Top Ph.D./DHA in Healthcare Administration Online Programs 2020

By Staff Writer
Last Updated: June 2020

Top Master's in Healthcare Administration

A doctorate in healthcare administration can catapult graduates into advanced roles and help them earn substantial salaries. Whether students pursue a Ph.D. in healthcare management, a Ph.D. in healthcare administration, a Ph.D. in health administration, or enroll in one of many online DHA programs, doctoral degrees instill the skills and competencies needed to work as professors, researchers, and C-level executives in a variety of industries and settings.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), health services managers commanded annual median salaries of $100,980 in 2019, while those in the top 10% of earners brought home more than $189,000 in the same timeframe. The BLS projects substantial job growth for these professionals between 2018 and 2028, leading to the creation of 71,600 new jobs, or an 18% growth rate.

Candidates who pursue an online DHA degree can find balance between educational, personal, and professional responsibilities without sacrificing educational quality. View our ranking methodology and check out the best doctor of health administration programs for 2020.


Read about our ranking methodology here.

1. Keiser University

Keiser's Ft. Lauderdale campus offers an online doctorate in healthcare administration that supports working healthcare professionals looking to further their education.

The degree comprises 60 credits and covers delivery of healthcare to diverse and vulnerable populations, economics and business planning for advanced practice, community health promotion and disease prevention, and cultural and ethical influences on global health. As the degree comes to a close, each enrollee must submit a full dissertation on a unique topic in the field. They also take several research classes.

Admission requirements for this doctor of health administration include a master's degree from an accredited program, at least two years of managerial or professional experience in a healthcare role, two letters of recommendation, and participation in an interview with program faculty. While not fully mandated, the school encourages applicants to submit GRE or MAT scores.

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill offers an online executive doctoral program in health leadership with a focus on health policy and management. The school specifically designed this program for healthcare executives who already possess substantial professional experience and now want to expand their career options.

While enrollees engage with coursework online, they must also visit the Chapel Hill campus each semester to spend 3-4 days in an intensive residency. The degree includes 45 credits on topics, such as health policy research methods, linear regression models, and analysis of categorical data. Each learner must also complete 15 credits in a minor area of study in subjects like economics and financial management.

Prospective students must hold graduate-level degrees from accredited institutions. Each applicant must submit official transcripts from all graduate-level coursework, provide three letters of recommendation, supply GRE or GMAT scores, and participate in a telephone interview with department faculty.

3. Franklin University

Franklin offers an entirely online doctorate in healthcare administration to help degree-seekers investigate corporate and governmental policy-making while bolstering administrative leadership. Enrollees seek to improve healthcare processes, outcomes, and efficiencies. A candidate can transfer 24 credits of the required 58 credits from previous doctoral programs.

The curriculum includes four parts: research core (16 credits), major area (20 credits), dissertation requirements (10 credits), and electives (12 credits). Major coursework includes advanced health information governance; healthcare economics; and healthcare quality, process, and improvement. To ensure academic support for dissertation work, Franklin offers built-in faculty mentoring and guidance in addition to peer-to-peer revisions.

Each applicant must possess a master's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited institution. Prospective students failing to meet GPA requirements must submit GRE scores for consideration.

4. Central Michigan University

CMU offers a doctorate in healthcare administration for professionals working in the field. CMU students earn 63 credits through critical topics in the healthcare industry, such as leadership, communication, and contemporary human resource issues like sexism and unionization. As a hybrid degree, enrollees complete most of the coursework online, along with six multi-day, face-to-face seminars.

Core coursework explores leadership strategies for healthcare policy, probability and statistics for the health professions, and organizational theory and behavior. After finishing coursework, seminars, and a comprehensive essay exam, a degree-seeker completes a 12-credit dissertation on a selected topic within healthcare administration.

Each applicant must possess a master's or professional degree in a related field from a regionally accredited institution. Other requirements include a resume demonstrating at least three years in the field, a career goals statement, and three professional references.

5. University of Mississippi

Designed to last three years, the doctorate in healthcare administration at Ole Miss engages health science faculty and industry leaders while providing practical experience to learners. Structured to accommodate professionals in the field, this hybrid program couples online coursework with face-to-face, on-campus sessions.

During the first two years, degree-seekers explore leadership strategies in health entities, current trends in accreditation and licensure, and fiscal responsibility and accountability. Enrollees dedicate the final two semesters of this DHA degree to formulating and completing a culminating doctoral project.

Each applicant must hold a master's degree in a related field from an accredited institution. A prospective student must submit GRE scores, supply a detailed resume, and craft an essay that includes personal history of prior healthcare experience. The school does not traditionally accept transfer credits.

6. A.T. Still University

ATSU cultivates innovative leaders in the healthcare field through its online doctorate in healthcare administration. By synthesizing practical and theoretical coursework, ATSU employs a holistic curriculum to expand career opportunities and influence meaningful change in an evolving field. This entirely online DHA program comprises 62 credits and allows learners to tailor the program to their personal and professional needs.

The core curriculum, which typically takes three years, includes courses in leadership and practice; coaching, mentoring, and interpersonal communication; and healthcare policy, law, and regulation. After finishing their required coursework, students dedicate the final year to developing and completing a degree-culminating dissertation.

Each prospective student must possess a master's degree in a related field with a minimum 2.5 GPA from a regionally accredited institution. Other admission requirements include official transcripts, a current resume, and a personal essay.

This concludes our ranking of the best online doctor of healthcare administration degrees.

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