By Staff Writer

Last Updated: July 21, 2020

Professionals with a doctorate in healthcare administration obtain some of the top managerial and administrative jobs in healthcare settings. In these graduate programs, DHA degree-seekers develop the necessary practical skills to handle leadership roles in large hospitals, clinics, and other types of healthcare organizations.

The job outlook for graduates of online DHA programs remains positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that available positions for medical and health services managers may grow 18% by 2028. Degree-holders can pursue lucrative careers in the field, such as nursing home administrator, clinical manager, and health information manager. The BLS reports that medical and health services managers earn an annual median wage of $86,820-$111,520, depending on the industry.

Many graduate students today take advantage of the convenience and flexibility of remote learning to complete doctorate programs in healthcare administration online. We offer details on the best accredited online DHA programs in the rankings that follow. Visit our ranking methodology page for more information on healthcare administration degrees.


View our ranking methodology here.

Top DHA Online Programs

A.T. Still University

ATSU offers one of the top doctorate in healthcare administration (DHA) online programs in the country, preparing graduates to lead the development of innovative solutions for healthcare industry challenges. The 62-credit online DHA program comprises 20 dissertation credits and 42 course credits. Ideal for working professionals, the curriculum covers healthcare economics and law, information systems, organizational theory, and quantitative methods. Students can complete their coursework entirely online without required travel to the Kirksville, Missouri, campus.

Class delivery includes online instruction, assigned readings, a chat room, and mentorship. Students can choose between an applied or theoretical dissertation project. ATSU partners with the American College of Healthcare Executives to provide student access to leading industry professionals.

The College of Graduate Health Studies requires a master's degree from an accredited institution and a 2.5 minimum GPA. Applicants submit a current resume and complete an essay. ATSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Central Michigan University

CMU, based in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, includes a doctor of health administration degree among its online programs. The hybrid delivery follows a cohort model with a set course schedule geared for healthcare professionals. The program's 63 credits include 51 credits of online classes, in-person seminars, and a comprehensive essay exam. The remaining 12 credits allow students time to complete their dissertations. Course topics include leadership and change management, human interaction and communication, healthcare delivery models, and contemporary human resource issues.

Admission requires a professional degree (e.g., MD, DDS) or a master's degree in health or business administration, nursing management, public health or administration, or equivalent from a regionally accredited school. Candidates must submit official transcripts, a professional resume, a statement of career goals, and three references. They must also complete an interview and attend an orientation on campus. CMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Franklin University

Future healthcare leaders can earn their doctorate in healthcare administration online through Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. Enrollees can complete the 58-credit program, designed for working adults, in three years, including a dissertation preparation year.

The entirely online curriculum includes a 16-credit research core, 20-credit major area, 12 credits of electives, and 10 credits to complete dissertation requirements. Students learn organizational strategies, innovative leadership practices, and research applications to advance the field. Franklin boasts an embedded, "no-fear" dissertation process, in which their courses prepare students to develop their proposals.

Applicants must hold a master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a 3.0 GPA or, if they have logged 30 hours of graduate coursework in a healthcare field, they may take a graduate entrance examination. Franklin may accept up to 24 transfer credits. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to graduate. Franklin is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Mississippi

The hybrid doctor of health administration program at Ole Miss combines mandatory on-campus sessions with online classes and takes three years to complete. Ole Miss accepts 10-15 applicants per cohort and provides instruction in health leadership, policy, strategic change, epidemiology, and economics. Once they complete their coursework, students complete nine credits developing and defending their doctoral research proposals and another 3-9 credits to finalize their projects.

Ole Miss accepts applications from candidates with either: a master's degree or professional doctorate in healthcare from a regionally accredited institution or a master's degree and at least five years of experience in healthcare management or policy or in a clinical specialty. Submission requirements include evidence of a 3.0 minimum GPA, GRE scores, a resume, and an essay describing previous healthcare experience.

Ole Miss, located in Jackson, Mississippi, is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Carolina's executive doctoral program in health leadership trains working professionals for positions in senior leadership. The 45-credit, three-year curriculum emphasizes public and global health. Instructional delivery features online classes and also requires participants to come to the Chapel Hill campus once during each semester for 3-4 days during the first two years. To graduate, students complete comprehensive written and oral exams and a capstone, thesis, or dissertation project.

Carolina seeks a diverse student population with health leadership experience at the community, organizational, or institutional levels. Prerequisites include a prior graduate degree and completion of a public health core course (or a master's in public health), GRE or GMAT scores (or a doctorate), transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. Select applicants receive an invitation to a phone interview.

Carolina is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Gillings School of Global Public Health holds accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health.