Graduate Programs in Health Professions Education

HPE Group

HPE FAQs

In both the military health system (MHS) and the civilian sector there is a growing demand for educators who are formally trained in health professions education (HPE). Some of the most common reasons for this growing demand include:

  • Health professionals who want to make education their professional focus.

  • Institutions who desire high quality instruction and thus prefer or require teaching faculty to hold a degree beyond their professional degree.

  • Accreditation bodies who have increasingly stringent requirements for demonstration of faculty expertise and excellence in curriculum design, instruction, assessment, and program evaluation.  

We've included some citations below specifically addressing the increasing demand for health professionals with additional master’s and doctoral training in HPE.  

  • Tekian, A., & Artino, A. R. (2013). AM Last Page: Master’s degree in health professions education programs. Academic Medicine, 88, 1399.

  • Tekian, A., & Harris, I. (2012). Preparing health professions education leaders worldwide: A description of master's-level programs. Medical teacher, 34(1), 52-58.

  • Greiner, A. C., & Knebel, E. (Eds.). (2003). Health professions education: A bridge to quality. National Academies Press.

Our Graduate Programs in Health Professions Education (HPE) are designed to train

  • physicians
  • nurses
  • dentists
  • pharmacists
  • physical therapists
  • optometrists
  • program directors
  • department heads
  • institutional leaders
  • and those who are committed to working with health professionals as a career (e.g., public health, executive administrators).

To be eligible to enroll in the HPE programs, you must:

  • Have previously earned a Bachelor's Degree; and
  • Be Active Duty Military Personnel or a Civilian Federal Employee

The specific requirements for the PhD in HPE depend on the incoming experience and prior training of each prospective student. In most cases, however, students must earn the MHPE degree, or its equivalent (e.g., the Masters of Public Health), prior to enrolling in the PhD program.

No. The research programs of the faculty in the HPE program are diverse and multidisciplinary. For example, we have faculty who research pre-medical education, undergraduate education in diverse health professions (e.g., medicine, nursing, allied health), postgraduate education (e.g., GME), continuing medical education (CME), as well research in patient safety and health care systems analysis.

We also have faculty who conduct research in,

  • instructional design,

  • curriculum design,

  • simulation-based learning, and

  • online learning.


We encourage you to look at our faculty pages to learn more about what types of research we conduct.

The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Currently, there are no specialized accreditation standards for HPE programs.

A Master’s or Doctoral degree in Health Professions Education (HPE) is a multidisciplinary degree that prepares health professionals with a foundation in educational practice, teaching, assessment, and leadership in health professions education. Our program prepares our students to,

  • address the growing need for innovative educational reform,
  • serve as academic leaders (e.g., deans, program directors, department heads), and
  • contribute to the continuous advancement of health professions education and research.

A Masters in Health Professions Education (MHPE) is an multidisciplinary degree that prepares health professions with a foundation in educational practice, teaching, assessment, and leadership in health professions education. At Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), students can complete a generalist track in HPE, or focus their efforts in,

  • Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
  • Leadership
  • Scholarship and Research

By contrast, a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) is also a multidisciplinary degree, but this program focuses on preparing students for public health practice, in areas such as epidemiology, statistics, or infectious diseases, as opposed to research or teaching.

The HPE program at USUHS accepts applications on a rolling basis and considers new applicants quarterly.

All three programs in HPE are designed with the working professional in mind and can be completed either full or part time.  Furthermore, most courses are offered in a hybrid format in which sessions are held either in-class or online.

The graduate programs in HPE at USUHS offer three programs to meet the unique needs of our students. They include, a foundations certificate in HPE, a master's degree in HPE, and a PhD in HPE.  

  • The foundations certificate in HPE is comprised of 12 credits.  
  • The MHPE program is comprised of 73 credits, of which 15 credits are dedicated to completion of a master's thesis project.
  • The PhD in HPE is comprised of 66 credits, of which 15 credits are dedicated to completion of a dissertation.

*Please note that USUHS graduate courses are based on quarter hours. One (1) traditional semester credit hour is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credit hours. Thus, 73 quarter credits is approximately equivalent 48 semester hours, which is comparable to other HPE programs.

Full time applicants will need to apply through the joint GME selection board. Once selected by the joint GME selection board, applicants then need to need to apply to the HPE program through USU admissions.  If the applicant is currently a board certified health professional (e.g., physician, nurse, dentist), GRE scores are not required.  

By contrast, part time students can apply directly to the HPE programs by applying to the HPE program through USU admissions.