Graduate Programs in Health Professions Education

HPE Faculty

Program and Course Requirements

Foundations Requirements 

The Foundations in Health Professions Education (FHPE) certificates are meant for individuals who wish to enhance their skills in leadership, research, and teaching. They are stepping stones towards the MHPE and PhD in HPE, and can serve as a stand-alone credential for those individuals interested in receiving an introduction to the theory and practice of health professions education. We offer three FHPE certificates: the Introduction to FHPE (I-FHPE), the FHPE, and the Advanced FHPE (A-FHPE) certificates. All of the offerings in the foundations are actual degree program courses which one would take when pursuing a MHPE or PhD in HPE. Furthermore, individuals who have participated in the School of Medicine’s Faculty Development Certificate Program can also apply those certificate program “credits” (receiving up to 2 credit hours) toward the FHPE.

The I-FHPE program involves a total of 9 credits, and is designed for medical students, faculty, and other graduate education program learners. All courses may be chosen to suit the learner’s interests. The FHPE program involves 20 total credits, and is designed for faculty and other graduate program learners. At least one course should be selected from the program’s core theory-to-practice offerings, then learners may select additional electives that meet their background and interests. They also complete 5 credits of a practicum experience. Finally, the A-FHPE program is designed to extend beyond the FHPE, requiring students to take all of the coursework for the Master of Health Professions Education (MHPE) degree, without completing any thesis requirements. A-FHPE learners thus complete additional required courses as well as the practicum and portfolio— giving them an even greater depth of understanding of the concepts learned in the FHPE certificate, minus the research requirements of the MHPE.

 

MHPE Requirements

The MHPE curriculum provides a broad scholarly and practical experience in the theory and practice of health professions education (HPE) by providing learners with the opportunity to participate in a series of formal courses, conduct original research, and obtain practical experiences to further enhance their leadership and educator skills. Our approach provides students with the chance for in-depth study with guidance and mentoring by world-class HPE faculty. The MHPE curriculum is rigorous, with a focus on both the theory and practice of HPE. It includes advanced education in teaching, leadership, and scholarship with an emphasis on practical application.  

The MHPE is primarily designed for individuals planning careers in HPE (medicine, nursing, dental and other allied health professionals) within the uniformed services, although the content is relevant to all individuals engaged in the education of health professionals. The MHPE is targeted for clinical and basic science teachers, directors of courses, clerkships, residencies, and fellowships, as well as vice chairs, chairs, and other administrative leaders in HPE (e.g., assistant or associate deans). Matriculates may include, but are not limited to, physicians and other academically qualified health professionals, such as dentists, nurses, pharmacists, veterinarians, physical therapists, optometrists, or those who are committed to working with health professionals as a career (e.g. executive administrators) and who wish to apply the core disciplines of education, cutting-edge research, and leadership to their career field. Uniformed personnel with education or experience in a health-related discipline are given admissions priority.

The goal of the MHPE is to provide each learner with the necessary academic background to serve as an academician and leader in the uniformed services. Graduates are expected to use their acquired knowledge and skills in educational theory, scholarship, and leadership to positively impact DoD educational programs at the undergraduate (e.g., medical, nursing, or dentistry school), graduate (residency training), and continuing HPE levels. MHPE graduates will have the capability to apply educational theory for research, teaching, and leadership related to HPE. In addition, graduates will have the skills to plan, analyze, manage, and improve professional education programs for the DoD.  

The MHPE is sequenced to be completed within 24 months of full-time study or 36-48 months (or more) of part-time study. The MHPE degree program consists of a number of required components including formal courses, a written portfolio, a thesis that results in peer-reviewed publications, and a practicum experience.

 

PhD in HPE Requirements

Although a master’s degree (e.g., MHPE, MPH, MEd, or MS degree) is not a prerequisite for the PhD in HPE, it is highly desirable. The PhD degree is meant to serve those select students with the desire to be at the forefront of the scholarship, leadership, and teaching of health professions students and residents. The PhD in HPE provides additional education and training in the four broad areas of HPE: (1) scholarship and research; (2) leadership; (3) teaching, learning, and assessment; and (4) communication. The dissertation requires more focused and thematic investigation (i.e., a series of related studies) with demonstration of expertise in research methods in HPE. The leadership and teaching curricula are also more challenging, requiring a higher level of mastery than the MHPE. The PhD in HPE is targeted toward deans (associate, senior, vice or dean level), clinical chairs, clinical vice chairs of research and education, directors of research and teaching programs, and other senior leaders in health professions education to further enhance their knowledge and skills in core areas of HPE. Like the MHPE program, the doctoral degree places emphasis on the practical application of core principles. Ultimately, graduates are expected to serve as leaders, scholars, and educators in the DoD’s health professions programs.   

The PhD in HPE program consists of at least 24 months of enrollment following completion of a Master’s degree. For individuals pursuing a PhD in HPE without a MHPE or other related master's degree, core MHPE courses must be completed first (or the applicant will need to show evidence of content mastery). The satisfactory completion of a dissertation is required for graduation (resulting in at least four papers accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals), as are completion of a written portfolio, oral exam, and oral dissertation defense.

 

*Note: all three programs in HPE can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. To be eligible for admission into any of the HPE programs, an individual must be an employee of the federal government (either civilian or uniformed). 

For more information on the various HPE program requirements, please see the MED Graduate Student Handbook and appendices. If you have difficulty accessing this document, please email us at hpe@usuhs.edu. Alternatively, you can try accessing the handbook from your home computer, as some .mil servers (e.g., WRNMMC) will not allow access to our Google Documents.