FAQs – General Program

Who are the students enrolled in the PSL program?

The PSL program offers those who are passionate about improving healthcare an opportunity to meet, work with and learn from a multidisciplinary network of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and administrators. View the About PSL Students page for additional information.

Who teaches the courses?

You will learn from professors and approved adjunct instructors in the UIC College of Medicine. Visit the Faculty page to learn more about these individuals.

What is the difference between the PSL program and certifications offered by various organizations?

Professional certification preparation courses offered by a credentialing body are intended to help you prepare to take a professional certification exam. You might think of them as just-in-time training courses. Certification exams evolve over time and they are measuring your current knowledge about the exam topic.

The courses that comprise our academic degree and certificate programs have a different purpose. While the course work leading to our master’s degree or graduate certificate will help prepare you to sit for the various certification exams, they are intended to build your lifelong learning skills and the crucial critical thinking that are necessary to evolve into and remain a leader in the patient safety field.

Passing the professional organizations’ credentialing exams permits your use of their credential acronyms following your name. Upon completion of the Master of Science degree in Patient Safety Leadership, you can add the Master of Science acronym (MS) after your name. 

Are there any required campus visits?

Students in the MS in Patient Safety Leadership online program are required to come to the UIC campus for a one-week on-site residency in Chicago, Illinois. The on-site residency provides you with the opportunity to apply the tools and principles introduced in the online courses and to participate in active learning with classmates in a face-to-face format. Students in the Graduate Certificate in Patient Safety, Error Science and Full Disclosure online program are not required to come to campus at any time.

I’m not sure I’m interested in earning a master’s degree or a graduate certificate at this time, but I would like an introduction on Patient Safety Leadership in order to learn more. Is this possible?

Sure! Individuals who wish to take PSL 401: Patient Safety and Quality Care Improvement, will receive an introduction to relevant theory, content, tools, and methods in the field of patient safety. This is a great way to get an overview of the field. In order to do this, individuals can apply to UIC as an extramural online student up until the start of the fall, spring, or summer semester. Once an individual is admitted as an extramural online student, the student may register for PSL 401. Admission under this status neither implies nor guarantees admission to the Master of Science in Patient Safety Leadership or the Graduate Certificate in Patient Safety, Error Science and Full Disclosure. Extramural students must still formally apply and be accepted into the Master of Science in Patient Safety Leadership online program or the Graduate Certificate in Patient Safety, Error Science and Full Disclosure online program.

For more information, please submit an e-mail to the PSL Online Admissions Team and include your interest in taking PSL 401 as an extramural online student.

How often should I log in to my courses?

You are not required to log in at any specific times or days of the week. You can complete your work any time as long as you meet the assignment deadlines established by your instructor(s).

How much time will I spend on PSL courses each week?

You can plan on spending approximately 18 – 22 hours each week on your PSL studies.

How long does it take to complete the MS in Patient Safety Leadership online program?

PSL students typically take one course per eight-week term. The MS in Patient Safety Leadership degree can be earned online in 20 – 22 months if courses are taken in back-to-back terms.

How long does it take to complete the Graduate Certificate in Patient Safety, Error Science and Full Disclosure online program?

Students typically take one course per eight-week term. The certificate can be earned online in 6 – 8 months if courses are taken in back-to-back terms.

How many credit hours do I need to complete in order to earn the UIC Master of Science in Patient Safety Leadership?

Students must complete nine (9) courses for a total of 36 credit hours to earn the degree. Each course is four (4) credit hours.

How many credit hours do I need to complete in order to earn the UIC Graduate Certificate in Patient Safety, Error Science and Full Disclosure?

Students must complete three (3) courses for a total of 12 credit hours to earn the graduate certificate. Each course is four (4) credit hours.

Do I need textbooks for these courses?

Yes. Textbooks are available online through the UIC Bookstore and other vendors. Textbooks and materials for each term are available in the Student Resource Center several weeks prior to each start.

What kind of computer will I need for these courses?

UIC online courses will work with any modern personal computer using an up-to-date Mac or Windows operating system and Internet connection (Ethernet or Wi-Fi). Enrolled students will also have access to online and telephone technical support.

Will the online courses work on my smartphone or tablet?

Yes. You will be able to access the courses using a variety of mobile devices using the Blackboard Mobile™ Learn application. However, you will still need a computer for a variety of Flash-enabled exercises.

Is this a “real” UIC degree? What will my diploma say?

Yes. The academic requirements for this degree are fully comparable to an on-campus program, and the degree conferred is a Master of Science in Patient Safety Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago, which will be stated on the diploma. The degree does not designate whether your studies were completed on-campus or online.