Standards for New Clinical Doctoral Degrees in the Health Sciences




1.                  A clear rationale for the establishment of the program should be given. This should address the benefits to the students, to the school, to the discipline, and to society at large and how these changes differentiate the proposed program from existing programs.


2.                  The curriculum must meet, and preferably exceed, the requirements of the discipline’s accrediting body.


3.                  The degree program must satisfy the licensing requirements.


A scholarly project is required of each student and will include, but is not limited to, the synthesis of research into evidence-based practice and practice innovations, peer reviewed publications and presentations, and in depth case reports.




All members of the full-time, part-time and adjunct faculty holding professorial rank must meet the standards for appointment in that rank in Columbia University. The Faculty should have the expertise necessary for carrying out the educational objectives of the program


Educational Program




The faculty must define the objectives of its clinical program. These objectives should reflect the competencies of the profession and the public expectations of the profession and should include all requirements outlined by the accrediting body.




a.   The curriculum should follow a logical progression from the scientific bases for the discipline through didactic clinical instruction and mentored, supervised and monitored experience as appropriate to the discipline. The postbaccalaureate curriculum should carry not less than 75 graduate credits (or their equivalents), of which not less than 25 credits are in supervised or precepted clinical experiences.


      Advanced standing credits may be awarded as determined by the faculty. However a reasonable rationale must be presented for the number of such credits, to be reviewed at the time of the submission of the proposal. In general no more than 15 advanced standing credits should be considered.


*1 credit of didactic equals 15 hours of classroom instruction

**1 credit of clinical equals 90 hours of supervised or precepted clinical instruction


b.   Biomedical, behavioral and clinical science instruction must be integrated and sufficient depth, scope, timeliness, quality and emphasis to ensure the achievement of the curriculum’s defined competencies.


c.   Biomedical science knowledge must be of sufficient depth and scope for graduates to apply advances in modern biology to clinical practice and to integrate new medical knowledge and therapies into patient care.


d.   Graduates must be competent in the application of the fundamental principles of behavioral sciences as they pertain to patient-centered approaches for disease prevention and for promoting, improving and maintaining health.


e.   Graduates must be competent in managing a diverse patient population and have the interpersonal skills to function successfully in a multicultural work environment.


f.    Graduates must be competent in applying ethical, legal and regulatory concepts to the provision and/or support of health care services.


g.   Graduates must be competent in the use of information technology resources in contemporary practice.


Curriculum Management


The program must have a curriculum management plan that ensures:


An ongoing curriculum review and evaluation process, which includes input from faculty, students, administration and other appropriate sources.


Evaluation of all courses with respect to defined competencies of the program. This should include formal student evaluation of instruction.


The timely updating of the curriculum




The full-time faculty must establish specific goals for each clinical experience and methods of evaluation for each student. Student must be assessed for competency at regular intervals. Competency should be viewed as comprising skills, knowledge and attitudes


The clinical and teaching skills of the clinical faculty must meet specific criteria to be established by the program director and faculty. A method of evaluating the faculty performance and effectiveness of each clinical site should also be established.


An evaluation method must be established to assess the success of the program in achieving its stated goals and objectives.


Appendix Materials


1.   Economic Analysis – Each new program should provide a 5-year business plan documenting costs of the program, number of students to be enrolled, present and future space requirements, projected tuition revenues and the sources of financial aid or scholarships for the students. Projected enrollments should be justified and the pool of applicants identified.


2.   Student Support Services – Plans for support and counseling of students during the program and for careers after graduation should be described.