The courses in the Executive Doctor of Science (DSc) in Healthcare Leadership curriculum prepare executives like you to lead more effectively and proactively address current and future challenges faced by your organization and the industry. Our highly successful and unique blended course format – a mixture of online and on campus learning – means you will enjoy both lively face-to-face sessions with your instructors and classmates and the convenience of distance learning that allows you to continue your responsibilities at home and in the office.

The program is paced so you can complete your doctoral degree in only three years. There are two years of coursework and one year of dissertation research. The program includes three eight-day on-campus intensive sessions each year.


  • Complete 24 credit hours of doctoral-level coursework in three semesters.
  • Travel to Birmingham for three eight-day visits for face-to-face instruction.
  • Stay connected with faculty and classmates through distance learning technology.


  • Complete additional 24 credit hours of coursework in three semesters.
  • Travel to Birmingham for three eight-day visits for face-to-face instruction.
  • Continue applying course content and refined analytical skills during the distance-learning component of each course.
  • Engage with faculty and classmates via online discussions.


  • Travel with your cohort to an international location to study how healthcare is organized, financed and delivered in other countries.
  • Complete a comprehensive examination prior to initiating 18 credit hours of dissertation and non-dissertation research.
  • Research an issue of interest to you and/or your organization as you write your applied dissertation.
  • Immerse yourself in your research with three visits to UAB, up to one week each.
  • Work closely with your Dissertation Chair and Committee during campus visits for progress review.
  • Stay on track to finish your degree in three years by defending your dissertation proposal in the first semester, completing your data analysis in the second semester and completing your discussion sections and final defense in the third semester.  


We accept applications year-round and admit one new cohort each fall. Contact us to get started today.


They are some of the brightest leaders across the U.S. They are people like you who wish to engage in a rigorous course study while retaining work and life responsibilities. They are people like you who wish to continue a practice-focused career rather than the academic career sought by most Ph.D. students.


100% of our graduates who rated the program, rated the overall education experience as ‘excellent.’

“This degree is the best return on investment for an executive with an MHA.”
~John McWhorter, DSc ’12, Hospital President

“I believe it to be an excellent learning experience that improved my ability to make evidence-based decisions.”
~Joseph Webb, DSc ’13, Hospital CEO

“The DSc credentials allow me as a physician to be considered for administrative health system posts. These same credentials allow my voice to be heard around the board table.”
~Thomas Hunt, III, M.D., DSc ’14, Chair of Orthopedic Surgery