Curriculum

MU requires a minimum of 72 credit hours, including 15 hours of 8000-9000 level coursework exclusive of readings, research, problems and independent study experiences, beyond the bachelor’s degree for the PhD. The student’s doctoral committee may recommend that up to 30 hours of post-baccalaureate graduate credit from a regionally accredited university be transferred toward the total hours required for the doctoral degree. With program approval, up to 6 hours of coursework for which professional credit was received may be counted toward the 72 credit-hour requirement. It is the responsibility of the doctoral committee to determine whether  it is appropriate to transfer credit; however, the Office of Graduate Studies must make the final review of the transfer request to determine if the credit meets the minimum guidelines. Ultimately, the student’s doctoral committee, in collaboration with the student, determines the student’s plan of study and total credit hours necessary to adequately prepare the student to successfully complete their dissertation research. Typical post-baccalaureate student takes ~77 credits. Typical post-master’s student takes ~59. Typical post-clinical doctorate student takes ~48 credits.

The PhD program at the MU SSON can be completed in three to five years of full time study, depending on whether the student entered as a post-baccalaureate or a post-graduate degree student. International Residential PhD students are required to be enrolled in full-time study.  Part-time study also is available for students in the Online option.   

Sample PhD Plans of Study

PhD Course Teaching Rotations

Overview of PhD Curriculum

Foundational Core (26-38 credit hours):

  • Leadership & Technology Institute – 1 cr
  • Philosophical, Theoretical & Scientific Basis – 6-9 cr
  • Research Design, Methods & Statistics – 18-27 cr
  • Responsible Conduct of Research – 1 cr
  • April On-campus Intensive Residencies

Individualized Specialty Area (27-39 credit hours):

  • Research focus area courses — 3-6 cr
    • Innovations to Improve Health & Health Systems
    • Symptom and Health Behavior Science
    • Wellness in Vulnerable & Underserved Populations
    • Special topics research seminars
  • Interdisciplinary Collateral Courses – 6-12 cr
  • Faculty Mentored Research Practica – 6-9 cr
  • Dissertation Research – 12 cr
    • Educator Minor Option – 10 cr
    • Leadership/Health System Innovation Minor Option – 9-12 cr

Additional Value-added Learning Opportunities

An exciting new option for our online PhD students is the ability to obtain a Graduate Certificate in their collateral area. A number of Graduate Certificate programs are offered in an online format by other MU departments which allow students to complete a focused collateral area of interest. In addition to completing the collateral requirement, the students will obtain a transcripted Graduate Certificate documenting their expertise within a specific area. Online Graduate Certificates are available in the following areas: