Online programs awarding a Doctor of Health Administration are relatively easy to find. Some of these programs have an annual residency requirement, though there are some schools that allow students to complete their degree entirely online. Although the most frequent educational pathway to a career in health administration is a bachelor's or master's degree, doctoral programs in this field can benefit current health care professionals seeking upper-level management positions or academic careers. Applicants typically need to have a master's degree and previous health care experience, and some schools require them to have attained a position of leadership. Once enrolled, doctoral candidates can often choose coursework that aligns with their career goals.
Doctor of Health Administration
An online health administration doctoral program can provide individuals with the academic foundations, serviceable skills and practical expertise needed for positions of leadership within the health care industry. Admission requirements include a master's degree and health care experience. Some programs require at least five years of related health care experience or a current leadership position.
Program Information and Requirements
These programs can take three to four years to complete. Coursework is generally delivered online, though some programs also require students to attend short, on-campus residencies during each year of their enrollment.
List of Common Health Administration Courses
Courses in an online health administration doctoral program allow students to focus on an area of interest, such as health care law, finance, or health information systems. A dissertation is also among the requirements. Common courses include:
Health Administration Leadership Strategies
Students in this class develop their leadership skills by studying health care ethics and core leadership strategies. They might also have the opportunity to participate in mentorship opportunities.
Strategic Change in Health Care Organizations
This course teaches students to juggle the planning, implementation and evaluation stages involved in organizational change management.
Health Care Communications
Students in this course learn how to improve their interpersonal communication skills as well as communication within an organization. Employee training, coaching, mediation, and public relations could also be among the topics of discussion.
Health Administration Research Techniques
Research design and analysis are among the topics of study in this course. Students also learn how to apply their research results.
Career Information for Graduates
Most health administrators don't need to be licensed, with the exception of all nursing care facility administrators and some assisted-living facility administrators. Licensing could require the completion of state-approved training, and a Doctor of Health Administration program might not fulfill this requirement. According to the BLS, medical and health services managers made a median annual salary of $94,500 as of May 2015. A faster-than-average job growth of 17% was projected for these professionals from 2014-2024.
Continuing Education Information
Health care administrators, who want to work in nursing care facilities or, in some cases, assisted living facilities, will need a license. Minimum requirements often include the completion of a bachelor's degree and a training program approved by the state. Passing exam scores are also required.
Health care administrators looking to earn additional credentials might also pursue voluntary certification through such organizations as the American College of Health Care Administrators.
Through an online Doctor of Health Administration degree program, experienced health care professionals can pursue advanced studies in the area of the field that interests them most. When they finish, they can seek licensure and professional certifications that can help them land managerial jobs, or they can go into academia.