The Department of Medical Education (DME) is thrilled to announce the establishment of a new online PhD program in Health Professions Education (HPE). The PhD in HPE evolved from our successful former collaboration with the UIC College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction. The PhD in HPE also builds upon the success and strong reputation of DME’s Master of Health Professions Education (MHPE), as well as upon the department’s broader expertise in HPE research and teaching excellence.
What is the UIC PhD in HPE?
The PhD in HPE program will produce exemplary scholars who advance the field of health professions education by developing innovative research agendas that shape educational policy, standards, and practices, with the ultimate goal of improving healthcare. While the PhD in HPE will share course offerings with DME’s renowned MHPE program, it will include a greater emphasis on research design, data collection, and original scholarship for students who aim to serve as principal investigators in HPE studies in the future.
Who is it for?
Typical students in the program may include students from a wide range of professional backgrounds, including MDs, other clinicians, and non-clinical educators, aiming to deepen their methodological training and increase their knowledge of the health professions education canon. The student body is also likely to be heterogenous in terms of career stage, and thus may include students ranging from trainees (e.g., residents and fellows) to administrators and leaders (e.g., program directors and deans).
The program is designed for students to have the option to pursue the program on a part-time basis, in conjunction with their regular employment or full-time.
What should students expect to gain from this program?
After completion of the PhD in HPE, students will be able to:
- Integrate theories in the social sciences and health professions to define and understand challenges in health professions education, research, and practice
- Employ a range of relevant research designs, research methodologies, and other scholarly practices to advance the field of health professions education as an independent investigator and eventual leader of a research team
- Situate education and education science within the sociopolitical context of health care and health professions education, and translate educational science into practice
Additionally, students will have the opportunity to make numerous connections with experts in HPE in order to grow their professional networks.
What is the PhD in HPE’s format?
The PhD in Health Professions Education is an online program, though some courses included in the curriculum have short-term, in-person requirements. (For more details, see FAQs.)
What are the PhD in HPE degree requirements?
Minimum Semester Hours Required: The PhD in HPE degree requires 96 credit hours past the baccalaureate. However, we anticipate that the majority of admitted students will be eligible to receive 32 hours of advanced standing credit for a previously earned relevant master’s degree or advanced clinical degree (e.g., MDs), thus leaving 64 credit hours to complete the degree. (For more details, see FAQs.)
Coursework: The program consists of several different categories of coursework: Foundational courses, Methodological courses, and HPE Area of Study courses. (For more detail, see FAQs.)
Applied HPE Experience: Students must complete a mentored, Applied Health Professions Education Experience in order to better facilitate integration of coursework and their understanding of HPE concepts within applied settings. These experiences might include working on DME faculty members’ research projects, engaging in HPE journal editorial work, helping to teach a course taught by a DME faculty member, or something comparable.
- Departmental Qualifying Examination: This comprehensive exam will evaluate students’ knowledge of foundational readings within health professions education and their ability to synthesize and critique these readings.
- Graduate College Preliminary Examination: Students are required to draft a dissertation prospectus and defend this prospectus at a virtual hearing in front of their Preliminary Examination committee (and future dissertation committee).
- Dissertation Defense: Students are required to complete a written dissertation with a public, virtual oral defense before their dissertation committee and other members of the academic community.
Dissertation: PhD in HPE students must complete a Dissertation research project. Dissertation research must include original data collection (i.e., the research needs to include the development of a dataset, identification of sample/analytic subject, etc.). The project can include one large project with multiple components or serial linked studies/experiments. The most common format for the dissertation is the multiple-article model (three publishable articles, plus an introduction and conclusion), though a single monograph is also acceptable.
How much does the PhD in HPE cost?
The online tuition for 2024 is $925 per credit plus fees (information about fees can be found on the UIC Registrar’s website: https://registrar.uic.edu/financial-matters/graduate-tuition-and-fees/).
How can I get more info about the program?
For more details, see FAQs.