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Top 10 Affordable DHA Online (Doctorate in Healthcare Administration)

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Health care is one of the most important parts of our advanced society, and we have recently learned how important it is for healthcare to be managed well. Getting a DHA online is a great way to launch or propel a career in health management higher. What can you do with a doctorate in healthcare administration? Healthcare administrators manage and lead hospital systems, individual hospitals, health care clinics, doctor’s offices, long-term care facilities, government agencies, and nonprofits. Administrative duties can include managing medical and non-medical personnel, managing budgets and contracts, improving the quality of health services, making policies and procedures, and many more duties.

For people who work in health professions, nonprofits, government, or business, the urge to help people by helping manage healthcare is a noble calling. If you have a master’s degree in any subject, the next step to becoming a leader in health care can be getting a doctorate in healthcare administration online. No matter your specialty now, gaining management skills specific to health administration can take you to the top levels of management. Look at our list and find the best online college for healthcare administration to suit your schedule, your interests, and most of all, your pocketbook.

DHA vs PhD vs DBA in Healthcare Administration

Most doctorate in healthcare administration degrees are either Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) or Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degrees with a specialty in healthcare. Both of these degree types will include research skills, but they are primarily practice-based, meaning they focus on applying skills and research in the real world to. The differences in the content of these two degrees may be small in many instances, but for those who seek more business skills, a DBA might be the better choice. But there is a lot of overlap between the two types oof degrees.

There are few schools that offer the PhD in healthcare administration, which is a more research-oriented degree. Is a PhD and a doctorate the same thing? A PhD is a type of doctorate that is less applied than a DHA or DBA in healthcare. Since there are not many PhD programs in healthcare administration around, if you are more interested in the research side, you can look at PhDs in related fields like medicine, nursing, public health, or biomedical studies. Deciding on an DHA online vs PhD is a choice between focusing on practice rather than research.

All of these doctor of health administration degree types are great for people who are already working in healthcare as physicians, nurses, or managers. But they are also good for people coming from other careers such as business who want to apply their skills to the health system. What is a DHA good for? The benefits of getting a healthcare administration doctorate are that you can more competently manage the functioning of our health system, you can rise to a higher level in management, and you can command a higher healthcare administration salary.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Doctorate in Health Administration?

Programs can range from about two years to five or more years. The length of your program depends on how much preparation you have for the degree and how many classes you can fit into your busy schedule at once. Most DHA online programs are geared towards people already working in health care management positions, so you may be required to take extra classes to catch up if you don’t have the education or experience that would prepare you for a healthcare administration doctorate program. Almost all of the programs are designed for working professionals, so you can continue in your current job while you get your degree. And just like online DrPH programs, no GRE is required for admission to most doctorate in healthcare administration online programs.

10 Most Affordable DHA Online Programs

Below you’ll find the best online colleges for healthcare administration offering the most affordable DHA online programs. Each of these online degrees are available at least 80% online, most 100% online.

  1. California Intercontinental University

    Degree: Doctorate of Business Administration / Healthcare Management & Leadership
    Total Cost (In-State & Out-of-State):

    California Intercontinental University offers the DBA in Healthcare Management & Leadership as a fully online program that is comprised of 60 semester credits. 30 of the credits are in business fundamentals, then there are 15 credits of healthcare leadership courses, a comprehensive exam, and then 15 credits for the culminating experience. Students can choose whether to write a dissertation or conduct a research project as their final stage of the degree. Courses include Global Business Finance, Marketing Research in Consumer Behavior, Managing Disaster: Perspective for Healthcare Leaders, and Quality Management in Healthcare: A Systems Approach. Application requires a CV, 3-5 years of work experience, a master’s degree (or at least 30 credits of graduate work), and an undergraduate GPA of 2.0 and graduate GPA of 3.0. Up to nine credits can be transferred to the program, and CIU provides comprehensive tuition benefits to military students. With a small price tag, highly relevant curriculum, and flexible scheduling, the CIU program is a great DHA online.

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    Doctorate of Business Administration / Healthcare Management & Leadership


  2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Degree: Doctor of Health Leadership
    Total Cost (In-State): $33,904
    Total Cost (Out-of-State):

    The Doctor of Health Leadership from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a primarily synchronous online program with three short campus visits required per year during the first two years of the program. This executive doctorate requires applicants to have at least five years of professional experience in the health care field with substantial middle or upper management responsibility. Applicants need to have a graduate degree with a 3.0 GPA, leadership capabilities, full time employment in the field, and motivation to improve public health. Students who have their master’s degree in a subject other than public health will be required to complete one additional foundation course. International students are accepted, and admission is competitive. The program starts in the fall and with a cohort of students proceeding through the program together. The program takes about three years to complete, and courses include Essentials of Practice-Based Research, Program Evaluation for Health Leaders, and Fundamentals of Research Analysis. Students will be expected to complete applied practice experiences, a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation. Health professionals will find this program to have exceptional faculty, a small group of experienced and diverse peers, and to teach leadership skills to take them to the highest levels of their field.

    Find Out More:
    Doctor of Health Leadership


  3. Indiana Wesleyan University

    Degree: Doctor of Business Administration / Healthcare Administration
    Total Cost (In-State & Out-of-State):

    The online DBA at Indiana Wesleyan University takes just three years to complete and has an applied project rather than a dissertation for the final project. Students come to campus for one weekend per year, but the remainder of the doctor of healthcare administration program is fully online. The program is geared towards a virtuous business model, and helps students prepare for leadership, consulting, or teaching roles in healthcare administration. There are 18 required courses in the program which are taken sequentially. Applicants need to have a master’s degree in a business or healthcare field with a 3.25 GPA, plus at least five years of experience in healthcare administration. Classes include Virtuous Leadership and Global Based Teams, Data Analytics and Research, Current Issues for Virtuous Organization, and Healthcare Law, Governance and Ethics. Students need to get a “B” in all classes or they will be required to repeat them. For one of the lowest-cost doctorate in healthcare administration online programs, Indiana Wesleyan provides a flexible educational program for healthcare management professionals.

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    Doctor of Business Administration / Healthcare Administration


  4. Liberty University

    Degree: Doctor of Business Administration / Healthcare Management
    Total Cost (In-State & Out-of-State):

    Liberty University’s doctorate in healthcare administration allows students to transfer in up to 50% of the credits towards the degree, making this a great choice for those with doctoral credits under their belts. Classes are held in a convenient 8-week format and there are eight different start dates per year for this fully online program. Courses include Strategic Allocation of Financial Resources, Marketing for Competitive Advantage, Healthcare Informatics, and Managing Human Capital in Healthcare. Applicants need to have a business-related master’s degree with a 3.0 GPA and international students will need to prove English language proficiency. For busy adults, the Liberty University program is very flexible, with all asynchronous courses and no campus visits required. For military students, Liberty offers a generous tuition discount. An added bonus for some will be the Christian perspective of the university. With low tuition for all, maximally accommodating scheduling, substantial transfer credit options, and a very solid online program, this is a great DHA online for students from all over.

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    Doctor of Business Administration / Healthcare Management


  5. Franklin University

    Degree: Doctor of Healthcare Administration
    Total Cost (In-State & Out-of-State):

    The Franklin University doctorate in healthcare administration online can be completed in three years, or even less by using transfer credits which can replace up to 48% of the coursework for this degree. There are four possible start dates per year and classes can be taken completely online. Courses in the program include Introduction to Statistics; Organizations, Community, and Global Health; Healthcare Quality, Process, and Improvement; and Advanced Health Information Governance. In addition, students can choose eight credits of electives that will give them a focus in areas such as marketing, human resource management, education, accounting, and more. The final project can be either a dissertation or a dissertation in practice, and students will get a start on it in the first year of their studies. Applicants need to have a master’s degree with a 3.0 GPA or they may petition for acceptance with a lower GPA. In addition, applicants need to have 30 graduate credits in healthcare. For students who have an area of specialty they want to pursue, this is a great program choice, plus it is flexible and affordable for all types of students.

    Find Out More:
    Doctor of Healthcare Administration


  6. Walden University

    Degree: Doctor of Healthcare Administration
    Total Cost (In-State & Out-of-State): $47,420

    The DHA programs at Walden University have tracks for those who have an MHA and those whose master’s degree is in another subject. Students may complete this doctor of healthcare administration program in as little as 2.5 years, and may transfer in up to 30 credits towards the degree including credit for experience. Courses in the program include Advanced Healthcare Operations Management, Doctoral Study Seminar II, Strategic Management and System Thinking, and Research Methods for Healthcare Administrators. There are two face-to-face requirements for this program, but the balance of classes are online. Walden offers students seminars early in their program to help them prepare for their dissertation and also have a program to help students stay on track with milestone mapping, faculty meetings, and other helpful resources. Applicants just need to have a master’s degree. Walden University’s program is great for students with an MHA or another master’s degree, as they offer flexibility in scheduling, affordable tuition with assistance and scholarships available, and support to help students complete the program.

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    Doctor of Healthcare Administration


  7. Central Michigan University

    Degree: Doctor of Health Administration
    Total Cost (In-State & Out-of-State):

    With the doctorate in healthcare administration from Central Michigan University, you have the option of joining a cohort oof students to complete the program in three or five years, depending on how intensively you want to study. With the shorter program, students take two or three classes each of 4 terms per year, while the longer program has students taking one or two classes per semester. Students attend an on-campus orientation at the beginning of the program, and then there are six 2.5 day regionally based in-person seminars required. There is an option to substitute up to two international travel courses for the regional seminars. Classes include Probability and Statistics for Health Professions, Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability for Health Entities, Comparative Health Systems, and Applied Leadership. The final part of the program is an individual dissertation. CMU provides a robust platform for student interaction, an advisor for the didactic portion of the program, and a major professor to help with the dissertation, giving students the support they need to complete the degree. Applications are due April 15 for a fall start to the program. This program is perfect for health and business professionals who seek an affordable and high-quality option for their online doctorate.

    Find Out More:
    Doctor of Health Administration


  8. Northcentral University

    Degree: Doctor of Health Administration
    Total Cost (In-State & Out-of-State):

    Northcentral University’s DHA online is unique in that you can start any week, and the class size is one—you get individual attention to complete this 60 credit hour program. Students complete 20 courses at their own pace, but a recommended completion time is 44 months. There is no in-person requirement, but there are synchronous online sessions for students to share ideas with peers and faculty. Courses in this program include The United States Healthcare Delivery System, Health Leadership and Systems Thinking, Process and Resource Management in Integrated Systems, and Components of the Dissertation. The applied dissertation project is the final component of the program. Applicants should have a master’s degree with a 3.0 GPA plus at least three years of mid- or senior-level professional healthcare work experience, though those without the experience or education can petition for conditional admission. For students who thrive with one-on-one attention, the structure of this program provides exceptional flexibility and individualized study.

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    Doctor of Health Administration


  9. Capella University

    Degree: DHA – Health Administration; DHA – Health Care Leadership; DHA – Health Care Quality and Analytics; DHA – Health Policy and Advocacy
    Total Cost (In-State & Out-of-State):

    There are four different specialization options for the Capella University doctorate in healthcare administration online: general healthcare administration, leadership, quality and analytics, and policy and advocacy. You can transfer up to 18 credits into the degree, and while you pay as you go, there is a tuition cap that ensures you won’t pay over a certain amount for your degree. Courses in the program include 21st Century Health Care Improvement, Foundations of Evidence-Based Practice in Health Care, Keystone: Defining the Doctoral Project, and Quantitative Design and Analysis. Students must also complete a 100-hour practicum. Applicants need master’s degree with a 3.0 GPA but this is an online DrPH programs no GRE or GMAT required. The online learning is structured with peer interaction and faculty support, and classes are in 10-week blocks. The Capella University program offers flexibility, affordability, and the option to focus on the career area that is most important to you at a school that has 25 years of experience with online doctoral programs.

    Find Out More:
    DHA - Health Administration
    DHA - Health Care Leadership
    DHA - Health Care Quality and Analytics
    DHA - Health Policy and Advocacy


  10. Regent University

    Degree: Doctor of Strategic Leadership / Healthcare Leadership
    Total Cost (In-State & Out-of-State): $62,160

    Regent University’s online doctor of health administration focuses on strategic leadership in healthcare with a Christian perspective. The program is 51 credits long and includes two short on-campus residencies, one for orientation and another that includes the comprehensive exam and other course components. Students can start in any one of eight semesters per year by making sure their application, admission, and payment information is in order two weeks prior to the first day of the term. Classes include Leaders and Followers, Organizational Strategy & Design, Consulting Principles, and Healthcare: Issues, Trends, and Forecasting. The program has cohorts of students who have opportunities to interact with faculty and peers beyond the course discussions. Up to nine transfer credits can be applied towards the degree from other graduate work. The affordable healthcare leadership degree program at Regent University is great for people who have busy career and family lives, especially those who appreciate a Christian environment for their education.

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    Doctor of Strategic Leadership / Healthcare Leadership


What Can You Do with a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration?

With a DHA, DBA, or PhD in healthcare administration, there are many career avenues open to you. You could become a hospital CEO or administrator, a healthcare consultant, a medical services manager, a pharmaceutical product manager, a medical practice manager, or a nonprofit manager. You may want to apply your skills as a nursing manager, a medical director, a medical records manager, or a compliance officer. There are jobs in government like healthcare policy analyst, population health director, or health information manager. You might want to teach at a college or university, and the DHA online can qualify you for these jobs too. At every level of the health care system, in small clinics and huge hospital systems, there is a need for strong management of many different aspects of healthcare. Nonprofits that deal with health—globally, nationally, or at the state level—need executives. Nursing homes, military organizations, and even businesses need health administrators. What is a DHA good for? There are numerousways to use your healthcare administration doctorate to advance your career or switch to a new and valuable profession.

Healthcare administration salaries are very high, with the median being $104,280, higher than for other management positions and about two and a half times the national average of all jobs. That said, you can expect a much higher PhD in healthcare administration salary if you are the CEO of a large hospital system who can earn as much as $1.4 million a year, versus working as the medical director at a small clinic. No matter what, the doctorate in healthcare administration online will help you get a raise in your current position and make more over the course of your career as a valued leader in healthcare. You can also expect to be in demand: job growth for medical and health services managers are expected to rise a whopping 32% between 2019 and 2029.

Begin a DHA Online Today!

So, what can you do with a doctorate in healthcare administration? You can find great jobs, get paid well, and contribute your skills to making the country healthy. A doctorate in healthcare administration is a great way to level up your current career or make a change that will bring both meaningful work and a good salary into your life. Plus, getting a DHA online makes it easy to get started no matter where you work or live. There’s no time to lose in getting yourself trained to perform one of these important jobs!

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