Capella University Online DHA Program with Concentrations

The School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Capella University offers an online doctor of health administration (DHA) program with a general path or one of three health care concentrations: health care quality and analytics, health policy and advocacy, and health care leadership. Included in the capstone is a supervised practicum at an approved location. The DHA may be earned in 2.5 years taking two courses per quarter.

The DHA and concentrations focus on skills to address challenges and issues in health administration, innovative thinking, and adaptive leadership. The program includes instruction in effective management strategies, evidence-based leadership, and health policy development, evaluation, and implementation. In order to apply learned skills, doctoral students complete a research project designed to address a current health care issue or challenge. This is then the focus of their doctoral practicum in which students gain real-world experience in health care administration.

Capella University degrees are competency-based, ensuring graduates are prepared to successfully serve in their fields. Notably, the curriculum is patterned after the National Center for Health Care Leadership Competency Model (NCHL). Capella University also utilizes an interprofessional education model in which students in related programs share knowledge with each other.

Online learning includes readings, peer and faculty discussions, case studies, simulation exercises, and assignments. Students must demonstrate proficiency in outcomes as well. Those with an MHA or related degree may be able to transfer in credits toward the DHA degree. Graduates may go on to careers in health care leadership and management in consulting firms, health care organizations, academic settings, or in policy-making roles.

Capella DHA students have access to a learner success lab which helps them use their time and resources fully and hone their health administration skills. Learning outcomes focus on peak organizational performance, professional growth for self and others, effective communication, analysis of evidence-based research, becoming change leaders, and critical thinking skills.

Capella University is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is an online-only institution based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There are also two campus centers located in Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia.

What to Expect from the Capella University Online DHA

Admission Requirements: Applicants to the online DHA program must hold a master’s degree from an accredited institution. No GMAT or GRE scores or work experience are required. Students who have earned an MHA or a related degree may be eligible to transfer in up to 12 credits. A maximum of 18 credits is transferable. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.

The application requires the submission of official transcripts and an application fee. A background check is also required upon acceptance. Students whose first language is not English must submit proof of language proficiency and internationally earned degrees must have a transcript evaluation.

Study Plan: The Capella University online DHA consists of 16 courses lasting ten weeks each. Students may begin their program each quarter in the fall, winter, spring, or summer. Students may take up to two courses per quarter and the degree can be completed in just 2.5 years at this pace. At the pace of one course per quarter, the degree can be completed in about four years. Students have up to seven years to complete a doctoral degree. A capstone course is combined with a 100-hour supervised practicum at an approved location.

Curriculum: The Capella University DHA consists of 76 quarter credits over 16 courses of four to six credits each. Core courses include collaboration, communication, and case analysis for doctoral learners; strategic financial management in health care; innovative business practices in health care; health care policy processes, quantitative design, and analysis; preparing for the professional doctorate in public health and health administration; 21st-century health care improvement; the foundations of evidence-based practice in health care; and keystone: defining the doctoral project. All specializations also complete the doctoral capstone course four times.

General DHA Curriculum: General DHA students then choose three of the following courses: health policy in the United States; regulatory compliance for health care leaders; global health policy; evidence-based leadership in health care; strategic vision and planning in health care; health care leadership excellence in a consumer-driven market; performance management and process improvement in health care; health data analytics in quality; and patient safety, accreditation, and regulation in health care.

DHA in Health Care Quality and Analytics Curriculum: Specialization courses for the DHA in health care quality and analytics include health data analytics in quality; performance management and process improvement in health care; and patient safety, accreditation, and regulation and health care.

DHA in Health Policy and Advocacy Curriculum: Specialization courses for the DHA in health policy and advocacy include health policy in the United States; global health policy; and regulatory compliance for health care leaders.

DHA in Health Care Leadership Curriculum: Specialization courses for the DHA in health care leadership include strategic vision and planning in health care; evidence-based leadership in health care; and health care leadership excellence in a consumer-driven market.

Online Experience: Capella University DHA students complete readings and assignments which are due on Sundays. Participation in group discussions is also required. Learning may include case studies and simulation exercises. Students are graded on assignments, participation in discussions motivated by the readings, and demonstrated understanding of the outcomes. Courses may require live web conferencing at times. Students also complete a capstone course with a 100-hour supervised practicum.

Capella students have access to a wealth of resources, including faculty support, peer-mentoring groups, tutors and writing support, academic coaches, academic advisors, enrollment counselors, financial aid counselors, military support staff, disability services, a student community, an online library, and technical support. A career center and alumni association are available to graduates.

On-Site Requirements: The Capella University online DHA coursework is 100 percent online and students complete a supervised practicum locally. Capella University is an online-only institution.

Paying for the Capella University Online DHA

Online DHA students pay $755 per credit plus fees. A resource kit is also charged at $715 per quarter and includes all books, test kits, and other instructional materials necessary for each course. Applicants should contact the Capella University School of Nursing and Health Sciences for updated costs and possible discounts.

Capella’s online DHA students have access to graduate student loans in accordance with the FAFSA. A $10,000 Capella Progress Reward scholarship may be available to fund the DHA degree and students can find out more from the Capella University Admissions Office. Additionally, students may inquire with their employer regarding a tuition reimbursement program and seek funding from other outside sources.

Capella University DHA - Health Administration

  • Patterned after the National Center for Health Care Leadership Competency Model (NCHL)
  • Students may take up to two courses per quarter and transfer in credits to reduce time to completion
  • Tailor your degree by choosing one of three concentrations
Program Essentials
Degree Level Doctoral Degree
Program Start Dates Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Credits Needed to Graduate 76
Time to Complete? Graduate in as little as 2 years.
100% Online? Yes, plus practicum
Program Accreditation None
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Master's degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? No
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 76
Cost Per Credit Hour $755.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $57,380.00

Capella University DHA - Health Care Quality and Analytics

  • Focuses on data use and the improvement of health care through data management
  • Students study patient safety, regulations, quality improvement, performance management, and quantitative analysis
  • Learning modalities include simulation exercises, case studies, readings, presentations, and projects
Program Essentials
Degree Level Doctoral Degree
Program Start Dates Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Credits Needed to Graduate 76
Time to Complete? Graduate in as little as 2 years.
100% Online? Yes, plus practicum
Program Accreditation None
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Master's degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? No
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 76
Cost Per Credit Hour $755.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $57,380.00

Capella University DHA - Health Policy and Advocacy

  • Graduates become change leaders for health care policy and improvement
  • Included in courses are group discussions, case studies, consulting projects, simulations, readings, and demonstration of proficiency
  • Focuses include evidence-based applications to health care policy improvement, ethical professionalism, effective communication, and national and global health care policies and regulations
Program Essentials
Degree Level Doctoral Degree
Program Start Dates Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Credits Needed to Graduate 76
Time to Complete? Graduate in as little as 2 years.
100% Online? Yes, plus practicum
Program Accreditation None
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Master's degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? No
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 76
Cost Per Credit Hour $755.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $57,380.00

Capella University DHA - Health Care Leadership

  • Capella degrees are competency-based to graduate capable, effective leaders
  • Focuses on effective comunication, organizational leadership, accountability, problem-solving skills, evidence-based leadership, and ethical and professional practices
  • Students participate in a local, supervised practicum to apply learned skills to the real world
Program Essentials
Degree Level Doctoral Degree
Program Start Dates Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Credits Needed to Graduate 76
Time to Complete? Graduate in as little as 2 years.
100% Online? Yes, plus practicum
Program Accreditation None
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Master's degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? No
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 76
Cost Per Credit Hour $755.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $57,380.00

* Tuition is calculated based on credits, at the currently published tuition rate. For programs with variable tuition rates, we use the out of state, part-time student rate. Tuition number represents the cost of tuition for the entire program, not per semester or year. Total cost of tuition does not include additional fees.

Sara Navratil
Sara Navratil
Writer

Sara Navratil is a freelance writer and a Certified Canfield Success Principles Trainer. She's the owner of Sara Liza Life, a company dedicated to helping people rewrite their lives. She enjoys researching and writing about healthcare-related topics, including information on online MHA programs. When not working she likes to read, bake, and spend time with her family.