Collaborative Doctoral Degree Program

At UIC, DME in the College of Medicine and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education (COE) offer an in-person, on-campus collaborative doctoral degree (PhD) program in education with a concentration in critical pedagogies and urban teacher education (formerly curriculum studies) with a strand 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 (liberal arts and sciences) and west (health sciences) campuses.


To improve health care by advancing HPE through research and innovation that influences education policy and practice.

Who is it for?

  • Individuals who wish to obtain PhD-level preparation for HPE careers. Our program particularly emphasizes HPE scholarship and leadership
  • Those interested in scholarship related to HPE settings, programs, and trainees
  • Health professionals (with or without postgraduate training in medical education or HPE) as well as non-health professionals
  • Full-time or part-time students. Many students opt to pursue this PhD in conjunction with their regular employment

What should students expect to learn?

Through our program, students learn how to:

  • Use conceptual frameworks for the study of HPE to develop new insights, models, and methods
  • Conduct education research as an independent investigator and leader of a research team
  •  Situate education and education science within the sociopolitical context of health care and HPE and how to translate education science into practice

What are the degree requirements?

Program degree requirements consist of coursework, a research project, two preliminary exams, and a PhD dissertation for a minimum of 96 semester hours of graduate work beyond the baccalaureate or 64 semester hours beyond the master’s degree.

How do I apply?

We are currently not accepting applications for the program.


Department of Medical Education
Dr Laura Hirshfield, PhD
PhD Program Co-Director, HPE strand
Phone: (312) 996-5448

Laura Schaaf
PhD Program Coordinator, HPE strand
Phone: (312) 996-5406