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Doctor of Health Administration Program

Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) Program

The challenge to develop cost-effective, quality delivery systems responsive to policy initiatives requires a substantial increase in critical thinking skills, evidence-based knowledge and leadership skills. The long-term success of healthcare organizations will be directly linked to highly skilled, strategic leadership. Leaders must begin to integrate evidence-based knowledge into traditional subject areas with a vision of population health and inter-organizational network relations. These challenges, along with the demand for advanced leadership skills, clearly show the need for formal and relevant education beyond the master's degree level. The DHA program has been uniquely designed to fill a gap in health administration education, which provides the participants with the cultural, humanistic, and professional background that the changing healthcare field demands. Our graduates generally intend to turn their doctoral degrees into higher education faculty positions, into leadership roles in health care advocacy, or into the highest levels of health care administration.

Doctor of Health Administration Program

The Doctor of Health Administration program is designed to allow ambitious health care professionals to turn their clinical or administrative experiences into opportunities to teach, shape public policy and/or lead complex organizations. Successful applicants will possess relevant post-baccalaureate professional degree or master's degrees and significant practical experience in the field.

The DHA program is a 54 credit-hour curriculum, with new cohorts beginning each fall. The program utilizes a blended format, combining asynchronous internet-based instruction with face-to-face meetings. Each semester students will be required to spend one long weekend on MUSC's Charleston South Carolina campus attending classes. Two years of formal course work are provided through online presentations and asynchronous discussion. Papers and other required assignments are completed during home study in-between campus sessions. DHA students take a core curriculum focusing on leadership and management, applied research methods, health policy, change management, health information management, population health management, and healthcare finance with additional elective courses in advanced health information systems, leadership and operations, and telehealth. The second year of the program includes a week-long intensive policy trip to Washington DC, where students meet with and learn from national health policy experts. The third year of the program is devoted to individual, supervised doctoral project research. The purpose of the doctoral project is to give students an opportunity to work under the direction of a faculty member to conceive, implement, and analyze an applied research problem that generates new knowledge or adds a new perspective to existing knowledge.

Program Objectives

  • Development of leaders to fulfill new roles in the evolving healthcare arena.
  • Application of systematic problem-solving methods designed to achieve tangible, long-lasting results.
  • Development of professionals who will apply theory to real world healthcare settings.
  • Build long-term mutually beneficial professional relationships among an array of healthcare professionals and academicians.

The DHA Program Offers Two Paths to Admission

Executive Leadership & Policy

The Executive track of the DHA program focuses on the development of leaders in healthcare administration, health policy, strategic management, and applied research methods. Students hold positions such as Chief Executive Officer, Administrator, Regional Manager, Program Director, and Department Manager. Students are all seeking to gain the skills needed to take on enhanced leadership positions and influence healthcare delivery.

Candidates for the Executive Track should possess the following:

  • Significant experience in a management or policy position in the healthcare field.
  • A post-baccalaureate professional degree or master's degree in Health Administration, Business Administration, Public Health, Public Administration, or in an equivalent relevant discipline.

Interprofessional Leadership & Policy

The Interprofessional track of the DHA program focuses on the development of interprofessional leaders in clinical care, social work, health information systems and healthcare quality. Students hold positions such as practicing clinicians, Chief Information Officer, health information technology consultant, social worker, case manager, information systems vendor executive, quality assurance professional, and training program coordinator. Students are all seeking to gain the skills needed to take on leadership positions and influence healthcare practice.

Candidates for the Doctor of Health Administration Health Interprofessional admission track should possess the following:

  • Significant experience in a clinical medical specialty, health information systems, or other healthcare related field.
  • A related post-baccalaureate professional degree or master's degree.

Job Opportunities

It’s hard to imagine a more dynamic, fast-paced and rewarding field than healthcare. Individuals who possess a doctoral degree in health administration from MUSC gain unique competitive advantages. Armed with your DHA, you can pursue a career in academe, public policy/advocacy, consulting, clinical leadership, or as an executive of a healthcare organization. Possessing a DHA gives you a clear, competitive edge in a dynamic marketplace.

Our focus on leadership, policy/advocacy, strategy and applied research puts CHP graduates in high demand.

Among the positions our grads have assumed:

  • Health System President and CEO
  • Healthcare Organization Senior Vice President
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Chief Medical Information Officer
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Chief Quality Officer
  • Consultant
  • Director of Education
  • Director of Information Technology
  • Senior Health Analyst/Policy Analyst
  • Long-term Care Executive Director
  • Medical Director
  • Senior Operations Manager

Academic leadership positions

  • University President
  • College Professor
  • Associate Dean for Students
  • Department/Division Director

For more information contact:
Jillian Harvey, MHA, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Director Doctor of Health Administration Division