The front of the health sciences building.

Health Sciences

As you earn your doctorate in health sciences, you will study teaching, leadership, advanced practice and scholarship to develop the skills needed to lead in academia, research and/or health and human services practice.

Be a leader who shapes the future of health care

In every area of the health care landscape – from the hospital setting to the classroom – we need expert, compassionate leaders. USD's Ph.D. in health sciences is designed for practicing health care professionals who are ready to take on the responsibility to shape the health care industry, improve patient outcomes or teach the next generation of practitioners.

As a health sciences student at USD, you will gain a robust education in teaching, leadership, advanced practice and scholarship as you prepare for the next step in your career. We emphasize evidence-based practice and a person-centered approach, equipping you with a range of skills that will be invaluable in a variety of settings. Course delivery is designed to be complementary to your working schedule, with classes offered online with limited expectations for face-to-face contact. The program's flexibility also accommodates your unique interests; you can choose elective coursework, project topics and dissertation directions that are tailored to your individual career aspirations and research interests. Whether you are interested in leadership roles in academia, research or the health and human services practice setting, the Ph.D. in health sciences can help you achieve your goals.

Degrees & Offerings

Health Sciences (Ph.D.)


The online interdisciplinary Ph.D. in health sciences is a 75 credit hour program. You'll study teaching, leadership, advanced practice and scholarship as you prepare for leadership roles related to health. Ideal for working professionals, you can tailor the curriculum to meet your individual career aspirations and research interests through elective coursework, projects completed within courses and your dissertation.

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Program Details





Graduate Admissions

Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in public health & health sciences.
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Public Health & Health Sciences

The Department of Public Health and Health Sciences emphasizes collaborative learning, equipping students with a rich understanding of the health care field and preparing them to excel in careers such as advocating for health policy, promoting health through education, managing health data analytics and leading collaborative health care teams. The department offers degrees at the associate, bachelor's, master's and doctorate levels.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know the faculty and staff in the Department of Public Health and Health Sciences. Our faculty are experts in their field, contributing research and scholarship in productive aging and gerontology, management of chronic disease, health and culture, attachment, Native American health and more.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kory Zimney

Kory Zimney

PhD HS Program Director/Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Johanna Gregoire

Johanna Gregoire

Program Assistant I
Bio Image for Faculty Member John Korkow

John Korkow

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Sabina Kupershmidt

Sabina Kupershmidt

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Bridget Diamond-Welch

Bridget Diamond-Welch

Associate Professor, Research
Bio Image for Faculty Member Amy Nelson

Amy Nelson

Interim Prog Dir, Hlth Sci/Lecturer
Bio Image for Faculty Member Susan Puumala

Susan Puumala

Professor of Practice
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Take Your Classes Online

We're committed to bringing our knowledge to you. USD serves the largest number of online students in the state of South Dakota. With competitive online tuition rates, we offer the same price whether you’re out-of-state or an in-state resident.

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Surprisingly Affordable

Whether you’ve recently completed your undergraduate degree, or you want to kick your career up a notch, graduate school is the next logical step. The good news is there is funding for both online and on-campus students to get you through your program. 
GA (Resident*)
Tuition (1 cr.)
GAF Fee (1 cr.)

More About Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates are subject to change and may vary depending on the program or department. Visit the Graduate Tuition & Costs page for more information.

* Graduate Assistant (GA) rates are available for resident, non-resident and online students.

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