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.

Accredited Online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration Programs

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A.T. Still University of Health Sciences

Kirksville, MO

With two campuses in Kirksville, Missouri, and Mesa, Arizona, A.T. Still University serves over 3,800 students across a variety of healthcare disciplines. ATSU emphasizes whole person healthcare — an approach that addresses the mind, body, and spirit of patients.

ATSU offers an online doctorate in healthcare administration designed to prepare students for leadership roles in healthcare. The curriculum emphasizes healthcare law, health policy, economics in medical care, and organizational theory. The program consists of 62 credits, including 14 core credits and 20 dissertation credits.

Applicants must hold a master's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA and submit an application essay. ATSU boasts relatively high graduation rates, with 61% of students in the College of Graduate Health Studies completing their degree in 3-5 years.

ATSU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview

Program Name: Doctor of Health Administration
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,000/credit
Credit Requirements: 62 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact

Phone: (877) 469-2878
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, MI

Located in the city of Mount Pleasant, Central Michigan University offers approximately 300 undergraduate and graduate programs. With a total enrollment of over 21,000, CMU also serves more than 8,000 students through distance learning.

CMU's doctorate in health administration program features a hybrid curriculum, with 15 online courses and six in-person seminar courses. The in-person courses are offered regionally, giving some flexibility to distance learners. The 63-credit curriculum emphasizes skills and topics in leadership, public health, organizational theory, and healthcare policy.

Applicants must have at least three years of work experience in healthcare administration, management, or another closely related area. Applicants must also hold a master's degree in a related field and submit a career goals statement, three professional references, and a professional resume.


Program Overview

Program Name: Doctor of Health Administration
School Status: Public
Tuition: $850/credit
Credit Requirements: 63 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online classes with regional in-person seminars)
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Work Experience: 3+ years in health administration, management, or leadership

Contact

Phone: (989) 774-4371
Email: cmuglobal@cmich.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Franklin University

Columbus, OH

Franklin University offers flexible programs intended for working professionals looking to finish or expand their education. In addition to a home campus in Columbus, Ohio, and satellite campuses around the region, Franklin also offers a variety of programs entirely online.

Franklin's online doctorate in healthcare administration program offers a degree plan that students can complete within three years. The 58-credit curriculum includes courses in qualitative and quantitative research methods, healthcare policy and economics, and community and global health. Students must take comprehensive exams and complete at least 10 credits of dissertation research.

About 79% of graduate students at Franklin earn their degree within five years. The university utilizes the Blue Quill learning management system, offering fully asynchronous online instruction.

Franklin holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview

Program Name: Doctor of Health Administration
School Status: Private
Tuition: $748/credit
Credit Requirements: 58 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: Graduate entrance exam required for applicants with GPA below 3.0

Contact

Phone: (614) 797-4700
Email: admissions@franklin.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Keiser University

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Founded in 1977, Keiser University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, offers more than 100 academic programs. Keiser serves roughly 20,000 students across more than 20 campuses in Florida and online through distance learning.

The doctorate in health science program at Keiser emphasizes theory and practice, preparing students for careers in healthcare leadership. The 60-credit curriculum includes courses in management and leadership, health informatics, community health and disease prevention, and epidemiology. Students also complete a minimum of 12 dissertation credits.

Program applicants must hold a master's degree from an accredited institution. Students must also have at least two years of work experience in healthcare management or a closely related field. Students need to attend two on-campus residencies during the program.

Keiser holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview

Program Name: Doctor of Health Science
School Status: Private
Tuition: $13,188/12 credits
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online/on campus)
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT (encouraged, not required)
Work Experience: 2 years full-time managerial/professional experience in healthcare

Contact

Phone: (888) 753-4737
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

University of Mississippi

University, MS

Widely referred to as "Ole Miss," the University of Mississippi has served students for more than 160 years. Ole Miss enrolls over 23,000 students in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, including programs offered through the university's Medical Center.

Ole Miss offers a doctorate in healthcare administration that is delivered primarily online, with some required on-campus residencies. Designed to prepare graduates for leadership roles in healthcare, the program requires 60 credits. Students complete coursework over nine semesters. The curriculum includes courses in health policy and economics, applied research techniques, and leadership strategies. Students complete this program in cohorts of 10-15 individuals. Ole Miss reports that about 72% of recent graduate-level graduates found employment in their field of study.

Ole Miss holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview

Program Name: Doctor of Health Administration
School Status: Public
Tuition: $560/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online/on campus)
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE
Work Experience: 5+ years experience in healthcare management/policy preferred

Contact

Phone: (601) 984-6300
Email: shrprecruitment@umc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

Founded in 1789, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill became the country's first public university to award degrees. Now, Carolina enrolls more than 30,000 students and offers a variety of academic programs, including 65 doctoral options.

Carolina's doctoral program in health leadership includes 45 credits and is generally completed in around three years. Students complete most coursework online but attend on-campus residencies throughout the program. The curriculum includes courses in organizational leadership theory and practice, global health, and practice-based research.

Students move through the program in a cohort and complete coursework at a set pace. On average, graduates from Carolina's health affairs programs completed their degree in 5.3 years.

Carolina holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview

Program Name: Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership
School Status: Public
Tuition: $742/credit in-state; $1,548/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 45 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online/on campus)
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact

Phone: (919) 966-7364
Email: krsieler@email.unc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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

  • Master's Degree

    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.

  • Work Experience

    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.

  • Application Essay

    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.

  • Letters of Recommendation

    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.

  • Interview

    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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