Earning a Doctorate in Healthcare Management Online

Doctorate in healthcare management online programs appeal to learners who want to work in the advanced areas of the discipline and on the cutting edge of best practices. As the healthcare industry grows due to aging populations living longer and having better access to medical services, graduates of these programs can take on roles offering high levels of pay and responsibility. Individuals already working in the field, or those looking to change careers, can benefit immensely from this degree if they want to pursue careers in administration, academics, or research.

Keep reading to learn more about program prerequisites, potential careers, scholarship opportunities, coursework, and professional organizations.

Why Get a Doctorate in Healthcare Management Online?

Completing a doctorate in healthcare management online propels graduates into executive roles that allow them to use their advanced knowledge to progress the field, research emerging topics, and educate future practitioners. Students can also secure jobs offering high pay with opportunities for advancement. Below, we list additional reasons students choose this career path.

Pursue Deeper Knowledge and Specialization

Earning a healthcare management doctorate online requires rigorous study of nuanced topics, original research, and a dissertation. Graduates walk away with a deep understanding of healthcare management and specialized knowledge in related topics.

Career Advancement Opportunities

After completing their healthcare management doctorate online, graduates can pursue advanced positions. Candidates with a doctoral degree can take on positions in research, academia, and senior-level leadership not available to those with a bachelor's or master's degree. These professionals can also take on roles requiring greater responsibility.

Online Learning Technology

Pursuing a doctorate in healthcare management online requires students to engage in cutting-edge educational technology when completing assignments, interacting with peers and professors, and taking examinations. Given that the healthcare field increasingly relies on technology to advance the discipline, students already familiar with these tools stand out in the job market. Online technology also teaches learners how to communicate in innovative ways in the absence of face-to-face interactions.

Prerequisites for Doctorate in Healthcare Management Online Programs

Given the rigor of doctorate in healthcare management online programs, departments set specific prerequisites and admission requirements for prospective students. Though requirements vary by school, the following section should give students a general sense of what to expect.

  • Degree from an Accredited Program While programs may allow students to begin the DHA with a bachelor's degree in a related topic, some programs expect them to hold a master's degree at the time of enrollment. Candidates should review admission requirements for their prospective schools to learn more.
  • Work Experience Schools may require students to possess 3-5 years of relevant work experience, often in managerial positions. Graduates with a bachelor's or master's degree should plan to spend a few years working toward these mandates before applying to any program.
  • Minimum GPA Minimum GPA requirements vary by school. Less competitive programs typically set requirements between 2.25 and 2.5, while more competitive schools often look for applicants with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Some schools offset these requirements with GRE scores.
  • GRE Scores While not a requirement of every program, some programs expect applicants to provide GRE scores alongside their application. Competitive programs typically set these requirements to further distinguish accomplished candidates.
  • References Most schools require students to supply 2-3 letters of reference. These letters should come from former professors, supervisors, mentors, or other qualified individuals who can attest to the candidate's qualifications. Students should request these letters at least one month in advance to allow for thoughtful reflection and writing.

How Much Can I Make With a Doctorate in Healthcare Management Degree?

Salary potential for graduates of doctorate in healthcare management online programs varies depending on several factors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health services managers in the lowest 10% of earners brought home $58,680 each year, while those in the 90% range earned salaries in excess of $182,600. Factors affecting salary potential include amount of experience, education, and job title. Higher education promotes a broader set of skills, making it easier to command higher wages.

Potential Careers

Careers Stats Description

Healthcare Management Executive

Median Annual Salary: $104,980

Common titles for this occupation include chief executive, chief operating officer, vice president, or other C-level positions. Within these roles, management executives perform various functions in healthcare companies, including setting strategic goals, managing other senior-level staff, and presenting reports to the board of directors.

Healthcare Management Professor

Median Annual Salary: $78,470

These professionals work in colleges and universities to help educate future healthcare management graduates. They design and give lectures, create assignments and projects, grade papers, advise students on courses of study, write recommendation letters, and present articles at academic conferences.

Medical and Health Services Manager

Median Annual Salary: $99,730

Whether working in a hospital, long-term care facility, rehabilitation center, or physician's office, these professionals improve healthcare delivery by setting goals, following laws and regulations, and improving efficiency. They also recruit and train staff, oversee finances, create budgets, and maintain the facility's records.

Paying for a Doctorate in Healthcare Management Program

Paying for a doctorate in healthcare management online requires careful consideration from prospective students who want to avoid significant debt. Learners should pay close attention to several financial components when assessing programs. Programs with accelerated formats often cost less, and students who attend school in their home state typically benefit from in-state tuition rates. Learners should also seek out any healthcare management-specific financial aid, such as grants and scholarships from the school, the government, or private foundations.


Learners enrolled in doctorate in healthcare management online programs can reduce their student debt with scholarships. Schools and departments offer funding options, along with federal and state governments. Students can also look into nonprofits, professional associations, and foundations.

What to Expect From a Doctorate in Healthcare Management Online Program

Students pursuing a healthcare management doctorate online generally require 3-6 years to complete their studies, depending on whether they enroll on a full- or part-time basis. Online study allows learners to maintain balance in their personal, professional, and academic lives.

Major Milestones

After enrolling in a healthcare management online doctorate, students can look forward to passing these milestones on their academic journey.

  1. Capstone Coursework

    Capstone coursework typically occurs in the third or fourth year of the program. Students develop a comprehensive project demonstrating the breadth and depth of knowledge gained throughout their studies.

  2. Internships/Apprenticeships/Job Shadowing

    Some programs require students to participate in a semester-long internship or practicum that allows them to gain hands-on knowledge in a healthcare setting prior to graduation.

  3. Comprehensive Examination

    Comprehensive examinations ensure students possess a firm grasp of all the concepts covered before progressing into researching and writing their dissertation.

  4. Dissertation Preparation and Defense

    A hallmark of doctoral programs, dissertations require students to research and write a long-form paper on a unique topic or question in the healthcare management field. This may also involve case studies and/or interviews.

  5. Intent to Graduate/Completion Confirmation

    After successfully defending their dissertation, students must notify the registrar's office of their intent to graduate. This includes paying any outstanding fees or fines and ordering a cap and gown.

  6. Postdoctoral Research

    Students may decide to participate in postdoctoral research after graduation to continue honing their skills in the field. These are often paid positions lasting 1-2 years.


Coursework for doctorate in healthcare management online programs varies by school; however, the courses highlighted below give learners a sense of what to expect.

Healthcare Policy and

This core course explores policies, regulations, and reforms made at the state, federal, and corporate levels. Students learn about historic and contemporary healthcare policies and how they impact care.

Advanced Healthcare

Students in this class examine informatics infrastructures, with special emphasis on legal and ethical implications, security measures, organization, and processes for analyzing patient data to improve care outcomes.

Clinical Workflow

With a focus on creating effective clinical workflow processes, this class helps learners discuss ways of improving patient care, building out workflow mapping, managing times of change, and improving overall decision-making tools.

Professional Organizations and ResourcesM

Professional organizations within the healthcare management field benefit students, graduates, and seasoned professionals. Students can take advantage of annual conferences, participate in continuing education initiatives, join local chapters, and read in-house trade publications. The following organizations also help healthcare management professionals stay up to date in the field and provide valuable networking opportunities.