Collaborative Doctoral (PhD) Program

The Department of Medical Education (DME) in the College of Medicine (COM) and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education (COE), offer an in-person, on-campus collaborative Doctoral (PhD) Program in Education with a concentration in Critical Pedagogies and Urban Teacher Education (CPUTE) (formerly Curriculum Studies) with a specialization in Health Professions Education (HPE). The collaborating departments have a strong history of success and innovation; this PhD program is the only such collaboration between UIC’s east and west (health sciences) campuses.


The mission of the HPE program specialization is to produce exemplary scholars who will advance the field of health professions education, and ultimately health care, through research and innovation to impact educational policy and practice.

Who is it for?

  • This HPE program specialization is for people who wish to obtain doctoral-level preparation for careers in health professions education. Our program particularly emphasizes scholarship and leadership in health professions education.
  • Typical students include both health professionals (with or without postgraduate training in medical or health professions education) and non-health professionals who are interested in scholarship related to health professions education settings, programs, and trainees.
  • Students may pursue the PhD as full-time students or on a part-time basis in conjunction with their regular employment.

What should students expect to learn?

Through the program students will learn:

  • How to use conceptual frameworks for the study of health professions education to develop new insights, models, and methods.
  • How to conduct educational research as an independent investigator and leader of a research team.
  • How to situate education and education science within the sociopolitical context of health care and health professions education, and how to translate educational science to practice.

What are the PhD program degree requirements?

Students must complete a minimum of 96 semester hours of graduate work beyond the baccalaureate or 64 semester hours beyond the master’s degree.

The degree requirements consist of coursework, a research project, two preliminary exams, and a doctoral dissertation. The coursework requirements include College of Education courses and, for those in the HPE specialization, DME courses, taken to fulfill the elective course requirements. Please note that this DME coursework includes MHPE 501, MHPE 502, MHPE 503, and MHPE 504 for those students who don’t already hold a Master’s degree in Health Professions Education.

How do I apply?

Application deadline for Fall 2022: December 1, 2021

Information on the application process can be found on the College of Education’s PhD Critical Pedagogies and Urban Teacher Education website.