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Master of Health Sciences

Master of Health Sciences

A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Studies’ (ATSU-CGHS) new Master of Health Sciences (MHSc) online program encompasses innovative and relevant academics in the health sciences. To prepare students with diverse professional, academic, and life experience backgrounds, the MHSc program includes courses to help students establish a solid foundation in the health sciences, as well as address the ongoing challenges in various fields of healthcare. This well-rounded and sophisticated online health science degree program provides professionals with the knowledge and skills to excel in leadership, ethics and health policy, informatics, evidence-based practice and research standards.

Offered through ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS), the MHSc degree online program consists of 33 credit-hours of study.

Students have the opportunity to focus on one of three concentration areas: global health, leadership and organizational behavior, or fundamentals of education. The MHSc online degree program promotes application of research and evidence-based standards in professional practice through the completion of two foundational research courses.

MHSc graduates to accelerated DHSc completion

Following completion of the MHSc degree through ATSU-CGHS, a student may apply to the Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc) program, carrying over 15 MHSc credits toward the DHSc degree. For motivated students interested in pursuing a terminal degree in the health sciences, this bridge opportunity emphasizes a continuous and evolving academic plan that is cost-effective and accelerated.

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  • Doctor of Health Science, ATSU | Dr. Kathleen DiCaprio
  • College of Graduate Health Studies, ATSU | Don Altman, Dean
  • ATSU | Dr. Craig Phelps, President
  • Career Advancement+

      • Academic Educator
      • Athletic Trainer
      • Counselor
      • Dental Hygienist
      • Dietitian
      • Health Specialist
      • Healthcare Administrator
      • Healthcare Consultant
      • Pharmaceutical Researcher
      • Medical Technician
      • Registered Nurse
      • Occupational Therapist
      • Paramedic
      • Pharmacist
      • Physical Therapist
      • Physician
      • Physician Assistant
      • Psychologist
      • Public Health Administrator
      • Respiratory Therapist
      • Social Worker
      • Speech Pathologist

Degree Faculty

Five full-time and many adjunct faculty provide expert instruction within the health science online degree program. This structure provides students exposure to a variety of teaching styles and learning opportunities by a faculty with diverse healthcare-related backgrounds and experiences.

  • Dean +

      • Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA<br />Dean Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA

        Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA<br />Dean  LinkedIn

        Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA, is the Dean of the College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS) at A.T. Still University (ATSU). He also serves as director of public health at ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH). Dr. Altman has been with ATSU since October 2006.

        Dr. Altman graduated from the University of Texas Dental Branch (DDS) in 1983. He completed his Master of Public Health degree at the University of Texas School of Public Health in 1989 and became Board Certified in Dental Public Health in 1999. Dr. Altman completed his MBA at the University of Phoenix (2002) and a MA in Bioethics from Midwestern University (2004). He graduated with a Doctor in Health Science (DHSc) degree in March 2012 from the Arizona School of Health Sciences at A.T. Still University (ATSU-ASHS) and his EdD from Southern New Hampshire University in March 2016.

        Dr. Altman has worked for The City of Houston, the State of Texas, the State of Arizona, as well as The Principal Financial Group. Dr. Altman’s public health experience includes: serving as President of the Arizona State Board Dental Examiners; serving as President of the Arizona Public Health Association; volunteering with Health Volunteers Overseas (Cambodia and Vietnam); Director of the National Oral Health Leadership Institute; and serving as the Consumer Representative to the Dental Products Panel for the Food and Drug Administration. On May 1, 2012 he was appointed as a Director to The American Board of Dental Public Health and is currently the president.


        Dr. Altman’s research interests are currently centered on public health and higher education. He has published articles in the Journal of Dental Education, Journal of the American Dental Association, Public Health Reports, Special Care in Dentistry, and Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.

  • Associate Dean Academics and Assessment +

      • Jim Farris, PT, PhD Jim Farris, PT, PhD

        Jim Farris, PT, PhD, is the associate dean for academics and assessment in A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS). Dr. Farris earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1987, and master’s degree in exercise science in 1989, both from California State University, Fresno; as well as a bachelor’s degree in physical therapying 1999 from Arkansas State University. His doctoral degree was conferred by The Ohio State University in 1995, where his studies focused on exercise physiology and nutrition. His current scholarship efforts are aimed at cardiopulmonary fitness throughout the lifespan.

        He joined ATSU in 2009, started his associate dean role in 2020, and is now in his 25th year of higher education and administration. Dr. Farris has over a decade of academic administration and assessment experience as a department chair and has strived for overall educational excellence in that role. He completed the American Physical Therapy Association’s Education Leadership Institute Fellowship, is an Educational Leadership Institute Fellow, and has served on the board of directors for the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy before joining ATSU-CGHS.


        He enjoys serving the community, and one our nation’s most underserved populations, through his role as a clinical director for the FUNfitness program that is part of the Special Olympics Healthy Athlete’s program. His home is in the west where outdoor activity and sunshine is abundant. Work-life integration is a goal and he “sharpens the saw” through golfing, cycling, fishing, hiking, cooking, brewing, and yardwork.

  • Chair and Associate Professor +

      • Kathleen DiCaprio, PhD Kathleen DiCaprio, PhD

        Kathleen DiCaprio, PhD, has been named chair for the Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc) program in the ATSU College of Graduate Health Studies. She previously served as an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York, as well as the director of content development and education at Oceania University of Medicine. In addition, she served as an instructor and curriculum consultant for Kaplan Medical.

        Dr. DiCaprio has a history of teaching undergraduate, graduate, and medical courses in areas related to infectious diseases and infection control, immunology, public health, and emergency preparedness. She comes to ATSU with an impressive history as a faculty member and administrator in higher education of the medicine and the health sciences.


        Dr. DiCaprio earned her BS in biochemistry from The College of Saint Rose and her PhD in pathology from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Her prior research focused on studying pathogenesis of maximum containment (Biosafety-level 4) viruses such as Ebola and Marburg in non-human primate models. Her research efforts contributed to the development of potential vaccines and therapeutics against these deadly viruses, and her work has been profiled in numerous publications and press releases.

  • Administration and Faculty +

      • Jeffrey Alexander, PhD, FAACVPR Jeffrey Alexander, PhD, FAACVPR
        Associate Professor
        Read Bio Jeffrey Alexander, PhD, FAACVPR  LinkedIn Button: CV
      • Kathleen DiCaprio, PhD Kathleen DiCaprio, PhD
        Associate Professor and Chair
        Read Bio Kathleen DiCaprio, PhD LinkedIn
      • Kathleen Mathieson, PhD, CIP Kathleen Mathieson, PhD, CIP
        Associate Professor
        Read Bio Kathleen Mathieson, PhD, CIP LinkedIn Button: CV
      • Eric Matthews, PhD Eric Matthews, PhD
        Associate Professor
        Read Bio Eric Matthews, PhD LinkedIn Button: CV
      • Helen Salisbury, PhD Helen Salisbury, PhD
        Assistant Professor
        Read Bio Helen Salisbury, PhD LinkedIn Button: CV

Degree Admissions

  • Requirements +

      2. Application:
        • Completed and signed admissions application along with a nonrefundable application fee.


      3. Academic:

        • An accredited degree from a university recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (bachelor’s degree for masters programs and a master’s degree for doctoral programs). Applicants who graduated from a university outside the United States may have to provide a degree equivalency evaluation.*
        • Official transcript from the qualifying degree-granting institution. For students using VA benefits transcripts for all institutions attended are required.
        • Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) at the qualifying degree institution.
        • Some degree programs may require experience or credentialing relevant to the field.


      4. Elements of Success:

        • A current resume.
        • Completion of an essay.
        • English Proficiency **
        • Meet technology requirements.***


      *Applicants who have graduated from a foreign college or university should submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency. All course work taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated for American institution equivalence by one of the following services:

      **Applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Studies. Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:

      • Option 1 - English is your first language.
      • Option 2 - Graduated from a regionally accredited four year college/university in the United States with a BA/BS or graduate degree.
      • Option 3 - You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

      • Acceptable minimal scores for CGHS applications are:
        The Computer Based Test (CBT), Internet Based Test (iBT), or the Paper Based Test (PBT) are accepted. The following are the minimum required score based on test type:
        The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA 609. 771.7100. A.T. Still University’s institutional code is 0339. Please be sure to include this information when you submit your application packet. TOEFL Educational Testing Services P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, 609.771.7100
        ***ATSU technology requirements
      • CBT - minimum total score of 213 Minimum of 22/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 26/Writing Skills section
      • iBT - minimum total score of 80 Minimum of 22/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 24/Writing Skills section
      • PBT - minimum total score of 550 Minimum of 57/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 61/Writing Skills section
  • Tuition+

    • Review tuition and fees for Master of Health Sciences program. Please note tuition and fees are subject to change.

The Family and Culture

female in white coat in front of shelves of rx Master of Health Sciences


Curriculum Overview

ATSU-CGHS’s online MHSc program consists of 33 credit-hours of study. The MHSc degree curriculum aims to develop and enhance professional skills and competencies needed to advance and address today’s challenges in the health sciences. All courses are 3 credits.

Year 1

  • Critical Thinking and Writing for Professionals+

    • The purpose of this course is to establish a solid foundation of writing skills and familiarize students with the writing policies and expectations of ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS). Emphasis is placed on scholarly writing elements, including annotated bibliographies, American Psychological Association (APA) format and style, effective use of evidence, literacy skills, academic integrity, review and critique of literature, and rhetoric. The course examines the characteristics of critical writing that are assessed throughout the program to identify students’ knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis and synthesis of content.

    • This course examines various principles and models of leadership and policy and explores their relationships to current healthcare management. The course will explore topics in healthcare related to leadership styles, theory, decision making, planning, and development. Students will examine case studies and current concepts in leadership practice and organizational culture.

  • Health Administration, Law and Ethics+

    • This course provides non-legal health professionals with a concrete foundation in healthcare law and ethics. The goal is to assist students in developing practical approaches to improving the excellence and delivery of healthcare. This course is designed to provide a basic framework from which to consider consequences as well as give healthcare professionals tools that will assist in times of ethical dilemmas.

Year 2

  • Innovations in Patient Safety and Quality Improvement+

    • This course will provide an introduction and framework for innovative implementation of patient safety and quality improvement initiatives. Students will become acquainted with several aspects of healthcare quality and patient safety, including foundational and key structures, challenges and problems, mechanisms for identifying effective healthcare measures, and strategies for applying systematic and innovative change. Students will have the opportunity to explore best practice models and the latest professional literature emphasizing patient safety and quality improvement as well as apply their knowledge in different theoretical contexts in the health sciences.

  • Fundamentals of Health Informatics+

    • This course provides an overview of healthcare information technology that introduces terminology, practices, and processes found in clinical and business operations in modern healthcare organizations. Students will examine the design and application of information technology-based innovations in healthcare delivery. Emphasis is on providing overviews of electronic medical records, telemedicine, decision support systems and evaluating system wide informatics in appropriate management systems.

  • Population Health and Preventive Care+

    • This course will take a broader perspective of population health and preventive care by examining factors and health promotion practices that influence health outcomes of populations. Students will explore historical perspectives and emerging trends of health issues affecting various populations globally. Various approaches to improve population health and health equality will be explored with emphasis on evidence-based population health interventions.

Year 3

  • Foundation of Evidence Based Practice+

    • This course is designed to provide a strong foundation of evidence-based medicine. Students will learn to identify and analyze data from cases and the literature and explore how such evidence influences practices in healthcare. Emphasis will be to critically appraise the literature, evaluate quality of studies, synthesize evidence from the literature as it relates to issues in health sciences.

  • Special Topics in Health Science Research+

    • This course is designed as an introduction to using the research process to address health science problems and the use of evidence as a foundation for practice. Emphasis on general qualitative and quantitative frameworks for research design, data collection, analysis and data presentation. Students will engage in critical analysis of various research topics in the health sciences and will collectively create an integrative literature review.

Fundamentals of Education Concentration

  • Educational Program Evaluation+

    • Students will be introduced to educational program assessment and evaluation. Topics include meeting health programmatic accreditation requirements, creating academic institutional effectiveness plans, program creation and revision, curricular evaluation, and strategic program assessment at the college and university level. Other topics discussed include evaluating certification and licensure pass rates, retention and attrition statistics, and integrating advisory board guidance into educational programs.

  • Contemporary Teaching and Learning Concepts+

    • This course is an overview of some of the current models and theories that are becoming popular in higher education. Much research has focused on academia over the past few years to determine how best to educate students in a cost effective, productive manner. Some of the more prominent theories include: learner-centered teaching, student-centered learning, inter-professional learning, and distance education. The purpose of this course is to explore the research and practical application of contemporary models of education. Students will examine various models and philosophies of delivering and managing course content, promoting knowledge transfer, and determining best practices for effective teaching.

  • Curriculum and Course Design+

    • The purpose of this course is to expand knowledge and understanding of curriculum and course development. The course is designed to engage students in developing course syllabus, assignments and grading rubrics, lesson plans, and a course outline. Students will explore strategies that promote student learning based on best teaching practices.

Global Health Concentration

  • Global Health Issues+

    • This course provides an introduction to important global health issues, including determinants of health, key areas of disease burden, and the role that new health technologies can play in solving these problems. The goal of the course is to expand students’ understanding of the impact of infectious and chronic diseases on the world’s population with particular attention paid to the health status of women, children, and the poor. Students will examine case studies of successful global health interventions to understand features of successful programs.

  • Globalization and World Politics+

    • This course introduces the theoretical and practical issues associated with the radical global processes that are now affecting human life locally and globally. The course emphasizes the political-economic, cultural, institutional, technological, and ecological implications of globalization and allows students to evaluate whether these processes pose opportunities or challenges to individuals, societies, and the global community.

  • Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Disaster response+

    • For years public health has played a critical role in responding to emergencies and disasters of all kinds. This course examines the roles and responsibilities of public health during a disaster and emergency. You will examine the various types of disasters and emergencies, including bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks, and natural disasters, and learn how a response is planned, initiated and coordinated. This course will also introduce you to emergency preparedness planning and common concepts, principles, terminology, and organizational processes used including the National Response Framework (NRF), Incident Command System (ICS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Leadership and Organizational Behavior Concentration

  • Organizational Behavior+

    • This course examines how the personal characteristics of organizational members influence the effectiveness and productivity of organizations and the job satisfaction of its members. It is believed that organizations are comprised of three levels: the individual, the group or department, and the organization itself. This course will focus on the problems and challenges leaders face in dealing with the individual and the small groups in the organization. Special attention will be given to the role of teams in organizations, the stages of team development, and actions that can support the development of effective teams. The realities of interpersonal processes are considered through examination of the roles of power, politics, and conflict in organizations. The human side of organizational change is then explored with a focus on understanding how and why people react to organizational change and identifying opportunities for enhancing the effective implementation of change.

  • Healthcare Economics and Financial Management+

    • Students will use key financial and economic principles to examine executive level decisions relative to capitalization, credit ratings, debt capacity, alternate funding sources, business plan development, and overall organizational finance strategy. The concepts will be considered from both non-profit and for-profit healthcare organizational perspectives.

  • Strategic Change Management for Healthcare Organizations+

    • In this executive course, students will investigate and integrate change management practices to strategically position the healthcare organization for the future. Students will assess their organization’s current strategic position and apply relevant theoretical models and the necessary change management practices resulting in organizational adaptability.


Pick any 3 courses from the three program concentrations to complete the generalist concentration.