Top 10 Best Online Doctor of Health Science Degrees

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Updated: March 13, 2024, Reading time: 17 minutes

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Despite the global crisis, healthcare careers are still in high demand and will be for a very long time. According to official data from the Labor Statistics, health professions are expected to grow 13% over the next decade, faster than the national average of all occupations.

But not everyone’s cut out to become a conventional healthcare professional, such as a doctor, dentist, or pharmacist. Some thought creatively and obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees in health sciences. After an undergraduate and graduate degree, healthcare professionals obtain a terminal degree to obtain leadership roles and provide better health care.

Quick audio summary:


Doctoral programs in health science earned online aid current health professionals in developing their knowledge and achieving their career goals. These degree programs train students in research, leadership, and teaching.


Health professionals with an online doctoral degree are equally equipped as those with a traditional on-campus degree because health science programs offered online include the same core courses as those offered in traditional schools.

While many schools offer online courses, several also offer hybrid options that require students to attend on-campus activities, including dissertation requirements.

Deciding on the best online DHS for you requires careful consideration of important factors! Each DHS online program that we recommend is worth looking into for these reasons:

Read our Methodology for the processes involved in recommending and ranking the DHS programs.

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

The 10 Best Online Doctor of Health Science Programs

Pennsylvania Western University

Pennsylvania Western University
Online Doctorate in Health Science & Exercise Leadership

Pennsylvania Western University offers an online Doctor in Health Science and Exercise Leadership (DHSc) degree. Students must complete 48-credit in two years, including health science core courses, adult learning and leadership, and an evidence-based research portfolio.

This health sciences program integrates current and cutting-edge health sciences, wellness and fitness, and exercise science through the program’s portfolio requirement. Additionally, students are expected to present their dissertations to the on-campus committee.

Applicants for the doctorate in health science degree are required to hold a master’s in a healthcare-related field from a regionally accredited college or university and submit GMAT or GRE test scores.

The online Doctor of Health Sciences program at PennWest is designed for working students. As a result, the online DHSc is fully customizable and offers several financial aid opportunities to working students. You’ll also receive one-on-one mentorship to achieve your professional goals.

University of Bridgeport

University of Bridgeport
Doctor of Health Sciences Online

The University of Bridgeport offers an online Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc) degree program. This DHSc program requires students to complete 61 credits for at least three years, including core courses, electives, a specialized track, and a graduate project or dissertation that will be presented and defended on campus.

This online health sciences degree offers three potential start terms a year and has a clinician track, an educator track, and a clinical nutrition track.

Applicants must have experience working in healthcare settings and a master’s degree from a regionally approved university with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

University of Bridgeport’s online DHSc offers a relatively small student body with many student support resources. This degree program develops healthcare leaders and innovators capable of bringing change in different health settings.

Graduates have an expanded ability to use research to create moral solutions to global health issues, regardless of the healthcare environment in which they work.

AT Still University

A.T. Stills University - College of Graduate Health Studies
Doctor of Health Sciences Degree Online

AT Still University offers a fully online Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc) degree program. Students must complete 70 credit hours for at least three years, including core courses, electives, and concentrations designed to prepare health science students with the skills necessary to perform at a higher level in decision-making, evidence-based development, project management, and organizational leadership.

Graduates comprehend health science procedures and the business and marketing facets essential to health systems worldwide.

Applicants are required to hold a master’s or higher degree from an institution accredited by the Council for Higher Education with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Applicants must also present a license or credential as a healthcare professional and at least two years of health professional practice.

AT Still University’s DHSc online program offers a modern, adaptable curriculum that enables students to apply their learning to the expanding demands of domestic and international health and wellness. Moreover, students will receive life coaching before they graduate to equip them with more competency skills.

Liberty University

Liberty University - Online
Ph.D. in Health Sciences Online

Liberty University offers an online Doctor of Philosophy in Health Science (Ph.D.). Students are required to complete 60 credit hours in three average years, including courses in advanced leadership, research methods, and evidence-based practice that will train students for new career options in the allied health sector. There are three available specializations: General, Exercise and Sport Science, and Trauma-Informed Care.

Applicants must hold a master’s degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Through Liberty’s online health science doctorate, students will learn how to conduct original research, provide services to various people in different community health settings, and apply ethical concepts to challenging health education topics.

Students can improve their capacity to instruct at the college level by examining how to fulfill the needs of distinct learners and applying efficient teaching and grading techniques. Additionally, you’ll study statistics and quantitative and qualitative research techniques as they apply to the field of health sciences.

The George Washington University

George Washington University
Doctorate of Health Sciences

George Washington University offers a Doctorate of Health Sciences (DHSc) online. Students must complete 48 credit hours with two and a half years of full-time study on average, including core courses, electives, residency weekends, and concentration/track to help them develop their professional practice competencies in clinical and academic settings.

The two concentrations available are clinical practice leadership and educational leadership. Applicants must hold a master’s degree with an average GPA of 3.0 from a regionally accredited institution.

The main advantage of GWU’s online program in health science is to give students an intense learning experience that will teach them the most recent distribution techniques. This opportunity enables students to establish productive working connections with the instructors and other students.

Moreover, the program provides the advanced knowledge and credentials required to meet higher-level professional demands.

Pacific University

Pacific University - Oregon
Doctor of Healthcare Science Online

Pacific University offers an online Doctor of Healthcare Science (DHSc) degree program. Students should complete 36 credit hours with an average completion time of two years offered through synchronous and asynchronous learning sessions with nine credits each semester for four semesters.

Students will have the necessary skills and knowledge of current health science trends to significantly impact the field and apply evidence-based decision-making to solve public health issues.

Applicants must hold a master’s or higher from a regionally accredited institution. It’s also necessary for applicants to have prior healthcare experience and be a health professional, a healthcare administrator, a public health specialist, or a health professional educator with a license or certificate.

Thanks to the school’s supportive faculty, students can gain practical application of healthcare science principles and create an original research paper that addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion. Students will also use evidence-based decision-making to solve healthcare administration and practice issues.

Students will consider the function of healthcare leaders as social justice change agents throughout the curriculum.

Bay Path University

Bay Path University
Doctor of Health Science Degree Online

Bay Path University offers an online Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) degree that is available online. Students must complete 48 credits, including core courses and concentration tracks, to help them hold leadership positions in health science, education, and healthcare.

This online DHSc degree provides the most concentrations: Advanced Occupational Therapy Practice, Advanced Trauma-Informed Counseling, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Behavior Analysis, Generalist, Health Informatics Management, Leadership & Negotiation, Mental Health, Organizational Excellence in Healthcare, Online Teaching, Productive Aging, and Public Health.

Applicants must hold a master’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 in a healthcare or health science-related field and at least a year of full-time healthcare or health science experience.

Bay Path University’s online DHSc is taught with a small student-to-teacher ratio, which allows students to be more engaged in the online community and gain networking opportunities with like-minded integrative health practitioners.

Additionally, online students can access various resources to help them achieve their professional goals, including mentoring, tutoring, academic resources, career services, and library resources.

Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University - Florida
Doctor Of Health Science Online

Nova Southeastern University offers a Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) online. Students must complete 55 credit hours that will take an average of two years, including core courses, electives, concentration, two one-week summer seminars, internship, practicum, and doctoral analysis throughout the program.

NSU’s online DHSc prepares students for more prestigious academic jobs in their field of expertise and helps them enhance the skills and knowledge learned from their graduate degree programs. Three concentrations are available: Education in Health Care, Telehealth, and Global Health Concentration.

Because this is a post-professional program, applicants must already be employed in a healthcare-related industry and possess a master’s or professional degree in their specialty.

While conducted primarily online, students in NSU’s online DHSc are encouraged to keep a journal in addition to discussion board entries for many courses. Papers make up a sizable percentage of DHSc study programs. The emphasis in this doctoral degree program is on primary source readings rather than textbooks. It is necessary to use the NSU library, which is accessible online.

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Doctor of Health Sciences

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science has a Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc) online. Students are required to complete 54 credits, including courses addressing healthcare trends and issues, population health, and quality improvement, in addition to a capstone project to satisfy the demands of current health professionals.

Health Systems Administration, Educational Leadership, and Global Health are three available concentrations.

Applicants must have a master’s or higher from a regionally accredited institution and experience or credentials as a health care professional.

MCPS’s online DHSc provides students with supportive and engaging faculty and resources. The faculty helps students achieve academic success by setting high expectations for each student, giving all students an equal chance to participate in online discussions, and expressing appreciation for their efforts.

Keiser University

Keiser University
Online Doctor of Health Science

Keiser University offers a Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) online. Students are required to complete 60 credit hours within 24 – 42 months, including core courses, empirical research methods, dissertations, and two doctoral residencies that strongly emphasize analyzing and evaluating the problems that come up in professional practice.

Graduates possess strong foundations in organizational behavior management, project management, applied research, and decision-making.

Applicants must hold a master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Keiser University provides students with a motivated and supportive faculty committed to student success. Students should expect to receive academic and financial support from the university. Each student will have a designated financial aid counselor to help them navigate the financial assistance process.

Common Courses of Doctor of Health Science

Doctoral Research

These courses introduce study design approaches and methodology, the connection between research and practice, and research ethics. Students will create study questions and assess pertinent material. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies approaches will all be covered in these courses.

Health Equity and Wellness 

Students will understand healthcare’s cost, accessibility, attainment, wellness, and prevention aspects from the financial, political, social, and economic perspectives. Students will examine historical and contemporary trajectories and their related health impact on the national and historically underrepresented populations, emphasizing the socioeconomic determinants of health.

Behavioral Health Issues  

Students have the chance to investigate the intricacies of mental health access, funding, and multi-level policy guiding the provision of behavioral health services in this course. The course examines effective evidence-based strategies for boosting the availability and quality of behavioral health care while presenting the existing and projected epidemiological profile of behavioral health disorders compared to current financial and policy obstacles.

Community Health

Students will learn how to develop, administer, and assess health promotion and disease prevention programs for a specific community in this course. Students will choose a community, research a critical public health issue, and create an educational campaign based on the community’s demographics, the health issue, and the available resources.

Trends in Health Policy

This course introduces the American healthcare system and examines its organizational elements, such as decision-making, program administration, and assessment. The benefits and drawbacks of healthcare reform and Medicaid/Medicare expansion projects are highlighted.

Safety and Risk Management

This course teaches students evidence-based practice geared toward enhancing and monitoring quality measures, enhancing patient and employee safety, and managing risks in a changing healthcare environment. This course will develop a student’s ability to lead teams in various quality and risk management projects.

Health Systems Monitoring and Evaluation

This course teaches students the process and implementation of strategic plans in healthcare-related businesses. Students will examine the phases of the strategic planning process, the components of a strategic plan, context-based planning, Key Performance Indicators, communicating plans, integrating plans, tactical and action planning, and evaluating results.

Common Health Science Careers for Doctoral Graduates

Medical and Health Services Manager

Health services managers, often known as medical services managers, are crucial to the overall efficiency and administration of any healthcare setting. They generally work in healthcare facilities with groups of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare administrators.

They frequently communicate with insurance representatives, patients, and medical staff to guarantee that care is provided appropriately and quickly.

Health Educator

Health educators improve health and help avoid illness, disability, and early death using various scientific disciplines. Health educators provide information on health and health-related topics.

They can evaluate the need for health education initiatives and plan them. These professionals typically work in hospitals to help patients understand their diagnoses.

Clinical Researcher

Clinical researchers work in close contact with patients or use their data to study health and disease and to create novel therapies. They plan, carry out, and keep an eye on clinical trials for drugs destined for clinical development. Clinical researchers often work in a hospital or clinic.

Physical Therapist

Physical therapists are experts in the movement who enhance patients’ quality of life by giving them directed exercise, direct care, and education. Physical therapists diagnose and treat patients of all ages. Physical therapists frequently work in hospitals, patient homes, nursing homes, and private offices and clinics.

Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists are medical specialists that treat patients with a variety of medical conditions. They strive to make environments and tasks more accommodating so that people with illnesses, injuries, or disabilities can live better. They may work in clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes.

Behavioral Specialist

A medical professional who focuses on behavioral studies is known as a behavioral specialist or behavior expert. They are counselors that support clients with developmental or behavioral issues. They might be employed by institutions of power, hospitals, or educational institutions.

Mental Health Specialist

Mental health specialists assist patients in managing a range of mental diseases. They frequently work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities but are also employed by schools, prisons, and the military.

Online Doctor of Health Science - fact

Professional Associations in Health Science

There are thousands of sects in the thriving, committed community of health research. Professionals who meet the requirements can join associations and organizations in the field. The most notable examples include:

American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM)

AAHAM, the top organization for healthcare management administrators, offers education, certification, networking, and advocacy for those who oversee healthcare providers and handle medical finances. AAHAM provides a variety of tools, including frequent training and field updates.

American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)

ACHE, and its 80 regional chapters, deliver regional resources and links to healthcare executives around the nation. When members join, they are automatically enrolled in one of the local chapters that provide resources for career advancement, volunteer activities, and educational programs.

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

AHIMA supports both seasoned experts and aspiring ones in the field of health information management. Its goal is to raise the standard of medical care. It achieves this by giving medical practitioners the resources, tools, and knowledge required to improve their practices and patient care.

This organization stands apart from other health associations and groups since it seeks to advance standard care rather than maintain the status quo.

Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA)

The HFMA strives to provide professionals with the necessary resources to advance and better their careers. Its main objective is to give professionals the resources they require to enhance their professions. Access to various training opportunities, including conferences, certification possibilities, seminars, eLearning courses, and more, is available to members.

Members will also have several networking opportunities.

National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM)

NAHAM supports professionals in maintaining high standards, using best practices and obtaining specialized knowledge in their industry. Members have access to networking events, new certifications, and educational opportunities. 

DHSc vs. Ph.D. Programs

Both degrees expand on the information and professional experience acquired at the master’s level. The study of health is interdisciplinary. Graduates from either program study life-saving drugs, create technologically advanced medical technologies or enhance clinic and hospital administration.

On the other hand, a Ph.D. program is a standard academic degree that emphasizes research and is frequently focused on a particular area of healthcare study. A dissertation is necessary to earn a Ph.D.

Like a doctor’s degree for physician assistants, a DHSc is a doctorate with an applied focus. In various contexts, students discover the abilities and resources required to produce evidence-based solutions in the health science field. Students also produce a research project related to their area of interest under the direction and supervision of a faculty member.

How long will it take to complete an online Doctoral Health Science program?

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to complete an online Doctoral Health Science program?

Some health science doctorate programs can be finished in as fast as a year; others could take five to seven years. The needs of the learner may also determine the length. Part-time students might finish their studies more slowly than full-time students.

After finishing their coursework, students typically have to finish a dissertation. The duration of the program may be extended by the time required to complete dissertations.

Do I need a license to practice my expertise in Health Science?

A license is not required to use the title “Doctor of Health Science.” However, you might need one to practice in the fields in which you already have a specialty before earning this degree. Graduates of health science doctorate programs who intend to hold managerial positions in clinical environments that deliver healthcare may be required by some states to obtain licensure.

What are the admission requirements for a Doctor in Health Science?

The majority of doctoral programs in health sciences have admission restrictions. Acceptance into an online doctoral program typically requires a master’s degree in health science or any closely related field from an accredited institution. The eligibility for some programs may also depend on prior experience in a clinical or healthcare context.

The most common admission requirements in a doctor of health science program include:

Key Takeaways

Doctoral degrees in health science earned online aid healthcare workers in improving their knowledge and professions. These degree programs train students in leadership, teaching, and research.

Doctors of Health Science degrees offer a priceless contribution to society and enable graduates to take various leadership positions in the healthcare industry.

DHSc programs are best for students looking for applied study, while Ph.D. programs are for students who want to enter academia and conduct original research.

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