Health Professions (PhD)

About the Program

The PhD in health professions education program prepares students to train the next generation of health care professionals. Our program is hybrid, taught online, for the first year, and then onsite, allowing you to plan your classes around your schedule. You'll graduate with a PhD prepared to work in higher education and health care. Learn more about the PhD program.

How to Apply

To get started on your application, click the link below:

PhD in Health Professions Education Fall 2021

Application Requirements

Applicants must have a Master's degree or higher academic degree in a health professions specialty from a regionally accredited US post-secondary institution. Practical experience within the healthcare arena within the past three years is also required. An overall GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate and graduate studies is also required.

Application Procedure

NOTE: You will earn the CAGS (Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study) in Health Professions Education, in addition to the Ph.D. in Health Professions Education. Acceptance and completion of both programs is required in order to receive both the certificate and Ph.D.

The application deadline for the Ph.D. in Health Professions Education is June 1 for fall admission. An applicant will be considered for review if the following requirements are submitted and completed by the deadline:

  1. Complete application
  2. Letter of intent
  3. Analytical writing sample
  4. Current resume
  5. Three letters of recommendation
  6. Official college transcripts from all institutions attended, whether or not a degree was earned
  7. GRE and/or TOEFL, if applicable

Once you submit our electronic application, please check the self-service portal to determine that all required application materials have been received.

Academic Records

Official transcripts are required for all courses completed (undergraduate and graduate) at regionally accredited U.S. post-secondary institutions, whether or not a degree was awarded. If you attended a study abroad program and a separate transcript exists, send that as well. Educational documents should clearly indicate the degree earned and the date awarded.

If you hold a visa other than F-1,and you earned a degree abroad, academic records must include end of year marks sheets for each year of attendance, not just final exam results or a copy of the degree. Educational documents should clearly indicate the degree and date awarded. Overseas post-secondary institutions must be recognized by the Ministry of Education in the home country. Academic records in the native language and an official English translation, if needed, are required.

It may also be necessary for the applicant to submit an interpretation by a foreign credential services agency. Interpretations of foreign credentials by an evaluation service do not replace official academic records. These evaluations are assessments of the curriculum and are not accepted in lieu of official academic documents. Contact our office at 617-521-2605 to determine if this is needed. When you call, please be prepared to provide the name of the institution and country where the degree was earned.

The Office of Admission also accepts electronic transcripts from certain vendors including eSCRIP-SAFE, Parchment and National Student Clearinghouse.

Standardized Tests

Official GRE scores, taken within five years prior to the application deadline, are required. We are unable to accept electronic scores or copies of student score reports. Please allow 4-6 weeks for such official scores to be received by the office. Simmons GRE code is 3761. GRE not required if overall graduate GPA for all graduate courses/degree is at least 3.5.

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit an official TOEFL score from the Educational Testing Service (ETS), taken within two years prior to the application deadline. The official score report must be sent directly by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the Office of Admission. Copies of the student score reports are not acceptable. The Simmons TOEFL code is 3761.

The TOEFL requirement is based on native language, not citizenship status. No other English proficiency exam is accepted. 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 post secondary institution abroad that is recognized by the Ministry of Education in the host country in English-speaking countries only.

The required scores for the TOEFL are: 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based,) or 100 (internet-based). Further information about this exam can be obtained by directly contacting TOEFL; Educational Testing Services; P.O. Box 6151; Princeton, NJ 08541-6151; telephone: 215-750-8050 or their website.


Three recommendations, written within six months of the deadline, are required. We do not accept recommendations from individuals who have a personal relationship with you (family members, friends, religious personnel) or politicians since we need evaluations from individuals who can assess your academic ability to engage in graduate studies. Instructions for the online recommendation process can be found within the application.

Enrollment Deposit

All accepted students who choose to enroll are required to submit a non-refundable $750 enrollment deposit by the date stated in the letter of admission. This deposit is applied to the first term bill.

Deferred Entrance

An accepted student may request in writing to the Director of Admission of the Office of Admission a deferral of the entrance date for a maximum of one year. The student must indicate what he/she will do in the interim. Deferrals are not granted if the student plans/chooses to attend another institution. If the deferral is approved, a non-refundable enrollment deposit is due on the date stated in the original letter of admission to ensure enrollment for the future.

Reapplication Procedure

An applicant who wishes to re-apply must call the Office of Admission at 617-521-2605 about this process. All re-applicants are required to submit a new electronic application and any official academic transcripts for courses completed since the initial application. A reapplication fee is required; application fee waivers are only applicable to one application.

If you require an F-1 visa to study in the U.S., you must be accepted to and enrolled in a degree seeking program on a full time basis. The Ph.D. in Health Professions program is not offered on a full time basis, thus individuals requiring an F-1 visa are not eligible to apply. Taking courses as a non-degree student is not possible.

If you hold an H visa, please contact the Office of Admission via email or at 617-521-2605 to determine if you are eligible to apply. Be certain to tell us what type of H visa you hold and when/where you obtained your bachelor's and master's degrees.


Tuition and fees

Tuition and fees at Simmons are updated annually each spring. They are assessed each semester based on the number of credits enrolled, the level of degree, and the particular program of study.

Health insurance

All students taking 9 or more credits are required by Massachusetts State law to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan or be covered by a health insurance plan with comparable coverage.

Contact us

Questions? Contact us via email or at 617-521-2605. We're happy to schedule visits and campus tours