5 Most Affordable Doctorates in Healthcare Administration Online in 2021

5 Most Affordable Doctorates in Healthcare Administration Online in 2021

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Updated June 15, 2021

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Medical industry professionals wanting to advance their careers into the C-suite while working full- or part-time will find online PhD in healthcare administration programs the most accommodating. First granted by the Medical University of South Carolina in 1990, the health administration doctorate is the highest, terminal degree designed for upper-level leadership in patient services. Completing a health administration PhD online is an increasingly popular route for innovative, forward-thinking managers to compete against the abundance of MHA grads. According to the United States Census Bureau, 8 percent of citizens have master's degrees while only 2 percent hold doctorates. Online doctoral study will develop the organizational, business planning, communication, and quantitative skills that AUPHA labeled "must-haves." Some online colleges offer low tuition and big financial aid to snag great doctoral deals too.

Explore these promoted online degree programs.

These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online graduate degree programs. Figuring out where to apply? Consider one of these online Master’s or PhD programs.

Most Affordable Doctorate in Healthcare Administration Online in 2021

  • Capella University

    Minneapolis, MN



    Featuring 121K Facebook likes, Capella University is a publicly traded, for-profit online learning center with guaranteed 100 percent admission, HLC accreditation, FlexPath options, and financing like the Health Administration Scholarship. Based in Minneapolis' Downtown West district near Walden University, Capella gives one-of-a-kind competency education to 35,889 students, 29 percent of whom pursue doctorates. Capella University has respectfully won the IMS Learning Impact Award and Shirley Davis Award for Excellence in Distance Learning. Capella also ranked 38th for most popular health administration courses on College Factual and 50th for top online education by College Choice. Adhering to the NCHL Competency Model, Capella's School of Nursing & Health Sciences has an Online Doctor of Health Administration with a General Health Administration Specialization. Headed by Dr. Darleen Barnard, CHFP, the 76-unit, post-master's curriculum squeezes three courses into 10-week quarters for median completion of 57 months. Virtual simulations in Vila Health let graduates holding minimum "B" averages develop the clinical decision-making skills for streamlining healthcare with integrity. Cheap online healthcare administration PhD courses like personnel management lead to the 150-hour integrative practicum and dissertation. Capella also has Doctor of Health Care Leadership and Doctor of Public Health programs online.

  • Central Michigan University

    Mount Pleasant, MI



    Hosting the renowned William B. Holder Lecture Series, Central Michigan University is a public, state-funded doctoral AASCU member of the Mid-American Conference that was founded in Warriner Hall in September 1892. Endowed for $130 million, CMU employs 1,017 faculty for training 6,613 post-grad Chippewas atop its 480-acre Mount Pleasant campus or online on Blackboard via the Global Campus. According to the U.S. News & World Report, Central Michigan is America's 207th best university with the 42nd top online business administration programs. CMU also stands out for the 62nd best salary potential on PayScale and 133rd best Midwestern buck in Washington Monthly. Post-master's grads can file $50 applications until April 1st annually to join hybrid cohorts pursuing the Online Doctor of Health Administration from CMU's accredited College of Health Professions. Directed by Dr. Steven Berkshire, an ACHE Fellow, the 63-credit curriculum builds on master's study to hone strategic leadership capacity for improving healthcare delivery outcomes. Online courses like organizational theory, population health, and stakeholder relations are combined with six two-day, on-campus seminars for networking. The healthcare administration doctorate online wraps up its eight Internet-based modules with a comprehensive exam and evidence-based dissertation research.

  • Franklin University

    Columbus, OH



    Celebrating 115 years of academic excellence, Franklin University is a private, nonprofit adult-oriented institution with HLC accreditation for three doctorates and 360-degree, 24/7 support. Linked to 37,224 LinkedIn alumni, including at Cardinal Health and Nationwide Children's Hospital, Franklin attracts adults from 70+ countries to its campuses in Columbus, Dublin, Urbana, Indianapolis, and online via Blackboard. Featured in Columbus CEO Magazine, College Factual recognized Franklin University for America's 49th most popular health administration programs. Franklin was also ranked 39th on OnlineDegreeReviews.org and 11th by the Online Education Database. Opened in 2011, Franklin's College of Health and Public Administration (COHPA) starts the Doctor of Healthcare Administration Online every January, April, and August. Offering up to 24 transfer credits, the accelerated, 58-credit degree takes three years to prepare for visionary leadership with innovative health policy strategies. Mandating master's GPAs above 3.0, the online healthcare administration PhD is customized with electives like clinical workflow, health analytics, and patient information governance. Led by Dr. Jonathan McCombs and taught by scholar-practitioners, the program includes a qualifying exam and fast, no-fear dissertation. Franklin University also confers an IACBE-accredited Doctor of Business Administration online.

  • University of Alabama-Birmingham

    Birmingham, AL



    Generating an economic impact of $4.6 billion, the University of Alabama-Birmingham is a public, regional land-grant college with an ACS-verified Level I trauma center that was founded as the School of Medicine in 1945. Occupying an 83-block campus in Alabama's largest downtown, UAB enrolls 7,768 post-grad Blazers in Conference USA either on-site or online on Canvas. The U.S. News & World Report congratulated Birmingham for the 83rd top public education and second best healthcare management programs nationally. UAB was crowned America's 168th top university by Times Higher Education and 47th best nursing school with 58 percent admission into "A" academics on Niche. Granted the 2017 HFMA Frederick T. Muncie Gold Award, the School of Health Professions created the Executive Doctor of Science in Administration-Health Services to suit post-master's clinicians. Coordinated by Dr. Robert Hernandez, the online healthcare administration PhD alternative spans 36 months with just three eight-day intensives in Birmingham each year. Cohorts are given laptops to sharpen their sophisticated management skills in distance courses like healthcare law and strategic thinking before the dissertation. Admission occurs each Fall without GRE/GMAT scores for leaders with 5+ years of mid-managerial experience. Alumni have excelled at Aurora Health, Stanford Children's Health, Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, and more.

  • University of Mississippi Medical Center

    Jackson, MS



    Accredited by The Joint Commission, the University of Mississippi Medical Center is a public, semi-autonomous health sciences branch with a 722-bed Level I trauma center and 164-acre campus in Jackson. Known for facilities like the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute and Center for Telehealth, UMMC has grown since July 1955 to employ 9,000 staff and enroll 2,900 students. Rated high-performing in nine specialties by the U.S. News, UMMC is placed 205th by the Center for World University Rankings. Given the Lawrence C. Weaver Service Award, Ole Miss is declared America's 115th best public school and 153rd top research university in Forbes. Chaired by Dr. Jessica H. Bailey, RHIA, the School of Heath Related Professions grants the Doctor of Health Administration Online with limited face-to-face residencies at the SACS-accredited Center. Open for admission until December 1st annually, the 64-credit, post-master's program takes nine terms for graduates with 3.0 GPAs or higher to navigate today's biggest clinical leadership challenges. Healthcare administration PhD online courses from the eCampus dig into fiscal responsibility, quality processes, managerial epidemiology, and health economics. Resources from cutting-edge facilities like the Health Innovation and Transformation Center assist with the applied doctoral project. Funding from the Mississippi Rural Allied Health Professionals Scholarship also lowers DHA tuition.

Our Methodology, Explained

Grad School Hub compiles rankings based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics play a significant role in how we source our educational data. After collecting insight for each institution, we organize information into five weighted categories.
Metric Data Used Percentage
Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 30%
Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 10%
Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 30%
Program Offerings Number of program options 20%
Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 10%
A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible on our Ranking Methodology page.

What Types of Healthcare Administration Doctorate Online Programs are Available?

Health administration doctorates are three- to five-year programs that share the common threads of post-master's coursework and dissertation research, but different kinds exist. Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) degrees are the most clinically focused on applied leadership practice. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) options take a theoretical approach to contribute to industry knowledge. Doctor of Science (DSc) offerings are concerned with life and natural sciences for in-depth research. Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programs develop well-rounded managerial skills from finance to human resources for corporate hierarchy. Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) curricula emphasizes administrative practices for population-based entities like the WHO and UNICEF. Doctoral degrees in health administration may also provide varying specializations, such as ambulatory services, informatics, law and policy, and gerontology management.

Which Career Possibilities Open With an Online Healthcare Administration PhD?

The beauty of online PhD in healthcare administration programs is their ability to qualify graduates for limitless careers in the highest ranks of medical facilities. Doctoral students are eligible for several industry certifications that employers seek in leaders. For example, individuals with an informatics background could earn AHIMA's Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) title. Online PhD graduates might pay the $150 fee for taking the 90-minute Certified Health Administrator Professional exam. Others join the over 48,600 Fellows board certified by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). Let's look into the job descriptions for some positions where a PhD healthcare administration online is beneficial:

Managed Care Executive- Health maintenance organizations (HMOs), such as Aetna, UnitedHealth, and Humana, might hire managed care executives with online PhD health administration degrees to oversee insurance plans. Senior-level responsibilities include establishing reimbursement regulations, ensuring legal compliance, setting budgets, managing market risks, articulating organizational missions, and designing billing record databases.

Health Administration Faculty- Top health administration schools, including University of Michigan, Virginia Commonwealth University, Johns Hopkins University, and Rush University, are filling their faculty with experienced PhD and DHA grads who excel at teaching. Professors work on college campuses or online to implement syllabus plans, give attention-grabbing lectures, inform students of internships, log test and paper grades, supervise hands-on research, publish scholarly works, and serve on health administration department committees.

Director of Clinical Operations- Becker's Hospital Review reports that there are 5,564 U.S. registered hospitals, each of which needs a director of clinical operations to ensure medical integrity. PhD online health administration grads snagging this senior-level role will coordinate licensed physicians, allocate budget resources, hire support staff like RNs, perform quality assurance, handle patient complaints, manage facility supplies, and establish safe patient care protocol.

Long-Term Care Facility Administrator- Finishing a healthcare administration doctorate online would surpass the state-specific licensing requirements for spearheading operations at long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, drug rehabs, assisted living centers, and behavioral health homes. LTC administrators supervise clinical staff, coordinate residential affairs, negotiate billing often with Medicaid/Medicare, replenish supplies, market patient services, meet accrediting rules, organize professional development, and hire based on residents' needs.

Chief Executive Officer- In May 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 21,360 Chief Executive Officers topped the healthcare administration ladder to set facilities' strategic directions. Following the footsteps of admired medical CEOs like Ruth Brinkley and Michael Dowling involves implementing clinical policy, retaining a productive workforce, fostering organizational relationships, meeting accreditation quality standards, and creating long-term goals. Similar cabinet-level jobs include Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Nursing Officer.

How Much Do Healthcare Administration PhD Online Graduates Make?

Cheap online healthcare administration PhD degrees reap strong returns on investment with income potential that rises above the average doctoral salary of $84,396 on SmartAsset. The BLS states that the 332,150 health services administrators made mean pay of $109,370 in May 2016. Chief executives turned C-suite responsibility into a median annual wage of $181,210. On Salary.com, specific DHA job titles like behavioral health director, clinic operations officer, and outpatient surgery director earn median income of $154,930, $135,907, and $127,457 respectively. Top clinical information systems executives generate up to $258,914. College health specialties teachers snag mean profits of $125,430 on average. Earnings are boundless since the highest-paid health CEOs at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and CVS Health make $47.46 million and $22.86 million apiece.

Is There Demand for Health Administration Online PhD Graduates?

Modern Healthcare brags that the medical industry will account for 33 percent of America's job growth for 4 million new hires by 2026. Forbes applauded healthcare for nurturing its quickest expansion since 1991. Home health is the fastest-growing field with a 47 percent increase projected. Graduating from a PhD online healthcare administration program leads to CNN Money's #8 best job, hospital administration, which is graded "A" for personal satisfaction and benefit to society. Healthcare titles like quality management director, operations officer, nursing home administrator, and clinical research manager are also ranked. According to the BLS, the number of U.S. health administrators will jump from 352,200 to 422,000 for 10-year growth of 20 percent! Consider taking advantage of these cost-effective online PhD in healthcare administration degrees to step ahead of competition in this hot market.

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This concludes our ranking of the five most affordable doctorates in healthcare administration online.

















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GradSchoolHub.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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