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Ph.D. in Health Professions

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I am interested in the Health Profession Education Ph. D. Program. What type of academic and professional background must I have?
  2. I am an international student in the U.S. but not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien; may I apply to this program?
  3. What is required of me to participate in this program?
  4. What does the curriculum include?
  5. I work full time. Will I be able to fit the coursework into my schedule?
  6. How long will it take to complete this program?
  7. How many courses will I be able to take in one semester?
  8. Are courses offered during the summer?
  9. Will courses be offered in a particular sequence? Can I start this program in any semester?
  10. Is the teaching practicum required ?
  11. Can I arrange my teaching practicum where I am living or working?
  12. What are some examples of the practicum experience?
  13. Can I complete the practicum at any time in the program?
  14. If I am already teaching, can I waive the practicum requirement?
  15. What value does this program have? What will I be qualified to do with this degree?
  16. When and how can I apply?
  17. Are standardized tests required for admission?
  18. What are the admission criteria?
  19. May I take one of the classes as a non-degree student and then apply later if I like the program?
  20. Upon completion of the Ph.D. program,will I also receive the CAGS HP ED since the first part of the Ph.D. curriculum is that program?
  21. Who can I speak to if I have questions about the program?

  1. I am interested in the Health Profession Education Ph. D. Program. What type of academic and professional background must I have?

    Candidates must hold a master's degree or higher academic degree from a regionally accredited U. S. college or university or overseas post-secondary institution which is recognized by the Ministry of Education, in the home country. This is an intra-professional program. Individuals with master's degrees in many different health related professions are eligible to apply to this program. Prior students have included nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists, social workers, public health practitioners, hospital managers, dental hygienists, athletic trainers,respiratory and surgical technicians. Professional experience within three years prior to the application deadline is required.

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  2. I am an international student in the U.S. but not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien; may I apply to this program?

    According to U.S. Immigration policy, if you require a student visa (F-1), you must be accepted to an academic program and be enrolled full time. Immigration rules also stipulate that any international student in the U. S. with a student visa may only take one online course per semester. The first portion of this program requires students to complete the curriculum in a specific sequence and all courses are offered only online. Thus, F-1 visa holders are not eligible for this program . Non-degree status is also not possible. H visa holders are considered on a case-by-case basis. Call the Office of Admission at 617-521-2651 or contact us a snhs@simmons.edu to determine if you can apply.

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  3. What is required of me to participate in this program?

    If admitted, you will need to possess or have access to a computer and the Internet with at least a 56K modem. You should be comfortable with the use of email, word processing, and internet searches. Self-motivation and working independently are key factors.

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  4. What does the curriculum include?

    The first part of the program consists of seven educational courses, totaling 16 credit hours. The curriculum includes six didactic courses and a practicum. All courses are taught online. The practicum may be arranged on an individual basis with an appropriate preceptor in collaboration with a Simmons faculty member. For students not living in the Simmons area, the practicum may be arranged within their home area. These seven courses provide the education cognates for the program. The second portion of the program, the research portion, consists of six courses totaling 28 credit hours plus 8 credit hours are awarded for preparing and completing the dissertation research project.

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  5. I work full time. Will I be able to fit the coursework into my schedule?

    Yes, for the first part of the program, since all courses are offered online and you will be able to fulfill the course requirements as they fit your schedule. For the second part of the program, courses are taught on campus and you will need to decide how many courses you can manage each semester. No additional coursework is required when completing dissertation research, but independent work is needed for the length of time it takes to complete the project.

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  6. How long will it take to complete this program?

    That will depend on how many courses you take each semester. You will need to complete the education and research courses before you begin your dissertation project. If you take 3 courses per semester, the seven foundation (education) courses can be completed in one year, including the summer. The research courses can be completed in the following year. The length of time to design and complete the dissertation depends on the research design, carrying out the research project and preparing the dissertation for publication. A maximum of seven years is allowed to complete the degree, but most students complete well before that time.

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  7. How many courses will I be able to take in one semester?

    You will be able to take up to 3 courses in each semester.

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  8. Are courses offered during the summer?

    Only the clinical practicum is offered in the summer semester.

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  9. Will courses be offered in a particular sequence? Can I start this program in any semester?

    Courses will be offered in sequence so entry to the program is preferred for September. However, a January entry is available, but will require the candidate to work with his/her advisor to take courses in a different order.

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  10. Is the teaching practicum required ?

    Yes, all students must complete a 4 credit practicum course. Supervised application of teaching principles is an essential component of this program, but this may also be accomplished through an educational project appropriate to the students' experience and needs.

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  11. Can I arrange my teaching practicum where I am living or working?

    Yes, you will be able to complete the practicum requirement at your present location. You and your advisor will select an appropriate faculty mentor to guide you through this experience. All mentors must be approved by the Simmons College faculty. The practicum requires both face- to- face time with the mentor and online time with course discussions.

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  12. What are some examples of the practicum experience?

    You can arrange to work with a faculty mentor at an accredited higher education institution at the graduate or undergraduate level. The practicum may include clinical supervision, classroom teaching, academic leadership or an educational project based on the student's experience and educational needs. You would work with the Director of Continuing Education or with the Director of Staff education at a college/university or hospital in your area.

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  13. Can I complete the practicum at any time in the program?

    No, certain courses are prerequisite to the practicum experience. If you have completed the prerequisite courses, the practicum can be arranged for spring or summer session. The practicum is usually offered in the summer, but if more students also require the practicum in the spring, it could be offered then as well.

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  14. If I am already teaching, can I waive the practicum requirement?

    If you have prior teaching experience, your faculty advisor will work with you to see if you can collaborate with an appropriate preceptor to provide an educational experience that will increase your expertise or transition you in the direction of academic leadership or other area of interest.

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  15. What value does this program have? What will I be qualified to do with this degree?

    Doctoral education is essential for the advancement of academic and professional educators. This Ph.D. program will prepare you for a faculty position at the higher education level or a position as a health educator within a healthcare arena. The core foundation of this program will emphasize issues and trends in higher education as well as specific teaching strategies and the second portion of the program emphasizes research project development. In addition, the focus on intra-professional learning and diversity provides students with knowledge of other healthcare professions that is invaluable in practice.

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  16. When and how can I apply?

    For September entry, the application deadline is June 1; for January entry, the application deadline is October 1.

    You must complete and submit the electronic application and supporting paper materials by the application deadline date. There is no guarantee that late or incomplete applications will be considered.

    Since there are six admission offices at Simmons, do not address or send materials simply to Admisson Office, Simmons College, as your information could remain in the wrong office for some time. Official academic transcripts for all courses and degrees completed and all recommendations must be sent directly to:

    School of Nursing and Health Sciences
    Office of Admission
    Simmons College
    Room S332
    300 The Fenway
    Boston, MA 02115

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  17. Are standardized tests required for admission?

    The GRE is required for admission, but may be waived for applicants who have earned an overall GPA of 3.5 or above in graduate studies. If an applicant does not have this GPA, official GRE scores, taken within 5 years prior to the application deadline are required. Request from ETS (Educational Testing Service) that official scores be sent to the School of Nursing and Health Sciences (SNHS).

    Simmons is unable to accept electronic test scores. Student score reports or photo copies of official score reports from other institutions are not considered official. Although you may receive your scores quickly, please allow 5 to 6 weeks for SNHS to receive these paper scores. They must be received by the application deadlines to be considered on-time.

    The only other standardized test score which must be submitted is the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) for candidates whose first language is not English. The requirement for TOEFL is based on native language, not citizenship. Official scores from the two years prior to the application deadline must be sent directly by the Education Testing Service (ETS) to the Office of Admission of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Student score reports or photo copies of official score reports from other institutions are not considered official. No other English proficiency exam is accepted.

    Allow ample time to register and take this exam as it takes 5 -6 weeks for the paper score to be received by Simmons College. Minimum TOEFL scores for consideration: 600 (paper based), 230 (computer based) or 100 (internet based). The TOEFL is waived for applicants who have graduated at the bachelor's or master's level from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or a post secondary institution abroad that is recognized by the Ministry of Education in the host country in English-speaking countries only.

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  18. What are the admission criteria?

    Admission is based on several factors, including professional experience, previous academic performance (a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 in prior graduate study is required), your educational goals and whether the program will meet those goals . Candidates must have a minimum of a master's degree in a health related area of study and three years experience prior to the application deadline.

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  19. May I take one of the classes as a non-degree student and then apply later if I like the program?

    You may take select courses as non-degree before formal application to the program is required. Courses offered in the fall (September) semester on a non-degree basis are HPED 501: Issues in Health Professions Education and HPED 503: Principles of Assessment and Teaching. In the spring( January) semester, HPED 508: Theories and Practice of Adult Education is available as a non-degree course. If you earn a grade of B or better in these courses, they will become part of the Ph.D. program. The non-degree option is not available to holders of F-1 visas.

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  20. Upon completion of the Ph.D. program,will I also receive the CAGS HP ED since the first part of the Ph.D. curriculum is that program?

    No, you must apply to and be accepted to both the CAGS HP ED and the Ph.D. programs in order to receive both the CAGS(Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study) and the Ph.D. degree. These are separate credentials. You may either apply to both programs simultaneously or upon acceptance/completion of the CAGS HPED program, you may then formally apply to the Ph.D. program.

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  21. Who can I speak to if I have questions about the program?

    Contact Dr. Arlene Lowenstein,Professor and Director of the HPED program at arlene.lowenstein@simmons.edu or 617-521-2305.

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