Online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration Programs of 2021

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Published on March 10, 2021

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As the healthcare industry advances technologically and grows alongside the needs of an aging U.S. population, the demand for qualified healthcare professionals grows as well. Healthcare administrators serve a critical purpose in today's medical field by supporting physicians and providers, managing services and staffing, and enforcing policies.

Earning a doctorate in healthcare administration provides the skills and credentials you need to progress your career. This page offers an overview of doctorate in healthcare administration online programs, including a list of schools offering this program and common courses and concentrations.

Students who earn a doctorate in healthcare administration online can pursue careers in medical and health service management and administrative services management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs for medical and health service managers to grow by 18% from 2018-2028 — much faster than the average for all professions. Pursuing a doctorate in healthcare administration can provide a pathway to career advancement in this rapidly growing industry.

What are the best Online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration Programs of 2020? Here are our top 5:

#1 A T Still University of Health Sciences Kirksville, MO
#2 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
#3 Franklin University Columbus, OH
#4 Northcentral University San Diego, CA
#5 University of Mississippi University, MS

Related Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

2021 Accredited Online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration Programs

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A T Still University of Health Sciences View School Profile Kirksville, MO

Located in Kirksville, Missouri, and founded as the first osteopathic institution in the world, ATSU offers an online doctor of health administration. The program consists of 62 credits, including a 20-credit dissertation portion. Students may choose between presenting an applied or theoretical dissertation. The program provides training and instruction in areas such as healthcare law, health policy, and management science.

Candidates must possess a master's degree from an accredited university. Potential career paths for doctoral graduates include chief executive officer, director of patient safety, or program manager for a state or local government agency.

ATSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Doctor of Health Administration
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,000 per credit
Credit Requirements: 62 credits
Program Length: 3 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Central Michigan University View School Profile Mount Pleasant, MI

Based in Mount Pleasant, CMU offers a doctor of health administration almost completely online. The didactic portion includes 15 online courses, six face-to-face seminars, and a comprehensive essay exam. The intensive, regionally located seminars take place over the course of 2.5 days and feature guest experts beyond the regular CMU faculty.

Courses include health economics, applied leadership, and qualitative analysis in healthcare. The program concludes with a 12-credit dissertation on a specific area of healthcare administration.

The program begins every fall, with an application deadline in April. Applicants must hold a master's degree in a related field of study or a professional medical degree. Applicants must also show a resume with at least three years of experience at the mid to senior level in a healthcare setting. CMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Doctor of Health Administration
School Status: Public
Tuition: $850 per credit
Credit Requirements: 63 credits
Program Length: 3-5 years
Format: Online, with six in-person seminars
Instruction Style: Mostly asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Franklin University View School Profile Columbus, OH

Located in Columbus, Ohio, Franklin offers an online doctor of healthcare administration. The program provides students with an extensive submersion in healthcare economics, policy, and governance.

The 58-credit program features courses such as advanced financial accounting, advanced healthcare analytics, and applied statistics. Optional focus areas provide additional learning in areas such as accounting and human resources. To complete their dissertation, students first identify an issue in the workplace. They then develop a solution and test their hypotheses in a real-world setting.

Applicants must hold a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Candidates may transfer up to 24 credits from another program toward their degree. Franklin is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Doctor of Healthcare Administration
School Status: Private
Tuition: $748 per credit
Credit Requirements: 58 credits
Program Length: 3 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Northcentral University View School Profile San Diego, CA

A private university located in San Diego, California, NCU offers an online doctor of health administration. The 60-credit, practice-based program teaches students how to use data to formulate strategies and develop ethical policies that promote accountability.

Students complete 14 core courses, two elective classes, and a final doctoral project that addresses a current issue in the field of health administration. Courses include the United States healthcare delivery system and healthcare financial management and economics.

Applicants must hold a master's degree from an accredited institution. Students should also possess at least three years of prior work-related experience in healthcare management. However, the school may grant conditional admission for applicants who don't meet the specified work requirements. The program offers weekly start dates, so students can begin the program whenever they feel ready.

NCU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Doctor of Health Administration
School Status: Private
Tuition: $921 per credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 44 months
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

University of Mississippi View School Profile University, MS

Located in the city of University, Ole Miss offers a mostly online doctor of health administration. The program features minimal face-to-face on-campus sessions. In their final year, candidates complete a doctoral research project covering an administrative area of personal interest. Courses cover topics like strategic change management, epidemiology, and foundations of health policy.

Applicants must hold a master's degree from an accredited university in a healthcare-related field or demonstrate five or more years of professional experience in healthcare if they possess a degree in a different field.

Ole Miss is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Doctor of Health Administration
School Status: Public
Tuition: $560 per credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 3 years
Format: Online, with minimal in-person sessions
Instruction Style: Mostly asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Related Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration Program Overview

Like most doctoral degrees, healthcare administration doctoral programs emphasize research and scholarship. The core curriculum generally features required courses in research methods and design, applied statistics, and research in healthcare. Students read, analyze, and evaluate qualitative and quantitative research in healthcare administration, and they often work on their own research projects.

Core courses generally cover healthcare policy and regulation, economics and finance, healthcare information, and community and global health. These programs intend to prepare graduates to take on advanced roles in healthcare administration and to contribute to scholarship and research in the field.

Generally, a bachelor's or master's degree serves as the minimum educational requirement for positions in this field. However, earning a doctorate prepares students to pursue leadership positions, advance their careers, and potentially earn a higher salary. A doctorate in healthcare administration serves as a terminal degree in the field — no higher degree exists.

Common Doctorate in Healthcare Administration Degree Courses

Research Methods and Design

This course provides an overview of the research and design methods most commonly used in the healthcare industry. Students explore quantitative and qualitative methods, read and analyze existing scholarship in the field, and design their own research studies in healthcare administration.

Applied Statistics

Students often take this course alongside a research methods course. Coursework examines the statistical methods most often utilized in quantitative research. Students gain a better understanding of how these methods function and apply that knowledge to evaluate research in the field.

Community and Global Health

This course explores studies in epidemiology, particularly in their relation to community and global health trends and issues. Students examine the use of epidemiologic studies on healthcare decision-making. The course often requires students to create their own strategies and plans for managing and addressing community health issues.

Healthcare Regulations and Policy

This course looks at existing healthcare policies at the local and federal levels and asks students to examine the impact of these policies on healthcare. Students explore the policy-making processes for healthcare organizations and often create their own proposals for new policies.

Economics and Finance in Healthcare

This course explores finance and resource management in the healthcare industry, as well as the various factors that impact economics in healthcare. Students often create their own financial plan for a healthcare organization and evaluate existing plans in place in major healthcare corporations.

Related Doctorate in Healthcare Administration Degree Concentrations

General Health Administration

This concentration allows students to follow a comprehensive curriculum. It often serves as the only option for healthcare administration students, as specializations are less common for this type of degree.

Leadership in Healthcare

This concentration emphasizes coursework in leadership, with classes in effective management techniques, finance, and strategic planning. Students also take courses related to consumer markets, business practices, and evidence-based policy-making.

Healthcare Policy

Healthcare administrators often serve at the forefront of healthcare policy and decision-making. They represent teams of healthcare providers and employees and must serve their interests, as well as those of patients and clients. This specialization includes key courses in global and national policy, processes in healthcare policy-making, data analytics, and policy evaluation.

Healthcare Education

This concentration emphasizes teaching and pedagogy in the field, preparing students to take on roles in higher education as professors and healthcare administrators. Students may pursue teaching opportunities as graduate assistants during their program to gain experience.

Healthcare Quality

Healthcare administrators must assess the quality of care provided within the organization they serve. This concentration teaches students the skills necessary to identify issues in healthcare quality and create plans and strategies to improve it. Courses examine patient safety and advocacy, healthcare data analytics, and performance improvement.

Online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration Admission Requirements

Most doctorate in healthcare administration online programs require applicants to hold a master's degree in a healthcare-related field from an accredited institution. Some programs offer students the opportunity to transfer some graduate-level credits from another program toward their degree requirements. Generally, applicants must submit official transcripts from prior institutions.

Many doctoral programs in healthcare administration look for applicants with 3-5 years of work experience in the field. This requirement generally recognizes entry- and mid-level positions in healthcare administration, management, and/or policy.

Admission to doctoral programs often requires much more personal information regarding an applicant's academic and employment history. Some programs may offer a list of essay prompts or questions for applicants to respond to, while other programs offer students a more open-ended approach. These essays can range from 2-5 pages in length and provide admissions offices with information about each applicant's experience and goals.

Applicants to doctorate in healthcare administration programs must submit formal letters of recommendation along with their applications. These letters typically come from professional sources, like colleagues or former professors and mentors.

Some doctoral programs in healthcare administration may require an interview following the receipt of an application. Often, only applicants being highly considered for admission are offered an interview. Distance learners may complete these interviews over video conferencing. The interview allows admissions boards to get to know applicants better and learn more about their goals and interests.


Online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration Career Paths

Graduates of doctorate in healthcare administration programs hold the highest degree available in their field. This means they generally do not pursue entry-level job positions; instead, they may take on advanced roles and leadership positions. This degree often best serves individuals already working in the field who wish to advance their career and potentially command a higher salary.

Healthcare administrators working in long-term care or nursing home facilities must earn a professional license. Each state holds its own licensure requirements, and some may require healthcare administrators to meet training and certification requirements.


Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get a doctorate in health administration?

A student's enrollment status and individual degree requirements can impact a program's length. Many programs require 50-80 credits. Some online programs may offer accelerated formats that can shorten the overall program length.

Is there a Ph.D. in healthcare administration?

Yes. A Ph.D. in healthcare administration generally places a stronger emphasis on research and scholarship and is better suited for students wishing to teach at a college or university.

What does D.H.Sc. stand for?

D.H.Sc. stands for doctor of health science. This degree, like a Ph.D. in healthcare administration, places a stronger emphasis on research and scholarship, preparing students to pursue careers as professors and educators. Courses offered in this type of program examine global health issues, clinical trials in medicine, research methods in health science, and data analysis.

What can you do with a D.H.Sc. degree?

The D.H.Sc. degree prepares students for a variety of job roles, depending on the concentration or degree emphasis they pursue. Some available concentrations include clinical, education, global health, and nutrition. Each concentration teaches students the skills needed to pursue high-level careers in healthcare and general health science.

How much can you make with a doctorate in health administration?

A worker's salary and earning potential depend on a variety of factors. Experience and the amount of time spent working in the field often have the biggest impact on salary. However, an individual's education level and training also have an effect on their earnings. Geographic location and employer may also influence how much someone with a doctorate in healthcare administration can earn.

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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