DBA in Healthcare Management

Oct 20, 2021

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Healthcare Management degree programs are usually available in online formats, but some programs may include a few short, on-campus residencies. These degree programs typically prepare students for advanced careers in healthcare management and may be completed in as little as 3.5 years. Find out more about some of the degree requirements here.

Information for Doctor of Business Administration in Healthcare Management

Students in DBA programs for healthcare management are often required to complete a dissertation or capstone project and may take anywhere from about 49 to 60 credit hours. Although these programs vary in course requirements and course titles, below we explore a few of the common course topics or themes for this program.


Students in this DBA program typically take a course in ethics, although some courses may focus on the ethics of business, while others are more specific to healthcare management. These courses examine an organization's social responsibility, laws at various levels of government and other regulations. Courses specific to healthcare management may also examine topics like patient rights, risk management, advocacy and controls.


Several of these degree programs offer a course in innovation that may explore how business strategy can incorporate innovation to stay competitive or how to manage innovation through the incorporation of technology. In either focus, these courses typically take on a global perspective and discuss some of the various challenges with innovation. Specific topics students may examine include sustainable business, how to maximize competitive advantages, group dynamics, organizational structure and the relationship between workers and technology.

Research Methods

Students in DBA in Healthcare Management programs are usually required to take at least one course in research methods. These courses may include topics in quantitative statistics, qualitative methodology and other foundational concepts in business research. Some of these courses may provide students with an overview of literature in the field and/or discuss topics in the various social and ethical perspectives of research, while others provide students with more specific skills they may need for their dissertations, such as hypothesis testing, regression, Chi-square testing and survey-based research.

Healthcare Leadership/Decision Making

Students usually take a course that is designed to enhance their planning, problem-solving and decision-making skills to prepare for leadership positions within the healthcare system. These courses pull information from a wide range of areas, such as ethics, healthcare economics, regulations and cost, to help students analyze possible solutions to different challenges they may face. Other topics in these courses may include team-building, changes in the organization's environment, the health policy process and the distribution of services and resources.

Management of Healthcare Systems

Courses in the management of healthcare systems are somewhat similar to courses in leadership and decision making as they aim to equip managers with the leadership skills necessary for the job. Some of these courses focus on how to deliver quality management from a systems approach that incorporates the different financial, political and economic perspectives of healthcare, while others focus on managing healthcare delivery systems. Students in the latter type of courses may examine the challenges in managing these delivery systems and how to work with patients, organizations, regulators, professionals, technology and more.

Common Entrance Requirements

Students applying to DBA in Healthcare Management need to have at least a bachelor's degree, but some programs may require or prefer that students hold a master's degree. Some of these programs may also require a minimum GPA of around a 3.0. Typically, applicants for these programs need to fill out the appropriate applications and submit their official transcripts. Most programs also require students to submit a current resume or CV with their application and may like to see any relevant education and/or work experience listed.

Students wishing to be leaders in the healthcare system may pursue a DBA in Healthcare Management to gain the necessary management and business skills. These programs are available online, typically require a dissertation and may be completed in less than 4 years.

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