What Are the Different Types of Healthcare Administration PhD Programs?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Leigh
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2019
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There are different types of healthcare administration Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs that students can choose from depending on their needs. Online PhD programs offer flexibility while on-campus programs provide more personalized instruction and greater interaction with peers. Within healthcare administration PhD programs there are concentrations that can affect a student's career such as research, policy, and law. In addition to PhD programs, there are also doctoral programs in healthcare administration that lead to the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), Doctor of Health Administration (DHA), and Doctor of Public Health (DPH) degrees.

Healthcare administration PhD programs can take place online, on-campus, or as a combination of both. Online classes provide autonomy as well as the opportunity for students to create their own schedules or work around their existing careers and family lives. On-campus healthcare administration PhD programs can be full-time or part-time depending on the school, and provide more of the typical college atmosphere with regular opportunities to speak with instructors and other students. In addition, an on-campus program allows students opportunities to conduct research with professors and teach classes to undergraduate students.


In healthcare administration PhD programs, students can choose between gerontology, research methods and design, and policies or laws that affect healthcare in different parts of the world. Students who choose a specific concentration will likely focus their research in that area for the dissertation paper that is a large part of a PhD program's requirements. PhD programs are focused more on research than other types of degrees, so students should expect to spend an ample amount of time developing their research, writing about it, and trying to have it published in books and academic journals.

Students who are interested in obtaining a degree from healthcare administration PhD programs might also want to consider healthcare administration programs that lead to different types of doctoral degrees. The DBA degree is located in the business school of a college or university and offers a similar education with more focus on the practical administrative aspects of the field than research. A DHA degree is often tailored for professionals already working in health administration and, therefore, helps students fit classes around their working schedules. Located in the school of public health is the DPH degree, which helps students learn to function in a role as a public health officer or administrator.


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