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Our population is aging and healthcare is progressing before our eyes. Earning an Online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration is a great way to compete in this advancing field.

best doctorate healthcare administration, online doctorate degreeWith complex new challenges, globalization, technology, food production, and the rapid pace of our society it’s not surprising that the demand for leadership in healthcare is high. American colleges and universities are addressing the challenges. As for healthcare leadership, they are providing programs relevant for the 21st century.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the medical and health service managers field is projected to grow by 17% by 2024.

What Doctoral degrees in Healthcare Administration are available?

This number reflects the changing, multidisciplinary role of healthcare administrators. With this in mind, there are several doctoral programs in healthcare administration and leadership. The Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA), the Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration, Doctor of Public Health in Leadership, Executive Doctor of Health Leadership, Doctor of Health Science, as well as several other health science doctoral degrees that are offered with leadership and administration concentrations or emphases.

Healthcare Leadership DoctorateThere are several key differences in degree types. The most important is that between a Ph.D. and a Doctorate program. Ph.D. programs are research-based and geared to those interested in scholarship and careers in academia. Doctoral work is designed with practical application in mind for those working in the field.

Though there are many types and titles of healthcare administration programs the key is the combination of healthcare and leadership. The “administration” component of leadership refers to the business side of leadership and sometimes the program will be offered through or integrated with the School of Business. Some programs emphasize the business aspects of leadership more than others. All programs prepare you to lead with advanced knowledge and skills.

How long does it take to complete my degree?

Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationIn general, a doctorate in healthcare leadership program takes two to four years to complete. Most schools on our list offer part-time and full-time options. Dissertations are practically-focused projects designed to address a real-world problem rather than academic. Curriculum varies as well, but since the schools we rank are accredited there are standards that guide all, thus ensuring quality and confidence.

Since we ranked only online degrees it is important to note many schools require on-campus visits to complete their programs, usually three to six visits spaced throughout two or three years. There are only a few that are 100 percent online. As for admission into programs of healthcare administration or leadership you will need a master’s degree and commensurate experience in healthcare leadership. GRE scores are usually required but some schools do not.

What is our methodology?

The Top 15 Online Doctoral Degrees in Healthcare Administration was compiled by searching for schools with accredited programs, high academic reputations, and competitive tuitions. We used reliable sources including the IPEDs database, a division of the National Center for Education, and each school’s website. Scores were given based on quality, reputation, and affordability of each school. It should be noted that the Average Net Price listed in the ranking below reflects the cost per credit.

This ranking was calculated based on the following percentages:

  • Cost per Credit Hour – 25%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio – 15%
  • Graduation Rate – 15%
  • Retention Rate – 15%
  • Average Mid Career Salary – 30%
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  1. MERIT: 100.00
    View Profile Average Cost: $624

    Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership 

    • Location: Chapel Hill, NC
    • Number of Graduate Students: 11,049
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: One but less than two years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice

    Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationAs America’s first public university, the University of North Carolina has been awarding degrees for a very long time —224 years to be precise. UNC offers 74 bachelor’s, 104 master’s, and 65 doctoral, and seven professional degree programs. In spite of continued growth, the student-faculty ratio is 13 to 1.

    The Department of Health and Policy through the Gillings School of Public Health offers an Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership (DrPH) for the 21st century. The program is built with the working professional in mind who has experience in public health and is seeking advancement. Conventional health practitioners and others such as entrepreneurs and individuals working in nontraditional settings affecting the health of the public are welcome to apply.

    Whether domestic or international, students can complete the 45-51-credit program almost fully online. One campus visit per term (fall, spring, and summer) is required for the duration of the three-year program. The curriculum requires core courses in leadership and public health. Two comprehensive exams are required (oral and written) as well as a dissertation. There is not a practicum or internship required.

    Knowing the Doctoral program in Health Leadership is the 2nd most affordable on our list helps. When wedded to the outstanding quality and experience of UNC it’s not hard to see why UNC ranked #1.

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  2. MERIT: 94.96
    View Profile Average Cost: $960

    Doctor of Health Sciences

    • Location: Boston, MA
    • Number of Graduate Students: 3,326
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice

    Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationMassachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is the second oldest private medical university in America. MCPHS was founded in 1823 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The University offers over 100 programs of study and is known for Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nursing, and Pre-Medicine Studies.

    MCPHS is ranked #1 by The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education for Earning Power. The Online DHS program at MCPHS prepares clinicians, educators, and leaders to address the challenges of the 21st century. There are three concentrations: Health Systems Administration, Educational Leadership, or Global Health. The program is part-time, 100 percent online and can be completed in nine semesters.

    The 54-credit program advances from an interdisciplinary core that is applicable in clinical settings, educational institutions, hospitals, and healthcare organizations. Classes include Cultural and Mental Health Issues, Patient-centered Care and Healthcare Integration, and Healthcare Research Methods. Students are required to complete an evidence-based capstone as well. Admission requires an accredited Master’s (or equivalent) and commensurate experience.

    Start times include the Fall and the Spring. With excellent student support, the same great faculty, and asynchronous learning, the online program offers quality, flexibility, and affordability.

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  3. MERIT: 86.11
    View Profile Average Cost: $830

    Online Doctor of Public Health in Leadership

    • Location: Chicago, IL
    • Number of Graduate Students: 11,091
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice

    Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationThe University of Illinois at Chicago is a public, research university that is known for outstanding Health Science, Biological/Biomedical Sciences, and Engineering. UIC offers over 160 graduate programs alone and their medical campus is the largest in terms of expenditure.

    UIC’s online Doctor of Public Health in Leadership is addressing the growing demand and challenges for health care leaders in our country. With a comprehensive approach to public health, students learn advanced knowledge and skills in research, practice, and theory.

    The program is set up for mid-career public health professionals who are seeking advancement. The DrPH curriculum moves through six core competencies and culminates in a thesis involving public health leadership. The 96 semester-hours are completed on an online part-time basis with annual Summer Institutes on campus required. Up to 32 credits can be awarded as transfer credits.

    Overall, UIC’s approach is adaptive leadership; “a problem or issue that is characterized by complexity in its definition and for which there is no technical solution that can be readily found by applying conventional technical expertise or traditional management skills.” The GRE is not required but is recommended. A minimum of three years of paid experience in a public health position and an MPH is required.

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  4. MERIT: 85.17
    View Profile Average Cost: $649

    Online Doctor of Health Science

    • Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
    • Number of Graduate Students: 16,296
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice

    Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationNova Southeastern University is a private, non-profit university dedicated to cutting-edge research and innovation. The School offers over 150 programs of study and is known for Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Business, Management, Psychology, and Education.

    The Doctor of Health Science (D.H.Sc.) at Nova Southeastern is designed for clinical health professionals, public health practitioners, and senior medical administrators. There is a great diversity in professionals currently enrolled from physical therapists, nurses, respiratory therapists, radiologic and ultrasound technologists, to officers of the US Public Health Service.

    The online format enables working people to complete the degree. There are a few distinctions that set this degree apart. The first is it is one of the few that doesn’t require a dissertation. The D.H.Sc does require an internship, practicum, and doctoral analysis project. The second is the price. At $649 per credit, NSU is the #3 most affordable on this list.

    The program is hybrid and you are required to complete two one-week on-campus institutes. Though the program is synchronous in terms of online delivery you can choose to go full- or part-time. There is no GRE required for admission into the D.H.Sc program.

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  5. MERIT: 84.25
    View Profile Average Cost: $2256

    Doctor in Health Policy and Management

    • Location: Baltimore, MD
    • Number of Graduate Students: 19,042
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 7 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Two but less than 4 years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice

    Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationJohns Hopkins University is America’s first research university. JHU is now one of the most renowned research institutions in the world with 27 Nobel Laureates, many cures, patents, and contributions to society and the world. JHU is #1 in the U.S. for total research and development spending.

    The hybrid Doctor of Public Health at JHU is offered with a concentration in Health Policy and Management. Graduates are prepared to lead in a variety of settings and organizations that emphasize improving population health.  The DrPH curriculum is guided by the Malcolm Baldridge Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence framework.

    The program requirements are structured around a set of common competencies: leadership, analytical skills, communication, policy, management, ethics, and program design and evaluation. The 64-credit program can be completed in four years (no more than nine) and includes a lot of flexibility in terms of how those competencies are met. Cohorts begin in June and there are required visits to Baltimore in the first and second year of the program. Other than these few visits, the DrPH program is delivered online.

    Dissertations are required and practice-oriented, focusing on problem-solving real-world issues related to specific interests. There is funding available for this degree through The Bloomberg American Health Initiative.

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  6. MERIT: 83.59
    View Profile Average Cost: $1000

    Doctor of Health Administration

    • Location: Kirksville, MO
    • Number of Graduate Students: 3,723
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: –
    • Degrees Offered: Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice

    Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationA.T. Still University of Health Sciences is a nonprofit, private, research university in Kirksville, Missouri and Mesa, Arizona. The University is known for a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare education in athletic training, audiology, biomedical science, dentistry, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and more.

    ATSU’s Online DHA integrates advanced business education and strategies with healthcare leadership. It is designed for working professionals, is flexible and affordable. The 100 percent online 62-credit program unfolds in three years, with the third essentially dedicated to the final dissertation project. The first two include coursework in organizational theory, health policy, health information systems, and management. You can choose to take one or two courses per term.

    Overall there is a unique focus on research at ATSU and the DHA includes three research methods classes and a robust 20-credit dissertation. You can choose a theoretical or applied dissertation. The methodology involves broad training, integrated online instruction, directed readings, and email and chat room interactions.

    A notable fact is ATSU’s partnership with the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). This gives students an edge in making connections for careers and also completing the dissertation with collaboration from industry professionals.

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  7. MERIT: 80.93
    View Profile Average Cost: $1015

    Online Doctor of Health Administration

    • Location: Charleston, SC
    • Number of Graduate Students: 2,682
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s   practice

    Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationThe Medical University of South Carolina began as a small private medical school in 1824. MUSC is now a public, state research, and medical school with a medical center and six colleges located in Charleston, South Carolina. MUSC is known for research as well, especially in biomedical sciences.

    With the many challenges in the field of healthcare, MUSC’s online Doctor of Health Administration is designed to solve them. The changing landscape of healthcare coupled with growing demand requires advanced leadership. The DHA program produces leaders who teach, shape public policy and lead complex organizations. The 54 credit-hour curriculum begins each fall with a cohort.

    Through asynchronous learning and one campus visit per semester, the program takes about three years. The first year is filled with core classes in leadership, management, applied research methods, and health policy. The second year includes a policy trip to Washington D.C. where you meet and learn from national experts. The third year is focused on individual research and the doctoral project.

    There are two tracks to enter the DHA program: Executive and Interpersonal. The Executive track is for those with significant leadership experience and administrative education. The Interpersonal is geared towards those who have significant healthcare experience and education.

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  8. MERIT: 80.33
    View Profile Average Cost: $850

    Doctor of Health in Administration

    • Location: Mount Pleasant, MI
    • Number of Graduate Students: 5,453
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice

    Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationCentral Michigan University is a public research university with a strong online presence. CMU enrolls nearly 9000 men and women online and around the world. The School has a $1.2 billion economic impact in Michigan. CMU has excellent science programs, over 150 study abroad opportunities, and over 70 graduate programs.

    In step with CMU’s reputation for research and science, their online Doctor of Health Administration program furnishes graduates with theoretical foundations, critical analytic skills, and applied skills to be healthcare leaders. The 63 credit-hour hybrid program is delivered in a cohort-model, maximizing student-to-student and student-to-teacher interactions.

    There are six on-campus intensives that last two and a half days; CMU provides multiple potential sites for this requirement. Atlanta, Detroit, Washington D.C. and even Geneva, Switzerland are potentials. Through the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions you will be trained by expert faculty and able to meet the demands of the growing and changing health care industry in a variety of settings.

    Courses include Leadership Strategies for Healthcare Policy and Organizations, Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability for Health Entities, and Health Informatics to name only three. In addition to coursework, you will be required to pass a comprehensive essay exam and complete an applied dissertation.

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  9. George Washington University
    MERIT: 79.94
    Average Cost: $1340

    Doctor of Nursing Practice: Executive Leadership

    • Location: Washington, District of Columbia
    • Number of Graduate Students: 15,974
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Two but less than 4 years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice

    Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationGeorge Washington University is a school with the resources of our nation’s capital in their backyard. GWU is a private university with rich tradition and is known for research, academic rigor, and active student life.

    The DNP in Executive Leadership at GWU is delivered in a hybrid format. You can enter as a Post-BSN or Post MSN student and either as a part- or full-time student. Post-MSN students can complete the degree in two to three years. Post-BSN students can in four to six years. The program is made for working nurses and has a mix of asynchronous and synchronous learning.

    Students are required to complete 43-credits, a clinical research project, and a minimum of 1000 hours of practical experience. The clinical experience may be able to be fulfilled where you live. You are taught by the same faculty as on-campus programs. You learn business, finance, entrepreneurship, and intrapreneurship—all necessary for the challenges of healthcare leadership today.

    A distinctive a GWU education is the tremendous location and opportunities in D.C. Admission prerequisites include a 3.3 GPA in nursing courses and graduate-level inferential statistics course taken within the past five years.

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  10. MERIT: 78.77
    View Profile Average Cost: $912

    Online Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration

    • Location: San Diego, CA
    • Number of Graduate Students: 10,699
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 1 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship

    Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationNorthcentral University is an online school that was founded to help working professionals earn degrees for careers and career advancement. Founded in 1996, NU’s headquarters are in San Diego, California and is affiliated with the National University System and features a one-on-one mentoring model. NU is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission.

    Northcentral’s online PhD-BA in Healthcare Administration features their one-to-one mentoring approach for an affordable price. In the program, you will learn all you need to excel on day one of your new job or position. With skills in examining strategies for total quality management, strategic planning, and system analysis, graduates find work in financial management, healthcare research, policy, or education.

    The 60-credit program includes 20 courses and takes about 45 months to complete. Delivery is asynchronous (with a couple of start times for some classes) enabling ultimate flexibility in when, where, and how you complete the program. You will be mentored and educated at NU by doctors in your field of study.

    There are two ways to be admitted: Direct Entry and Evaluation Track. Direct entry is the typical way requiring an accredited master’s degree and commensurate experience. The Evaluation Track is for those not meeting the Direct Entry requirement and are allowed to begin in prerequisites prior to starting the actual program.

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  11. MERIT: 77.96
    View Profile Average Cost: $877

    Doctor of Public Health 

    • Location: Tampa, FL
    • Number of Graduate Students: 11,768
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 22 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice

    Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationThe University of South Florida is located in the heart of Tampa Bay and is known for research. There are three campuses: Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota. USF offers over 180 majors and concentrations have an active student life and several forward-thinking green initiatives.

    USF has eight graduate programs ranking in the top 50 in 2018. The DrPH program is practically-focuses whereas the Ph.D. emphasizes research. Program outcomes include the ability to developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-informed public health practice in a variety of organizations and settings.

    There are two concentrations to choose from, Advanced Practice Leadership in Public Health and Public Health and Clinical Laboratory Science and Practice. Both options are almost totally online and require three campus sessions or DrPH Institutes. These visits are part of the USF philosophy to foster collaboration and leadership, management, and advocacy through a globally-minded interdisciplinary approach.

    The 43-credits required is a minimum and both concentrations include a comprehensive exam and research project. The Public Health and Clinical Laboratory Science and Practice concentration lab requirements are fulfilled by professionals in laboratory leadership positions across the country. Admission into the program does require GRE scores within the last five years, an MPH or equivalent degree.

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  12. MERIT: 76.56
    View Profile Average Cost: $595

    Online Liberty University Doctorate of Business Administration-Healthcare Administration

    • Location: Lynchburg, VA
    • Number of Graduate Students: 29,290
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Two but less than 4 years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship

    Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationLiberty University was founded in Lynchburg, Virginia enrolling over 100,000 men and women in on-campus and online programs. LU offers a liberal-arts Christian education in over 600 programs through 17 colleges and schools in education, counseling, religion, law, aviation, cinematic arts, business, and more.  

    Liberty University is known for offering excellent online education and has been ranked in the top five of more than 2,100 online colleges and universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility. This particular program is the most affordable on our entire list. The Doctor of Business Administration in Healthcare Administration is 100 percent online and designed to fit with individuals who seek to maintain their work life while completing their education.

    The 60-credit program typically takes about four years to complete. It is delivered asynchronously. The curriculum includes all the essential knowledge and real-world skills in leadership, communication, policy and law, and human resources. There is an applied dissertation that relates to a business problem in your specific area of study.

    Liberty will take up to 15 transfer credit hours and though the program is 100 percent online there are optional on-campus intensives. Admission requirements include a nationally accredited Master’s degree with a 3.0 or above GPA.

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  13. MERIT: 72.56
    View Profile Average Cost: $755

    Doctor of Strategic Leadership in Healthcare Leadership

    • Location: Virginia Beach, VA
    • Number of Graduate Students: 5209
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 42 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree – professional practice

    Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationRegent University is a private, nonprofit Christian university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The school was established in 1977 by Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network. Now serving nearly 10,000 students, Regent offers degrees in many fields from associates to doctors and has strong online learning programs.

    Regent’s DSL in Healthcare Leadership was the first in the nation. Taught through the School of Business & Leadership and the lens of the Christian Worldview, students focus on skills in leadership, communication, structure, team building and cultural understanding from a Christian perspective. The program is affordable and convenient.

    The terminal professional degree is delivered mostly online and includes two four-day residency requirements total. The 60-credit curriculum features Leadership Theory, Leadership Analytics, and Healthcare: Issues, Trends, and Forecasting. All courses are taught by award-winning faculty. In addition to coursework, you are required to complete the seven-credit DSL Project as a capstone.

    Admission requirements are analyzed with a rubric that includes examining your master’s degree, experience in leadership positions, and writing ability in addition to transcripts, resume, etc. If you’re looking for a Christian university with an excellent reputation for an affordable price, Regent may just fit the bill.

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  14. MERIT: 72.03
    View Profile Average Cost: $650

    Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership, emphasis in Health Care Administration

    • Location: Phoenix, AZ
    • Number of Graduate Students: 33,728
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship,

    Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationGrand Canyon University was founded in 1949 to enable Baptists to earn degrees without going east. GCU started as a non-profit, but is now is a private, for-profit Christian research university (the first of its kind). GCU has seen tremendous growth since 2008 with 20,000 on-campus and 60,000 online students.

    GCU’s College of Doctoral Studies offers its online EdD. through evening classes. The 60-credit program features a cohort-style model that moves through eight-week courses; the program length is 39 months. The degree prepares graduates to work in directing positions in medical or health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies or other similar organizations.

    The emphasis on Health Care Administration features a curriculum that forms an effective matrix for leadership and management with evidence-based research, a thorough understanding of public, private, nonprofit, and for-profit governance structures, and a knowledge of how you will need to understand and interact with regulatory agencies from state to federal levels.  

    The EdD. is taught by the same faculty as on-campus degrees and the Christian environment means you’ll receive ethical training based on Christian teachings and also meet faculty and fellow students who are career-minded, yet in the service of Christ.

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  15. MERIT: 64.45
    View Profile Average Cost: $2033

    Doctor of Science in Healthcare Leadership

    • Location: Birmingham, AL
    • Number of Graduate Students: 7,768
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: One but less than two years certificate, Two but less than 4 years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree – professional practice

    Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationThe University of Alabama at Birmingham is one of three institutions in the University of Alabama System.  UAB places a high value on research and is an R1 research institution. The School has one of the largest academic medical centers in America. The UAB Health System trains many men and women in neurology, surgery, radiology, anesthesiology and more.

    The DSc at UAB is a hybrid program featuring distance learning and three eight-day intensive on-campus sessions per year. Designed for experienced healthcare leaders seeking to advance to in senior-level management positions while continuing work, DSc students are interested in continuing a practice-focused career, as opposed to the academic career sought by most Ph.D. students.

    The program takes about three years. The first two years include courses such as Strategic Management Theory and Research, Health Economics & Insurance, and Applied Multivariate Statistics for Health Administration. The third year is intense. You travel internationally with your cohort, complete a comprehensive exam, and the spend the year dedicated to your dissertation and defense.

    The program is effective and respected with 100 percent of the graduates rating it as ‘excellent.’ Consideration for the program requires a minimum of five years of senior management experience.

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Will an online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration degree provide me with the skills I need to advance my career?

Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationDoctorate in Healthcare Administration degrees requires you to learn advanced leadership skills and knowledge. The outcomes of a Healthcare Administration program are numerous. They include the ability to communicate effectively, use evidence-based research methods and problem-solving strategies, prioritize strategic initiatives, model ethical and professional leadership, analyze health care organizations and issues, and evaluate and decide effective business strategies.

These outcomes are accomplished through a core curriculum, electives, concentration/specialization courses (if applicable), and a dissertation. The dissertation requires students to delve into a specific challenge and compile a project-based solution. Through this project alone, you will research a relevant issue in the healthcare industry and offer solutions. Besides these, there are often comprehensive exams and practicums that are required.

Lastly, most of the online degrees require a few on-campus visits. These are vital for professional collaboration, expert guidance for research or other elements of your program, and networking. Because the healthcare industry is changing at a rapid rate, hospitals have an increasing need for individuals who are trained with the latest business knowledge, practical expertise, and an innovative spirit. A Doctorate in Healthcare Administration will provide these desirable characteristics. Graduates can be assured that the skills and knowledge gained through their PhD program will propel them to the top of their organization.

What is the curriculum for an online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration?

Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationThe goal of graduate healthcare administration programs is the same: to acquaint students with the knowledge required of experts in the industry. Individual programs may differ, but the goal remains constant. Most programs will require courses in Marketing and Communications in Healthcare. These courses cover marketing, communications, and public relations principles, with a specific application to healthcare administration. Health literacy promotion, health services marketing, and ethical practice are usually included as well.

Another set of required courses are Leadership in Public Healthcare. These will cover leadership theory, descriptive and prescriptive systems, and public health leadership principles. Most programs have a course that deals with Governance for Healthcare Leaders. Students will examine policy, law, advocacy, and ethical obligations of leaders of healthcare organizations. This is the course where students have the opportunity to approach hypothetical and real-world situations from economic, political, and sociological perspectives.

Advanced Healthcare Analytics involves the analysis of data-driven healthcare management. Students refine database skills including extraction, transformation, and analysis within corporate data warehouses. This is different from Healthcare Informatics which involves issues surrounding health information resources at the institutional level. There are also various forms of IT classes involved, along with a dissertation/research capstone project.

What are the advantages of earning my doctorate/Ph.D. online?

Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationThe largest and most obvious advantage of earning your Ph.D. online is the flexibility it provides. Students can continue working a full-time job while going to school. Because most online doctorate in healthcare administration programs assume their students are working full-time, they adjust the program accordingly. Online coursework is completed at the student’s pace when time allows, while face-to-face seminars are limited to a few days throughout the course of the program. Some schools arrange for residencies to be completed in kid-friendly locales to accommodate parents.

Along with flexible scheduling, some online degrees award credits for professional credentials or prior work experience, shortening the length of the program. This is especially beneficial for the professional who has years of experience in the field, they don’t have to repeat information they have already learned first hand. Keep in mind that just because the program is offered online, most of the resources of the college campus are available. They include extensive student support programs including online mentoring, advising, and study groups.

Another advantage for the working adult is that because they have completed their degree online, they don’t have to look for a job after completing the program. Often, a raise or promotion is available through their current employer.

What accreditation is required for an online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration?

Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationMost colleges offer accredited Ph.D. programs. This is one of the most important things to look for when searching for a school. In order to achieve accreditation, academic programs have undergone a rigorous examination by a neutral third party of their curriculum and admissions procedures. Once they have passed, students can rest assured that reasonable academic and admissions standards can be expected at these schools.

Accreditation may be granted on the national, regional, or program level, or any combination of all three. National accrediting bodies focus on a specific type of education, usually grouped by degree. Online learners should look for schools that are nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) Accrediting Commission. Regional accreditation usually carries more weight than the others, because it evaluates a program’s academic rigor on a more local level.

Program-specific accreditation is for specific fields. Students look for an online doctorate degree in health administration, the premier accrediting agency is the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). CAHME has clear standards on Healthcare Administration curriculum, school resources, career development resources, and the performance record of program graduates. The U.S. Department of Education oversees the accreditation process and maintains a database of accredited schools.

What are some important differences I should know about Healthcare Administration degrees?

Online Doctorate Healthcare AdministrationThe first important note to make is that not all Healthcare Administration degrees are called “Healthcare Administration” degrees. For example, on our list, there are many programs that combine advanced healthcare and leadership knowledge and skills and do not title their degree the same. To name a few examples, Doctor of Public Health in Leadership, DrPH with a concentration in Health Policy and Management, and a Doctor of Strategic Leadership in Healthcare Leadership. All these are for experienced healthcare leaders to advance and gain the knowledge and skills necessary for thriving in the complex healthcare world of today.

There are important differences to be aware of. Curriculum varies with some offer more business components than others. Practicum or dissertation requirements are different with some schools requiring no dissertation but instead a project and practical experience. Admission requirements also vary from program to program. Some schools require up to five years of senior healthcare leadership experience where others require less.

Another important difference to note is what makes a program a Ph.D. or Doctorate. A Ph.D. program focuses on scholarship and research and often targets those working in clinical settings or universities. A doctorate program emphasizes practical applications such as the management of hospitals or other organizations. Both are terminal degrees and both require rigorous training.