The Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) degree was developed specifically for the physician assistant. (A Doctor of Healthcare Science, or DHSc, is available for other allied health professionals, advanced practice clinicians, or healthcare managers.)

The four-semester program is for the physician assistant who is certified and actively practicing.

The one-semester Doctor of Medical Science program is for the physician assistant who has, in the past two years, graduated from the Pacific University School of Physician Assistant Studies (starting with the Class of 2019). The one-semester program adds one semester to students' 27 months of PA education.

The fully-online Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) Program is designed for the scholar-practitioner and focuses on real-life application of healthcare science principles. Students in the DMSc program will utilize their learning across courses in the semester to develop a scholarly paper that addresses a diversity, equity, and inclusion topic.  The scholarly project will include an extensive review of literature and a proposal for how to integrate change into the workplace.  Students will also focus on the application of evidence-based decision-making to address problems in healthcare practice and administration.  Throughout the program students will reflect on the role of healthcare leaders as change agents for social justice.

The Doctor of Medical Science degrees will be delivered in an online manner (100% online). The curriculum will be presented primarily asynchronously with limited synchronous instruction on the Moodle® learning management system. Synchronous sessions will facilitate collaborative learning and discussion of content. Students will participate in nine credits each semester (12 credits for the one-semester program).

The coursework for the four-semester Doctor of Medical Science and Doctor of Healthcare Science degrees is the same, but different degrees are awarded because the DMSc degree is associated specifically with physician assistants. The DMSc is only available to licensed physician assistants — all other students will earn the DHSc.


The DMSc program is accredited as part of Pacific University’s institutional accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), and subject to review by Pacific University’s Graduate Council.

Contact Us


Emily Josi | Assistant Director of Graduate and Professional Admissions and Marketing
503-352-7219 |


Amber Vanzant, MAT | Program Administrator
School of Healthcare Administration and Leadership
Phone 503-352-7369 | Fax 503-352-7290 |


Katie Bell, EdD, RDH | Director | School of Healthcare Administration and Leadership
Director and Professor | Doctor of Science Program
Associate Dean | Interprofessional Education
Director | Program of Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research (PIPER)
Director | Pacific Interprofessional Clinic
Phone 503-352-7359 | Fax 503-352-7290 |