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Health Sciences

The Doctorate in Health Sciences equips seasoned health professionals with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to take their careers to the next level. Offered in a flexible format and convenient environment and designed for health professionals from a wide range of backgrounds, the D.H.Sc. program empowers health professionals with the leadership skills needed to become change agents within the fields of healthcare, community and public health, and higher education. Graduating students may pursue opportunities as health service directors/managers, health educators, public health officers, healthcare delivery administrators, researchers, and/or university faculty.

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D.H.Sc. Program Concentrations

Students will select to pursue one of three 12-credit (4 courses) concentrations designed to build students’ knowledge, skills and abilities within that content area: 

  • Healthcare Administration
  • Community and Public Health
  • Higher Education

Why Pursue a D.H.Sc. at Radford?

  • Program is offered 100% online and can be completed in 7 sequential semesters, taking 6 credits (2 courses) per semester. A residency component is not required.
  • A cohort of 12 students is accepted each academic year to begin the program in the fall semester.
  • Our online courses are engaging and use the latest technologies allowing students to interact with both their professor and classmates. These technologies provide the student the feel of being in a classroom, even though courses are designed to be self-paced.
  • Students complete a rigorous 6-credit applied scholarly capstone project which will assist them in preparing to apply evidence-based practice within their respective professions. 
  • Faculty and students work closely together in small class sizes which enhances the learning experience and helps to build professional networks. 
  • Our students come from diverse professional backgrounds and geographic locations with students enrolling from Virginia, across the U.S.  and internationally. This diversity enhances student learning and engagement by providing different perspectives and ways of thinking. Students begin the program together as a small cohort and are able to support each other throughout the program. 
  • No GRE is required for admission.

Program Mission and Goals

The mission of the online, interprofessional Doctor of Health Sciences (D.H.Sc.) degree program is to equip a wide range of health professionals with a diverse body of knowledge and skills necessary to excel within today’s everchanging health systems and institutions of higher education.

Goals/Program Outcomes:

  1. Interpret the impact of health delivery methods on diverse populations.
  2. Appraise the use of technologies to improve the delivery of health care and health  education.
  3.  Analyze and employ strategies to influence policy related to health.
  4. Develop awareness of and skills in interpersonal communication.
  5. Engage in the critical review and production of scholarly activities related to improving health.

Admission Requirements

We are honored that you are considering the D.H.Sc. online program. Admission to the program is competitive and each applicants’ skills, experiences, passions and overall preparation for the program are evaluated holistically by a faculty panel. Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling admission basis. 

The following will be required as part of the application and admission process:

  • Completion of the online Application for Graduate Admission.
  • Master’s degree awarded by a regionally accredited institution in the field of healthcare, public health, education, management or other health-related discipline.
  • Cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
  • Personal statement of approximately 500-700 word describing your academic and career goal(s) and how the D.H.Sc. program will assist you in meeting these goal(s).
  • Official transcripts from each college or university from which you have earned a degree or post-baccalaureate credits.
  • Master's level statistics course and/or master’s or doctoral level research methods course with a grade of C or higher.
  • Minimum 3-4 years work experience in a health-related field. Examples include but are not limited to the following:
    • Healthcare clinician
    • Healthcare manager/administrator
    • Public health practitioner
    • Educator in a health-related field
    • Researcher in a health-related field
  • Current resume or CV documenting professional experience and educational achievement.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required. Letters should preferably be obtained from one academic and one professional reference.
  • Completion of a virtual interview with program faculty.

Program of Study

The D.H.Sc. program is a 42-credit fully online degree program which can be completed over 7 sequential semesters, taking 6 credits (2 courses) per semester. A residency component is not required. Students will select to pursue one of three 12-credit (4 courses) concentrations either when applying or within the first semester of courses.

Semester 1: Fall
Professional Communication in Healthcare
Health Equity & Advocacy

Semester 2: Spring
HSCI 715: Quantitative Research Methods
Concentration Courses:

  • Health Administration
    HADM 730: Healthcare Economics and Policy
  • Higher Education
    Educational Theories & Practice
  • Community & Public Health
    Occupational Environmental Health (every odd spring) or Program Planning and Evaluation (every even spring)

Semester 3: Summer
Qualitative Research Methods
Concentration Courses:

  • Health Administration                                   
    Financial Management
  • Higher Education
    Higher Education in the US
  • Community & Public Health
    Public Health Promotion

Semester 4: Fall
Concentration Courses:

  • Health Administration: 
    Risk and Safety Management in Healthcare
  • Higher Education
    Educational Strategies for the Health Science I
  • Community & Public Health
    Community Health Assessment

Semester 5: Spring
Concentration Courses:

  • Health Administration
    Organizational Theories and Leadership
  • Higher Education
    Educational Strategies for the Health Science II
  • Community & Public Health
    Occupational Environmental Health (every odd spring) or Program Planning and Evaluation (every even spring)

Semester 6: Summer
Healthcare Ethics & Law
700-800 Elective

Semester 7: Fall
Health Information Systems

View the D.H.Sc. course details in the academic catalog.

Career Opportunities

Upon graduation, students will have the ability to use their D.H.Sc. degree to pursue career opportunities across a variety of health-related fields including but not limited to: 

  • Faculty in institutions of higher education.
  • Health Services Management/Administration
  • Clinic Management
  • Community & Public Health Education
  • Public Health Managers
  • Public Policy and Administration
  • Health-related Research
  • Grant writers


How many students are accepted each year? Can students begin the semester in any semester?
The D.H.Sc. program is highly selective and currently, a new cohort of 12 students are admitted to start in the fall of each year. A student may petition to start early, but this decision would be made by the Program Director on a case by case basis.

What is the application deadline?
Student applications are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis.

What the program tuition costs and fees?
View the tuition and fees for Radford University at Carilion.

Are transfer credits for courses completed at other universities accepted into the program?

Up to 12 credits may be transferred into the program; however, there are a number of conditions that must be met for the courses a student would like to transfer in:

  • Must be a doctoral level course completed at an accredited institution
  • Courses cannot have been used in obtaining another degree;
  • Courses must have been completed within the past 5 years with a grade of B or higher;
  • The course syllabus will be reviewed to determine If the proposed transfer class can be substituted for a course in the D.H.Scs program of study.

Is the GRE required for admission to the program?
No, the GRE is not required to be accepted to the program

What is the culminating capstone project like?
The capstone project is a rigorous 6-credit applied scholarly capstone project specifically designed around the students interests and experience can be completed over two semesters. Each student will choose their topic and be assigned an advisory committee composed of a chair from RU and RUC faculty, and two other committee members. The committee will guide the student throughout  the project so it can be completed within two semesters. The overall project includes a proposal and implementation phase, culminating in a final project defense. 

Is there a residency requirement?
While some students do visit the campus and meet with the program faculty in person, at this time, there is no residency requirement and the program can be completed 100% online.

Is there a deadline for completion of the program?
Yes; the program must be completed in eight years from the date the first course is taken.

What if a students’ cumulative GPA is lower than 3.0? Can they still apply?
As part of the initial screening process, your application materials will be reviewed by a panel in order to better understand your past grades and determine if an interview is to be granted. If your application is accepted for admittance following the interview process, you will be admitted on a conditional basis and your grades evaluated after completion of the first semester of courses. 

Are there any opportunities for graduate assistantships in the D.H.Sc. program?
Due to the majority of our students being working professionals, we do not currently offer graduate assistantships for our D.H.Sc. students. However, there may be opportunities for assistantships that do arise through grants and other funding sources. 

In the event of family, work, and/or financial constraints, are students allowed to only take one course per semester?
Students are not required to take two courses per semester; however, note that courses are generally offered once per year and always in the same semester. That is, a Fall class is offered fall only, and not Fall and Spring. Therefore, if a course is missed in any given semester, students will need to wait until the following year to take the course. Most students, with good planning with their academic advisor, have not found this to be an issue.

What’s the difference between a D.H.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Health Sciences
While a D.H.Sc. is recognized as equivalent to a Ph.D., there are several differences between the two programs; (1) D.H.Sc. programs are focused more on the application of evidence-based practice in health-related career fields and less on research while Ph.D. programs focus more on research and preparing students for careers in academia; (2) D.H.Sc. programs are geared more towards working professionals as they can typically be completed in 3 years or less while Ph.D. programs typically take 4 or more years to complete; (3) The culminating project of a D.H.Sc. program is typically an applied, evidence-based project while a Ph.D. requires completion of a dissertation. 

How can I learn more about the program?
Please email Kim Baskette, Ph.D., CHES®, Graduate Program Director. 
She will be happy to schedule a time to personally meet with you to discuss the program and answer any questions you may have. 


Radford University is authorized by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) to offer postsecondary education in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Radford University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award Associate, Baccalaureate, Masters and Doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Radford University.

  • 100% online program

    Online classes are engaging and use the latest technologies to allow the student to interact with the professor and classmates, with no residency requirement.

  • Self-paced learning

    Though most students take a course load of 2 classes per semester (6 classes per year), a student may opt to slow down or speed up the program according to student needs.

  • Capstone Projects

    The capstone project prepares the students for future high level evidence-based work at an academic institution or in the healthcare industry.

“The concentration in administration and leadership, and the focus on professional writing and analytical speaking truly helped me step up my game in my profession. In my role at work, being able to think about problems strategically and critically is absolutely essential for success.”

Amy Kageals, D.H.Sc. '20Senior Director at Carilion Children's Professional Network

We want to get to know you better and we are excited that you are ready to take your next step and learn more about us. We are here to help you and look forward to working with you during your college search process.