By BVS Staff
Although the demand for online doctorate degree in healthcare management programs is growing, such offerings are still fairly hard to come by. Our editors were hard-pressed to find enough schools to develop this top 10 ranking. After locating ten schools with the online doctorate healthcare management option, we consulted College Navigator for tuition information. The remaining information necessary for applying the rating and ranking methodology below was gleaned from each program's website.
Rating and Ranking Methodology
- Under $15,000—1 point
- Under $10,000—2 points
- Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.): 1 Point Per Customization Option
- Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, etc.): 1 Point Per Customization Option
- 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that "wowed" us
#1 –University of South Florida
Online Doctor of Public Health: Advanced Practice Leadership in Public Health
The University of South Florida offers one of only two online PhD in public health degree program in this ranking. The 43-credit hour program is divided into four curriculum clusters: Community Engagement, Leadership and Management, Communication and Education, and Evidence-Informed Public Health. In addition, students will take 12 credit hours of elective courses. Prior to graduation, online PhD in public health students will also complete an applied practice experience, a qualifying examination, and a field-based doctoral project. Although the majority of coursework can be completed online, students will be required to attend three on-campus DrPH Institutes.
Graduate Tuition: $8,350
#2 –Clarkson College
Online Doctor of Health Care Education and Leadership (Ed.D)
Clarkson College's online PhD in healthcare management offering is a unique online Doctor of Health Care Education and Leadership. This Ed.D offering is comprised of 44 semester hours and can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. Full-time students can complete the degree within 8 semesters while it will take part-time students 14 semesters to finish their degrees. Sample course titles include Health Care Organizational Systems, Transformational Leadership, and Health Economics, Finance and Entrepreneurship. Service learning is encouraged at the college, and several service courses are required in order to earn this online healthcare management degree.
Graduate Tuition: $10,008
#3 –California Intercontinental University
Online DBA: Healthcare Management and Leadership
The online doctorate healthcare management option from California Intercontinental University is a Doctor of Business Administration degree program with an emphasis in Healthcare Management and Leadership. Students must complete 60 credit hours in order to be eligible for graduation from the program, but up to 9 credits can be transferred in. Key courses in the emphasis include Managing Risk in Healthcare: Perspective for Healthcare Leaders, Healthcare Marketing: Tools & Techniques, and Quality Management in Healthcare: A Systems Approach. A qualifying examination and a final dissertation are also required for completion of this DBA healthcare management online program.
Graduate Tuition: $8,010
#4 –Liberty University
Online Doctor of Business Administration: Healthcare Management
The online doctorate healthcare management offering from Liberty University's School of Business is a 100% online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) with a specialization in Healthcare Management. The program requires that students complete 60 total hours of coursework, but 12 hours from an MBA specialization may be applied. The curriculum for the program emphasizes the legal and ethical issues facing healthcare employees as well as global healthcare and technology and innovation in healthcare. Featured courses include Managing Human Capital in Healthcare, Healthcare Administration, Legal & Ethical Issues for Health Professionals, and Healthcare Informatics.
Graduate Tuition: $8,051
#5 –Regent University
Online Doctor of Strategic Leadership: Healthcare Leadership
Regent University's online doctorate healthcare management offering is a one-of-a-kind Doctor of Strategic Leadership with a concentration in Healthcare Leadership. The program leads to a terminal degree and is offered through the university's School of Business and Leadership. Required core courses include Organizational Strategy & Design, Applied Exegetical Studies, and Leaders & Followers. Students will also take classes in the concentration such as Healthcare: Team Leadership & Engagement and Healthcare: Self-Leading and Professionalism. A brief on-campus residency is required for completion of this online doctorate healthcare leadership program.
Graduate Tuition: $12,726
#6 –University of Illinois- Chicago
Online Doctor of Public Health (DrPh in Leadership)
The University of Illinois-Chicago offers an online PhD in public health in leadership program through its School of Public Health. The curriculum is delivered almost entirely online through distance-based modalities, but students are required to attend a DrPH Summer Institute on campus. Mandatory courses include Introduction to Epidemiology: Principles & Methods, Leadership in Public Health Policy Development, Personal Leadership Development, and Public Health Leadership Tools. A thesis project is also required prior to graduation from this online doctorate healthcare leadership option.
Graduate Tuition: $13,263
#7 –Colorado Technical University
Online Doctor of Management: Healthcare Management and Leadership
Colorado Technical University's online doctorate healthcare management offering is an online Doctor of Management with a concentration in Healthcare Management and Leadership. The 96-credit hour terminal degree covers three sets of competencies: research and writing, leadership and change management, and the concentration discipline. Standout course titles include Health Policy & Regulations, Economics and Financing of Healthcare Organizations, and Continuous Improvement for Systems in Healthcare. A dissertation is required prior to graduation from this online doctorate degree in healthcare management program.
Graduate Tuition: $12,139
#8 –Walden University
Online Doctor of Business Administration: Health Care Management
Walden University offers a 60-semester credit hour DBA in healthcare management online program. The curriculum for the program includes core business courses, research methods courses, and specialization courses among others. Sample course titles include Seminar in Healthcare Managerial Decision Making, Seminar in Managing Healthcare Delivery Systems, and Seminar in Law and Ethics in Healthcare Management. Most students require more than two years to complete this online doctorate degree in healthcare management. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Graduate Tuition: $12,844
#9 –Creighton University
Online Doctor of Interdisciplinary Leadership
Creighton University's online PhD in healthcare management degree program is the only general program in the ranking in that it can be applied to a variety of different industries. However, students can customize their studies to their chosen career interests through their applied practicum and dissertation experiences. Course titles include Introduction to Servant Leadership, Toxic Leadership and the Implications on Ethics, Followers, and Culture, Women and Leadership, and Technology and Leadership. Two residencies are required for completion of this online doctorate degree in healthcare management.
Graduate Tuition: $14,760
#10 –Capella University
Online Doctor of Health Care Leadership
Capella University offers a comprehensive online doctorate degree in healthcare management from its School of Nursing and Health Sciences. To complete the program, students must earn 76 quarter credits through 16 required courses. Core classes include titles such as Innovative Business Practices in Health Care, 21st- Century Health Care Leadership, and Health Care Policy Processes while specialization classes include Strategic Vision and Planning in Health Care and Health Care Leadership Excellence in a Consumer-Driven Market. This online doctorate healthcare management program also requires a doctoral capstone.
Graduate Tuition: $14,526
Career Information for Graduates of Online Doctorate in Health Care Management Programs
There are many career opportunities as well as career advancement opportunities for graduates of online doctorate in healthcare management programs. This includes graduates of programs such as online PhD in healthcare management programs, DBA in healthcare management programs, online doctorate in healthcare leadership programs, and online PhD in public health programs. Although these programs may differ slightly in their curriculum and outcomes, the job outlook for graduates is similar.
Medical and Health Services Managers: Career Information
Students who complete online doctoral degree in healthcare management programs often hold positions such as medical and health services managers. These are executive positions in hospitals that require excellent leadership skills. It is important to note that there is a distinct difference between healthcare managers and healthcare administrators. While healthcare managers deal with the "big picture" issues of running a hospital such as finances and major policy decision, for example, health care administrators handle the day-to-day functioning of a hospital, including human resources and scheduling. This particular ranking focuses on the online doctorate in healthcare management degree programs.
Duties and Responsibilities in Healthcare Management
The primary mission of a healthcare manager is to ensure that the patients of a hospital or other healthcare organization receive the best possible care while simultaneously protecting the interests of the hospital. This can include duties such as creating and maintaining a budget for the healthcare organization and managing public opinion of a hospital, for instance. In many ways, managing a healthcare facility is much like managing any other type of business. That's why many healthcare managers hold degrees in business administration. You'll notice that some of the programs in our ranking are DBA in healthcare management online programs or Doctor of Business Administration in Healthcare offerings.
Salary Information for Healthcare Managers
The job of a healthcare manager includes many important responsibilities that if not handled properly can cause the operations of a hospital or other healthcare organization to come to a screeching halt. You can imagine what kind of pressure this must be for those filling such a position. These medical professions are compensated accordingly, though. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median annual wage for medical and health services managers to be $96,540 per year or over $46 per hour. Of course, this figure is an average of all healthcare managers, including those holding bachelor's and master's degrees in healthcare management. Graduates of online PhD in healthcare management degree programs can expect to earn even more. According to the BLS, the top 10% of healthcare managers earned approximately 172,240.
Career Outlook for Online Doctorate Healthcare Management Graduates
Graduates of online doctorate in healthcare management programs will be in demand in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job opportunities in healthcare management will grow by 17% by the year 2024. In comparison with other types of jobs, including those in management, this is much faster than average. Certain types of healthcare managers may have better job prospects than others, though, such as those with graduate degrees as well as managers with special knowledge of health informatics and technology, for example. To better their chances of securing a position in the field, online PhD in healthcare management students can take elective courses in these subject areas and/or conduct research in these sub-fields of healthcare management for their dissertations.
Work Environment/Conditions for Online Doctorate Healthcare Management Graduates
It's typical for graduates of online doctorate healthcare management programs to face challenges in the work environment. Many medical and health services managers work more than 40 hours a week, and they often have to be on call on the weekends and over holidays in the case of an emergency. The work can be emotionally draining as well. Making decisions that affect a large number of people can put a lot of pressure on these healthcare professionals.
Program Requirements for Online Doctorate Degree in Healthcare Management Programs
There are several different types of doctoral degrees that can lead to careers in healthcare management. For example, in this ranking, we highlight the following online degrees.
- online PhD in healthcare management
- Doctor of Business Administration- DBA in healthcare management online
- online doctorate in healthcare leadership
- online PhD in public health
Online PhD in Healthcare Management: Prerequisites
Although their titles are different and some of their curriculum details may vary, many of the requirements for these programs are similar. For example, the prerequisites for these online doctorate healthcare management degree programs are almost identical. Most of these programs require that students have had some prior work experience in the field of healthcare, preferably in supervisory roles. They also require that students have completed a master's degree or equivalent in a field related to healthcare management. Some online doctorate in healthcare management programs also require that prospective students take and pass a qualifying or entrance exam before being admitted to the program.
Online Doctorate Degree in Healthcare Management: Business and Leadership Courses
Once accepted, students in various online doctorate healthcare management programs must meet similar program requirements as well. Generally, students will take some courses in general business and management concepts such as finance, accounting, human resources, and operations, though students in DBA in healthcare management online programs will take more advanced business and leadership courses as well. Some examples of business course titles that online PhD in healthcare management students may encounter include the following.
- Organizational Theory and Behavior
- Change Management
- Leadership Styles and Strategy
- Strategic Business Operations
- Human Resource Development
- Global Leadership Concepts
Online Doctorate Healthcare Management Specialty Courses
Typically, online doctorate in healthcare management students will also take courses directly related to the field of healthcare and the roles they will be assuming upon graduation. These are often upper-level courses and are extremely important to the student's success in the workplace after completing their degrees. Some examples of such industry-specific courses include the following.
- Healthcare: Issues, Trends, and Forecasting
- Managing Healthcare Delivery Systems
- Legal and Ethical Issues in Healthcare Management
- Economics and Financing of Healthcare Organizations
- Strategies in Healthcare Marketing
Online PhD in Healthcare Management Dissertation
Like most doctoral programs in any field, online doctorate healthcare management programs require that students complete a final dissertation before being awarded their degree. To successfully complete the dissertation, students must conduct in-depth research into a complex topic in healthcare management and prepare a lengthy paper exploring the intricacies of the topic. Many online PhD in healthcare management programs also require that students defend their thesis in an oral presentation in front of their professors.
Frequently-Asked Questions for Students Interested in Online Doctorate Healthcare Administration Programs
It's common for prospective students to have many questions that need to be answered before embarking on an online PhD in healthcare management program. Below you'll find some of the answers to frequently-asked questions.
Can I complete my online doctorate healthcare management program entirely online?
Not usually. Although the coursework for these programs can be completed online, there are usually on-campus seminars, institutes, and/or residencies that will need to be completed before being awarded an online doctorate in healthcare management.
How much do doctorate in healthcare management programs cost?
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. As you can see from the schools listed in this ranking, the tuition for online doctorate healthcare management programs vary quite a bit. Most schools do offer some financial aid that will help you fund your education, however.
How long will it take to complete my online PhD in healthcare management?
The time it takes for you to complete your online doctoral degree in healthcare management will vary depending on your circumstance, but most students finish their programs in three to four years. If you can commit to full-time study, then you will be able to complete the degree requirements quicker than someone who can only attend school on a full-time basis.