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2024’s Top PhD & Doctoral Healthcare Management Programs Online

An associate degree in healthcare management can help you take the first step into a rewarding career leading healthcare organizations and personnel. Keep reading to learn more.

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A smiling male doctor in a white coat shakes hands with a woman in a group meeting with two other participants in a bright medical office setting.

Are you looking to enhance your education or advance in your healthcare career? There’s no better time than now. Staying ahead in the profession requires you to have an advanced understanding of the field, and earning a PhD or doctorate in healthcare management online may be the best way to demonstrate that.

Not only are these graduate degrees currently in high demand, but they also lead to a promising future. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the medical/health services management field to grow by 28% between 2022 and 2032 — far faster than national averages — with over 54,700 positions expected to be filled each year in the coming years.

With such excellent job prospects, you’ll be well-positioned to become a strong leader or to fill academic and research roles by pursuing a doctorate in the field. Read on to learn more about top PhD in healthcare management online programs, courses you’ll encounter along the way, and potential career opportunities after graduation.

Spotlighting PhD & Doctorate Healthcare Management Programs Online

As you begin research into your future doctorate in healthcare management online, you’ll likely develop a list of must-haves that your program must reflect. For example, you’ll need the program to be accredited, and you may want certain learning outcomes or curriculum details. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of three standout PhDs in healthcare management online. Use these as a baseline against which you can compare other programs you may also be considering.

California Intercontinental University

When you earn a Doctor of Business Administration in Healthcare Management and Leadership (DBA-HCML) at California Intercontinental University, you’ll graduate poised to become a top healthcare manager in research and leadership roles — think hospital CEO, healthcare data analyst, or healthcare consultant. You’ll complete 60 credits including business core courses, classes in your specialization, and a 15-credit dissertation.

Course topics in this online doctorate in healthcare management include strategies for leadership, marketing for healthcare professionals, healthcare and the economy, and healthcare management systems.

To be considered for admission, you’ll need a master’s degree, a professional resume, and a complete application. The university is accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

At $528 per credit, you’ll spend $36,675 total on tuition, which includes fees for e-books. CIU offers financial aid options by way of federal student loans (determined by the FAFSA), scholarships, and military tuition assistance.

Colorado Technical University

Colorado Tech is another top option, offering an online Doctor of Management — Healthcare Management and Leadership. In the 100-credit program, you’ll learn about health policy and regulations, healthcare economics, and finance. Students are passionate about applying innovative improvements to burdened healthcare systems, and once you earn your degree, you can pursue roles in research or leadership and change management.

The online curriculum does have a residency component, and you’ll also take part in in-person symposium experiences. But with multiple start dates throughout the year, students can earn their doctoral degree in three years.

CTU is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and the curriculum of this program was developed to meet the professional standards of theAmerican College of Healthcare Executives.

Financial aid is available through grants and scholarships to help defray some of the costs of your online doctorate in healthcare management; tuition is $598 per credit, with a projected total cost (including fees) of approximately $64,640.

Liberty University

Liberty University offers a Doctor of Business Administration – Healthcare Management, ideal for professionals looking for top management positions in healthcare. You’ll examine aspects of both business and healthcare, studying how to streamline business processes, learning to provide patients with quality care, and preparing to lead your organization to success. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

This 60-credit doctoral program is 100% online, so you won’t have to worry about taking on-campus courses. Courses are asynchronous (no set login times), so you’ll have the flexibility to complete your coursework when and where it’s most convenient for you.

To apply, you’ll need to submit an application (along with an application fee), official college transcripts, and proof of English proficiency for students who speak English as a second language.

Liberty University estimates a cost of about $595 per credit hour, with a total cost of about $40,970 including fees across the duration of your online doctorate in healthcare management online.

What You’ll Learn in Healthcare Management PhD Programs

Each university has unique requirements for their PhD or doctorate in healthcare management online degrees, but they typically have similar features. Apart from attending online, students often acquire experience through a residency at a relevant institution and prepare a dissertation as part of the educational process. Here are some of the specific courses you might encounter in your pursuit of a PhD in healthcare management online:

Advanced Health Economics

This course builds upon your foundational knowledge of health economics, giving you an expanded understanding of how economic principles apply in the healthcare industry. This includes learning about healthcare financing models, economic evaluation methods, and the economic analysis of behavioral health.

Advanced Health Policy Analysis

In this course during a typical PhD in healthcare management online program, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of how health policies work while exploring the theories, methods, and tools behind modern healthcare policies. You’ll learn about health policy theory and frameworks, policy formulation and development, and advocacy and communication.

Global Health Management

This course gives you in-depth access to the challenges, strategies, and best practices needed to manage global healthcare. You’ll learn more about the interconnected nature of health challenges across borders and how you can use effective leadership and management to tackle them. A few key concepts you may encounter include global health systems and global health governance.

Leadership and Organizational Behavior in Healthcare

In this course, you’ll gain exposure to the principles, theories, and applications of leadership within the unique context of healthcare organizations. You’ll learn advanced applications of strategic leadership in healthcare, ethical leadership, and good leadership during crisis moments.

Research Methods in Healthcare Management

In this course, you’ll gain insight into advanced research techniques that enhance your capacity to perform rigorous and meaningful research in healthcare management. After this course, you’ll successfully conduct research design tasks, use mixed research methods, analyze data better, and perform systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Features of Top PhD & Doctorate Programs

When choosing a PhD or doctoral program in healthcare management online, you’ll need to be sure about the quality of the degree and institution. You’ll also need to be confident that the school will support you in achieving the success you anticipate in your career after graduation. To determine if an institution is right for you, here are some features to research.


Accreditation is an essential aspect to consider in a PhD or doctoral program. Ideally, you want a degree with both institutional and programmatic accreditation. Institutional accreditation ensures standards are met by a university, whereas programmatic accreditation ensures consistent standards specific to the field of study.

A few examples of programmatic accreditation agencies for online PhDs or doctorates in healthcare management include the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) and Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Alumni Success & Professional Development

Top universities and colleges offer success and professional development services to their alumni, helping them succeed after completing a PhD or doctorate. For instance, you can access help in tailoring your resume to your new qualifications, searching for jobs, and preparing for interviews.

Additionally, many institutions maintain alumni societies and communities across multiple platforms. Here, alumni and students can interact and exchange career information, opportunities, and advice.

Flexible Curriculum

Most online courses are flexible, allowing students to attend classes while working or meeting other personal obligations. This eliminates the need for you to attend classes in person while ensuring you maintain access to all key course materials and professors. You’ll want to investigate whether your school’s online classes take place synchronously — meaning all students log in at the same time on a given day — or asynchronously. You’ll also need to determine if your PhD program requires any in-person commitments, like residency or field work.

Global Perspective

Top PhD and doctoral courses online take a regional and global approach to healthcare management. This enables you to explore the broad healthcare landscape and research new ways to resolve existing challenges and improve healthcare service delivery.

It also helps you learn different approaches used worldwide that you can adopt. Additionally, it prepares you for working in the global marketplace to improve healthcare management and service delivery.

Integration of Technology & Innovation

In a fast-changing healthcare management world, you want a program that keeps you updated on emerging technology and innovations. You also want a PhD or doctoral degree that teaches you how to integrate and apply technology such as healthcare apps, artificial intelligence, and patient management software into your service delivery.

Publication Opportunities with Practical Research Application

Because PhD and doctoral work heavily relies on research, you want an online degree that encourages you to find real-world applications of research, preparing you for professional success in the field. Be sure to investigate whether former students have published their research (and perhaps even presented at conferences), as this indicates a track record of publication success.

Career Opportunities After Graduation

After completing your doctorate inhealthcare management online, you’ll find plenty of advanced leadership roles you can occupy in the medical field. Most of these opportunities involve taking charge of healthcare workers, teaching healthcare students, and heading research in different healthcare firms.

Moreover, you’ll be qualified to work in a variety of settings such as research labs, universities, hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. Here are some outstanding career opportunities to explore once you’ve completed your doctorate in healthcare management online:

Executive Leadership

As a professional in executive leadership, you’ll oversee and manage all the operations of a healthcare organization, including the day-to-day management of facilities and staff. Additionally, you’ll also be responsible for developing the long-term strategic goals of the organization, budgeting, financial planning, quality assurance, and regulatory compliance.

Global Health Specialist

Your PhD in healthcare management online will qualify you to be able to address emerging global health issues and challenges. Some of the roles you may perform as a global health specialist include research into evolving global health challenges, emergency response and preparedness, policy and advocacy, and capacity building.

Health Policy Analyst

As a health policy analyst, you’ll evaluate and assess healthcare policies and find ways to enhance and improve their effectiveness. Your role may be in government agencies, advocacy organizations, consultancies, and research institutions.

Some of the tasks on the job will include policy research, policy development and evaluation, data analysis, and stakeholder engagement.


You can also use your doctoral degree to earn a role as a professor at a college or university. You’ll be well-qualified to teach undergraduate, graduate, or professional-level students in topics that range from healthcare administration to policy and regulation to global health management.

Research Scientist

As a research scientist, your role involves conducting field research in healthcare management. Here, you’ll investigate healthcare challenges and issues and develop potential solutions for them. Some tasks you might perform include data collection and analysis, grant writing, research design, literature reviews, and collaborating with fellow researchers to achieve a defined goal.

Answering Your Healthcare Management Questions

Still have questions about a PhD inhealthcare management online? Here are some answers to your most pressing FAQs.

Are there funding options available for PhDs and doctorates in healthcare management?

Yes, there are multiple PhD programs with full funding options available. In such cases, the university waives your tuition fees and may offer health insurance and other benefits. Alternatively, some PhDs and doctorates are partially funded, meaning you’ll pay a reduced fee because the school contributes to fees or living costs, but not both.

Do these programs provide opportunities for networking and collaboration with other students and professionals in the field?

Yes. Most colleges and universities keep massive alumni societies and communities across multiple physical and social media platforms. In addition to these alumni communities that span generations and continents, many institutions create opportunities for students to share job opportunities and mentorship during a doctoral program.

How do these programs reinforce practical application in addition to theoretical knowledge?

As a PhD student, you’ll likely take part in research in diverse settings like labs, universities, hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. You’ll also have access to libraries and other learning centers that support your education. When you coalesce the lessons learned in classes with the real-world perspectives you gain in the field or in your research, you’ll leave a program with a combination of practical and theoretical knowledge. Moreover, most PhDs or doctorates require completion of a comprehensive project or dissertation to graduate. These typically meld in-class learning with real-world applications.

In what ways do these programs prepare students to address societal health challenges?

There are many ways earning a doctorate in healthcare management online helps students prepare for societal problems, but most importantly, you’ll understand how to manage healthcare systems, how to create and analyze new health policies, and how to view healthcare from a global perspective. All of these components vitally contribute to a complex and nuanced societal landscape perspective in the healthcare field.

What are the admission requirements for the average PhD/doctoralprogram?

While every program will have its unique application requirements, you’ll find some common universal elements. You’ll typically need to complete an online application and pay any associated fees. You’ll likely have to gather all past transcripts, and many PhD/doctoral programs also require students to submit GMAT or GRE scores. You may also need recommendation letters from professors and/or professional supervisors as testament to your capabilities.

What is the structure and duration of a typical program?

A typical PhD program lasts between three and seven years, but the structure of the program — full- or part-time, fully online or with in-person residencies, etc. — will contribute to the program’s duration. Some accelerated PhD programs offer credit for associated coursework in your master’s education. You may also find that your professional obligations can prolong duration, considering many PhD or doctoral students are already working in leadership roles in their chosen fields.