Accredited Online DHA Degree Programs - Coursework & Tuition


Healthcare is an extremely complex and ever-changing system that requires strong leadership with an understanding of both business and healthcare. These leaders are required to make decisions and implement policies that have a sound financial basis in order to improve the quality of care provided—all while adhering to institutional and governmental standards and policies. While some of the experience needed can be gained with on the job training, a doctor in healthcare administration (DHA) is the top degree program of choice for those in this field.

In a DHA program, students learn to become executives prepared to lead healthcare organizations to success. Coursework includes instruction in leadership, ethics, regulation, sustainability, cross-cultural awareness, finance, and information management aimed at crafting well-rounded students who can take on numerous healthcare leadership roles. Graduates of a DHA program can land prestigious titles such as chief nursing officer, heath systems president, long-term care executive director, chief medical information officer, and medical director, among others. Many programs also require internships or residencies which give students unparalleled hands-on learning experiences.

With these prestigious titles also comes a lucrative salary. According to PayScale (2020), DHA graduates earn on average $93,000 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2019) categorizes DHA graduates as medical and health services managers and estimates salaries at $99,730 per year. This profession is currently undergoing tremendous growth as the demand for quality healthcare increases. The BLS estimates that there will be an 18 percent increase in jobs in this field between 2018 and 2028—over 71,000 new jobs that DHA graduates can fill.

Admissions to DHA programs typically require students to have already completed a master’s degree. A master of healthcare administration (MHA) or a related degree is preferable, although there are some programs, such as the one at Walden University profiled below, that offer students the opportunity to enroll with any master’s degree.

Taking the time to pursue a doctorate is not an option for everyone. However, here are seven programs, and profiles on three outstanding professors, that allow students the convenience to pursue their DHA degree through online learning, at their own pace, and without having to relocate.

  • Nailya DeLellis, PhD, MPH

    Central Michigan University Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions

    Dr. Nailya DeLellis earned her master’s in public health from the Kazakhstan School of Public Health and her PhD in health services organization and research from Virginia Commonwealth University.

    She is an associate professor at CMU and teaches courses in health economics, strategic planning, and quantitative analysis in healthcare. Her research interests include the intersection of quality and efficiency in healthcare and how to identify quality and efficiency in said care. Her most recent work, published in the International Journal of Health Sciences, examines how changes in a healthcare system can affect the health of a population.

  • Jessica H. Bailey, PhD, RHIA

    University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Health Related Professions

    Dr. Jessica H. Bailey serves as the dean of the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Health Related Professions. Her doctorate is in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

    With experience as the director of information at a regional hospital and director of the fellowship program at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, Dr. Bailey has a varied professional and academic background. She is also a registered health information administrator (RHIA). Her most recent published research work includes examining methods of cohort studies and technological innovations in the classroom setting.

  • Jillian Harvey, PhD

    Medical University of South Carolina College of Health Professions

    Dr. Jillian Harvey is not only an associate professor at MUSC, but she is also the director of the DHA program. She received her bachelor’s in healthcare administration and master’s of public health in health management and policy from Oregon State University. She went on to earn her PhD in health policy and administration from Penn State University.

    Prior to pursuing her MPH, she worked as an administrator for a nationwide healthcare system. Her academic interests lie in telehealth and healthcare costs and access. She is a prolific researcher and has been an author on over 20 articles in the past three years.

Kimmy Gustafson
Kimmy Gustafson

Kimmy Gustafson is a freelance writer with a passion for sharing stories of bravery. Her love for world-traveling began when her family moved to Spain when she was six and since then, she has lived overseas extensively, visited six continents, and traveled to over 25 countries. She is fluent in Spanish and conversational in French. When not writing or parenting she can be found kiteboarding, hiking, or cooking.

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