GW Launches New Ph.D. Program in Translational Health Sciences

New Ph.D. Program in Translational Health Sciences
October 1, 2015

WASHINGTON (Oct. 1, 2015) —The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) is pleased to announce a new Ph.D. program in Translational Health Sciences. The program will prepare health professionals to generate and teach new knowledge about the processes and outcomes of translating, disseminating, and implementing evidence-based practice.

“We are thrilled that we are able to provide this specialized education to address a major need in our health and educational systems. Right now, new discoveries are  made, however, it takes too long to reach the public and affect complex health conditions that require a sustained and widespread response. Our goal is to create a field of experts and educators who understand how to expedite the process and integrate science from the bench to the bedside,” said Joe Bocchino, Ed.D., M.B.A., senior associate dean for health sciences at the SMHS. “By closing this gap and training leaders who have cross-disciplinary knowledge, we will be more effective in delivering comprehensive, high-quality, and timely care.”

GW graduates of the Ph.D. in Translational Health Sciences will be prepared to create, translate, disseminate, and integrate new knowledge across disciplines to improve health care practice, inform future research, teach tomorrow's health professionals, and shape policies. Thus, we anticipate that our graduates will successfully compete for leadership positions (e.g., directors of research or practice) in national organizations, government, and industry. In addition, graduates of the program will be well-suited to conduct health-related research and disseminate innovations in health care as university faculty in medicine, nursing, health professions, and other health-related fields. 

This program is targeted toward primarily licensed health practitioners, educators, health care administrators, and public health professionals who are interested in affecting positive change to the health of society.

The Ph.D. in Translational Health Sciences is designed to prepare change leaders in three areas:

  1. Professional Health Care Education:  Entry-level health professional education programs are facing a severe shortage of faculty to train future providers to effectively address the complex health needs of the public in a shifting health care landscape. Faculty must draw on principles of adult learning and technology-enhanced active learning to produce evidence-based practitioners.
  2. Health Care Practice: The Ph.D. in Translational Health Sciences prepares graduates to synthesize, generate, and apply evidence from clinical trials to everyday practice in a range of health care settings. The program draws on Implementation Science, which is the investigation of processes and strategies influencing the “…movement of evidence-based effective health care and prevention strategies or program from the clinical or public health knowledge base into routine use,” according to the article, “Strategies for promoting organizational and practice change by advancing implementation research,” published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
  3. Translational Research: Generating knowledge in a translational framework requires a crosscutting approach that connects basic biomedical discovery to global population health. The result is a synthesis of knowledge drawn from many disciplines, resulting in broad, practical solutions to health problems.

The Ph.D. in Translational Health Sciences requires 52 credits beyond a master’s degree, successful completion of two comprehensive examinations, a proposal defense, and a defended dissertation. The curriculum is low residency, with facilitated learning activities delivered online and on campus (two weekends per semester) at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Virginia.

For more information about the program, visit


About the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Founded in 1824, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation’s capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation’s capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities.