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Midwifery (D.M.)

Midwifery (D.M.)

Program Director: Barbara Hackley, PhD, CNM Campus Location: 303 Search Hall

The Midwifery Institute offers distance-learning programs, including the Master of Science (M.S.) in Midwifery, and the Post-Master’s Certificate in Midwifery, as well as the Doctorate in Midwifery (D.M.). Some of these require on-campus coursework. The Doctorate of Midwifery requires two-on campus visits. See details and requirements of the other programs in other university documents.


The mission of the Midwifery Institute is to offer quality educational preparation of midwives who will advance the profession of midwifery for the betterment of the health of women, families, and communities.

The staff and faculty of the Midwifery Institute at Philadelphia University believe:

  • Midwifery care is the exemplary health care standard for all women.
  • Midwifery education models midwifery practice.
  • On line learning provides user friendly access to quality midwifery education.
  • It is desirable to educate students who reflect the racial, ethnic and cultural diversity of our country.
  • Learning is individualized through use of a wide variety of teaching/learning methodologies.
  • Master’s preparation for midwifery practice and research application is optimum in the United States for the 21st century’s increasingly complex health care environment.
  • It is important for midwifery students and practicing midwives to pursue advanced education with a discipline specific focus in midwifery to develop the art and science underpinning the profession

Program Goals

The goals of the Doctorate in Midwifery degree are to

1) Develop midwifery leaders in education, advocacy, administration, and best clinical practices

2) Develop midwives who have the vision and skills needed to create transformative action that can improve the health and well-being of women, infants, families, and communities.

Learning Outcomes

After completion of the program, graduates of the Midwifery Institute will be able to:

  • Translate expert clinical knowledge and research relevant in midwifery into best practice models
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate projects to improve women’s health care, with a special focus on addressing maternal and infant health disparities
  • Interpret and apply research related to national and international distribution and determinants of health and disease of women, newborns, families, and communities with a focus on understanding causes of maternal and infant health disparities
  • Evaluate women’s health policy and develop remedies to improve women’s health and ameliorate maternal and infant health disparities
  • Use effective communication and leadership skills to enhance team function and promote positive change in the health care of women, newborns, families, and communities.
  • Analyze theories relevant to the discipline of midwifery and apply these theories to inform and evaluate the health care of women and newborns.
  • Analyze and compare health care delivery and finance models of midwifery care to improve health outcomes for women, newborns, families, and communities.
  • Evaluate and use information systems to improve the quality and safety of health care for women, newborns, families, and communities.
  • Develop expertise and share knowledge in a selected area of midwifery practice or scholarship


The Doctorate in Midwifery is housed in a University accredited to grant doctoral degrees by the Middle States Commission for Higher Education, the regional accrediting body for Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic states. The University is also an approved participant in the State Authorization and Reciprocity Act (SARA). The curriculum for the Doctorate in Midwifery is congruent with ACNM core documents including the Competencies for the Practice Doctorate in Midwifery. As this catalog goes to press, ACME accreditation is only available for entry-level midwifery education programs and therefore not available to the Doctorate in Midwifery at this time.

Program Description

The Doctorate in Midwifery (DM.) is a 35 credit post-professional program designed for experienced midwives who desire to develop leadership skills in implementing best clinical practices, new educational modalities, or advancing legislative or advocacy agendas in midwifery.

Unique Program Requirements

The core element of the Doctorate in Midwifery program is the Advances in Midwifery (AIM) project. The AIM project is conceived, implemented, and evaluated by the candidate for the DM degree over the course of 6 semesters. The AIM project can be focused in any one of a number of areas impacting midwifery practice or the health and well-being of women, families, and communities, including advocacy; advancing midwifery legislative agendas or policies; or promoting best practices in midwifery care, education, or administration. A doctoral committee, convened by the candidate, is responsible for oversight of the AIM project. By the end of the program, the doctoral candidate is expected to complete, analyze, and disseminate the results of the AIM project in peer-reviewed venue such as publications or conferences.

Complementing the AIM project are taught courses that further the leadership and scholarship capacity in the context of midwifery practice.

Technical and Professional Standards

Admission to the Doctor of Midwifery Program
For admission to the program, candidates must meet the following criteria:

Students must submit the following in order to be considered for admission to the program

1) University Graduate Application (apply online).

2) Proof of graduate degree or higher (e.g. MS, MSc, MSN, MPH)

3) Proof of graduation from an accredited midwifery program

4) Official college transcripts (minimum 3.0 GPA in graduate work) from each academic institution

5) National certification/registration in midwifery

6) Recent graduate course or demonstrated competency in statistics. If you have not taken a graduate course in statistics in the past 5 years, we accept Statistics I, II and III for credit from Institute for Statistics Education. Together these are equivalent to a one semester statistics course. Please use the discount code: PhilaU-midwifery. If you have not been using statistics in your practice, we strongly recommend that you take Statistics I, II and III for credit as part of your application process.

7) Two professional letters of reference addressing your aptitude for scholarly work and leadership roles

8) Statement of purpose (approximately 700-800 words

9) Academic Writing Sample, or published peer reviewed article, or GRE with writing score of 3.5

International Students:

1) NACES accredited US course-by-course equivalency and credential evaluation. We typically work with World Education Services

2) Graduation from a midwifery program accredited by nationally recognized accrediting body.

3) Possession of a master’s degree or higher degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in graduate work

4) National certification by the American Midwifery Certification Broad or the North American Registry of Midwives or by the midwifery registry duly recognized in the student’s country.

5) Submission of official transcripts from all post secondary coursework taken for credit.

6) NACES accredited US equivalency full course-by-course evaluation is required if education was outside of the U.S. We work primarily with World Education Services (WES).

7) TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for all applicants who do not hold at least a Bachelor's degree from a US institution of higher education. Iflanguage of education was not English, the following minimum scores are required:

    • 100 onthe internet‐based TOEFL
    • 600 onthe paper‐based TOEFL
    • 250 onthe computer‐based TOEFL
    • The minimum acceptable score is 7

8) Two letters of reference from professionals attesting to applicant’s character, academic, and leadership abilities.

9) Comprehension of biostatistics as demonstrated by successful completion of a selfstudy module and standardized examination available at this link.  Utilize code:  PhilaUmidwifery.  If accepted, certificate of completion is required by the end of the first term of study

10) Demonstration of writing proficiency via:

  • GREwriting score of ≥ 5 or
  • Response to standardized writing prompt that
    • Follows instructions
    • Demonstrates adequate organization
    • Demonstrates adequate control ofgrammar and word usage for clarity
    • Competent analysis ofideas

11) Clear goals for the skills to be developed in the program as evidenced by admissions essay and interview.

Student Clinical Credentialing

Doctoral students will be required to meet any agency credentialing requirements related to their AIM project.  The student is financially responsible for fees related to meeting agency credentialing requirements, for example background checks, drug screens, or clinical or human subject protections (Institutional Review Board) certifications.

Doctorate of Midwifery Program Progression

Candidates for the Doctorate of Midwifery degree must meet all program requirements, be in good academic standing, and current on all fees and tuition to be eligible for graduation. Students are expected to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the time of graduation. Students are also expected to meet progression milestones outlined below and to have their Advances in Midwifery (AIM) project approved in advance by the student’s Doctoral Committee. The final AIM project must be completed, analyzed, and ready for submission for publication to a peer-reviewed journal as a prerequisite for graduation. The student will also ensure that the Doctoral Committee has approved the final AIM product. Once these requirements are met, the student will be eligible to be awarded the Doctorate in Midwifery degree.

Course of Study: Doctor of Midwifery

The doctoral program begins in the Fall term only.  The doctoral program requires two brief on-campus residencies:  Orientation (3 full days) and Midwifery THINKS! Symposium (2 full days).  The subject prefix code for registration for all doctoral courses is DMW.

Term 1  

DMW-XXX Orientation Residency (0.5 credits)

DMW-XXX Current Issues in Midwifery & Women’s Health (2 credits)

DMW-XXX Epidemiology for Midwifery & Women’s Health (3 credits)

DMW-XXX Advances in Midwifery (AIM) Wkshp 1 (1 credit)                                                                                    

TERM 1 CREDIT TOTAL: 6.5 credits


Term 2                                                                                                                                 X              

DMW-XXX Professional Communication (3 credits)

DMW-XXX AIM Workshop 2 (1 credit)

DMW-XXX Leadership in Midwifery (2 credits)




DMW-XXX Grant Writing (3 credits)

DMW-XXX AIM Operations Workshop 3 (3 credits)




DMW-XXX AIM Implementation Workshop 4 (3 credits)

DMW-XXX Organizational Change (3 credits)




DMW-XXX AIM Analysis Workshop 5 (3 credits)

DMW-XXX Health Policy (3 credits)




DMW-XXX Midwifery Case Studies (2 credits)

DMW-XXX Data Driven Midwifery (2 credits)

DME-XXX AIM Workshop Dissemination (0.5 credit)*

*Includes Midwifery THINKS! Symposium



Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements for the DM include: 

  • Completion ofall required coursework.
  • A minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Successful completion of the AIM project as determined by the doctoral committee, including submission of a literature review article and a final project report to a peer-reviewed revenue and presentation of AIM project at the final on-campus symposium.