An online PhD or doctorate in Healthcare Management is a great alternative for graduate professionals looking to finish their education with a terminal degree. With the field expected to grow 20 percent through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for such professionals will not be slowing down anytime soon. That means it’s the perfect time for an online pathway to a doctorate.
But earning a doctorate can be an expensive journey. With hundreds of schools across the country offering this degree, finding one that is both an online program and that is affordable can be a tricky task. This ranking, however, will make it much easier. Students need only look over the requirements for the degree before making their final decision.
All information pulled for this ranking came directly from the National Center for Education Statistics and its College Navigator. The term “healthcare management degree online” was used to build the initial pool of 175 schools. After sifting through data, such as tuition rates, student retention, fees associated with online learning, and more, the final ranking was created. The ten listed below are the most affordable terminal degrees in this field, listed in descending order based on in-state graduation tuition.
Ranking Low-cost Online Healthcare Management PhD Programs
10. Colorado Technical University
Colorado Springs, CO
Online Doctor of Management – Healthcare Management and Leadership
Colorado Technical University confers an interesting degree related to the Healthcare Management Ph.D. online of other schools. This school offers the Doctor of Management with a concentration in Healthcare Management and Leadership, a degree designed to prepare students for the evolving way that management plays a role in medical facilities. Students will learn the necessary skills to become effective managers, do research, and engage in concepts in real-world scenarios. This degree requires 96 credit hours of work and includes a dissertation and research. Sample courses include Health Policy and Regulations, Informatics in Healthcare, and Continuous Improvement for Systems in Healthcare.
9. Northcentral University
San Diego, CA
Online Doctorate of Business Administration, Health Care Administration
Northcentral University offers a DBA in Health Care Administration, a degree that is in high demand from hospitals, clinics, and healthcare systems. It is a professional degree meant to create professionals who can research and implement new technologies and systems to create a faster and more efficient healthcare system. Students will also gain knowledge about administration conflicts and solutions, all while completing the requirements for the degree at home. This program requires 54 credit hours of coursework, research, and a dissertation. Most students complete the degree in four years. Sample courses include Ethics in Business, Health Care Strategic Management, and Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Care Research Management.
8. Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
Online DrPH in Global Health Leadership
The DrPH in Global Health Leadership is a new kind of healthcare management doctorate online degree. It was created by Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis specifically for help students begin their career in the public health administration space. This is a hybrid cohort degree, meaning that students are put into groups and move through the degree together. This cohort is also required to meet face-to-face three times for the first two years of the degree. The program was built for professionals who already work in the industry and are ready to move into more senior leadership roles. The school requires that each student complete 45 credit hours of coursework that includes dissertation work. Sample courses from this degree include Global Health Policy Analysis and Advocacy, A Population Perspective for Global Health, and Leadership Challenges in Global Health Informatics.
7. Trident University
Online Ph.D in Health Science
Trident University confers an online doctorate in healthcare management entirely online. Under the umbrella term “health sciences,” this degree confers two concentrations: Global Health and Health Policy and Administration. These concentrations will help further specialize a student in the career path of their choice. This is a professional degree that will lead to leadership positions in a variety of different employment environments, enabling a student to choose what form of health care they can affect with their knowledge and training. The degree requires 44 credit hours of coursework, including five research courses, a dissertation, a qualifying exam, and a dissertation. Sample courses include Current Issues in Health Administration, Health Care Law, and Regulation and Ethics.
6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC
Online HPM Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership
Students interested in a healthcare management online Ph.D. that focuses on the global scale will be interested in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s DrPH program. This hybrid program delivers most of the coursework online with intensives held once a semester for three days for the first two years of the degree. The degree was designed for professionals who work internationally on public health and are passionate about becoming leaders in the same field they already work in; nonprofit applicants are desired in this highly competitive program. This degree has a minimum of 45 credit hours of coursework as well as a dissertation and a research project. Sample courses include Linear Regression Models, Developing Proposals for Health Services and Policy Research, and Advanced Methodology in Health Policy and Management.
5. California Intercontinental University
Diamond Bar, California
Online Doctorate of Business Administration in Healthcare Management and Leadership (DBAHCML)
California Intercontinental University confers the DBAHCML for students interested in academia as a potential career. This is a research-based degree that uses applied research to help teach advanced concepts in healthcare management and leadership. Combining soft and hard skills with psychology and business, this degree demonstrates the different disciplines at play within the field. As a hybrid degree, students will be able to complete most of the 60 credit hours of coursework online; however, there is a study residency required for graduation. The program can generally be completed in two years; five years is the maximum time allowed for completion. Sample courses include Strategies for Healthcare Leadership, E-Commerce Models and Applications, and Organizational Change and Development in Management Systems.
4. University of Alabama at Birmingham
Online Doctor of Science in Healthcare Administration
There is an interesting online Ph.D in Healthcare Management available through the University of Alabama at Birmingham. This is a professional cohort degree aimed at mid-to-senior level executives who are interested in moving into the highest levels of management within the field. The degree can be completed in three years with full-time study. As a hybrid program, there is a residency requirement of three eight-day visits for two years; it also requires one international trip that is done with the cohort. The third year is dedicated completely to a student’s dissertation, including three one-week visits to campus, which is a requirement for graduation. Each student will complete 72 credit hours and will be among the brightest and most accomplished professionals once they earn the degree.
3. University of Mississippi
Online Doctor of Health Administration
One of the best online doctoral degrees available to professionals is the part-time Doctor of Health Administration that is conferred by the University of Mississippi. Created for students who work full-time and need a flexible degree plan, the DHA works on the assumption that students will take three courses each term. When completed this way, students will complete 60 credit hours of coursework, research, and a dissertation is just three years. With a variety of courses available, students will be prepared to take on any issue that may affect the healthcare industry in the coming years. Sample courses include Communications in Health Organizations, Strategic Change Management, and Organizational Behavior for Health Professions.
2. Texas Women’s University
Online Ph.D in Health Studies
An incredible online Ph.D. in Healthcare Management option for ambitious professionals is the Ph.D in Health Studies at Texas Women’s University. This is a cohort-based, research-focused hybrid program that will develop professionals who can work as professors, postdoctoral fellows, or consultants within the healthcare administration field. Students will find that the only residency requirement is one course, which is delivered during the summer in a workshop format. The entire degree is made up of 96 credit hours of coursework, of which 39 can be accounted for with a master’s degree. The program also offers three concentrations: population health, environmental health, and higher education. Sample courses include Social Epidemiology, Strategies in Health Education Delivery, and History of health and Medicine.
1. University of South Florida
Online Doctor of Public Health
A cheap online healthcare management Ph.D option for students is the Doctor of Public Health, which is conferred by the University of South Florida. This is a hybrid program that requires some length of residency on campus, which is usually fulfilled by workshops offered by the school’s DPH Institute. Students will find a variety of electives and focus areas, including Epidemiology, Public Health, and Health Administration. Most courses are delivered online; research can also be done through distance learning. Students must also complete a qualifying exam and a doctoral project, which includes research and a dissertation. Sample courses include Epidemiology of Mental Disorders, The Public Health Laboratory System, and Computer Applications for Public Health Research.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are My Career Options for an Online Doctorate in Healthcare Management Degree?
Students who take on a Ph.D. in Healthcare Management online are often already on course for the career they are pursuing, which is why they are applying for this terminal degree. While the degree itself may seem very specific, the fact is that several different career options are available for students in this field.
For example, students who take on research-based degrees may find employment within the United States government as a researcher. There are also a variety of pharmaceutical and healthcare insurance companies that are currently looking for Ph.D in Healthcare Management professionals. Work at nonprofit STEM organizations is an additional path for researchers.
There are others who take on roles within academia, using their terminal degree to gain employment as professors. This generally goes hand-in-hand with research, but some professionals focus solely on higher education, using their previous work experience to mold the curriculum to fit the actual experience of working in the industry. These professors may work at colleges and universities, or even at professional institutions or accrediting bodies as educators.
The final career option is to work in the private and public sectors as managers and administrators. These graduates find work at the highest levels of leadership in companies, healthcare systems, hospitals, and clinics. They are responsible for the management of the facility, including adherence to regulations. Alternatively, they can also work as freelance consultants who are brought in to offer solutions to a management problem in any company within the industry.
What is the Salary Expectation in Healthcare Management?
How much a professional can earn is based on not just work experience and region, but also on the type of degree that the employee carries. This means that some degrees pay more, but are also more competitive. Students must think about their goals for their career prior to considering salary.
A healthcare manager can make about $96,030 a year on average. This number can go as high as $147,000, depending on where professional works, how large the company is, and their role as a mid-level or senior-level manager.
A professional with a Doctor in Business Administration-Healthcare Management degree regularly earns more than $150,000. This salary is also affected by the size of the company, but because these professionals work in the private sector, they are also eligible for bonuses and other compensation. This is also an in-demand degree from many healthcare companies, so it’s a great fit for students who like to blend business with education.
Finally, students who choose to go into academia will find similar salaries available; a professor can make around $100,000 a year, depending on their status as a professor. If a professor has previous work experience in the industry and can demonstrate competency in a specialization, the salary can be much higher. Salaries can vary based on whether a school is a public or private institution.
What are the Various Disciplines of Healthcare Management?
The healthcare management industry is one that utilizes a variety of disciplines, because the two are inextricably linked in American society. It is therefore important that students understand how interdisciplinary the field can be. Students who stay in academia as professors, researchers, technical writers, and textbook authors will find that they will do a lot of work in the research, history, academic writing, education, and theory disciplines that make up the academic portion of healthcare management. They may also be introduced to statistics, economics, public health, global health, and other disciplines, depending on their area of focus.
Graduates of this degree who decide to move into the private sector as healthcare managers will most often engage the disciplines of management, business, economics, finance, and human resources. They may also learn about communication, international health, and more.
Does Accreditation Matter?
The recognition of being a Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education, or CAHME, accredited program graduate is incredibly important, especially if a student wishes to become an administrator or manager in the healthcare field. This is doubly true at the doctoral level, which can be difficult to find.
But why is the accreditation important? To begin with, it guarantees a student will earn an exceptional education at the school. Accreditation requires that a program adheres to the accrediting body’s core areas of competency, meaning that the program sets the standard for a high level of comprehension in education. As important as the first point is, the second is vital: the accreditation stands out on any CV. Most healthcare companies are searching for students who have successfully earned a degree from CAHME because the body sets the standard for exceptional professionalism. In fact, students who have earned a degree with this accreditation are often preferred by employers.
Online programs with this accreditation can be hard to come by, as the body has only recently begun accepting online degrees. However, it is possible to find this accreditation online. Generally speaking, hybrid programs are more likely to carry the accreditation than 100 percent online degrees, so students should research carefully before choosing any school.
Is an Online Education Better Than an On-campus Education?
Online education is no better or worse than an on-campus education, as it is just different in terms of delivery. In fact, most schools don’t differentiate between degrees conferred online or on campus. Additionally, employers will never ask about how a degree was conferred. The true measure of whether an online education is better than on-campus instruction is based on a student’s needs. If a student has a full-time career and is already working as a professional in the healthcare industry, then an online education makes sense. This is because courses tend to be asynchronous, there are accelerated options, and coursework can be done at a student’s leisure.
Alternatively, if a student doesn’t have a full-time career or is moving from graduate to doctoral education with little to no work experience, an on-campus education may be the right move. Having face-to-face instruction along with access to a network of work placements and internships can boost a student’s chances of getting a good job after graduation.
In terms of actual education, online and on-campus degrees for healthcare management at the same school rarely differ. The courses are usually taught by the same professor, exams are exactly the same, and even dissertation and research requirements are identical. The only difference, then, is how the programs are delivered. Only students can make the choice about which delivery system works best for them. It is advised that each applicant take the time to research their needs before choosing either option.
Healthcare management is an important facet of American life. The healthcare facilities that people rely on are run by those who have made this field their passion. By utilizing the research capabilities of the GSH staff and focusing on the benefits afforded to students on a month/year basis, this ranking will showcase the best degrees for an online doctorate in Healthcare Management.