California Online Doctor of Health Administration Programs

An online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration (DHA) is a professional practice degree in the field of health care management. It is usually designed to develop scholar-practitioners who might impact health care through leadership, policy, or data-driven decisions. As a result, many online DHA programs cover executive-oriented topics such as financial management, strategic planning, economic analysis, and quality assessment.

Which Online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration Is Right for Me?

The doctor of health administration online is one of several options as far as Doctorate Healthcare Management programs go. While each may have a different appeal or nucleus, they have a few things in common. For one, students typically must put in a significant amount of study beyond the masters degree. They also should expect to conduct research. The objective is either to publish or to apply the results to improve performance and outcomes in health services or health care systems. So how do you find the perfect program for your needs?  You might consider a few issues.

  • What are your career goals?
  • Do your interests lie in business and finance, management, education, or research?
  • Do you prefer to write, research, and publish or to apply current theory?
  • Is there a topic you want to investigate more thoroughly?

Online PhD programs in healthcare administration may take on a range of concentrations. Academics, policy development, public health, high-level management, informatics, and research are several examples.

FACT

Healthcare executives must adapt to changes in healthcare laws, regulations, and technology.i

Online Health Administration Doctorate Information

Online Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) Requirements

Applicants to online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration programs may be required to have a masters degree from an accredited institution. Some students may come into their program with a Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree, while others may have earned their degree in a related field. Other requisites could vary by university, like minimum GPA or a telephone interview. 

How Long Are DHA Online Programs?

For students who have their MHA degree, it may take as few as three years of full-time study to complete their Doctor of Health Administration online. Those who do not have this background may have to make up some foundation coursework. Also, and often in the case of online programs, students might find part-time options, or ones where they may transfer credits and possibly accelerate time to completion. 

Online DHA Courses

Students who pursue an online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration online may be required to complete about 76 credits. The way these are allotted vary by school, but often there are core topics, electives, and capstone courses. What topics might students in online DHA programs explore? 

  • Health Policy in the U.S.
  • Strategic Vision and Planning in Health Care
  • Evidence-Based Leadership
  • Health Data Analytics
  • Performance Management
  • Regulations and Patient Safety

Complete Classes from Wherever You Are

While DHA degree online programs may present the same challenges as their campus counterparts, students usually log in when and where they can. This flexibility may be an asset to those who work, have a family, or cannot relocate. As well, some programs have one-to-one mentor online sessions so students may get the help they need for their dissertation project without the commute time. 

The Virtual Health Care Environment

Formats and structure of online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration programs varies, but may include technology that allows students to practice real-life scenarios in a virtual health care environment. For instance, web-based courses might make use of evidence-based case studies, simulation exercises, consulting projects, presentations, and more. 

Face-to-Face Residencies

While some Doctorate degree in Healthcare Administration online programs may be 100% Internet-based, others may schedule several ‘residencies’. These often serve several purposes in addition to program orientation. For one, they may provide an overview of the capstone project and program itself. Also, they provide the chance to put names to faces, socialize, network, and meet your faculty. This last part is relevant if you prefer to meet your academic advisor in person and tap into your university support services.

Online Research & Resources

Some online universities have inter-library loan systems in addition to online libraries with databases and research tools. Plus, for those schools that offer fully online programs, e-learners may have access to premium resouces like personalized answers and support from a faculty member or mentor, as well as tools to help students write their final projects.

PhD vs DHA

The online Doctorate in Health Administration is academically equal to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and both degrees require advanced research. However, in PhD in healthcare management online programs, students contribute original thought and scholarly research for academia.ii They may aspire to teach, develop curricula, or conduct policy research.iii By contrast, the DHA is an action-oriented degree. Students take the evidence presented in their courses and research and apply it to a specific issue or problem. They also might tailor their final project to an area of emphasis such as global health policy, health care advocacy, leadership, or strategy. 

DBA vs PhD Healthcare Administration

While an Online PhD in Healthcare Administration may suit future scholars, policy makers, or researchers, business-focused students and current administrators who desire to potentially move up the corporate ladder might consider an online DBA. A Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Health Care Administration addresses the business aspect of the health care industry. Usually, students take core business and business strategy courses along with a few courses in their major. Students will review the basics of how to apply sound managerial decisions to health care policy and economics. Also, students might explore the regulatory and ethical dynamics of the industry.

Online Doctor of Management – Healthcare Management and Leadership

Another business-focused, postgraduate degree is the online Doctor of Management with a concentration in healthcare management and leadership. This type of degree might suit current or future consultants and those who want to explore management theories in depth. With a course of study that may take a deep look at strategy, organizational alignment, and innovation, graduates may be prepared to pursue senior-level leadership career paths.

Online Doctor of Strategic Leadership – Healthcare Leadership

Students who hope to meet today’s organizational challenges might opt for another type of terminal, postgraduate degree: an online DSL with a focus on healthcare leadership. The Doctor of Strategic Leadership mixes theory with practical components. For example, learners might examine current issues in healthcare to help them grasp, plan, forecast, and build effective teams. To that end, courses might cover human resources and leadership development as well as risk management.

Online Doctor of Education – Executive Leadership

Another professional doctorate that focuses on operational leadership in healthcare is an online Doctor of Education (EdD) with a focus on executive leadership or nurse education. This type of program covers core topics designed to prepare graduates to pursue faculty, administrator, and director career paths within health-science related education. Course topics could highlight theories in education and how they may be applied to specific areas such as quality management and health policy.

Find Accredited DHA Online Programs

Many of the brick-and-mortar or online universities with online DHA, DBA, and PhD programs in healthcare administration are regionally accredited. This is one mark of quality to search out. Beyond that, these degrees may be housed within a university’s school of business, medicine, public health, public administration, or allied health. As a result, some programs may be accredited by an applicable professional agency. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) is one such instance.

Take the Next Step

As a busy professional, you might want to take advantage of one-to-one online mentoring or self-paced study to access your goals. Easily compare online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration paid programs from accredited universities on this directory. Then, with one click, request information from the schools on your list. Take the next step now!


[i] bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm |[iii] bls.gov/careeroutlook/2007/spring/art03.pdf 

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