Doctoral programs at the intersection of education and health

Are you interested in pursuing research on health and education? Do you want to influence healthcare and the next generation of healthcare providers?
If you want to engage in research at the intersection of healthcare and education and/or the preparation of healthcare practitioners, the fields of education and human development can indeed offer you valuable perspectives and skills. By gaining this interdisciplinary expertise within a doctoral program, you will also gain credentials that can make you more competitive for academic positions.

Our flexible doctoral programs will allow you to capitalize on a set of interdisciplinary courses in health professions education, as well as work with faculty in the Warner School of Education and the UR Medical Center engaging in projects involving healthcare and education. We invite you to explore which doctoral program may best meet your goals and how it can be customized to pursue your specific interest.
We can customize your doctoral program to meet your career goals and interests.

Program Quickview

The PhD and EdD programs featured below can be easily customized to meet your specific career goals and interests at the intersection of health and education.

If you are interested in non-doctoral level programs that will allow you to focus on these two fields, check our related programs.
  • Prior preparation and experience as an educator and/or healthcare provider.
  • Prior master's degree is highly desirable; most students will have already completed a master's program.
Key Program Features:
  • Minimum credits: 90 graduate credits; some of which can be transferred from previous programs (up to 30 credits for PhDs; up to 36 credits for EdDs).
  • Customizable: Tailor your doctoral program by choosing electives in your specific areas of interest, strategically selecting the topic of papers and projects, and most importantly by defining your dissertation topic.
  • Choice of research methods: Benefit from a vast array of research methods courses, and choose from a variety of research methods for your dissertation.
  • Exciting research opportunities: You will have opportunities to work with the Warner School and UR Medical Center faculty who are engaged in exciting research and reform projects.
  • Health-focused dissertation: University faculty working at the intersection of health and education can sponsor your dissertation.
  • Flexible: Programs can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, starting in any semester; minimum one year full-time residency requirement for PhD students only.

Doctoral programs focusing on health and education

Depending on the topics you are most interested in, you can select the doctoral program that best fits your interests and career goals from the following options:
alumna on Wilson quad
Opportunities for additional specializations (with minimum additional credits required)
  • Advanced Certificate in Program Evaluation (+3 credits): To strengthen your research skills in planning and conducting evaluations of existing programs.
  • Advanced Certificate in Online Teaching (+3 credits): To be more competitive for positions that may involve teaching online.
Choosing Between a PhD and an EdD Program … What’s the Difference?
Warner School of Education PhD programs are primarily designed to prepare researchers and higher education faculty. Our EdD programs are more appropriate for experienced professionals interested in using research to solve problems of practice, enabling them to pursue leadership positions in educational institutions or to assist them in designing and implementing programs to improve practice in their field.

While the required coursework may be similar, these two degree programs have different expectations concerning dissertation study, expertise in research methods, and residency requirements.  Here’s what you can expect:
  • PhD students are expected to focus on only a few specific areas early on so as to become experts in those areas. EdD students, on the other hand, are expected to develop a broad understanding of their own as well as related fields.
  • While both PhD and EdD students take the same foundational research methods courses, PhD students are required to take additional, advanced research methods courses to develop expertise in using a rich array of traditional research methods.
  • PhD dissertations require independent research that will contribute new knowledge to their field, while EdD dissertations may involve a wider array of choices, including case studies of specific innovations; action research studies to improve specific programs or practices; research- and data-based analysis to inform important decisions; or rigorous evaluations of existing programs.
  • In addition to their dissertation, PhD students are required to engage in research apprenticeships with faculty.
  • EdD students can complete their program part time, while PhD students are required to complete at least one year of residency (i.e., be full time for two consecutive semesters, taking at least 12 credits of coursework each semester, or 9 credits if awarded an assistantship) and are encouraged to complete as much of their program as possible full time.
Contact admissions if you wish to speak with a faculty member to better understand which option will best meet your career goals.

Our Approach

Preparing you to be an innovative educational leader and researcher

At the University of Rochester, we build on the complementary expertise of our Schools of Education, Nursing, and Medicine and Dentistry — and the diverse experiences of our students — to deliver truly interdisciplinary and inter-professional learning experiences for our doctoral students focusing on health and education.  We leverage the resources and research opportunities provided by one of the premiere medical centers in the country, along with the Warner School's faculty knowledge of theories and best practices about teaching, learning, development, leadership, and educational innovation.

Our programs emphasize research-based knowledge on how people develop and learn, and how change can take place through effective education in both individuals and organizations. By developing a keen understanding of the science of learning, the value of experiential and workplace learning, how to effectively utilize technology-rich instruction to engage students in the learning process, and how to lead change, our students are well trained to lead in the ever-changing healthcare environment, and able to make a significant impact on the future of healthcare and the preparation of healthcare providers and inter-professional teams of the future.
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Learn More About Warner's Approach to Doctoral Programs
All doctoral programs offered at the Warner School are characterized by the following common principles and goals:
  • Integration of Research, Theory, and Practice: We believe that doctoral candidates should recognize the false dichotomy between theory and practice, as well as the complementary values of basic and applied research.  Our graduates will not only gain an excellent understanding of key theories in their field, but will also be able to identify and critically examine the theoretical framework informing research reported in the literature, as well as their own. EdD candidates also form a solid research and theory base that grounds their leadership in their field of practice.   
  • Interdisciplinarity and Collaboration: We encourage doctoral candidates to recognize the need and value of collaborating across fields and constituencies to address complex problems in education.
  • Commitment to Social Justice: We strengthen our doctoral candidates' commitment to equity and social justice and for conducting research that is inclusive of all individuals, communities, and cultures.
  • In-Depth Knowledge of Area of Specialization: Our doctoral candidates develop a broad and solid knowledge of relevant research in their area of specialization, while understanding how that field is connected to others.
  • Research Practices: Our doctoral candidates articulate and pursue worthwhile research questions, and are familiar with and able to use a variety of research methodologies relevant to their field of specialization.   
  • Academic Writing Practices: We prepare our doctoral candidates to effectively communicate research results in scholarly publications, consistent with academic writing expectations.

The Warner Advantage

Preparing graduates to thrive in education and healthcare fields

The Warner School is helping to create educational leaders and researchers who can advance the quality of healthcare.
  • Become an innovator and a thought leader by learning from faculty involved in cutting-edge projects at the intersection of health and education.
  • Develop strong research skills by taking advantage of a variety of research methods courses and opportunities for research apprenticeships. 
  • Broaden your skillset and increase your competitiveness in the job market by adding an advanced certificate for only a few additional credits.
  • Network with the best and the brightest educators and future leaders.
  • Small, personalized program allows both flexibility to pursue your interests and opportunities to create strong relationships with faculty.
  • Give your degree even more recognition by leveraging the reputation of a leading research university and medical center.
While rigorous, we can provide a customized, flexible, and affordable program.
  • Go at your own pace by choosing between full-time or part-time options. 
  • Use your electives and choices for core courses to specialize in your area of interest and/or add advanced certificates.
  • Take advantage of online courses to reduce trips to campus.
  • Reduce tuition costs by taking advantage of a wide range of competitive full and partial assistantship opportunities.
  • Are you a University of Rochester employee? Make sure you make full use of your tuition benefits.

All about experience

Your experience here will be informed by the many research projects and community initiatives we are engaged in. In addition, you'll benefit from the experience of faculty that include nationally recognized researchers, award-winning authors and accomplished practitioners.

Center for Learning in the Digital Age

Center for Learning in the Digital Age

Benefit from faculty who are involved in transformative uses of digital technology to enhance teaching and learning. The Warner Center for Learning in the Digital Age collaborates with various educational partners to leverage the potential of digital technologies for education and offers special training opportunities for students.

Center for Experiential Learning

Center for Experiential Learning

Take advantage of resources and special training opportunities available through the Center for Experiential Learning at the University of Rochester Medical Center. 

PCORI Community Engagement Award

PCORI Community Engagement Award

Warner School faculty Silvia Sorensen and Joyce Duckles are partnering with the School of Nursing to train older adults to be part of research teams on geriatric health. The project, funded by a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute grant, aims at increasing older adults’ engagement in their health care and foster their communication with health professionals.

Career Opportunities

Advancing healthcare and your career to the next level

Our doctoral graduates are well prepared to assume research, teaching, and administrative roles at medical, dental, and nursing schools, as well as schools of education – in the United States and abroad.

Depending on the chosen area of specialization, graduates would also be qualified to be part of health-related interdisciplinary research teams, and/or take on supplemental or second careers in professional development, instructional design, or Telehealth.
health career classroom with teacher in front


Accessible, supportive faculty, researchers and accomplished practitioners

Core Program Faculty

Raffaella Borasi, PhD
(teacher education; learning in the digital age; entrepreneurship in education)

Michael Daley, PhD
(science education; learning in the digital age)

Samantha Daley, EdD
(disabilities; inclusion; special education)

Joyce Duckles, PhD
(human development; gerontology; early childhood)

Eric Fredericksen, EdD
(online education; higher education)

David Hursh, PhD
(foundations of education; policy)

David Miller, EdD
(learning in the digital age; entrepreneurship in education)

Martha Mock, PhD
(disabilities; inclusion; special education; early childhood education)

Silvia Sörensen, PhD
(human development; gerontology)

Learn More About All Warner School Faculty


Making your graduate education affordable

Many of our full-time doctoral students benefit from full or partial assistantships to support their studies while gaining valuable career experience at the same time. Full assistantships require 15 to 20 hours per week of service during the fall and spring semesters, and provide a full-tuition waiver as well as a stipend.  Partial assistantships require five to 10 hours per week of service, and offer tuition reduction and stipends commensurate with hours of service. Contact admissions for more information.

Are You a UR Employee? Inquire about your tuition benefits. If eligible, up to 95% of your tuition costs can be covered depending on your position. Contact the UR benefits office at

Vasquez in class at table with studnets


Meliora means 'Ever Better.' To our graduates, it means making a world of difference.

  • Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children

    “When it came time to interview for jobs, it was very easy for me to talk about anything in the field, and that set me apart,” he says. “You name it, and I had at least one experience in it—largely due to Warner.”

    Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children's Zone, New York, NY

  • Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

    "The most important thing I received there was the opportunity to be immersed in the study of education and leadership with very talented people, that think-tank mentality of being surrounded by the best of the best. The intellectual stimulation from both the staff and fellow classmates really did allow me to think about things differently."

    Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

  • Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

    “As educators, it’s our job to make sure we’re giving students the knowledge to be successful when they move on in their life….Warner was the best grad school experience I’ve ever had because it prepared me extremely well to jump into my career, and I will forever be grateful for that.”

    Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

  • Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

    “It was more than I expected. Not only what I learned in the program, which I’ve been able to put into practice every day since, but also the connections I was able to make and the relationships I was able to form."

    Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

  • Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

    “I had a very unique situation. I wasn’t going down the typical path of a Warner student, and the school was just so flexible and supportive.”

    Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

  • Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

    "The growth I’ve realized in myself is something I will be forever grateful for. I’ve learned to question, analyze, think and create in ways I never considered. I’ve changed as an educator and as a person."

    Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

Contact Admissions

The admissions team looks forward to assisting you as you explore graduate education at the Warner School. Please use the form below to receive information about our academic programs and admissions related information. You can also email us at or call (585) 275-3950.

Application Deadlines

PhD applications are accepted once a year, and can be applied to from October 17 until December 15.

The next application deadline for the EdD program is March 01, 2023.

View all application deadlines

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