All significant health advancements begin with research. With one of Grad School Hub's 5 Best PhDs in Health Science, graduates can conduct research that will change, and potentially save lives.

The field of Health Science is vital to human survival and wellbeing, especially as the world advances new technologies and while creating significant strides for human health. The following 5 Best PhDs in Health Science give students opportunities to make their own contributions to scientific health research, addressing dynamic solutions to health care challenges.

The programs listed vary in scope – some take a more general approach to health and science, while others focus on areas such as radiology or rehabilitation. In any case, each program is designed to train graduates to become leaders in health research. The research each student conducts during and beyond the program can make all the difference in individual lives as well as in the advancement of overall human health across the globe.

The following degrees generally prepare graduates for careers in academic or clinical settings. Graduates may go on to work in clinics, hospitals, laboratories, or universities. Doctoral degree-holders may seek employment as a medical or clinical laboratory technologist or technician. Medical laboratory scientists collect samples and perform testing on various substances to collect and analyze medical information.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical technicians earned an annual salary of $52,330 in 2018. An advanced degree may enhance job prospects and boost potential wages. The site also reports that the demand for medical scientists and technicians is growing at a projected rate of 13 percent, which is faster than average. This is due in part to today's large aging population and the increased need for lab procedures to diagnose medical conditions.


The staff of Grad School Hub has compiled the following 5 Best PhDs in Health Science 2020 for the 2019-20 academic school year based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Data contributed from sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics, and the U.S. Department of Labor plays a significant role in how graduate degree programs are ranked because institutional transparency is essential for deciding which career path is right for you. Based on this data, GSH organizes information into five weighted categories, which are:

  • Alumni Feedback: 20%
  • Continued Enrollment: 20%
  • Degree Selectivity: 10%
  • Graduate Expenses: 25%
  • Projected Annual Salary: 25%

A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible through our Ranking Methodology page.

Here are the 5 Best PhDs in Health Science 2020 for 2019 – 2020!

#5 – Ohio State University

Ph.D. in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Columbus, OH


The Ohio State University offers a Ph.D. in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. The degree program is open to healthcare professionals who hold masters' or professional degrees. The interdisciplinary program aims to prepare graduates for leadership roles in health and rehabilitation academia and industry. The 63-credit curriculum covers areas, including grant writing, teaching, and research methodology. Research training areas include biomechanics, health promotion, neuroscience, and pediatrics. Students can expect to spend the second half of their program on dissertation research. The program is designed to be completed in four years of full-time study, though it can alternatively be completed in six part-time years.

OSU was founded in 1870 as a land-grant agricultural and mechanical college. Located in Columbus, the university is the flagship institution of Ohio. It also has the third-largest on-campus student body in the United States. In addition to the Columbus campus, OSU operates five local schools throughout Ohio. The university's research facilities include the Byrd Polar Research Center, the Chadwick Arboretum, and the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis. U.S. News & World Report ranks OSU at No. 56 in National Universities, No. 18 in Most Innovative Schools, and No. 17 in Top Public Schools. The university also ranks at No. 23 in Public Health studies at the graduate level.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,560 in-state; $33,032 out-of-state

#4 – West Virginia University

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health Sciences

Morgantown, WV


West Virginia University offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health Sciences. The degree program is designed for students who want to conduct hypothesis-driven research and public health evaluations. The program takes a scientific approach to public health education, policy, and practice. Students can specialize in epidemiology, occupational and environmental health sciences, or social and behavioral sciences. The cross-disciplinary curriculum includes course offerings in Biostatistics, Scientific Integrity, Scientific Writing, and Social and Behavioral Theory. In addition to courses and seminars, the program requires a qualifying exam, a teaching practicum, and a doctoral dissertation.

WVU was founded in 1867 as an agricultural college. Today, it is a public university and the flagship institution of West Virginia. In addition to the main campus in Morgantown, the university operates divisional schools in the West Virginia towns of Beckley and Keyser. The research-intensive university's critical areas of study include forensics, robotics, and biometrics. U.S. News & World Report ranks WVU at No. 112 in Top Public Schools. The university also ranks at No. 102 in the nation for its graduate-level Public Health programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,450 in-state; $24,390 out-of-state

#3 – Colorado State University

Doctor of Philosophy in Radiological Health Sciences

Fort Collins, CO


Colorado State University offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Radiological Health Sciences. The degree program is offered through the university's Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences. The program is unique in its focus on research in radiation sciences as they relate to health. It has two major areas of study: Health Physics and Radiation Cancer Biology and Oncology. Additional areas of emphasis include cellular and molecular radio-biology, radioecology, and veterinary radiology. Independent study areas include epidemiology, small animal radiology, nuclear medicine, and ultrasounds. The program culminates in a doctoral dissertation.

Established in 1870, CSU is the land-grant university of Colorado and the flagship institution of the Colorado State University System. Located in Fort Collins, the campus sits at the base of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The public research university operates research facilities including the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, the Energy Institute, and the Information Science & Technology Center. The university has historically been at the forefront of the fields of environmental and animal ethics, radiation treatment for cancer, and weather forecasting. U.S. News & World Report ranks CSU at No. 140 in National Universities and No. 70 in Top Public Schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,917 in-state; $24,312 out-of-state

#2 – Rush University

Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences

Chicago, IL


Rush University offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences. The degree program is offered entirely online and can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. The interdisciplinary program is designed to prepare working professionals for leadership roles in allied health sciences research. It builds skills in teaching, health practice, and research methods. The curriculum consists of core courses in these areas, as well as professional development and a dissertation proposal, research, and defense. Core courses include The Adult Learner, Grantsmanship, and Ethical Conduct in Research Settings.

Founded in 1972, Rush University is the academic arm of Rush University Medical Center, which was founded in 1837. The private university is located on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois. Its College of Health Sciences originated in the School of Medical Technology, which was sponsored by the Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital. The college as it exists now features numerous departments, including those of communication disorders; clinical nutrition; and religion, health, and human values. The separate Graduate College includes divisions of Clinical Research, Neuroscience, and Pharmacology. U.S. News & World Report ranks Rush at No. 70 in Best Medical Schools: Research.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $34,654

#1 – University of Michigan

Ph.D. in Health Infrastructures & Learning Systems

Ann Arbor, MI


GSH's top-ranked doctoral Health Sciences program is the University of Michigan's Ph.D. in Health Infrastructures & Learning Systems. The degree program is offered by the university's Medical School Department of Learning Health Sciences. It focuses on the promotion of learning health systems, which are organizations that use data and analytics to transform health practice. The program integrates information sciences and social sciences to create innovative solutions to health care problems. Courses cover areas such as data science, ethics, health infrastructures, knowledge management, research methods, and statistics. Students must also apply their knowledge to an implementation project during the first summer of the program. The curriculum culminates in a doctoral dissertation.

U of M is the oldest university in Michigan and the state's flagship institution. It is now a public research university on a historic campus in Ann Arbor. A sea- and space-grant institution, U of M is a founding member of the Association of American Universities. It is considered one of the nation's most prominent research universities, making significant strides in the areas of technology transfer, the gastroscope, computer architecture, and social research. U.S. News & World Report ranks U of M at No. 27 in National Universities, No. 12 in Most Innovative Schools, and No. 4 in Top Public Schools. The university also ranks at No. 16 in Best Medical Schools: Research for its graduate programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,368 in-state; $45,156 out-of-state