Best 5 PhD in Healthcare Administration Programs in 2024

January 26, 2024 | Admin

PhD in Healthcare Administration

Achieving a Ph.D. in healthcare administration field is a show of great accomplishment. The pinnacle of a healthcare management degree is receiving a doctorate in healthcare administration. Receiving a Ph.D. shows a determination to achieve career goals and is widely respected among others in the healthcare field. Those that achieve that level of degree are in leadership positions and can face challenges and find solutions.

The medical industry is currently in need of more physicians, administrators, and nurses, and that number is expected to grow by 2030 when 20% of the population will be considered senior citizens. As the population ages, the need for healthcare jobs will continue to increase. The COVID-19 and potentially other similar pandemics threatening the world and the U.S. those with Ph.D.’s in research will increase as well to help combat these viruses before they reach the critical state that we all experienced with the Coronavirus.

Top 5 PhD in Healthcare Administration Programs

Rank School Location
1University of MinnesotaMinneapolis, Minnesota
2University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)Birmingham, AL
3The University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill, North Carolina
4Central Michigan UniversityMount Pleasant, Michigan
5Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio

Much of the intellectual heavy-lifting falls to healthcare administrators with doctorates. All of whom have been in the field long enough to understand the pressures on the system. and who are uniquely qualified to draw on that experience and combine it with the global perspective they gain from exploring these issues at the doctoral level.

There is a wide range of different career options for those that receive their Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration. They can choose research careers, leading medical facilities, business administration, public policy, and more. Some common careers include:

  • Ph.D. in Health Services – Healthcare Administration specialization
  • Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership (DrPH)
  • Ph.D. in Administration/Business Administration – Health Services concentration
  • Ph.D. in Health Policy and Administration
  • Ph.D. in Health Policy and Management
  • Ph.D. in Health Care Management and Economics
  • EdD in Organizational Leadership with Healthcare Administration emphasis
  • DM in Healthcare Management and Leadership

Curriculum Components in Healthcare Administration:

Students looking to elevate their current medical degree often choose to obtain a Ph.D. because there are such a wide variety of career choices to choose from within the medical field. A Ph.D. requires certain courses, on top of prerequisites that they must have to pursue a doctorate degree. In general, those with Ph.D.’s can work in hospitals, research institutions, medical offices, as practice administrators, and many more interesting and challenging leadership positions.

Some of the courses that Ph.D. students can choose from, based on their interests include:

  • Health Economics
  • Comparative Health Policy
  • Legal and Regulatory Challenges in Healthcare
  • Health Informatics
  • Ethical Considerations
  • Research Methods

Students have shown that students have a lot of choices when they decide to pursue a Ph.D. Our goal is to take some of the work out of that endeavor. Our goal is to provide Ph.D. students with a guide highlighting some of the top schools. While there are many degrees such as bachelor’s in healthcare administration and master’s degrees in healthcare administration, it is difficult to find high-ranking schools that offer Ph.D. programs.

Consider These Universities for a Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration:

Here are some of the top schools that we found in our research. We believe that this will be a helpful guide for those that are considering elevating their careers. Nothing does that better than students choosing to apply for a Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration. You will note that due to COVID-19, many schools are offering online doctorate programs. We have done our due diligence and found several schools that offer on-campus or hybrid classes, that feature both on-campus mixed with a minimum number of online hours.

Best 5 PhD in Healthcare Administration Programs


University of Minnesota

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

The University of Minnesota, School of Public Health has a very impressive Health Services Research, Policy, and Administration Ph.D. program. Students will engage in social, political, and economic planning that will help them in the organization, financial decision making, and delivery of health care policies and administration. Students receive training that helps students learn the best careers for them. The program engages students in a variety of different curriculums such as social, political, economic, and other resources that affect the healthcare industry.

  • In this Ph.D. program, areas of concentration include:
  • Clinical Outcomes Research
  • Health Decision Science
  • Health Economics
  • Health Policy Analysis
  • Multidisciplinary Social Science

The University of Minnesota, School of Public Health was founded in 1944. It offers 16 master’s programs and four doctoral programs. The school has 51,327 students in 2019. It is organized into 19 different schools, colleges, and other academic units. The University of Minnesota School of Public Health is considered one of the most affordable schools for a Ph.D. in Health Administration.

School Overview

Tuition: $45,793
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Visit School Website

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

  • Birmingham, AL
  • Graduation Rate: 68%

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is home to The School of Health Services Administration. The university offers a Ph.D. program that features advanced studies in all aspects of health administration and health services.

The program draws on resources from various campus-wide centers like Lister Hill Center for Health Policy, Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research, and the Center for Aging. These outlets provide Ph.D. students with added knowledge and experience in their chosen field. Upon completing coursework student will have the skills to:

  • Conduct conceptual research.
  • Demonstrate expertise in areas of specialization
  • Meet the requirements for high-level faculty positions in health services, administration, and policy
  • Perform in policy-making roles in corporate and industrial venues, non-profit organizations, or government agencies
  • Ability to effectively communicate verbally and in written communications

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a public research university that was established in 1936. The university offers 140 different areas of study, 12 academic divisions that offer bachelor’s master’s doctoral, and professional degrees. The university’s health system was launched in 1978 and today is one of the largest academic medical centers in the U.S.

School Overview

Tuition: $ 61,190 (including books, supplies, living expenses, etc.)
Student to Faculty Ratio: 1.9:1
Visit School Website

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

The University of North Carolina’s (UNC)  Gilling’s School of Global Public Health, is one of the top-ranked learning centers in the Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership (DrPH) Program. It was designed to help students shape public health policies and create change in a variety of different leadership roles. This is a hybrid program that pairs online and on-campus learning making it easy for those that are juggling work and their Ph.D. program. The program prepares graduates for the following:

  • Domestic or international health directors
  • High-level positions with government agencies or foundations
  • Leaders in nonprofit and non-governmental organizations
  • Top-ranking officers and mid-level or senior managers
  • Positions working in the health field, including entrepreneurs and individuals in nontraditional settings that affect the state of public health

The UNC Gilling’s School of Global Public Health is a public school focusing on healthcare. In 2020, it was ranked the number one public health school in the U.S. The school was organized in 1936 and in 1949, the School of Dentistry and School of Nursing opened. Today the university offers over 70 different degrees and 13 different schools.

School Overview

Tuition: $13,377 to $20,377 for full time students
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Visit School Website

Central Michigan University

  • Mount Pleasant, Michigan
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

The curriculum at Central Michigan University’s Doctor of Health Administration program is designed for professionals that are already working in the medical field. Studies are created to prepare students for elevated positions in the healthcare industry. This is a 63-credit hybrid program, that includes 15 hours of online courses along with face-to-face seminars and individual learning.

Throughout the doctorate the program, students will increase their skills in the following areas:

  • Better communications with individuals, groups, and at organizational levels
  • Enhanced skilled in informatics, and information technology
  • Latest knowledge in healthcare delivery systems
  • Healthcare economic realities
  • Healthcare policies, regulations, and communities
  • Ability to work better with human resource issues like diversity, poverty, human rights, sexism, racism, and unionization

Central Michigan University is located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and was established in 1892. The school offers over 200 academic programs at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels. The College of Medicine, which opened in 2013 is considered one of the top doctoral universities because of its’ exemplary research units.

School Overview

Tuition: $13,068 per 18 credits
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Visit School Website

Ohio State University

  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

Ohio State University (OSU’s) College of Public Health, produces students that are ready to take executive-level roles upon graduation. The medical school at OSU is located in Columbus, Ohio, and is consistently highly rated for its’ academic offerings by many leading institutions. It is recognized as both an educational venue and a research institution. Upon graduation, Ph.D. students will have several different career choices to choose from, including:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Environmental Public Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Behavior and Promotion of Positive Health
  • Health Services Management, Administration, and Policy

Ohio State University became the first Ohio-based accredited public health college in 2007, though it was first founded in 1862.

It was originally called the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, which concentrated on agriculture. The school has over 15,000 graduate students and is one of the largest universities in the U.S. The University has over 1,000 student organizations. The college is separated into several different divisions and centers, each with its’ own specialized topic of study. A minimum of 24 graduate credit hours is required for the Ph.D. In order to be accepted into their program, students must have completed their coursework at Ohio State University.

School Overview

Tuition: 13,068 per 18 credits
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Visit School Website

Ph.D.’s in Healthcare Administration Ranking Methodology

Those currently in the medical field, who are pursuing a Ph.D., are already well accomplished. In most cases, they are already working. So, we have tried to pull together some of the best options for obtaining a Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration. This is a very attractive degree as there are so many different career paths graduates can take. 

When reviewing Ph.D. school options, we looked at several different options. We found that many universities are offering fewer and fewer on-campus classes due to COVID-19.

The list we put together has been reviewed and compared based on graduation rate, student to faculty ratio, and the cost of tuition. These statistics vary greatly, from school to school. 

After reviewing this information, if you find there is a school omitted, or if there is information that is outdated and no longer relevant, please contact us so we can make the necessary updates.  We hope this information will help you as you begin your search for a phd in healthcare administration.

Find the program that’s right for you

Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

Woman in graduation cap and gown
Scroll to Top