University of Nebraska Medical Center

Doctor of Medical Science Program

Completely online degree program for credentialed PAs who wish to enhance or advance their practice.

Why pursue a Doctor of Medical Science Degree?

The Doctor of Medical Science degree offers credentialed physician assistants, who wish to retain their primary role in health care delivery, and who have already obtained an entry-to-profession master’s degree, the opportunity to gain additional knowledge and competencies to advance their practice through an applied doctoral degree course of study. This program is designed for the PA professional to enhance their career options within the field as well as to expand their level of clinical practice. The PA profession is at the national forefront of recognizing the Doctor of Medical Science degree as the post-professional degree of choice for practicing PAs.

Why pursue a DMSc at UNMC?

Completely Online

The fully online 40-credit hour curriculum may be completed on a full-time or part-time basis and includes didactic courses and clinical experiences. You are allowed up to five years to complete the program; however, it is possible to complete in only four semesters as a full-time student or seven semesters as a part-time student.

In Your Home Community

We use a variety of distance learning technologies for the 24-credit hours of didactic coursework, while the 16-credit hours of clinical coursework are completed in your home community under the guidance of UNMC faculty and an onsite clinical preceptor.

Program Snapshot

Course Load
Full-time or Part-time
4 semesters up to 5 years
Start Date
Fall (Aug-Dec)

Program Highlights

Experienced Faculty

Our doctoral-trained faculty are experienced clinicians and researchers who bring their knowledge and expertise to PA education. You'll get real-world education from caring faculty in a supportive community learning environment.


Admit Terms: Fall (Aug-Dec) Application opens: January 30 U.S. Application Deadline: Jun 1

Job Opportunities

This program does not lead to licensure. Doctor of Medical Science students enter the program as credentialed and licensed PAs. The evolving role of PAs in the delivery of team-based healthcare requires advanced knowledge and competencies, and many practicing PAs are seeking to advance their education and credentials. NU Digital Learning conducted a feasibility analysis related to the DMSc degree. The key insights provided by the analysis included:

  • The Physician Assistant profession is projected to grow substantially over the next ten years.
  • Job posting data from the past three years shows an increasing demand for professionals holding a doctorate degree.


The Doctor of Medical Science degree program is a post professional education program that provides the practicing PA with additional knowledge and skills beyond the entry-to-practice physician assistant program. The program utilizes distance learning as its method and requires no physical presence or resident time on the UNMC campus. As such, it is neither a residency program nor an entry-level program, and therefore is not accredited by, nor being considered for accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, which does not currently consider advancement programs under their purview.

The Program is an integral part of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s educational programs, which are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, a regional institutional accrediting agency.

To contact the Higher Learning Commission, please use the contact information below:

Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1413
Telephone: 312.263.0456
Toll Free: 800.621.7440
Fax: 312.263.7462
Email: info@hlcommission.org