Doctor of Medical Science

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The Doctor of Medical Science (D.M.Sc.) degree is offered by the School of Medicine Department of Family and Community Medicine. The D.M.Sc. degree is exclusive to NCCPA-certified Physician Assistants (PAs). All of the courses in the D.M.Sc. degree are specific to PAs. Course activities are examined from the perspective of PAs in clinical practice and PA education. The program utilizes online learning activities and offers the choice of an education or clinical practicum.

The D.M.Sc. program at Southern Illinois University will prepare medical professionals who are thought leaders working in health care, higher education, research and innovative industries, as well as public and private agencies. These PA leaders will be thoroughly grounded in knowledge base, research paradigms, practical applications, and the ethical/legal implications of their respective career paths. The D.M.Sc. program will provide a balanced mix of theory, research, and practical application in the areas of medical practice, education, and leadership.


To be considered for enrollment in the program, applicants must have a master’s degree in PA studies or equivalent from a PA program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) and either be in clinical practice or an educator in a PA program in the United States or Canada. Applicants must also possess an unrestricted state license to practice as a Physician Assistant where applicable. Direct entry is only available to those students who received a bachelor’s degree in PA Studies or equivalent during the era of this being the professional standard and are NCCPA certified, and to students with a master’s degree in PA studies or equivalent with a P/F grade standard and are NCCPA certified. This program requires a non-refundable $75 application fee (subject to change without notice by the SIU Board of Trustees) that must be submitted with the application for admission to graduate study in the D.M.Sc. program.

Degree Requirements

Students selected for the D.M.Sc. can begin study in either the Spring or Summer session. Those accepted will be notified prior to the selected session of entry. The curriculum consists of online courses and activities, a longitudinal practicum or education series, and a scholarly project course and project submission.

Clinical Track: DMSC 510, DMSC 520, DMSC 530, DMSC 540, DMSC 550, DMSC 560, DMSC 561, DMSC 562, DMSC 563, DMSC 571, DMSC 572, DMSC 573, DMSC 574

Education Track: DMSC 510, DMSC 520, DMSC 530, DMSC 540, DMSC 550, DMSC 560, DMSC 561, DMSC 562, DMSC 563, DMSC 581, DMSC 582, DMSC 583, DMSC 584

Curricular Guide

The course sequence will be delivered over 5 units of instruction. The general course sequencing for a summer start is:

Unit 1 (9 weeks)

DMSC 510: Organizational Behavior and Leadership (3 CH)
DMSC 560: Evidence-Based Research and Performance Improvement in Clinical Practice (3 CH)

Unit 2 (9 weeks)

DMSC 520: Healthcare Administration for PAs (3 CH)
DMSC 561: Evidence-Based Research and Scholarly Project I (1 CH)
DMSC 571: PA Practicum I (4 CH) -OR-
DMSC 581: PA Education Practicum (4 CH) 

Unit 3 (9 weeks)

DMSC 550: Disaster Medicine for PAs (3 CH)
DMSC 562: Evidence-based Research and Scholarly Project II (1 CH)
DMSC 572: Advanced Clinical Practicum II (4 CH) -OR-
DMSC 582: PA Education Practicum II (4 CH)

Unit 4 (9 weeks)

DMSC 540: Global Health for PAs (3 CH)
DMSC 573: Advanced Clinical Practicum III (4 CH) -OR -
DMSC 583: PA Practicum Program Evaluation (4 CH)

Unit 5 (10 weeks)

DMSC 530: Healthcare Law for PAs (3 CH)
DMSC 563: Evidence-Based Research and Scholarly Project III (1 CH)
DMSC 574: Advanced Clinical Practicum IV (4 CH) -OR-
DMSC 584: PA Education Practicum IV (4 CH)