doctor of health science time commitment

How Long Does It Take To Get Your Doctor of Health Science Degree Online?

Health workers have been on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic since day one of the outbreak. From their organizational prowess to their understanding of epidemiology, healthcare professionals have served their community members as well as doctors and nurses every day in an effort to combat and control this virus. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that healthcare workers are needed more than ever, and will continue to be needed as these kinds of viruses are likely to become more common. If you’re motivated to advance your work in this sector, and support the work of medical professionals by providing health education, research, and more, then a Doctor of Health Science degree may be a perfect fit.

Read on to learn more about this versatile degree, as well as the ways in which you can pursue your Doctor of Health Science online.

What is a Doctor of Health Science?

A Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) is a degree that prepares participants to become leaders in the field of healthcare. Like a Ph.D., a DHSc is a terminal degree that culminates in a dissertation and examination. Unlike a Ph.D., however, the DHSc does not require a staggering seven years to complete, and cuts the time commitment in half.

The DHSc further differs from the Ph.D. in that it prepares students for a more varied career path by offering the opportunity to specialize in various areas. A DHSc may allow students to work in the field of higher education, however, it is more common for graduates to work in health management, policy, community health, or global health.

How Can You Pursue a Doctor of Health Science?

There are a couple of ways in which you can pursue a DHSc degree. Naturally, it is possible to earn a DHSc in person. However, in the age of COVID-19 and beyond, many students now choose to take their coursework online.

Traditional Formats
The advantage of completing a DHSc in a traditional format is, of course, that you can complete your coursework in person, in the classroom. You may be able to go to office hours in person and make connections with your classmates in a direct way. However, there are clear advantages to pursuing a DHSc online.

Online Courses
An online program provides students with much more flexibility than a traditional, in person degree. Online programs, such as the online DHSc program at University of Bridgeport, allow students to complete their studies from wherever and whenever they’d like. Online programs also give students the ability to begin their studies at a time that is convenient for them. University of Bridgeport provides students with three start times: Fall, Spring, or Summer. Additionally, due to their flexible nature, online degree programs give students the ability to pursue their studies while simultaneously working, advancing their careers, and potentially caring for a family.

What Does a Doctor of Health Science Online Degree Entail?

Before enrolling in a Doctor of Health Science degree online, it’s essential to know what will be required of you, as well as how long the program might take to complete.

Admission Requirements
Those interested in pursuing their DHSc online should prepare themselves for the admissions process. The requirements for admission will differ between programs, however at University of Bridgeport, applicants are required to hold a master’s degree from an accredited university with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. They may also have healthcare experience, professional credentials, or licensure in a healthcare related field (though this isn’t a requirement, it is preferred). Applicants will be required to submit official transcripts, two recommendation letters, a personal statement, and a resume as part of their application.

The DHSc at University of Bridgeport is a 61-credit program including core courses, electives, a specialized track (or area of concentration), and a graduate project or dissertation. Core coursework includes:

  • Introduction to the U.S. Health Care System
  • Research Methods for the Health Sciences
  • Global Health Issues
  • Fundamentals of Clinical Trials
  • Healthcare Informatics
  • Data Analysis and Interpretation

Areas of Concentration
At University of Bridgeport, students pursuing the Doctor of Health Science Degree online must choose from one of three areas of concentration, or tracks. These include the: Clinician Track, Education Track, and Clinical Nutrition Track. Each of these tracks requires 12 credits of specialized coursework.

What is the Length of a Doctor of Health Science Online Program?

The online Doctor of Health Science degree can be completed in as little as 40 months. Students in this program can complete their studies entirely online, except for a single, one-week on-campus residency at the very end of the program.

Is an Online Health Science Degree Worth it?

Pursuing a Doctor of Health Science degree online can prepare you for a variety of important and meaningful careers in the healthcare field. Those who want to make a positive impact in the medical and health field will find that this degree can help them do just that. Additionally, the careers that the DHSc can prepare graduates for are high paying, leadership positions. Medical and health services managers, for example, can earn an average annual wage of $104,280. Though a DHSc requires both an investment of time and money, the end result is well worth the cost.

The healthcare field is in need of talented and well-trained leaders. Are you ready to pursue a Doctor of Health Science? Start your application for University of Bridgeport’s online DHSc program today!