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 bring their healthcare practice question to be evaluated into the program and utilize evidence-based healthcare research to develop their scholarly project. Students will be able to choose either a clinical practice or clinical leadership focus for their scholarly project.

The Doctor of Medical Science degrees will be delivered in an online manner (100% online with the opportunity to engage in onsite in-person seminars each semester). 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), as well as participate in on-campus orientation seminars at the start of each semester. These seminars will promote cohort development, encourage collaboration with other interprofessional students and faculty, and provide a venue for the presentation of their scholarly projects (students may attend via Zoom if they must connect virtually).

The coursework for the 4-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 regional 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
Doctor of Science Program & the School of Healthcare Administration and Leadership
Phone 503-352-7369 | Fax 503-352-7290 |


Katie Bell, EdD, RDH | Director & Associate Professor | Doctor of Science Program
Associate Dean for Interprofessional Education
Co-Director | Program of Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research (PIPER)
Phone 503-352-7359 | Fax 503-352-7290 |