The benefits of learning through doing: simulation-based education (SBE)

Over the last two decades, the power of healthcare simulation has been supported in the literature, demonstrating deeper and transformational learning through experience and reflective discussions. This program will allow you to work alongside experts in the field, conducting innovative simulation research that may focus on education methodologies, learner factors, educator factors, psychological safety in learning, and simulation as a research tool.


This program enables the personal and professional development of learners to ensure readiness for current and future leadership roles in HPE.

Application Paths

Applicants may apply for the PhD through one of two paths:

  1. Post MS-HPEd PhD: 33 credits
  2. Combined MS-HPEd and PhD: 66 credits*

Curriculum Plan (66 credits)

  • All required courses in the MS-HPEd degree: 33 credits (PhD students who have already completed this or a comparable master's degree can waive this portion of the requirements)
  • Core required doctoral courses in educational sciences, research methods, and implementation science: 18 credits
  • Onsite seminars: 2 credits
  • Two courses in simulation-based education: 6 credits
  • Assisted matching with a simulation expert in the field and an expert within the Harvard system, a dissertation seminar, and mentored research spread over several semesters (with built-in gaps to enable IRB reviews and data collection): 7 credits

* Comparable prior coursework (up to 12 credits) may be eligible to apply toward MS-HPEd degree requirements.

Simulation PhD Team

Janice C. Palaganas, PhD, RN, NP, ANEF, FNAP, FAAN, FSSH

Founding Director, Center of Excellence in Healthcare Simulation Research Principal Investigator, REBEL Lab Professor, Health Professions Education