Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences

New, Innovative Program

The Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences at UNLV, one of the first offered in the Western United States, is an innovative approach to healthcare research and responds to the growing demand from federal funding agencies to have an interdisciplinary research approach to complex healthcare problems.

The program offers four sub-plans: Health Physics, Kinesiology, Nursing - Biobehavioral, and Rehabilitation Sciences. Minimum requirements for all four sub-plans can be found the “Admissions” section below.


Minimum Requirements

Students in each sub-plan must achieve the following minimum requirements for admissions consideration:

  • An overall undergraduate/graduate GPA >3.25
  • Greater than 50th average percentile on the quantitative, verbal, and analytic portions of the GRE (taken within the last 5 years)
  • Graduated from an accredited rehabilitation clinical sciences profession (e.g. PT, OT, speech therapy, athletic training) at either the MS or clinical doctoral level.
    • If the applicant has a professional BS degree only, then 30 additional credits of degree–consistent, graduate–level coursework will be required.
  • If the applicant is from a country where English is not an official language, he or she must demonstrate English proficiency:
    • >80 on the TOEFL
    • >7.0 on the International English Language Testing System
    • >70th percentile on the GRE–verbal
    • Earned at least a bachelor of science at a regionally accredited university in the United States, or in a country where English is the language of instruction.

Application Process

Applicants must complete the UNLV Graduate College application and then provide the following:

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Current version of CV
  • Request and complete an interview with two core faculty members
  • A personal statement

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives for this degree focus on research, interdisciplinary work, and developing an expertise in conducting research.


Admitted students must complete 24 credits in the interdisciplinary health sciences core–12 of which are dissertation credits–and then 36 credits in the sub–plan of their choice.

Required Courses

In the interdisciplinary health sciences core, students will be required to take all of the following courses:

  • HSC 710 Seminar (1 credit, to be taken three times)
    • Example topics: global healthcare, health policy, health systems, health innovations
  • HSC 711 Dissertation (12 credits minimum required)
    • Two committee members will be from faculty who are in other sub–plans.

Elective Courses

In the interdisciplinary health sciences research core, students will be required to take three of five of the following courses:

  • HSC 701 Interdisciplinary team science (3 credits)
  • HSC 702 Translational research design (3 credits)
  • HSC 703 Interdisciplinary grant writing for health sciences (3 credits)
  • HSC 704 Statistics for health sciences (3 credits)
  • HSC 705 Clinical trial design and analysis (3 credits)

The four available sub-plans are Health PhysicsKinesiologyNursing - Biobehavioral, and Rehabilitation Sciences. The minimum credit total in the program is 60 credits.