DHSc vs. Ph.D.: What Path Should You Take?

Earning a Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) or a Ph.D. in Health Science can lead to jobs at the pinnacle of the healthcare profession. When choosing between a DHSc vs. Ph.D., it’s important to understand that the degrees target people with different career ambitions.

Typically, a Ph.D. focuses on original research and a dissertation. A DHSc provides current health professionals the skills they need to become innovative leaders in healthcare administration, education, and research positions.

Graduates from Touro University Worldwide’s online DHSc program apply theory to solving complex challenges in leadership roles. Earning the degree opens the door to a wide range of jobs, including hospital administrators, research team leaders, health information managers, and health education specialists.

Comparing a DHSc vs. a Ph.D.

Both doctoral degrees can fulfill the ambitions of professionals motivated to work in the upper echelons of healthcare. However, there are key differences between the two. Deciding which degree to pursue depends on your career aspirations.

Similarities: DHSc vs. Ph.D.

Both degrees build on job experience and knowledge gained at the master’s level. Health science is a multidisciplinary field. Graduates from either program go on to research life-saving medicines, develop tech-driven medical devices, or improve the management of clinics and hospitals.

Health science is so vast that doctoral graduates can approach their jobs from different perspectives, including STEM, social care, mental health, physical health, and medicine.

Differences: DHSc vs. Ph.D.

A Ph.D. is a traditional academic and research-focused degree that often focuses on a specific area of healthcare research. A Ph.D requires a dissertation to graduate.

A DHSc is an applied doctorate, just like a Doctor of Physician Assistant.  Students learn the skills and tools needed to develop evidence-based solutions in health science in various settings. Under the guidance and mentorship of a faculty member, students also create a research project that applies to their area of interest.

Career Options: DHSc vs. Ph.D.

A Ph.D. program graduate may pursue research and teaching jobs in an academic setting or private company. They lead research in their area of expertise and provide education for the next generation of health scientists.

DHSc graduates enjoy a wide variety of options. Students in the program are often graduates from health science degree programs. Others come from fields across healthcare, including nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and mental health. They may focus on population health, hospital operations, or guiding community clinics.

Three examples of Doctor of Health Science salaries and careers include the following (all salary and job projection numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics):

Medical and health services managers. These administrators plan and direct healthcare operations. The median salary reached $104,280 in May 2020. Projections call for a 32% in jobs between 2019 and 2029.

Medical scientists. They conduct research to find ways of improving human health. The median salary reached $91,510 in May 2020. Projections call for a 6% increase in jobs between 2019 and 2029.

Health education specialists. They develop health education programs that support individuals, families, and communities to improve their health. The average salary reached $62,120 in May 2020. Projections call for a 13% increase in jobs between 2019 and 2029.

TUW’s Doctor of Health Science Degree

Students in the 48-credit TUW DHSc program begin with core courses that cover a range of healthcare topics.

  • History of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Theoretical Foundations in Health Science
  • Ethics and Professional Leadership in Health Science
  • Health Informatics
  • Program Development and Evaluation for Health Professionals
  • Epidemiology
  • U.S. and Global Health Policy
  • Introduction to Biostatistics
  • Occupation and Environmental Health
  • Quantitative Research and Analysis
  • Qualitative Research and Analysis
  • Survey Design for Health Science

Students then work with the program chair and committee to develop a doctoral research proposal. Once approved, students then complete the doctoral research project, culminating with a successful oral defense of their project before the committee.

The TUW program offers several unique features. All instructors are health science experts actively working with private companies, government agencies, and not-for-profit organizations. TUW offers the program 100% online, giving students the flexibility needed to earn their degrees while maintaining professional and personal schedules. All course content is designed to allow students to complete the process at their own pace.

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