VCU Bulletins

Health Related Sciences, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Curriculum structure

The proposed curriculum is designed to take four years to complete. Students spend the first two and one-half years (six-month-long semesters) completing course work. The final year and one-half is spent developing the doctoral dissertation. Research components are present in each year of the program and a research emphasis is present throughout the entire curriculum. The student is required to designate the area of intended research in her/his specialization area in the first year.

Each of the five course-work semesters is composed of both on- and off-campus components. On-campus sessions, scheduled during the end of June and beginning of July, and the beginning of January, will employ a rather traditional mix of educational technologies (e.g., lectures, seminars and assigned reading). During the off-campus component of each semester, students pursue their studies employing a wide variety of innovative educational technologies (e.g., computer conferencing, computer-aided instruction, videotape packages and programmed instructional material), in addition to assigned readings and the completion of various assignments and projects. Upon completion of the five semesters of course work, students are required to return to campus each semester until a research proposal has been developed and successfully defended.

The program curriculum consists of a total of 51 credit hours (18 credits of common interdisciplinary core courses, 12 credits of research methods core courses, nine hours of specialty track courses and 12 hours of dissertation research). The courses, arranged by focal area are:

Semester 1
ALHP 701 Health Services Delivery Systems 3
ALHP 712 Multimedia Technology and Curriculum Design for Health Care Professionals 3
ALHP 760 Biostatistical Methods for Health Related Sciences 3
Semester 2
ALHP 702 Finance and Economic Theory for Health Care 3
ALHP 761 Health Related Sciences Research Design 3
ALHP 762 Multivariate Statistical Methods for Health Related Sciences Research 3
Semester 3
ALHP 718 Health Informatics 3
ALHP 763 Clinical Outcomes Evaluation for Health Related Sciences 3
ALHP 781 Doctoral Seminar in Health Related Sciences 3
Methods Comprehensive Exam
Semester 4
ALHP 708 Ethics and Health Care 3
ALHP 716 Grant Writing and Project Management in Health Related Sciences 3
ALHP 890 Dissertation Seminar 3
Core Comprehensive Exam
Semester 5
ALHP 792 Independent Study 1-4
(3 required)
ALHP 793 Research Practicum 3
ALHP 899 Dissertation Research 1-9
(9 required)
Semester 6
ALHP 899 Dissertation Research
Semester 7
ALHP 899 Dissertation Research
Semester 8
ALHP 899 Dissertation Research

Note: All three of the specialty track courses and the dissertation research courses are taken in one of the following areas, and each of the departments have curricular section numbers for each of the respective courses (ALHP 781, ALHP 792, ALHP 793 and ALHP 899):

Section 001 Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Section 002 Gerontology
Section 003 Health Care Outcomes Research
Section 004 Nurse Anesthesia
Section 005 Occupational Therapy
Section 006 Physical Therapy
Section 007 Radiation Sciences
Section 008 Rehabilitation Counseling
Section 009 Patient Counseling


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Last update: 7/21/2011

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