Jul 18, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2021-2022 
Academic Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Healthcare Science, DHSc

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The 16-month Doctor of Healthcare Science Degree (for other clinicians and healthcare leaders) and the 16-month Doctor of Medical Science Degree (for practicing Physician Assistants) follow the same course of instruction. The 16-Month DMSc and DHSc degrees require completion of the following courses, for a total of 36 credits:


The Doctor of Healthcare Science Degree was developed for the allied health professional, advanced practice clinician, or healthcare manager who has the desire to advance their education as a means of advancing their career within diverse healthcare settings. 

The DSc program is designed for the scholar-practitioner, and focuses on real-life application of healthcare science principles. Students in the DSc program will bring their healthcare practice question or dilemma to be evaluated into the program and utilize evidence-based healthcare research to develop their scholarly project. The DSc culminates in a scholarly project, suitable for publication or presentation in a peer-reviewed environment. Program goals and objectives are designed to support meaningful systemic change in diverse healthcare settings through the application of diversity, equity, and inclusion practices as well as the four competency areas for interprofessional collaborative practice as defined by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC).  The DSc program is ideal for those in healthcare who are interested in progressing professionally as leaders in their organizations, including practicing clinicians, healthcare leaders, and managers.  The emphasis in this program is on developing scholar-practitioners who can utilize evidence-based decision-making and application of research to address challenges and create meaningful change in their professional settings. 

Degree Objectives

The Doctor of Medical Science and Doctor of Healthcare Science (DMSc/DHSc) degrees provide a rigorous course of study intended for interprofessional graduate students with significant healthcare practice and/or healthcare leadership experience. The Doctor of Science Program is committed to the continuous pursuit of academic excellence and the ongoing development of experienced Physician Assistants, Affiliated Clinicians, and Healthcare Leaders who will be able to:

  • Create rigorous, applicable, timely, evidence-based scholarly projects
  • Honor and embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion in their professional interactions
  • Contribute significant expertise and knowledge in their discipline
  • Collaborate interprofessionally and communicate effectively with strong written and verbal skills
  • Develop advanced skills in data collection and analysis, drawing thoughtful conclusions and articulating clear action plans to promote meaningful change
  • Apply learned leadership competencies to their roles as strategic change agents, scholars, collaborators, educators, and advisors
  • Consider how their actions impact our increasingly global community
  • Clearly articulate diverse theories of evidence-based practice and knowledge

The Doctor of Healthcare Science Degree will be delivered in a hybrid online manner (100% online with the opportunity to engage in onsite in-person seminars each semester). The 36-credit curriculum will be presented primarily asynchronously with limited synchronous instruction on the Moodle® learning management system. Synchronous sessions will facilitate collaborative learning and discussion of content.  Students will participate in nine credits each semester, as well as participate in on-campus orientation seminars at the start of each semester. These seminars will promote cohort development, encourage collaboration with other interprofessional students and faculty, and provide a venue for the presentation of their scholarly projects (students may attend via Zoom if they must connect virtually).

Doctor of Science Admission Criteria

Applicants for the DHSc degree must meet the following requirements:

  • Submit proof of an earned masters or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution previously earned, OR
    • Applicants (Healthcare Leaders/Clinicians/Administrators) may submit a request to be considered for Graduate College Education Equivalency. An equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered with a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution and greater than 5 years of increasingly responsible senior healthcare leadership experience. The Committee will review the information from the essay question required below.
    • If the Admissions Committee determines that the applicant meets the criteria for a master’s degree equivalency statement on admission, the statement will read “Equivalent combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted for this applicant in lieu of a master’s degree.” The committee’s decision is final.
  • Provide official transcripts from all universities or colleges previously attended.
  • The recommended minimum overall graduate cumulative GPA is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent of a pass in a pass/no pass system. 
  • Submit a current curriculum vitae or resume with contact information for two references from professional contacts. Pacific may contact the references during the application process.
  • Complete online application with payment of the $50 non-refundable application fee.
  • Essay questions for 16-month DHSc applicants:
    • In 800 words or less, outline the clinical question or problem of practice you hope to address in your scholarly project and how it will contribute to improving healthcare delivery or outcomes.
    • Graduate College Education Equivalency applicants to 16-month DHSc program only:
      • In 1000 words or less, please address the following questions:
      • Describe your professional goals which will be advanced by the program.
      • Provide a synopsis of professional experiences (including years of clinical practice and levels of responsibility) you bring to the cohort to contribute to collaborative learning.
      • Please describe your current position
      • Outline the clinical question or problem you hope to address in your scholarly project and how it will contribute to improving healthcare delivery or outcomes.

English Language Proficiency Policy

A satisfactory command of the English language is required for admission to Pacific University, prior to admission. Please note that this requirement applies to all applicants if English is not their native language, including permanent residents and citizens.

Proof of English Language Proficiency

The following criteria demonstrate different methods to demonstrate English proficiency for this program.

  • Achieving the minimum required official score on the International Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. Test scores are valid for 2 years after the test date but will still be considered valid if the score exceeded the minimum requirement and you have maintained continuous residency in the United States since the exam date.


  • Completion of a bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, or professional degree at a US regionally accredited college or university.

Learning Outcomes:

The Learning Outcomes for the Doctor of Science Program include the following:

  1. Demonstrate the skills necessary to apply appropriate techniques of scholarly inquiry in diverse interprofessional settings;
  2. Demonstrate the importance of ongoing assessment, strategic planning, and sustainable action plans related to organizational improvement;
  3. Employ techniques and protocols that lead to the improvement of quality care for all patients;
  4. Integrate critical thinking techniques along with advancing knowledge and skills to evaluate problems effectively and implement meaningful innovations in healthcare systems;
  5. Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, in interprofessional clinical practice and management settings;
  6. Develop a sense of scholarly professional ethics and incorporate those ethical standards in their practice settings;
  7. Describe strategic methods to promote advocacy, diversity, equity, and inclusion in interprofessional clinical settings.

16-Month DHSc or DMSc Degree Requirements

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