HPU’s Graduate Programs Grow with Continued Success

Aug 24th, 2021

HPU’s Graduate Programs Grow with Continued Success

New programs and enhancements to existing programs are underway.


HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 24, 2021 – High Point University has laid a successful foundation for graduate degree offerings and is continuing to build several new programs while enhancing existing programs.

Just this year, graduate programs in athletic training, physical therapy and physician assistant studies all received 100% pass rates for their respective national board exams, while the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy achieved full accreditation from the American Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

Several new graduate degree offerings will also support the ever-changing complexities of health care, while other degree offerings will complement HPU’s signature business programs.

New programs and enhancements on the horizon include:

-Proposed Doctor of Medical Sciences (virtual for full-time professionals)

-Proposed Master of Biomedical Sciences (in person)

-Master of Health Care Administration (virtual for full-time professionals)

-MBA (virtual for full-time professionals)

-MBA Business Analytics (virtual for full-time professionals)

-MBA Health Care Management (virtual for full-time professionals)

The university is also exploring future possibilities for a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia degree.

HPU PA Program 2

Growth in Health Care Graduate Programs

Several new health care graduate degree programs are on the horizon within the Congdon School of Health Sciences. Dr. Linda Sekhon, who originally served as the founding chair for the school’s successful Master of Physician Assistant Studies program, became founding chair of HPU’s Department of Medical Sciences this spring.

Within the department, Sekhon is working to build the proposed Doctor of Medical Sciences degree, for which she serves as program director. Dr. Kristin Ackerman, who has served as assistant professor of biology at HPU since 2015, has been selected as program director for the proposed Master of Biomedical Sciences degree. A search is underway for a program director for the Master of Health Care Administration degree. The three programs anticipate enrolling their first cohorts in fall 2022.

The Master of Biomedical Sciences program will be in person and provide advancement in the research or biomedical fields. The Doctor of Medical Sciences and Master of Health Care Administration degrees will be offered virtually for health care professionals who work full time and are interested in furthering their careers, such as seeking leadership positions within a health care organization. These represent HPU’s first-ever fully online degrees, as well as the first-ever Doctor of Medical Sciences degree based in North Carolina.

The Doctor of Medical Sciences degree specifically provides the next level of education for practicing physician assistants who may be looking to advance their career.

“This doctoral degree is designed for certified PAs who are out there working, so flexibility with online education is essential, especially as they are still on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Sekhon. “Obtaining this doctoral degree ensures the recipient can provide continued quality patient care with added upward mobility. PAs are already at the table when it comes to making health care decisions that positively impact patient care, but this will help them contribute more. In North Carolina, the birthplace of the PA profession, we are seeing PAs start to own their practices that address provider shortages. As the health care environment continues to evolve with continued growth in the profession, this doctoral degree provides their next steps for advancement.”

“Twenty-first century health care will be delivered using a team-based approach in which physician assistants will play an integral role,” says Dr. Daniel Jobe, physician with Novant Health. “High Point University’s Doctor of Medical Sciences program and future health care programs will extend and enhance PA education and training, producing clinicians, educators and administrators with the skill sets to take leadership roles in the medical community. I anticipate HPU’s ambitious new degree programs will draw national interest and attention to North Carolina and enhance our reputation as a source of tomorrow’s leaders and innovators in health care.”

MBA Program Transitions to Online

Similarly, HPU’s graduate-level business programs, one of which focuses on health care management, are undergoing enhancements. With a focus to empower full-time working professionals to advance their careers, HPU’s MBA programs will transition to a virtual format beginning fall 2022 to provide added flexibility.

HPU’s MBA programs are built on a leadership core with experiential electives and the opportunity to specialize in business analytics and health care management. These concentrations represent fields with high demand, empowering students to craft a degree that will meet their professional goals and further their success. These programs offer an optional accelerated path to be completed within 10-12 months.

Close interaction from professors and exclusive access to industry leaders will remain a foundational element as these programs transition to online curriculum. Several of HPU’s In-Residence faculty will provide sessions just for HPU MBA students, including David Horsager, CEO of Trust Edge Leadership Institute and HPU’s Trust Expert in Residence; and Mark Sanborn, President of Leadership Development Idea Lab Sanborn & Associates and HPU’s Leadership Expert in Residence.

Each MBA program also provides a congruent pathway for HPU’s physical therapy doctoral students and pharmacy doctoral students. These students can pursue both degrees at the same time and complete their education with two graduate-level degrees.

“This transition will allow students to balance the demands of their busy life while furthering their educational and career goals,” says Dr. Daniel Hall, interim dean for the Phillips School of Business. “High Point University is regularly recognized for its business programs. Our faculty will still work on campus and will continue to offer engaged, personal interactions with students, such as the ability to schedule on-campus, in-person meetings with students. The program will also continue to reflect curriculum grounded in the certifications and the growth mindset employers desire in a hyperdynamic environment, as well as exclusive access to global leaders.”

For more information about HPU’s health-related graduate degrees, visit the Congdon School of Health Sciences website. For more information about business degrees, visit the Phillips School of Business website.

*Programs noted “proposed” are pending final approval from The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).