Jun 27, 2022  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: CONTENT MAY NOT BE CURRENT. USE THE DROP DOWN ABOVE TO ACCESS THE CURRENT CATALOG.

Doctor of Philosophy - Interdisciplinary Health Sciences


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The health sector is expected to expand exponentially in the next decade and beyond. The Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences provides an innovative approach to healthcare research and is in response to the growing demand from federal funding agencies to have an interdisciplinary research approach to complex healthcare problems. Students from different disciplines are provided an opportunity to learn how to approach complex healthcare problems by using the expertise from related disciplines including health physics, kinesiology, nutrition, and rehabilitation sciences.

Participating Departments

Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences – School of Integrated Health Sciences

Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences – School of Integrated Health Sciences

Physical Therapy – School of Integrated Health Sciences

Plan Description


This Ph.D. in IHS will provide students from different disciplines an opportunity to learn how to approach complex healthcare problems by using the expertise from their own as well as other disciplines. This goal will be achieved through completion of a common core of courses identified to provide a strong research foundation along with the ability to communicate this research to a broad audience of healthcare scientists and professionals. These core courses will be the foundation of the Ph.D.; however, students will be able to individualize their program of study with appropriate specialized coursework as well as independent research experiences. Strengths of the faculty in IHS focus around the following: 1) Biomechanics, 2) Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Sciences, 3) Health Physics, 4) Motor Control/Learning, and 5) Rehabilitation Sciences. 

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes, please visit the Degree Directory.

Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

Students will be admitted into the program by the program director and the IHS admissions committee. 

The minimum requirements of the Ph.D. in IHS are:

  1. An overall undergraduate/graduate GPA of 3.25 or higher
  2. Greater than the 50th average percentile on the quantitative, verbal, and analytic portions of the GRE (taken within the last 5 years)
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. Interview with two core faculty members
  5. A curriculum vitae
  6. A personal statement
  7. If the applicant is from a country where English is not an official language, then the applicant must demonstrate English proficiency by scoring 80 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language, by scoring 7.0 or higher on the International English Language Testing System, by earning a score of greater than the 70th percentile on the GRE-verbal, or by earning a baccalaureate or higher at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or in a university where English is the language of instruction. 

The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Admission Requirements – Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Sciences, and Motor Control/Learning Focus

  1. Graduated with a Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the field of kinesiology/exercise science, biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, psychology or other related field.

Admission Requirements - Rehabilitation Sciences Focus

  1. Have graduated from an accredited rehabilitation clinical sciences profession (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, athletic training) at either the master’s or first-professional clinical doctoral level.
  2. If the applicant has a professional Bachelor’s degree only, then 30 additional credits of degree-consistent, graduate-level coursework (determined by the sub-plan committee) will be required.

Admission Requirements - Health Physics Focus

  1. Graduated with a Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the field of health physics, physics, chemistry, engineering or other related field.
  2. Applicants with Bachelor degrees may be admitted to the program but are required to take an additional 30 credits of elective, degree-consistent, graduate level coursework (determined by the Health Physics Graduate Committee).

All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the  Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Plan Requirements


Total Credits Required: 60

Seminar Elective Courses – 30 Credits


Complete 30 credits of advisor approved graduate-level courses:

  • Minimum of 6 credits of graduate level interdisciplinary courses outside of the student’s primary focus area
  • Minimum of 9 credits of 700-level content/focus area courses
  • Up to 15 credits of

Research Dissertation Experience – 15 Credits


Degree Requirements


  1. Students must complete 30 credits in the interdisciplinary health sciences core (15 of which are dissertation-related credits) and must complete 30 elective credits as defined above. The minimum credit total in the program is 60 credits.
  2. Students must complete the degree with a cumulative GPA ≥3.0 and graduation must occur within 6 years for students enrolling with master’s degrees and 8 years for students enrolling with bachelor’s degrees.
  3. Grades below B (not B-) will not be acceptable. If the grade was received in a core class, then the student must retake the class. If a core class was not satisfactorily passed on two attempts, the student will be dismissed from the program. If the grade was in an elective class, then the class can be retaken or replaced with another elective class.
  4. Students will complete a comprehensive examination which will consist of a thorough literature review, an interdisciplinary grant application, and a comprehensive oral defense. If a student fails any portion of the comprehensive examination (literature review, grant, oral) they will be able to retake it again after a minimum of three months. If they fail a second time they will be separated from the program.
  5. Students will also be required to complete a prospectus prior to dissertation in a focused research area. The dissertation committee will have an interdisciplinary element in that the Chair and two of the committee members will be faculty with Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Graduate Faculty status. The fourth committee must be from outside the IHS Graduate Faculty and serves as the Graduate College Representative. Additional committee members may be added as appropriate.
  6. Students will complete at least one national/international presentation as a platform or a poster from research generated during their Ph.D. program.

Plan Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements for the Doctoral portions of the program.
  2. The student must adhere to the following dissertation requirements:
    1. Dissertation Format
      1. In consultation with their advisor, the student has two options for the structure and associated content of the dissertation. These will be termed “traditional” and “multiple-projects”.
      2. All dissertations will include a title page, acknowledgements, table of contents, references, and appendices as appropriate.
      3. Minimum content and suggested structure for the specific categories of dissertations are outlined below.
        1. Traditional Dissertation
          1. This form of the dissertation is organized around one particular experiment. Specifically this should be an in-depth examination of a specific question/topic involving a single, comprehensive experiment.
          2. The structure of this document will consist of a minimum of an abstract, bibliography and five chapters to include:
          • Introduction (background, statement of the problem(s), purpose of the study, hypotheses, limitations, delimitations)
          • Review of the Literature
          • Methods 
          • Results
          • Discussion/Conclusion/Recommendations Optional appendices, figures and tables are also to be included. The oral defense will be that of this single research experiment.
        2. Multiple-Projects Dissertation
          1. The form of the dissertation may be either 1) a linear progression of at least three topically developing research deliverables, or 2) a series of a minimum of three experiments designed around a theme or topical area of inquiry.
          2. The exact structure of the document may vary based upon choice of linear or circular design. It is imperative that each experiment is of adequate scientific merit to stand on its own as an independent publication.
          3. Packaging of the multiple-projects dissertation should include:
          • Introduction (background, statement of the problem(s), hypotheses, limitations, delimitations)
          • Experiment 1: Written in the format required by the target journal, which is typically Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion/Summary/Conclusions.
          • Experiment 2: Written in the format required by the target journal which is typically Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion/Summary/Conclusions
          • Experiment 3: Written in the format required by the target journal which is typically Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion/Summary/Conclusions •
          • Each “Experimental Section” should be preceded with an introduction to the project and/or bridge section that leads from one experiment to the next.
          • Summary / Future Directions This example suggests three experiments; however additional experiments may be proposed and completed. The number of projects to be completed will be proposed by the student with final approval given from the doctoral advisor and dissertation committee. Optional appendices, figures and tables are also to be included. The oral defense will include the entire document, inclusive of all experiments conducted.
        3. Outcomes include:
          • Pass: student is recommended to the Graduate College for granting of the Ph.D. degree
          • Fail: student advised of status and that the oral defense will be repeated to provide an opportunity to correct errors, clarify nebulous areas and/or expand on superficial presentation of information or data.
          • At least four weeks (but no more than 8 weeks) must pass before scheduling a re-take of the oral defense. If a student fails the oral defense a second time, they will be separated from the program.
      4. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
      5. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted dissertation to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.

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