip health professionals for significant leadership, research, and instructional roles within their fields and offer career growth prospects. An online Ph.D. Health Sciences is a broad-based, interdisciplinary/inter-professional degree that will enable graduates to situate their specific health field concerning the allied health disciplines, the health care delivery system, and the more significant health and wellness issues throughout the continuum of the health care system. Graduates will be well-equipped to take on crucial responsibilities as professors and researchers at colleges and universities, as well as to take on leadership positions in clinical organizations, governmental and healthcare organizations, and businesses. This guide explains the Ph.D. in health sciences degree and its many components, such as the curriculum, career options, timeline, etc.

Online Ph.D. Health Sciences

Best Ph.D. in Health
Sciences Programs

One of the hardest choices students will have is which university to attend to earn the top doctor of health science online degree. The cost, placements, beginning pay, employment rates, acceptance rates, and other aspects should all be considered. The FBD team searched through these matrices to create a list of top doctorate degrees in healthcare programs. When it comes to the finest or greatest health science doctoral programs, there are no hard and fast criteria; each student must choose which qualities are most important to them and choose a university that fits those requirements. Here is the list of the best Ph.D. health sciences programs: *

The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS), established in 1823, is a private university in Boston, Massachusetts. Focused on medical and health-related science programs, the university provides traditional and accelerated programs of study in professional education and in pharmacy and the health sciences.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
MCPHS University 179 Longwood Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02115 $22,950 67%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to Expect from Online Ph.D.
Health Sciences Programs

Students interested in understanding the root causes of disease, examining human behavior, igniting change, and encouraging wellness to enhance health outcomes should look to do an online Ph.D. in health sciences. It is a terrific fit for a self-starter with superior analytical abilities and an inherent sense of leadership. Students should be concerned about the general health and welfare of the environment they live in. Whether via a clinical or nonclinical capacity, many students in this major aspire to make a difference in their community and want to increase general access and quality of care while lowering the growing cost of care. Graduates are prepared to enter a range of graduate-level programs in the health care industry, including those in health informatics, laboratory science, health care administration, and other relevant fields.

To graduate from the program, students need to complete 98 semester credits. The minimal number of semester credits needed to complete the Ph.D. in Health Sciences for students enrolling with a master’s or professional doctorate will be 68 semester credits. Up to 30 SCH may be transferred into doctor of health science programs by students with a master’s degree or professional doctorate. A professional doctorate (such as a DPT or OTD) holder may request that up to 21 credits of additional coursework from their professional doctoral program be credited toward the requirements of their professional track Ph.D. degree.

A master’s degree in an allied health-related field or 30 credits of other appropriate graduate credits will be required of students beginning the program with a bachelor’s degree. For students beginning the program with a bachelor’s degree, 98 credit hours are needed for awarding a Ph.D., including the master’s degree coursework (30 credit hours).

A doctor of health science no dissertation is nearly impossible to find. To complete and be awarded their Ph.D. in health sciences, students must perform and successfully defend an original research project in the form of a dissertation. Under the supervision of a research faculty adviser and dissertation committee, the Ph.D. candidate designs, develops, initiates, and completes a significant research project. A theory-based, in-depth, and original investigation of a clearly defined topic that adds to the body of knowledge in the candidate’s field of study should comprise the dissertation. Insofar as it tests, builds upon, or develops new theories in the discipline, the dissertation should be theoretically grounded. It should also be in-depth to the point where the problem and strategy chosen are supported by an extensive analysis of the pertinent literature.

Along with a general concentration in health sciences, the online Ph.D. in science (health) program offers specialization tracks in emergency medical sciences, medical laboratory sciences, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, and respiratory care. The doctor of health science program of study comprises formal courses and electives in research design, statistical methods, administration of health systems, communications (publications and grant writing), teaching, leadership, and advanced course work in a professional track in health science. Listed below are a few typical courses in the online Ph.D. in health sciences:

Research Designs

The term “research design” refers to the entire approach taken to research that establishes a clear and logical plan to address a predetermined research topic through the gathering, interpreting, analyzing, and presenting of data.

Statistical Methods

In clinical research, community studies, and public health, statistical reasoning is frequently applied. When compared to other study fields, the biomedical field presents additional challenges for data analysis and the application of statistical methods since research there frequently includes animals or cell lines and experiments. Statistical assistance is necessary for all aspects of biomedical research, including study planning, experimental design, sample size, power estimation, data collecting, analysis, interpretation, and paper preparation.

Administration of Health Systems

The area of health administration, sometimes known as healthcare administration, healthcare management, or hospital management, deals with the leadership, management, and administration of hospitals, hospital networks, and public health systems in all primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors.

Another important point that the students should note is that the healthcare sciences and systems are ever-changing and under constant pressure to improve the quality of care and outcomes for their consumers. To remain relevant in their field, health sciences professionals need to keep up with the latest developments happening in their field of work, take up courses/certifications, and attend seminars on innovations and developments in their chosen field of study.

To understand more about doctoral degrees, read the Guide to Ph.D. Programs.

Areas of Specialization for Ph.D. Health
Sciences Online Programs

As students move up the ladder to reach Ph.D. programs for health sciences, they start the concentration of studies in varying subjects and then specific topics in that subject and finally research on a specific field of study in their chosen subject. Here are some specialization options online Ph.D. health sciences students can consider:

Area of Specialization Description Career Options
Ph.D. in Emergency HealthThis program is for professionals specializing in emergency public health, emergency management, or management of emergency health care systems who want to further their education or career potential. The curriculum provides graduate-level training and education to health care providers, researchers, educators, policymakers, and administrators.Disaster health, disasters, and systems design are included in the emergency health route. Strategic planning, preparedness and reaction to disasters, and disaster mitigation are included in the emergency management route.
Ph.D. in Rehabilitation SciencesIn this interdisciplinary field, research is focused on understanding the factors that promote activity, function, and participation in daily life among people who have disabilities or are at risk of developing them. The Ph.D. program prepares students—with and without professional degrees—for academic careers in research and teaching.Rehab Therapist, research specialist, product development specialist (human rehab specialization), recreation therapist.
Ph.D. in Occupational TherapyThe Ph.D. in Occupational Science degree program prepares students to become career scientists engaged in studying human occupation — the purposeful activities that constitute our life experiences. Occupational scientists investigate the purpose and structure of occupation, the influence of occupation on individuals and communities, and the interdependence of the diverse set of factors connected with human occupation.Care manager, ergonomist, health improvement practitioner, occupational therapist.
Ph.D. in Physical TherapyRigorous coursework, guided research experiences, and special chances for multidisciplinary cooperation are all incorporated into a Ph.D. in physical therapy. Together with the program director and dissertation chair, students would create a customized program of study and yearly benchmarks. Students will improve their capacity to conduct critical scientific literature reviews, develop hypotheses, and plan experiments to test them. They will become successful academics whose research advances knowledge and practice.Researcher, therapist, scientist, lecturer
Ph.D. in Speech, Language, and Hearing SciencesThe goal of the Ph.D. program in speech-language pathology program is to produce exceptional, autonomous researchers and educators. Graduates of the program have a solid foundation in the human communication sciences and disorders as well as extensive training in their specialized fields of specialization within the discipline.Researchers or faculty at colleges and universities, strategists at state and federal government agencies, product research development in private industry, and intervention strategists at hospitals or clinics.

Some of the other available specialty areas and degree variations of an online Ph.D. health sciences include:

  • Online Ph.D. in Health and Wellness
  • Ph.D. Health Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Applied Health Sciences
  • Ph.D. in Health and Human Services
  • Online Ph.D. in Medicine
  • Online Ph.D. Programs in Healthcare
  • Online Ph.D. Healthcare Administration
  • Ph.D. Healthcare Administration Online
  • Ph.D. Degrees in Healthcare
  • Ph.D. Pathology Online
  • Population Health Ph.D.
  • Ph.D. in Health and Rehabilitation Science Online

Why should I do an Online Ph.D.
Health Sciences?

As of 2019, 16% of Americans were over the age of 65 – about 54.1 million people. Come 2040, that number will go up to 21.6%. These are staggering numbers, and all these aging populations would need healthcare workers to care for their health. These numbers clearly show that healthcare is growing to be one of the major employers in the U.S. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2021 to 2031, it is anticipated that overall employment in the healthcare sector would expand by 13%, a rate that is much greater than the average for all occupations and will add almost 2 million jobs. Opportunities come from the need to replace people who permanently quit their occupations in addition to new positions created by expansion. It is anticipated that expansion and replacement requirements would result in around 1.9 million vacancies annually.

Getting a Ph.D. in the field of health sciences will propel students to roles that shape the direction in which this lucrative industry takes its trajectory. From university teaching to policy-making executive roles, an online doctorate in health science opens very diverse and challenging roles if students are looking for one.

As a result, there are more and more jobs in the health sciences that require an advanced degree, and the future looks bright. An online doctorate in health science can lead to lucrative higher-level job opportunities, allowing individuals to influence the healthcare sector significantly. Those with a wide range of academic interests are particularly well-suited for degrees in the health sciences, according to experts. People who sincerely want to use their skills to better the lives of the communities in which they will practice—whether those communities are local, national, international, or global—are the best candidates for an online Ph.D. of health science degree.

An online doctorate in health science helps students develop a scientific approach to investigating a hypothesis, scientifically vetting a process for its feasibility, critical thinking for making policy decisions, and more. Some of the other skills they can demonstrate upon being awarded their Ph.Ds would include the ability to:

  • critically evaluate health science literature and apply relevant ideas and techniques to the identification, evaluation, interpretation, and comprehension of contemporary concerns;
  • present findings at conferences and publish research papers in high-quality academic journals;
  • contribute to the body of knowledge by using research methodologies and analytic strategies;
  • consider the ethical ideals and principles crucial to the delivery and receipt of healthcare services, as well as research;
  • involve in active research and classroom teaching to build and develop one’s own knowledge in a research subject;
  • investigate challenges at the frontiers of knowledge using scientific inquiry principles;
  • demonstrate understanding and sensitivity to the health and sickness perspectives of culturally diverse communities;
  • employ the pedagogical and organizational skills required to provide healthcare in an efficient and effective manner; and
  • demonstrate communicative, educational, and research abilities to be active participants in the healthcare system.

Free Courses for Ph.D. in Health
Sciences Programs

Free online Ph.D. in health sciences courses can be immensely useful for research, assignments, or exam preparation. However, one should remember the caveat – not many of these free online courses are accredited; they often do not come with an accompanying certificate. Here are a few examples of courses in the health sciences free to be taken by students:

Course Description Provided by
Molecular Biology and Genetics in Modern MedicineThis course lays the groundwork for comprehending the interplay of molecular biology, developmental biology, genomics, genetics, bioinformatics, and medicine. It establishes links between medical understanding, basic research, and patient perspectives.MIT OpenCourseWare
Musculoskeletal PathophysiologyThis course examines normal bone and joint growth, development, and structure, as well as the biomechanics of bone connective tissues and their response to stress, calcium, and phosphate balance.MIT OpenCourseWare
Genomic MedicineThis course examines the key genomic technologies and computational approaches advancing prognostics, diagnostics, and treatment. Throughout the course, the focus is on topics surrounding the context of genetics in medicine.MIT OpenCourseWare

How to get into the Ph.D. in Health
Sciences Online?

The admission requirements for Ph.D. in health sciences would be a regionally or nationally accredited master’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA required for admission in good standing. The typical requirements to enroll in an online Ph.D. would be:

  • Admission application
  • Application fee
  • Official college transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A well-rounded curriculum vitae
  • One writing sample that showcases original work at the master’s doctorate level.
  • A written statement outlining the applicant’s interests in earning a doctorate in health science, previous research experiences, dissertation research interests, and professional aspirations.
  • Individual interview with a Ph.D. Admissions Committee

Note: At some institutions, prior experience working in the medical field or doing medical research is necessary and is heavily weighted in the admissions process.

Although the requirements for an online doctorate in health science admission are comparable, prospective students should pay close attention to the admissions information from programs of their choice because admission requirements for Ph.D. in health science programs differ from institution to institution.

Online Ph.D. in Health Sciences
No GRE Programs

To be considered for an online Ph.D. program in business, law, STEM, and other fields, candidates must take the GRE general test and the GRE subject examinations. GRE scores have been considered by admissions and fellowship panels at hundreds of graduate institutions worldwide for more than 60 years, along with an applicant’s undergraduate grades and other requirements for the Ph.D. study.

A GRE score is typically required for admission to an online Ph.D. program, including the online Ph.D. in Health Sciences program. A few schools and universities, however, do not require GRE scores for program entrance, considering the dramatic changes in student demographics over the past 50 years. Many online Ph.D. candidates are full-time working professionals who do not have time to prepare for the GRE; thus, these institutions see the GPA and work experience as the key grading elements for graduate admittance, according to various colleges supporting this move. The  Liberty University Ph.D. in Health Sciences, NSU Florida Doctor of Philosophy in Health Science, and Northern Illinois University (Graduate School) Ph.D. program in health sciences are a few examples of Ph.D. in health sciences no GRE programs.

How Long does it take to complete the
Ph.D. in Health Sciences Online

The requirements for online Ph.D. programs in health sciences can be finished in four to six years for students studying three to nine courses per term. The program would require 45 credits to be completed. A key factor that affects how long it takes to complete an online Ph.D. in health science is synchronous and asynchronous learning. While the synchronous mode of study has a deadline and necessitates online presence at specific times, the asynchronous study’s freedom and flexibility are noteworthy. Even though there is a deadline, asynchronous students can study at their own pace and access their courses anytime and from any location. It is a practical way to teach students spread out in different locations.

Accelerated Health Sciences
Ph.D. Programs

Recognizing a student’s previous academic progress, accelerated online Ph.D. in health sciences programs apply 34 to 35 credits toward their doctoral program, significantly reducing the time required to complete the Ph.D. program and the total associated costs. The accelerated program builds on a student’s current knowledge and experience with scholarly research and relevant coursework to further prepare them for healthcare administration, policy, or academic leadership positions. These fast-paced programs are hard to come by, and when they are available, they have many requirements, such as a specific master’s degree and/or an M.D., etc.

Accreditations for Health Sciences
Ph.D. Programs

A review procedure called accreditation is used to ascertain if educational programs meet certain quality criteria. Accreditation is not permanent after it has been obtained; it must be renewed regularly to guarantee that the educational program’s quality is upheld.

Academic accreditation in the U.S. is optional, distributed, and handled by several non-profit, non-governmental organizations. A team of qualified professionals from academia or industry normally conducts an external quality evaluation as the process of academic accreditation’s conclusion. These professionals give their time, expertise, and professional knowledge to this process of quality control and continual enhancement of education in their respective fields. More importantly, one must ensure that the institution they are enrolling in has received accreditation from one of the nationally recognized accrediting bodies to be eligible for US federal student aid.

There is a list of accredited regional and national accrediting bodies on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) website. Still, no one professional body has the power to certify health sciences degree Ph.D. programs. Therefore, students should verify the accreditation of the school they intend to attend.

One group that assesses institutions rather than college programs is the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). It is a non-profit membership group that uses a range of student demographics and resources to define, defend, and promote educational excellence. Read the Guide to College Accreditation to understand more about the importance of accreditation and why students must always choose accredited Ph.D. colleges for health sciences.

How to Pay for an Online Ph.D. in
Health Sciences Program?

Giving one’s payment options for an online Ph.D. in health sciences program serious thought is important, given the current state of student debt, the expense of education, and the normal amount of debt each student accrues. The most rational method to pay for college is via scholarships. If a candidate does not meet the criteria for a scholarship and is employed as a professional, they may ask their employers for tuition reimbursement. Applying for a student loan is an additional option for paying for an online health science Ph.D. degree. Additionally, students can check if they qualify for federal student aid.

Fully-Funded Health Sciences
Ph.D. Programs

Students interested in doctoral-level research in the health sciences have a wide range of possibilities for programs that provide full financing. These programs often offer an annual stipend in addition to discounted tuition and fees. Some also provide additional perks, such as health insurance. It is worth mentioning that fully funded health science Ph.D. programs can be time-consuming, and admission to these small cohorts can be quite difficult. Here are some examples:

Institution Description
Washington University, Ph.D. in Public Health SciencesWashington University offers four-year stipends, professional development accounts, and full-tuition scholarships for Ph.D. students. Students get a base stipend of $30,000 per year, with the possibility of receiving more money through sponsored research, teaching fellowships, and other internal and external funding sources.
The University of Kansas, Ph.D. in Health Policy & ManagementDoctoral students in population health are enrolled full-time and supported by departmental assistantships, assistantships in the private sector, or half-time work in the healthcare or related industry.
University of California Berkeley, Ph.D. in Public HealthSoft-money awards, such as working as a Graduate Student Researcher or instructing as a Graduate Student Instructor, are often used to pay Ph.D. students. Both choices provide a monthly stipend in addition to covering a fee waiver.

FAQs Related to the Online Ph.D.
Health Sciences Program

What can you do with a doctorate in health science?

With a doctorate in health sciences, you will be qualified to work at the top levels of the field in diverse roles. You can work as a teacher for aspiring health scientists, researchers, professors, policy supporters, doctors, administrators of healthcare, public health specialists, and much more.

Ph.D. vs. Doctor of Health Science – what is the difference?

Is there a Ph.D. healthcare administration online?

Is it worth it to get a Ph.D. in healthcare administration?

Can a Ph.D. program be done online?

What is the list of doctorate degrees in healthcare?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after
Online Ph.D. Health Sciences

What can you do with a Ph.D. in health sciences? Graduates of Ph.D. programs in health science are primed for responsible roles in teaching, administration, and management. Doctorate in health sciences jobs includes various administrative, managerial, or instructional positions in a range of healthcare sectors, depending on their area of study.

Between 2020 and 2030, it is anticipated that the healthcare sector will add almost 2.6 million new jobs, rising at a pace of 31%—significantly faster than the national average for all occupations. The healthcare industry is predicted to add the most jobs compared to other occupational categories. An aging population that increases the need for healthcare services is the main factor contributing to this predicted increase.

Here are a few jobs in the healthcare sector and their accompanying wages and job growth (note that the Ph.D. health sciences salary would be substantially higher):

OccupationJob DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)
Medical and Health Services ManagersManagers of medical and health services, often known as healthcare administrators or executives, organize, direct, and coordinate these services. They oversee a whole building, a certain clinical region or department, or a doctor group’s medical practice.Leadership skills, communication skills, analytical skills, technical skills, interpersonal skills, detail-oriented$101,34028% (much faster than average)
Occupational TherapistsThrough the therapeutic utilization of daily activities, occupational therapists treat patients wounded, sick, or incapacitated. They assist these individuals in acquiring, regaining, maintaining, and improving the abilities required for working and everyday life.Interpersonal skills, communication skills, patience, adaptability, compassion$85,57014% (much faster than average)
Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse PractitionersAdvanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), which also refer to nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners, manage patient care and can deliver both general and specialized healthcare.Critical-thinking skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills, leadership skills, compassion, resourcefulness, detail-oriented$123,78040% (much faster than average)
AudiologistsPatients with hearing, balance, or associated issues are diagnosed, managed, and treated by audiologists. Audiologists identify illnesses, including hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ear).Communication skills, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, critical-thinking skills, compassion, patience$78,95010% (much faster than average)
Speech-Language PathologistsSpeech-language pathologists, often known as speech therapists, evaluate, identify, manage, and treat communication and swallowing issues in both children and adults, as well as aid in their prevention.Critical-thinking skills, communication skills, analytical skills, detail-oriented, compassion$79,06021% (much faster than average)

Certifications and Licensing for
Ph.D. in Health Sciences

Science and the health sciences both deal with the public good and human interaction; to conduct their profession, health scientists, are required to hold a state-mandated certification.

The health science certifications’ objectives are to assess and record students’ knowledge as well as their capacity for understanding and applying classroom material. Depending on where the student completed their online Ph.D. health sciences degree, they may desire to seek that state’s certification. Each state has its independent certification program.

To be eligible for a health science certification, candidates must meet the requirements listed below:

  • Hold an associate degree or higher from a university or institution that has been certified or accredited by a recognized body;
  • Be an active member of an approved organization with a national certification, license, or registration as a practitioner in the health professions;
  • Have at least two years of paid, full-time experience working in a field that has achieved recognition on a national level from an accrediting organization. The required work experience must have the approval of a certification officer from an approved educator preparation program.

Additional Resources for Ph.D.
in Health Sciences

Following completing a health sciences online Ph.D., it is crucial to join a professional organization, obtain accreditation, and devote oneself to one’s chosen concentration in the health sciences. Doing so instantly connects individuals to their professional peers and keeps them informed of the most recent trends. Here are a few to explore:

American Public Health Association (APHA)The American Public Health Association (APHA) advocates for the health of all individuals and communities. It claims to be the only organization that combines a 150-year vision, a broad-based member community, and the power to influence legislation to promote the public’s health.
American Hospital Association (AHA)The American Hospital Association (AHA) is a national organization that represents and serves health care networks, hospitals, patients, and communities. The AHA educates healthcare experts and provides information on healthcare topics and trends.
American Medical Association (AMA)The American Medical Association (AMA) is one of the largest and only national organizations serving many stakeholders in the field of health sciences. It seeks to improve the future of healthcare professionals by campaigning for numerous concerns in the health system, removing barriers to patient treatment, and fighting the most serious health crises.
American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) offers local and national support to individuals. It offers members access to regional educational opportunities, tools for career advancement, and volunteer opportunities to help them become more actively involved as healthcare leaders in their communities.
American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM)The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) is a professional organization for healthcare administrators. It is a necessary connection for students studying in the healthcare field. The organization’s mission is to “provide healthcare workers and professionals with education, networking, advocacy, and certification.”


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.