Doctor of Health Administration Degrees
Doctorate in Healthcare Administration programs prepare students to lead, conduct scholarly research, and teach within their chosen areas of expertise.i They often are found in the form of PhD in Healthcare Administration programs, a research-based postgraduate degree.
Programs blend theory with research methodology, providing students with the chance to contribute new knowledge to an area of interest. This could include subjects such as policy development, public health, high-level management, or informatics.
Because of the range of sub-topics, Doctorate Healthcare Administration programs may be found in a university's school of medicine, public health, allied health or business administration.
Alternative Doctorate Healthcare Administration Degrees
Students who seek an alternative to a PhD in Health Administration might explore other types of doctorate programs. These degrees are more closely associated with leadership and service.
- Doctor of Health Administration (DHA)
- Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Healthcare Management
- Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
- Doctor of Education (EdD) in Health Sciences
What Is the Difference Between a DHA & PhD in Healthcare Administration?
At its core, the PhD in Healthcare Management is an academic degree. The expectation is that candidates will conduct a fair bit of theoretical research, then write and defend a dissertation. Their original thought, based on their data and conclusions, may be published and reviewed by peers.
While research areas must be approved, they might pertain to a specific area of healthcare management. Public health, health policy, medical care processes, patient care and human resource management are a few examples.
Many policy analysts have a degree related to a specific area of expertise, such as when a healthcare analyst has a medical degree.ii
Administration Program Requirements
Not all Health Administration PhD programs require a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration degree for admission. Some may have masters content rolled into the Ph.D. and may be open to students who hold a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college.
In those cases, a good GRE or GMAT score may be required. A solid background in health administration of some type (or a related field such as public health) may also be necessary, especially for executive PhD programs.
Other materials, such as letters of recommendation and personal interviews with the university's admission staff might be required. Programs vary.
How Do I Earn a PhD in Healthcare Administration?
PhD in Healthcare Administration programs may require doctoral students to complete about 60 credit hours (20 courses). While time to completion varies by university, a full-time student might take between two and four years to finish their program.
Usually in this time, advanced courses are taken first, followed by a comprehensive examination. Students also start to research and prepare for their dissertation, although this may be early on or in the second part of their program.
What Is a DHA Degree?
The Doctor of Health Administration, or DHA degree, is a practice degree in the field of health care management. In contrast to the PhD in Healthcare Administration, the DHA degree focuses on the application of the available evidence to executive decisions in the field of health care.
DHA programs often cover advanced business strategies needed to manage healthcare delivery demands. For this reason, they may be called ‘applied research’ or professional doctorate degrees.
Whereas a PhD graduate may pursue academia and hope to publish their research, Doctor of Health Administration graduates may pursue administrative leadership careers.
DHA Degree Requirements
Students who apply into a DHA degree program may have earned a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree, or hold a masters degree in a discipline other than healthcare administration.
DHA Degree - Course of Study
MHA graduates may be required to complete about 76 credits. These are usually allocated to core topics, research methods, an area of emphasis, and capstone project. While course names vary, some general topics may draw from the list below.
- Data-Driven Decisions
- Global Health Issues in Disease Prevention
- Governance, Law and Policy for Healthcare Leaders
- Strategic Financial Management
- Program Evaluation in Nursing and Health Sciences
- Health Data Analytics
DHA vs DBA in Healthcare Management
The Doctor of Business Administration - DBA in Healthcare Management is a professional doctorate degree in business administration. As a contrast to the DHA, the DBA degree is formed around core business courses, similar to the MBA.
Candidates who choose the Healthcare Management major may develop practical skills to prepare for the business side of healthcare. For example, DBA students may take courses in risk analysis, quality improvement, budget control, health care law, and human resources.
Doctor of Management: Healthcare Management and Leadership
Like the DBA, the Doctor of Management is a postgraduate degree where students can choose the Healthcare Management major. Often designed for those who wish to pursue administrative leadership positions, the DM provides in-depth courses in management theory. There is also usually a fair amount of qualitative research, and courses may dive into economics, finance, and economics.
Like the PhD in Healthcare Administration, a dissertation is required. However, the focus may be on the scholar-practitioner model and the application of research to current issues like health policy.
What Is a DrPH Degree?
A Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)degree is a postgraduate degree designed for the student who already has an MPH or equivalent degree and who intends to pursue a leadership position as a public health professional.
Areas that may be highlighted in DrPH programs include Biostatistics, Leadership, Environmental Health, and Health Promotion/Disease Prevention.
Doctor of Education (EdD) Executive Leadership
The Doctor of Education (EdD) in Executive Leadership is a degree that is built around core education courses. While these may help students fine tune their instructional skills or build curricula, elective courses highlight operational leadership in healthcare.
Often designed for practitioners, educators, and managers, graduate may either want to pursue or boost their careers in healthcare education, administration, or leadership. As a result, courses may revolve around strategy, how to develop and manage an effective team, or balance the economics of a decision with how it is timed.
Salary and Career Outlook Statistics
Whether you prefer research or practice, the demand for medical and health services managers is on the rise; the BLS forecasts a 17 percent jump in employment from 2014 to 2024.iii
While salaries vary, those who were employed in general medical and surgical hospitals earned a median annual salary of $117,630 (May 2015).iv Whereas the projected employment growth for Chief Executives is 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, the median annual salary was higher, at $175,110(May 2015).v
Potential Career Paths After Earning A Doctorate in Healthcare Administration Degree
Graduates of PhD Healthcare Administration programs might pursue careers such as the ones listed below.
- Researcher-Professor i
- Health Policy Analyst ii
- Chief Nursing Officer vi
- Executive Director v
- Clinical Director vii
Entry level education requirements vary. Those with a bachelors or masters degree may qualify. However a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration program may provide a strong foundational base of knowledge and could help set your resume apart.
Find Accredited Doctorate in Healthcare Administration Programs
It is possible to earn a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration at a regionally accredited university.
In addition, some universities may be members of the ACHE. The American College of Healthcare Executives is an international professional society of 40,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems, and other healthcare organizations.viii
Take the Next Step
With your personal and professional goals in mind, easily look through programs on this page to find a great Doctorate in Health Administration program.
Refine your search to look for DHA degree or PhD in Healthcare Administration online programs if you need the flexibility of web-based courses. Or search for Doctorate Health Administration schools by state.
Then, use the on-page button to request more information from the schools on your list. Your future awaits!
[i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm |[ii] bls.gov/careeroutlook/2007/spring/art03.pdf |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm |[iv] bls.gov/oes/current/oes119111.htm#st |[v] .bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm |[vi] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-1011.00 |[vii] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9111.00 |[viii] ache.org/aboutache.cfm
University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
This specialization includes a series of courses with emphasis on operational leadership in healthcare: developing and managing an effective team, strategic planning and decision-making, balancing the economics of decision-making and timing of decisions,...
The Doctor of Business Adminstration degree with a specialization in Health Care Administration prepares health care...
A.T. Still University of Health Sciences
The Doctor of Health Administration program at A.T. Still University (ATSU) prepares students to translate theory into real-world application to improve and influence healthcare administrative systems.
University of the Rockies
Healthcare management is rapidly evolving to incorporate clinical advances and deliver the latest healthcare benefits to our communities. In the Healthcare Management specialization, you will explore many aspects of the healthcare industry, including th...
Grand Canyon University
Liberty University Online
Doctor of Business Administration: Healthcare Management...
Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University’s Doctor of Management (DM) degree in Healthcare Management and Leadership is designed for students interested in pursuing opportunities as academic or administrative leaders in the healthcare industry.
- Greenwood Village, CO
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Houston, TXHouston, TX
University of Texas Health Science Center At Houston
The Management and Policy Sciences (MAPS) Discipline provides instruction in the fields of health economics, health law, management, quantitative meth...
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
University of Pittsburgh
The Graduate School of Public Health offers courses of study and research in many areas, including biostatistics, chronic disease epidemiology, community health services, health administration, health policy analysis, human genetics, genetic counseling,...
- Statesboro, GAStatesboro, GA
Georgia Southern University
The mission of the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree – Health Policy and Management program concentration is to prepare competent administrators who can provide leadership in the development of policy and in the management of public health organiz...
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania
The Ph.D. program in Health Care Systems combines intensive graduate level training in healthcare systems and health services research with advanced t...
- Philadelphia, PA
- Baltimore, MDBaltimore, MD
Johns Hopkins University
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) training emphasizes the skills necessary to assess the needs for occupational and environmental health services at regi...
- New Delhi, IndiaNew Delhi, India
Jawaharlal Nehru University
- Lancaster, United KingdomLancaster, United Kingdom
- Norfolk, VANorfolk, VA
Old Dominion University
- Ann Arbor, MIAnn Arbor, MI
University of Michigan
The Doctoral Program in Health Services Organization and Policy is offered by the Department of Health Management and Policy in the University of Mich...
- Baltimore, MDBaltimore, MD
Morgan State University
Public Health graduate programs prepare public health professionals who draw on the knowledge and skills from a variety of disciplines.
- Saint Louis, MOSaint Louis, MO
St. Louis University
This program allows students to study and work side-by-side with nationally known educators and researchers who serve as mentors.
- Athens, GAAthens, GA
University of Georgia
The rapidly expanding pharmaceutical and biomedical industries necessitate a greater number of Regulatory Affairs professionals to manage the FDA approval process of new products and maintain regulatory compliance. Specialized and convenient educatio...
- Tulsa, OKTulsa, OK
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
The OU Health Sciences Center serves as Oklahoma's principal education facility for physicians, nurses, dentists, biomedical scientists, pharmacists, physician associates and a wide range of allied health and public health professionals.
- Lubbock, TXLubbock, TX
Texas Tech University
The college's M.B.A. program is designed to provide a broad background for multiple careers in business, government, and related activities with particular emphasis on developing managerial perspective, analytical tools, and skills. The program is s...
- Odense, DenmarkOdense, Denmark
- Champaign, ILChampaign, IL
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
Graduate program in community health with specializations in healthbehavior, and health policy and administration.