Getting one of the 20 best Ph.D.s in Healthcare Administration online can mean a high-paying career managing complex healthcare systems. Plus, you’ll be making a difference in human health and wellbeing.
Curious what you’d be doing as Ph.D. in healthcare administration? Doctors of healthcare administration are the ones diving into these subjects, analyzing population data, and developing the nation’s future healthcare policies. While medical doctors attempt to solve the day-to-day problems plaguing specific individuals, doctors of healthcare administration are tackling the healthcare problems of nations and the world.
What is an Online Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration?
An Online Ph.D. in healthcare administration teaches students how to critically evaluate population and healthcare data, manage and operate healthcare facilities, promote health and wellbeing, and strategically implement healthcare reforms.
When pursuing an online Ph.D. in healthcare administration, you can expect to take classes on community and global health, healthcare policy, health information systems, healthcare economics, and healthcare quality and process improvement. In addition to the healthcare core curriculum, you will also take research and statistics classes that will help prepare you for your dissertation.
Most Online Ph.D.s in healthcare Administration programs require that applicants have a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field or business. Some programs require an essay when submitting your application along with your transcripts and a non-refundable application fee. At least three references from professional or academic sources are required when applying to most programs.
Careers for an Online Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration
Individuals who pursue a Ph.D. in healthcare administration often seek employment as a medical and health service manager. The need for medical and health service managers is expected to grow 11% between now and 2028, which is much faster than average. Individuals who don’t pursue a career as a medical and health service manager often pursue careers as chief executive officers of healthcare facilities, become health educators or become researchers.
While most CEOs of healthcare facilities do not have a Ph.D. in healthcare Administration, getting this degree can give you a leg up on your competition as it will allow you to use cutting edge research techniques to analyze data and find solutions to problems. A degree in health administration gives you unique insight into health-related issues which you can utilize as a health educator at the university and community level. Some companies hire Ph.D.s in healthcare administration to perform research on complex healthcare problems that need solutions.
Online Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration Salary Potential
According to the occupational network, the average salary for a medical and health service manager is $99,730. Some medical and healthcare service managers make well above this figure. Individuals who decide to pursue a career as a chief executive officer of a healthcare facility can expect to earn around double that of a medical and health service manager. If pursuing a career as a researcher, expect a lower salary of $84,810 annually.
When pursuing a career as a medical and healthcare service manager a few certifications can give you an advantage over your competition when applying for jobs such as:
- Certification as a Certified Medical Manager
- Certified Healthcare Financial Professional
- Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality
Many medical and healthcare service managers are also certified in basic life support (BLS) since they are working in a healthcare facility. Don’t worry about obtaining a specific license when you complete your Online Ph.D. in healthcare administration. No licenses are required to become a medical and healthcare service manager.
What are the Best Online PhD's in Healthcare Administration?
We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of CollegeRank utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following three aspects:
40% Potential Salary After Graduation: Average mid-career salary of school alumni
30% Institutional Accreditation: Regional and National Accreditation for the 2019-2020 school year
30% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per schoolAt CollegeRank, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals. For questions, comments, badge downloads, or data corrections, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Named the most innovative school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Arizona State University offers one of the best health care administration programs in the country. This degree is part of ASU’s outstanding College of Health Solutions, which boasts more than 100 faculty, in addition to 247 Barrett Honors scholars.
ASU’s online health care administration Ph.D. is an excellent option for students who wish to be a part of a large, well-funded academic community without having to attend a physical campus. A focus on business entrepreneurship enables graduates of the program to become leaders and innovators in the health care administration industry.
The curriculum is 84 credit hours in total, earned in 14 classes. ASU requires students, as is standard with Ph.D. programs, to hold a master’s degree from an accredited institution; it may be in any field. Project management and consulting positions are just a few of the careers for which ASU suggests its graduates are a great fit.
Widely known for its excellent basketball program, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is not to be missed for its academics. The health care administration Ph.D. from UNC is formally known as the Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership. It aims to prepare current professionals for larger and more demanding roles in the health care administration field.
In addition to helping current health care administration professionals bolster their knowledge and credentials, the degree offers students a broad look at health care leadership and the different ways in which it can be practiced. UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public health has been known to produce top-quality health care leadership candidates; in 2018, one of its alumni was named Young Healthcare Executive of the Year by the National Association of Health Service Executives.
UNC gives health care professionals a lot to love with its Ph.D. in health care administration. From the large community and research budget to well-structured online classes, opportunities abound for professionals to expand their expertise and knowledge in the field.
An excellent choice for those looking to earn a Ph.D. in health care administration, the University of Illinois at Chicago offers a flexible online curriculum that suits professionals in many walks of life. Alumni have found themselves working at the CDC, schools of public health, and rehabilitation institutes, among a number of other fulfilling careers.
Students in the U.S. must apply by Feb. 1 to be considered for the fall term. The number of semester hours this program requires varies, depending on a student’s curriculum concentration. There are 46 required core semester hours, but students may also choose to pursue a concentration in either health services and outcomes or health economics, both of which add an additional 25 to 30 credit hours.
A large university with plentiful funding, the University of Illinois at Chicago offers students and health care professionals an innovative and modern take on health care policy and administration, preparing them for a variety of careers.
Central Michigan University, one of the nation’s 100 largest public universities, provides health care professionals seeking a Ph.D. in health administration with an affordable and well-respected option to do just that. Students work with the same group of colleagues from start to finish in this curriculum, which totals 63 credit hours.
CMU claims that its rigorous coursework expands current professionals’ knowledge and capabilities in health care leadership. With a focus on real-world, applicable methods of health care leadership, graduates of this program are well-equipped to pursue leadership roles in the health care industry.
The cost is $850 per credit, and to gain admission, students must hold a master’s degree in a field relevant to health care administration. This requirement is slightly stricter than colleges that only require a general master’s degree, but practicing health care professionals with relevant master’s degrees are certainly qualified for admission to the program.
Known for offering numerous excellent online degrees, the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Ph.D. in health care administration provides health care professionals with an excellent option for a doctoral studies. The degree, first offered in 1978, aims to improve health care leadership and research practices throughout the industry.
A substantial amount of work and time are required outside of the Ph.D. coursework, as the intensive curriculum challenges students to examine their own skills and build upon them in creative ways. UAB states that the majority of the students graduating from its program pursue careers in academia, but consulting and research positions are quite popular as well.
Due in part to its popularity and size, UAB is able to draw from a wide variety of resources and departments to provide students with the best possible academic experience. Many faculty members are nationally recognized scholars in their respective fields, meaning that students will have plenty of well-equipped health care leaders to reach out to during the course of the program.
A strictly medical university, the Medical University of South Carolina helps health care professionals boost their leadership skills to prepare for work in an ever-changing industry. MUSC helps current health care professionals gain a better understanding of policy and the nuances of health care.
The curriculum is 54 credit hours in total, and new cohorts commence each fall. Though the program is mostly delivered online, students must attend the campus in Charleston for one weekend each semester, where they participate in classes and meet with colleagues. MUSC claims that this blend of in-person and online courses works well to prepare students for rewarding careers.
The second year of the program takes students on a week-long trip to Washington DC, where they meet with experts to discuss groundbreaking health care policy ideas and strategies. This alone is invaluable, and students graduating from MUSC’s Ph.D. program will find themselves ready to pursue innovative careers in health care administration.
The University of Mississippi Medical Center offers an impressive range of medical education through its School of Health Related Professions. Chiefly held online and requiring minimal on-campus schoolwork, the health administration program is friendly to the lifestyle of working professionals. Students from out of state who are enrolled in the program are not charged additional fees, as the work is primarily completed online.
New applicants to the Doctor of Health Administration program must hold a master’s degree in a related health care field and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Among other prerequisites, applicants must submit an essay on their health care work experience. Different from a traditional Ph.D., this DHA program is profession-focused. Rather than an emphasis on research alone, students study practical applications of medical research to real-world issues.
Over nine semesters of study, students receive tools and knowledge to shape not just their know-how, but also their ability to use their skills. With an awareness of the constantly changing health care environment, students graduate with an understanding of how to navigate these changes and help shape them for future generations.
Franklin University was founded in 1902 for students looking to finish their degrees. Boasting an accelerated program and numerous helpful guides, Franklin’s program is built for busy adults who want to further their education. The Ph.D. program is designed for professionals in health care working toward a higher position in the field who do not want to sacrifice work to further their education.
FU offers a Doctor of Health Administration for students aiming to heighten their skills and influence in the health care field. Its courses focus on leadership and presentation. Speed is a key factor in FU’s program descriptions. With the right qualifications and work ethic, students can graduate in three years, including completion of their dissertation. If three years isn’t fast enough, students may transfer up to 24 previously earned credit hours into the program, shortening the time frame even more.
With extensive mentoring and guidance features, students at FU can collaborate with fellow learners and mentors alike. Students learn at the highest level, with their profession, community, and future in mind. Graduates of FU’s DHA program emerge with advanced knowledge of the medical field and know how to pioneer change and proceed as a leader in the field.
A private Christian university, Regent University offers an array of study areas to fit any student. Though physical classes are held in Virginia Beach, VA, its online coursework is no less thorough or carefully designed. RU’s Healthcare Leadership program equips students with knowledge of both theoretical and practical applications.
RU’s Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership program totals 60 credit hours. Applicants face a comprehensive scoring process before admission into the DSL - Healthcare Leadership program. They are graded for academic achievement, and each student’s personal qualities are taken into account during the admissions process. These include how well the student’s goals align with RU’s program, their writing quality, history of leadership positions, and more.
Students work with the intention of spearheading change in the health care field. They also learn effective methods of predicting and forecasting changes in the ever-transforming medical environment. Many students report leaving RU with the skills they need to make changes, and the accompanying confidence required to set those changes in motion.
With a 100% online professional health care degree program, Liberty University caters to the needs of non-traditional students all over the nation who are seeking higher education. While many universities require a minimum amount of physical attendance in addition to online studies, LU does not. Perhaps travel expenses need not be a worry after all.
LU’s Doctor of Business Administration - Healthcare Management degree is built to be flexible enough to suit every student’s schedule. There are no set login times; students can study when it’s the most convenient for them. As a private evangelical Christian university, LU works Christian principles into its coursework. Students with military experience are eligible for a great number of benefits at LU, including discounted tuition rates.
Students enrolled in LU’s health care administration program work both collaboratively and independently throughout their course of study, aiming to practice leadership skills and improve collaborative methods of solving problems. They graduate with abilities in all aspects of the field, from finance to quality control.
Known across the nation for its career-specific studies, Colorado Technical University focuses on innovation, modern techniques and technology, and embracing change in all it offers. With thorough courses offered both on- and off-campus, CTU ensures education and skills development relevant to current industries. The Doctorate in Health Management - Healthcare Management and Leadership degree program is no exception.
CTU wastes no time in its course descriptions and list of requirements. Despite weighing in at 100 credit hours, CTU claims that its online Doctor of Management - Healthcare Management and Leadership degree can be completed in as few as three years. Dissertation development, a distinctive component of the program designed to support students in their closing defense, is built into the online courses.
CTU is a proud innovator in the world of higher education. Students graduate with leadership skills, relevant tools, and knowledge specific to the field of health care administration. They enter their professions with modern abilities and the professional practice they need to adapt in real-world situations.
One look into Capella University is all it takes to understand how highly it prioritizes the needs of its students. It boasts an emphasis on diversity, individuality, and flexibility. Its Doctor of Health Administration program is designed with the lives and needs of students in mind, and it caters to their needs and professional goals throughout the curriculum.
CU’s online Doctor of Health Administration Program ensures that students have access to the resources they need. Mentor interaction, as well as a supportive peer group, is emphasized and held in high regard. This makes for a learning environment that guarantees the reinforcement and assistance that many students find invaluable.
CU offers students the opportunity to learn not only in their field of choice, but also from other relevant fields. With interprofessional education, students can learn from and alongside other students and experts in the industry. Guided and encouraged by practiced and experienced faculty, students learn from leaders in health care administration.
The University of Bridgeport is a private school with an impressive 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It prioritizes student life, success, and diversity with a strong and personable social media presence. Its online platforms reflect this in the fullest, with resources readily available, events and achievements on display, and enthusiastic student participation.
Students who apply to UB’s hybrid Health Sciences, D.H.Sc. degree program are required to submit a personal statement, resume, two recommendation letters, and academic history from every school they have attended. Unlike many universities, experience in the health care field is not necessarily required. Instead, applicants without field experience are evaluated for their potential of success and leadership demonstration. UB’s website estimates that it takes 40 months to complete this program, including one week of mandatory campus residency.
UB aims to open doors for students and help them explore all aspects of their passions. In its Health Sciences, D.H.Sc hybrid program, learners become familiar with current topics and issues in health care. They leave as capable researchers, innovators, and leaders, well-versed in their trade, from small-scale methods to global health concerns.
Named No. 1 in Earning Power by the Wall Street Journal in 2018, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services is known for its effective and thorough courses. Its Doctor of Health Sciences degree program is held exclusively online and can be completed in as few as nine semesters.
MCPHS’s DHS online degree program has a prerequisite list comparatively less intensive than that of many other universities. Applicants must hold a master’s degree, but it does not have to be in a specific or relevant health field. Applicants must also provide proof of their experience in the health care field and, if applicable, a score of 90 or higher on the internet-delivered Test of English as a Foreign Language. With a total of 54 credit hours, the program is designed to be flexible to suit students’ varying needs.
Students in MCPHS’s DHS degree program have the opportunity to choose a specialty in the field. Graduates of this program are capable of leading the health industry with best practices, progressive methods, and professional implementation. With the help of experienced faculty, students work independently to develop research- and evidence-based knowledge and methods in health care.
Rush University is based in Chicago and provides degrees pertaining specifically to the medical field. Its online Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences program requires an on-campus presence only for a student’s dissertation defense and comprehensive examination. The program is designed to help health care professionals develop their skills and knowledge to become leaders in the field.
With both full- and part-time opportunities available, students usually take four to five years to complete the courses. Full-time students can complete the required courses in as few as three years. RU’s faculty not only teach the profession, they practice it. Students have readily available help from experts as they complete their studies.
RU’s DPHS online curriculum is divided into categories that prepare students for vital aspects of health care administration. These include both leadership and professional development. The program is designed to reinforce the skills that graduates will need to succeed in all facets of the career that awaits them.
Ranked by BestColleges.com as one of the best online doctoral degrees in health care administration, A. T. Still University’s program is respected for its success. Its Doctor of Health Administration works to heighten and reinforce the skills of health care professionals. It aims to build problem-solving, business, and leadership skills in its students.
ATSU, founded in 1892, is known as the home of osteopathic healthcare. The DHA degree is challenging and comprehensive, and services are provided for students in need of tutoring and mentoring. All faculty have a great deal of experience in various areas of the health care field, from economics to management of the industry. Tuition for ATSU’s DHA online degree program starts at $1,000 per credit hour.
ATSU’s DHA online degree program trains students in both business and practice. Graduates will grow as leaders and pioneers in health care change. They will have the opportunity to follow a career path with more influence, whether through teaching the profession or by seeking a higher position in the field.
Thomas Jefferson University, established in 1824 and merged with Philadelphia University in 2017, provides a range of medical degree programs. Its Ph.D. in Population Health Science combines on-site instruction with online course work. Compared to many universities, the on-site requirements are extensive; however, the school caters to working students with both morning and evening classes.
Students must complete 62 credits to graduate. Rather than a broad overview of health care administration, students are required to choose one of four subjects in which to specialize: Health Policy, Healthcare Policy and Safety, Health Behavioral Science, or Applied Health Economics and Outcomes Research. Students home in on specific topics and skills relevant to their chosen area of study.
TJU’s online portion of the Ph.D. in Population Health Science is delivered asynchronously. This, combined with flexible on-site class scheduling and options to begin work in the fall or spring, cater to students’ busy lives. Students can complete their work at whatever pace suits them best. All courses are taught by experienced professionals in the field, to best create experts and leaders in health care.
Northcentral University, a strictly online school, offers an extremely flexible Doctor of Health Administration degree program. Start dates for the DHA program are every Monday. Students must complete 20 courses to graduate, and the estimated completion time is three years. Students work independently without the worry of group projects or collaborative assignments. This way, they can complete their work on their own time without the constraints of other students.
NCU students are not, however, completely alone in their course work. With a unique one-to-one model, professors teach and guide students at the pace most ideal to the learner, rather than a standard pace set by an entire class. Personal assistance and guidance are key components in all of NCU’s programs.
NCU’s DHA degree program builds opportunities for students in the health care profession. Graduates become strong in areas such as organization and making evidence-based decisions. They learn strategies for planning, business, leadership, and solving problems. Students hone their collaborative skills and their understanding of health policies, problems, the legal system and its relation to health care, and ethical issues.
#19. Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University, with a main campus in Davie, FL, offers a Doctor of Health Science degree program. It is delivered almost completely online, requiring on-campus attendance at only two seminars. Each are one week long, and they are held during the summer. The amount of collaborative work required depends on the instructor; however, students complete a great deal of the work independently.
Rather than requiring a dissertation, as many universities do, NSU requires an internship and course in Doctoral Objective Analysis. In other words, NSU has replaced the usual dissertation requirement with real-world experience and the application of learned skills. NSU’s Doctor of Health Science program focuses on the role that health care professionals play and the current environment of the health field.
As with most programs, students must complete both mandatory courses and a number of electives. NSU’s Doctor of Health Science program allows students to take electives during any part of the program, and it offers an impressive array of them, including Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Independent Studies directed by the student and guided by a professor, and Narrative Medicine.
One of the few colleges on this list that operates solely online, Walden University offers an excellent Doctor of Healthcare Administration degree. Its DHA prepares students to be visionary leaders who innovate and change the world of health care. With a focus on public relations, research, and executive-level decision making, graduates are prepared to take on one of many leadership roles in the health care industry.
Walden University has students in more than 145 countries, and 88% of its faculty hold doctorate degrees, meaning that students will be in good hands when they enroll here. If students have already completed a master’s in health care administration, they may bypass some of the coursework required for this Ph.D.
Students may also transfer applicable credits into the program, to accelerate completion of the degree. Walden University is an excellent choice for students looking to participate in a refined online curriculum with qualified faculty and a rigorous, flexible curriculum.
Interested in healthcare administration? Read our other rankings on the 10 Best Online Bachelors Degrees in Healthcare Administration and the 20 Best Online Bachelors In Nursing Degree Programs!