The Health Professions Education Masters can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. To be eligible for admission into the HPE program, an individual must be an employee of the federal government (either civilian or uniformed).

The MHPE curriculum provides a broad scholarly and practical experience in the theory and practice of health professions education (HPE) by providing learners with the opportunity to participate in a series of formal courses, conduct original research, and obtain practical experiences to further enhance their leadership and educator skills. Our approach provides students with the chance for in-depth study with guidance and mentoring by world-class HPE faculty. The MHPE curriculum is rigorous, with a focus on both the theory and practice of HPE. It includes advanced education in teaching, leadership, and scholarship, with an emphasis on practical application.

The MHPE is primarily designed for individuals planning careers in HPE (medicine, nursing, dentistry, and other allied health professions) within the uniformed services, although the content is relevant to all individuals engaged in the education of health professionals. The MHPE is targeted for clinical and basic science teachers and directors of courses, clerkships, residencies, and fellowships, as well as vice chairs, chairs, and other administrative leaders in HPE (e.g., assistant or associate deans). Matriculates may include, but are not limited to, physicians and other academically qualified health professionals, such as dentists, nurses, pharmacists, veterinarians, physical therapists, optometrists, or those that are committed to working with health professionals as a career (e.g. executive administrators) and who wish to apply the core disciplines of education, cutting-edge research, and leadership to their career field. Uniformed personnel with education or experience in a health-related discipline are given priority for admission.

The goal of the MHPE is to provide each learner with the necessary academic background to serve as an academician and leader in the uniformed services. Graduates are expected to use their acquired skills in educational theory, scholarship, and leadership to positively impact DoD educational programs at the undergraduate (medical, nursing or dentistry school), graduate (residency training), and continuing HPE levels. MHPE graduates will have the ability to apply educational theory for research, teaching, and leadership related to HPE. In addition, graduates will have the skills to plan, analyze, manage, and improve professional education programs for the DoD.


The MHPE is sequenced to be completed within 24 months of full-time study or 36 months of part-time study. The expectation is that the part-time MHPE degree will be completed within three academic years. The minimum credit load per quarter required for a full-time student is 12, the maximum allowed is 22, and the normal range is 12 to 16 credits. There are two shortened terms (prefall and summer) that require full-time students to be enrolled in a total of 12 credits (e.g., 4 credits in the summer and 8 in the prefall).*

The MHPE degree program consists of a number of components including required and elective courses, seminar courses, a thesis that results in peer-reviewed publications, and a practicum experience. The required courses include educational theory, qualitative and quantitative research methods, leadership, and assessment and instructional methods.**

*Note: USU graduate courses are based on quarter credit hours. One (1) traditional semester credit hour is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credit hours

**Students must maintain a 3.0 (B) average or better throughout graduate training to remain in good academic standing


MED 500 Leadership Roles in HPE - 3 credits

MED 502 Philosophies of Science - 2 credits

MED 504 Principles of Instruction in Clinical Education - 2 credits

MED 505 Quantitative Research Methods in HPE - 2 credits

MED 506 Principles of Online Instruction - 3 credits

MED 507 Qualitative Research Methods in HPE - 3 credits

MED 550 Learning Theories - 3 credits

MED 555 Teaching Methods - 3 credits

MED 560 Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation - 3 credits

MED 565 Curriculum Development - 3 credits

MED 605 Leadership Seminar - 2 credits

MED 605 Mixed Methods Seminar - 2 credits


MED 503 Practice of Assessment of Competence - 2 credits

MED 605 Rhetoric and Academic Writing - 2 credits

MED 605 Survey Design Seminar - 2 credits

MED 605 Grant Writing Seminar - 2 credits

MED 605 Teaching with Technology Seminar - 2 credits

MED 605 Meet the Experts Seminar - 2 credits

MED 800 Fundamentals of Systems Thinking - 2 credits

MED 801 Advanced Health Theories - 3 credits

MED 802 Advanced Qualitative Research Methods in HPE - 3 credits

MED 803 Advanced Quantitative Research Method in HPE - 3 credits

MED 804 Advanced Instructional Methods and Curriculum Dev - 3 credits

MED 805 Advanced Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation - 3 credits

MED 806 Advanced Leadership Roles in HPE - 3 credits


MED 400 Master’s Practicum in HPE (10 credits)


The MHPE program also requires students to prepare a portfolio that demonstrates evidence of their learning pertaining to each HPE competency.


MED 905 Master’s Thesis in HPE (10 credits)

The satisfactory completion of an original written thesis is an academic requirement for the MHPE degree. The thesis represents a “culminating experience” and should demonstrate a student’s ability to synthesize, integrate, and apply the knowledge and skills acquired through coursework in the core competency areas of HPE. In particular, students will do the following as pertains to their thesis topic:

  1. Identify an HPE problem or issue;
  2. Formulate a focused research question and conduct a comprehensive review of the scientific literature;
  3. Develop a research protocol using appropriate study design;
  4. Obtain the necessary institutional assurances and approvals;
  5. Collect data;
  6. Select and apply appropriate analytic techniques;
  7. Discuss study findings, including how such findings fit with the extant literature, practical implications to include how the work impacts the military, next steps for investigation, study limitations;
  8. Interpret, communicate, and disseminate study findings in peer-reviewed outlets.

The master’s thesis must result after the completion of a signed thesis proposal form and generate an accepted peer-reviewed publication. The thesis must include an introduction and conclusion that ties the research together, emphasizing its significance; there must also be a section in the discussion on military relevance. Additional support for developing the introduction and discussion can be found on the ‘Research Essentials’ site on Sakai or by consulting your research advisors. The site is accessible after admission to the program and is meant to help learners connect concepts introduced in courses to research, and to guide the dissemination process.


  • An earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited academic institution.
  • Applicants must be Active Duty Military Personnel or a Civilian Federal Employee (*Exceptions to this rule can occasionally be established through an official MOU between USU and an organization that wishes to enroll students in the HPE program.)
  • Complete college transcripts and transcripts of all previous graduate studies (if applicable).
  • A complete employment history.
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty members under whom the applicant has studied.
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, taken no more than two years before the time of application (though you may request a waiver; in some circumstances the HPE Admissions Committee can waive such a requirement).

Apply for admission using the USU application portal. Specifically:

  • Complete the HPE Personal Statement following the instructions below.
  • Visit the USU Registrar at, which will bring you to the homepage of Empower, our Registrar's system. Click on "Applications" at the top (not "USU-SSO Login"). On the next page, select "GEO Application."
  • Begin the formal USU application process, including submitting required official transcripts (college-onward), three letters of recommendation (for part-time applicants, one letter must be a letter of support from your supervisor), and a GRE score from within the last two years (though you may request a waiver; in some circumstances the HPE Admissions Committee can waive such a requirement).

Personal Statement Instructions:

For all applicants:

  • Why are you applying to the HPE program?
  • How has your background prepared you to succeed in the HPE program?
  • How will you use the knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired in USU’s HPE program to help you accomplish your career goals?
  • Please tell us anything else you would like us to know that might be pertinent to our evaluation of your application for admission to the HPE program.

For MHPE and PhD students only:

  • Outline your research interest(s) (please be brief; no more than 500 words).
  • Why are you interested in pursuing this line of research (please be brief; no more than 250 words)?

Instructions for submission:

  • Please name your personal statement using the following file naming structure:
  • Last Name_First Initial_Personal Statement
  • Please email your personal statement as a PDF file, using the guidance provided in the application for emailing.
  • In the text box below type: “please see attached personal statement.”


Apply by December 1st to begin courses in the Summer Term (mid-May).



Tuition: $0

Fees: $0

Books: $0

Equipment: $0

Tuition and fees are waived for students. Civilian students do not incur service obligation to the United States government after the completion of their graduate studies.

All officers are strongly encouraged to seek official clarification from their respective personnel offices.