Graduate Programs in Health Professions Education

HPE Group


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.

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 review our faculty pages to learn more about what types of research we conduct.

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.

A Masters in Health Professions Education (MHPE) is a multidisciplinary degree that prepares health professions with a foundation in educational practice, teaching, assessment, and leadership in health professions education. At 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 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 certificates in HPE is comprised of 9, 20, and 44 credits.  
      • The MHPE program is comprised of 56 credits, of which 10 credits are dedicated to completion of a master's thesis project.
      • The PhD in HPE is comprised of 144 credits, of which 25 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 to 48 semester hours, which is comparable to other HPE programs.

All three programs 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.

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.

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.

New HPE learners should apply by December 1st to begin courses in the Summer Term (mid-May).

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 (*Exceptions to this rule can occasionally be established though an official MOU between USUHS and an organization that wishes to enroll students in our program.)

In both the military health system (MHS) and the civilian sector there is a growing demand for educators who are formally trained in 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.  

  • Cervero R.M., Artino, A. R., Daley BJ, Durning S.J. Health professions education graduate programs are a pathway to strengthening continuing professional development. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions. 2017 Apr 1;37(2):147-51.
  • Artino, A. R., Cervero R.M, DeZee K.J., Holmboe E, Durning S.J. Graduate programs in health professions education: Preparing academic leaders for future challenges. Journal of graduate medical education. 2018 Apr;10(2):119-22.
  • 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.