Top 10 DHA Online Programs 2016-2017

Published September 2016

Welcome to our ranking of the best online Ph.D. in healthcare administration programs.

In the past decade, college education has become so competitive that earning a master’s degree is practically expected in many fields. This is especially true for students who aspire to managerial roles, and the MHA degree is becoming increasingly ubiquitous on healthcare professionals’ résumés. So to really stand out, many aspiring industry leaders – as well as current administrators – are taking that extra step to swap their MHA credential for a DHA. And as online education continues to improve, more and more professionals are making the choice to keep their day jobs (because why wouldn’t you if you could?) and study online.


Unfortunately, the current options for online Ph.D. in healthcare administration students are extremely limited. We are confident that will change in the coming years, but as it currently stands there only about a dozen online DHA degrees in the United States. As much as possible, we tried to limit our selection to public and private non-profit universities, although one for-profit school made it on this top 10 list. We then ascertained an approximate figure for annual tuition and fees using data from College Navigator (averaging in-state and out-of-state costs for public schools) and ranked the final set in order of affordability. From over $30,000 a year to less than $10,000, this DHA degree online ranking has it all. Read more below!

A T Still University of Health Sciences Top EdD in Educational Leadership Online

ATSU’s accredited DHA online program offers a bridge for business professionals to make a seamless transition to executive leadership positions in healthcare.

10. A T Still University of Health Sciences

Kirksville, MO

Online Doctor of Health Administration Degree

The online DHA at A.T. Still University represents the pinnacle of training for health administration professionals. While MHA programs will prepare you for leadership roles within the industry, this doctoral degree goes a step further. Courses in subjects like mentoring and interpersonal communications, quality improvement, informatics, and strategic change management will give you the tools to actually “improve and influence healthcare administration systems” rather than simply maintain current practices. As a PhD program, this degree of course includes research requirements, too. A three sequence Research Methods class and penultimate capstone/review course prepares students for their final challenge: writing a dissertation!
Tuition & Fees: $31,493/yr

MCPHS University Top EdD in Educational Leadership Online

PhD in health administration online students at MCPHS will need to attend two week-long, on-campus residencies in Boston before completing their dissertation.

9. MCPHS University

Boston, MA

Doctor of Health Sciences (DHS): Healthcare Administration

Formerly known as the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, MCPHS University adopted a new name in 2013 to “reflect its growth into a multi-disciplinary university” – although it continues to maintain a strong focus on medical and health science careers. This makes it the perfect destination for students seeking a doctorate in health administration online. The university takes a modified approach to this traditional program, offering a Doctor of Health Sciences with two concentration options: Academic Health Sciences and Healthcare Administration. Although both tracks are best suited to current healthcare professionals, the latter specialization is ideal for students who seek leadership positions in either the public or private sector.
Tuition & Fees: $20,550/yr

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Top EdD in Educational Leadership Online

UNC’s high-tech DHA degree online delivery system incorporates live video and audio, data sharing, and more.

8. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

Online Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership (DrPH)

The University of North Carolina has a well-known reputation as a national leader in higher education, and thanks to its online PhD in Healthcare Administration, students from all across the country can take advantage of its superior academics. In many ways, this program isn’t your average DHA. Officially dubbed the Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership, this three-year degree is designed to help current industry professionals (mainly those already working in mid-to-senior level positions) transition to the very top echelons of healthcare organizations. And there’s no need to sacrifice your work commitments while you study; with the exception of six on-campus visits in total, you can easily complete all coursework from your home or office.
Tuition & Fees: $19,680/yr

Northcentral University Top EdD in Educational Leadership Online

NCU’s Doctor of Health Administration online gives students up to seven years to complete their degree.

7. Northcentral University

Prescott Valley, AZ

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration: Health Care Administration

In all industries, managers must have a deep understanding of the principles that govern their organization – whether they be related to economics, finance, logistics, marketing, or another field – in order to succeed. But in healthcare, being knowledgeable is not enough. The best healthcare executives are also experienced in research and can readily employ evidence-based practices. Northcentral University addresses these exact skill sets through its unique one-to-one mentoring approach, which offers students unparalleled support as they explore global issues in healthcare, health policy, research management, and more. This approach, along with a curriculum that emphasizes essential skills like computer competency and programmatic data analysis, makes this one of the best DHA degrees online.
Tuition & Fees: $17,171/yr

Capella University Top EdD in Educational Leadership Online

Capella University, a participant in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Higher Education Network, has worked hard to establish one of the top PhD in Health Administration online programs.

6. Capella University

Minneapolis, MN

Online Doctor of Health Administration

Capella University is a popular choice for online degree seekers, and it’s not hard to see why. With multiple yearly start dates, clear transfer credit procedures, and compact 10-week courses, Capella provides maximum flexibility for nontraditional and professional students. These features are especially convenient for members of the online DHA cohort, who often maintain full-time jobs while enrolled. And although Capella isn’t the most traditional university, the rigorous coursework would easily fool you into thinking otherwise. The curriculum incorporates the esteemed NCHL Health Leadership Competency Model and is jam-packed with real-world simulations, evidence-based case studies, and hands-on projects.
Tuition & Fees: $14,175/yr

University of Mississippi Medical Center Top EdD in Educational Leadership Online

To make this affordable online PhD in Healthcare Administration even more affordable, consider applying to the Mississippi Rural Allied Health Professionals Scholarship Program.

5. University of Mississippi Medical Center

Jackson, MS

Online Doctor of Health Administration

What better place to earn your doctor of health administration online than through a bona-fide medical center? The University of Mississippi Medical Center makes education, research, and healthcare its top priorities, and in doing so makes itself a prime target for serious medical and health science scholars. The accredited DHA online program in particular attracts nontraditional and part-time students, who often benefit from the slower pace that this nine-semester degree affords. But slow doesn’t mean easy. In fact, the part-time schedule actually allows students to focus more deeply and deliberately on their courses, including a final doctoral project.
Tuition & Fees: $14,059/yr

Colorado Technical University Online Top EdD in Educational Leadership Online

CTU’s doctorate in health administration online can help students acquire managerial positions, work in academia, or even act as consultants.

4. Colorado Technical University-Online

Colorado Springs, CO

Online Doctor of Management – Healthcare Management and Leadership

Much like Northcentral University, Colorado Technical University offers a PhD in Health Administration online as a subset of its business program. Students officially earn a Doctor of Management but can choose to concentrate in Healthcare Management and Leadership. You’ll share many of your classes, including Management Theory and Organization Innovation and Scenario Thinking, with other graduate students throughout the business school. But fear not: coursework in health policy, informatics, healthcare economics, and of course healthcare management ensure that you obtain a rock-solid education. And a whopping 48-credits, or 50% of the total degree, are devoted to research and writing a dissertation, so get ready to study hard!
Tuition & Fees: $13,731/yr

Walden University Top EdD in Educational Leadership Online

The average online DHA student at Walden University takes more than two years to finish their coursework and dissertation.

3. Walden University

Minneapolis, MN

Online Doctor of Health Administration (DHA)

Presumably, anyone with an MBA could say they are qualified to manage an organization. But how many people would say they are prepared “to be a visionary leader and social change agent?” According to Walden University, the answer is anyone who graduates from their top DHA online program. Walden offers two separate tracks for DHA applicants: one for students with an MHA, and one for those with a master’s degree in another field. Both options feature a curriculum that is unusually diverse for a doctoral-level program. With instruction that encompasses marketing and public relations, data-driven decision making, and even global health and disease prevention, Walden aims to produce some of the most versatile and adaptable professionals in the industry.
Tuition & Fees: $12,609/yr

Grand Canyon University Top EdD in Educational Leadership Online

At Grand Canyon University, Health Administration online students participate in unique, collaborative residencies – some of which require face-to-face sessions.

2. Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, AZ

Online Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Health Care Administration

Grand Canyon University is one of the few schools on this DHA degree online ranking to offers their students something a little different. Instead of earning a PhD in Health Administration, at GCU you’ll actually earn a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership. This intentionally broad degree offers concentrations in a bevy of specialties, from Special Education to Christian Ministry to Behavioral Health – and yes, Healthcare Administration. And yet, only a handful of classes are devoted to core organizational leadership topics; the rest (approximately 75%) focus squarely on healthcare administration, research, and writing your dissertation.
Tuition & Fees: $10,124/yr

Liberty University Top EdD in Educational Leadership Online

Liberty University’s doctor of health administration online will give you access to skill-building seminars that focus on decision-making, productivity, and executive coaching.

1. Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA

Online Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) – Healthcare Management

Liberty University earns its spot at the top of our ranking by offering the most affordable doctorate in health administration online, hands down. With a tuition rate that beats its nearest competitor by more than $2,000 a year, Liberty stands as an attractive choice right out of the gate. But there’s plenty more to this degree than financial savings. The Doctor of Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Management combines the best of two industries – business and healthcare – through a multidisciplinary curriculum that incorporates lessons in supply chain management and business forecasting as well as healthcare informatics and ethical issues for health professionals.
Tuition & Fees: $8,000/yr

You’ve reached the end of our ranking of doctorate in health administration online degrees.

See also: 50 Best Schools for a Healthcare Administration Degree 2016


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The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)