Dec 07, 2023  
Graduate Catalog 2007-08 
Graduate Catalog 2007-08 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Health Studies

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Nickola Nelson, Director
2584 CHHS Bldg.
Telephone: (269) 387-7990
Fax: (269) 387-8912

The Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Health Studies is designed to meet the career advancement needs of working Health and Human Service professionals. Several recent national commissions, including the Pew Health Professions Commission and the National Commission on Allied Health, have challenged higher educational institutions to respond to the fundamental changes that occur in health care by designing more flexible curricula, removing disciplinary boundaries, and increasing research in allied health.  The College of Health and Human Services has met this challenge by developing a unique student-centered curriculum, which focuses on an interdisciplinary core curriculum, strong research preparation, and the teaching of innovative pedagogy. In order to meet the needs of working professionals, the courses are delivered through intensive weekend and summer on-campus sessions and distance learning modalities. Students enter the program as a cohort once every two years and complete the didactic sequence in two years. Comprehensive examinations and dissertation research can be completed in an additional two years. 

Admission requirements

Students are admitted to the program as a cohort once every two years. Applicants to the program are expected to meet the entrance requirements of The Graduate College. In addition to these, program applicants are required to demonstrate:

  1. A minimum of two years of professional experience in the health and human service field.
  2. A master’s degree with a minimum graduate grade point average of 3.25/4.00.
  3. Completion of at least one graduate level course in statistics and research methods, with a minimum of a grade B within the last 10 years.
  4. Computer competency in databases, word-processing, spreadsheets, and Internet use.

Application must be made both to the Office of Admissions—Graduate Admissions and to the College of Health and Human Services. The application form is available at the program’s website It asks for information about the student’s academic and clinical background and an essay outlining career and research goals. Letters of recommendation from three academic or professional sources also are required. Finalists participate in on-campus interviews.

Program Requirements

Required courses are presented in sequential order, so that the didactic portion of the curriculum can be completed in two years. Courses are delivered through: distance education, on-campus intensive weekend sessions held three times per semester, or on-campus two-week long intensive summer sessions. Students are required to:

1. Attend a week-long, on-campus Orientation session prior to beginning the Program.

Students are familiarized with the program, the university’s resources, and begin coursework.

2. Complete, with a 3.25 grade point average, a total of 63 semester hours of credit as follows:

a. Interdisciplinary core (12 hours)

b. Research and statistics module (15 hours)

c. Research practicum (6 hours)

d. Pedagogy module (9 hours)

e. Disciplinary cognate (9 hours)

The student may select a cognate to meet his/her own learning objectives, with the prior approval of the Program Director and Academic Affairs Committee.

f. Dissertation research (12 hours)

Disciplinary cognates may be taken at other accredited, doctoral institutions with the prior approval of the Program Director and Academic Affairs Committee.

3. Successfully complete a 4-part Comprehensive Examination.

Comprehensive examinations are performance-based and include the submission of a research paper for publications, policy analysis (with oral defense),  competitive grant proposal, and portfolio describing development and delivery of an adult-learning course.

4. Successfully complete a doctoral dissertation

The dissertation entails completion, written documentation, and oral defense or a research project approved by the student’s dissertation committee.

Financial Assistance

The College of Health and Human Services offers some financial support through part-time and full-time doctoral associateships. Contact the program director for details.

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