Feb 21, 2024  
Butler University Bulletin 2023-2024 
  
Butler University Bulletin 2023-2024

Doctor of Medical Science, DMS


www.butler.edu/pharmacy-health/doctor-medical-science/degree/

The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences offers a 50-credit-hour, completely online, post-professional academic degree program for physician assistants leading to the Doctor of Medical Science degree. Individuals may choose between four concentrations: Healthcare Practice and Administration Concentration, Foundations in Critical Care, Foundations in Orthopedic Care, and the PA Educator Concentration. Each concentration has 4 unique modules.

Each of the program’s 17 modules is six weeks in length and taught by doctorate-level faculty. The modules cover a range of important medical specialties/topics and include best practices, evidence-based decision-making, new guidelines for care, and critical thinking. PAs practice in all specialty fields; 28 percent of all PAs provide primary care services, especially in family and general internal medicine. Their job descriptions are diverse, and they serve in both clinical and nonclinical roles. While these nonclinical positions do not involve patient care, they depend on a strong clinical knowledge base.

Module enrollment is self-paced to meet the needs of working PAs. PAs can enter the program at any one of six starting points throughout the year-each of the three semesters (summer, fall, and spring) is divided into two terms. All modules are independent of each other so a student can take modules in any order.

The Program requires all students to complete a Capstone project to earn a degree. The activity may be started after 10 of 17 of the modules have been completed. All students must complete CITI requirements before commencing scholarly activity.

Programmatic Goals

The degree provides an avenue for those Physician Assistants interested in expanding their understanding of medical knowledge, developing their leadership and business skills, and promoting lifelong learning. After completing the program, the student will be able to:

  • Appraise and assimilate relevant scientific and clinical evidence addressing a problem or issue
  • Design and implement strategies to assess an issue, treat a condition, or measure the impact of a change or intervention
  • Draw relevant conclusions using an evidence-based approach
  • Exhibit the ability to apply concepts or practices to novel problems or apply newly discovered knowledge to serve the patient’s or institution’s needs
  • Demonstrate professionalism and a commitment to advancing the practice of medicine through communications and interactions

Eligibility and Admission

Applicants must have successfully graduated from an accredited PA Program (Accreditation Review Commission on the Education of a Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)) and must currently hold a National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) certification/recertification or license to practice as a PA. A previously earned master’s degree is not required.

Individuals who have earned a PA degree from an international institution in the following countries: Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom may also be eligible to apply to the Butler DMS program. Graduation from the Butler DMS program will not require an individual from an international entry level program eligible to sit for the NCCPA examination. Additional information for international PAs regarding admission can be obtained by contacting dmsadmissions@butler.edu as they are different than the documents provided below for those who have graduated from an ARC-PA program.

Application Requirements

Persons eligible to matriculate in this program would be required to satisfy all of the following criteria:

The applicant must be a physician assistant graduated from an accredited, entry-level PA Program and currently certified or licensed to practice as a PA.

  • Complete an application form at www.butler.edu/academics/graduate-professional/, including:
    • A current and comprehensive curriculum vita
    • Active state license number and/or NCCPA certification number
    • A 250-word essay describing the goals for enrolling in the DMS program
    • Official transcripts sent to Butler University from post-secondary institution(s) where degrees were earned.
  • The applicant must be fluent in English (the language of instruction of this program).
  • When the applicant speaks and/or writes in English as a second language, the applicant must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores for review.
  • International students must have a TOEFL score and evaluation of any international transcripts. Please note that this takes additional time. A TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based test) or 79 (internet-based test) meets Butler University’s English language proficiency requirements. Butler’s TOEFL school code is 1073. World Education Services or Educational Credential Evaluators must evaluate all international transcripts.
  • Applicants who believe the TOEFL requirement should be waived may petition University Office of Admission via email.
  • The applicant must be able to meet University technology requirements during the entirety of the doctoral program www.butler.edu/informationtechnology/. Students will need access to a reliable computer and high-speed internet. Strong computer skills and or the ability to quickly learn and adapt to new technology is necessary for success.

Admission Notification

DMS program admission is competitive and seeks highly qualified PAs. The DMS Program has a rolling admission process, and applicants will be considered as they apply to the program. Following receipt of all necessary information, the admissions committee will review the applicant’s file. Applicants will then be assigned to one of the following categories: 1) Accept, 2) Defer, or 3) Reject. Once files are complete, applicants will be notified as soon as possible following the committee’s decision. Admission decisions are made by the program and are considered final. Selected candidates will be extended a conditional offer of admission into the Butler University DMS program, generally via email, with a formal letter sent by the University. The candidate must meet all University requirements to enter into the program.

Application Timeline

The following timeline should provide guidance to those interested in applying to the DMS program. Applications must be completed one week prior to the start of the session; otherwise, if accepted, the applicant will defer to the following session. The program follows the University calendar, begins at the start of each session, and lasts six weeks. https://www.butler.edu/registrar/academic-calendar-2023-2024/

The program has the right to change timelines, as it deems appropriate. Please contact dmsprogram@butler.edu for additional admission questions.

Advising

A faculty or administrative staff will be assigned as an advisor. Advisement is conducted by phone or in person. A program adviser will help students enroll in the appropriate modules. A virtual orientation will be provided at the beginning of coursework. All students must participate in this orientation prior to the first day of the initial session; otherwise, admission will be delayed.

Curriculum


The academic degree program’s curriculum consists of 17 modules totaling a minimum of 50 credit hours and a programmatic required scholarly activity. Students are required to complete all 17 modules to graduate. Each module is six weeks in length. The student’s personal schedule and module availability will determine individual student module selection. A minimum of eight students must be enrolled for a module to be offered. The length of time it takes to complete the program is dependent on the number of modules a student enrolls and successfully completes in a given term and the availability of the module due to enrollment minimums being met (n = 8 students). While more than one module may be offered per session, the program has projected a “standard pace” to be one module per term (or two per semester). This “standard pace” would result in program completion in 9 semesters. Students are required to complete the program in 5.5 years.

Programs within Butler University use Canvas as the learning management system.

Below is a sample schedule of the curriculum for the DMS program, specifically the Healthcare Practice and Administration Concentration, 9-semester completion. Students might take different courses depending on concentration as well as take modules during different semesters, as there are not prerequisites beyond enrollment in the DMS program.

9 Semester Completion - Projected Standard Pace


Fall Semester


Total Credit Hours: 6


Spring Semester


Session B


Total Credit Hours: 6


Summer Semester


Session A


Session B


Total Credit Hours: 6


Fall Semester 2


Session A


Session B


Total Credit Hours: 6


Spring Semester 2


Session A


Session B


Total Credit Hours: 5


Summer Semester 2


Session A


Session B


Total Credit Hours: 6


Fall Semester 3


Session A


Session B


Total Credit Hours: 6


Spring Semester 3


Session B


Total Credit Hours: 6


Summer Semester 3


Overall Total Credits: 50