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Doctor of Health Administration Degree Online

Doctor of Health Administration Degree Online

Doctor of Health Administration Degree Online

Online Healthcare Degree

The Doctor of Health Administration degree program at A.T. Still University (ATSU) prepares health professionals to become innovative leaders and problem solvers within the healthcare industry. By blending the theoretical with the practical, the coursework of this advanced doctorate of health administration degree program provides students with the holistic knowledge needed to transition into careers that improve and influence healthcare administration systems.

Offered through ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS), the respected Doctor of Health Administration degree program is designed to seamlessly integrate advanced business education that provides working healthcare professionals with advanced business strategies and innovative healthcare leadership insight.

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ATSU-College of Graduate Health Studies’ doctorate of health administration is a 62-credit-hour program, consisting of 14 core courses (42 credit-hours), and a dissertation (20 credit-hours). Coursework for the Doctor of Health Administration degree is completed 100 percent online. The ATSU-College of Graduate Health Studies program allows students tremendous flexibility, including the freedom to choose between an applied or theoretical dissertation.

ATSU’s unique partnership with the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) provides candidates invaluable access to industry professionals, in addition to outstanding faculty who are leaders in their fields. Engage with a mentor of your choosing from the ACHE to help fulfill your dissertation and earn the esteemed credentials necessary to achieve your career goals.


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  • Career Advancement+

    • Graduates prepare to take their place in healthcare leadership with a uniquely relevant and respected doctorate in health administration from a leading health sciences University.According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. As the large baby-boom population ages and people remain active later in life, the healthcare industry as a whole will see an increase in the demand for medical services. Managers will be needed to organize and manage medical information and healthcare staffs in all areas of the industry.”

      If you want to have more career opportunities, add consulting to your resume or transition into teaching, the Doctor of Health Administration degree from ATSU is for you. The program is committed to healthcare management, executive leadership and education emphasizing patient-centered care. It is based on our more than 120 years of experience in holistic health and concern for the total patient.

      As administrators, educators, policy makers and thought leaders, doctor of health administration graduates are trained to manage a wide spectrum of health-industry operational functions, including facilities, personnel, purchasing and finance. An understanding of finance, information systems, human relationships and leadership skills is essential to a successful career, which may include:

      • Chief executive officer, chief operating officer, president, chief financial officer or vice president of a healthcare facility
      • Leadership positions in healthcare advocacy organizations
      • Chief nursing officer or assistant chief nursing officer of a healthcare facility
      • Director of business development
      • Director of patient safety
      • Director of risk management
      • Healthcare consultant
      • Healthcare human resources administrator

      • Healthcare insurance administrator
      • Healthcare marketing administrator
      • Medical director of senior care center
      • Policy director of healthcare association
      • Practice manager
      • Program coordinator or manager at state or local government agencies
      • United States Army or National Guard administrative officer
      • Academic leadership position, including university president, provost, dean or faculty

Doctor of Health Administration Degree Faculty

The Doctor of Health Administration program offers a challenging, interdisciplinary educational experience that enables intellectual and professional advancement. The ATSU College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS) faculty and staff are dedicated to your success, and comprehensive student services are available, including advising, tutoring and technical support.

CGHS instructors have diverse academic and working backgrounds in management and healthcare fields, and all hold doctoral degrees or are in the final stage of obtaining a doctorate. Their academic areas of interest include healthcare law, the economics of medical care, organizational theory and its effect in the health industry, health policy, the financing of healthcare, effectiveness/cost-benefit analysis in the healthcare industry, health information systems, quantitative methods and management science.

  • Dean +

      • Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA,<br />Dean Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA,

        Grey LinkedIn logo

        Donald Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA, is the Dean of the College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS) at A.T. Still University (ATSU). He also serves as director of public health at ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH). Dr. Altman has been with ATSU since October 2006.

        Dr. Altman graduated from the University of Texas Dental Branch (DDS) in 1983. He completed his Master of Public Health degree at the University of Texas School of Public Health in 1989 and became Board Certified in Dental Public Health in 1999. Dr. Altman completed his MBA at the University of Phoenix (2002) and a MA in Bioethics from Midwestern University (2004). He graduated with a Doctor in Health Science (DHSc) degree in March 2012 from the Arizona School of Health Sciences at A.T. Still University (ATSU-ASHS) and his EdD from Southern New Hampshire University in March 2016.

        Dr. Altman has worked for The City of Houston, the State of Texas, the State of Arizona, as well as The Principal Financial Group. Dr. Altman’s public health experience includes: serving as President of the Arizona State Board Dental Examiners; serving as President of the Arizona Public Health Association; volunteering with Health Volunteers Overseas (Cambodia and Vietnam); Director of the National Oral Health Leadership Institute; and serving as the Consumer Representative to the Dental Products Panel for the Food and Drug Administration. On May 1, 2012 he was appointed as a Director to The American Board of Dental Public Health and is currently the president.

        Dr. Altman’s research interests are currently centered on public health and higher education. He has published articles in the Journal of Dental Education, Journal of the American Dental Association, Public Health Reports, Special Care in Dentistry, and Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.

  • Associate Dean Academics and Assessment +

      • Katherine M. Adler, DHA, FACHE<br />Associate Dean Academics and Assessment Katherine M. Adler, DHA, FACHE
        Associate Dean Academics and Assessment

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        Katherine Adler, DHA, FACHE, TOC, is the associate dean of academics and assessment at the College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS). She began teaching for the College of Graduate Health Studies in 2006, became the program chair for Health Administration in 2009, and became the associate dean in 2012.

        Dr. Adler holds a doctorate in healthcare administration and leadership from the Medical University of South Carolina. She has more than 25 years of varied experience in the not-for-profit health care industry, spending the bulk of her career working at safety-net hospitals in urban Detroit.

        During her tenure in administrative roles, Dr. Adler worked closely with physicians in medicine and surgery, having direct oversight of those departments and subspecialties, and gained extensive knowledge in public health, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, and environmental health sciences. Through her formal training and work, Dr. Adler has a strong background in health services administration as well as public health. She is a patient advocate, understands the plight of the underserved and underinsured, and has worked to incorporate patient-centered care into the curriculum with the understanding that prevention and whole person healthcare are the keys to a healthy community and society.

  • Chair and Associate Professor +

      • Letha D. Williams, PhD<br />Chair & Associate Professor Letha D. Williams, PhD
        Chair & Associate Professor

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        Letha Williams, PhD, has more than a decade of higher education experience in both teaching and administrative roles. She began with ATSU in 2010 as adjunct faculty, became a full time Associate Professor later that year, and became Chair of the MHA and MPH programs in 2012. Her professional experience includes more than 30 years in leadership positions in healthcare organizations, including the American Red Cross, as well as hospitals, long-term-care facilities, and a home care agency. Her expertise is in market strategy development, organizational change and crisis management, team building, and leadership development. Dr. Williams has championed many growth-oriented strategic plans and marketing programs, developed and led award-winning teams, and coached supervisors, peers, and students who are currently making positive contributions to their organizations and disciplines.

        Dr. Williams holds a Ph.D. in Organization and Management with a specialization in Leadership, and maintains a research interest in leadership ethics. She also holds a Master degree in Public Administration with a healthcare emphasis earned at the University of Michigan, and a bachelor degree in journalism earned at Oakland University. She previously held appointments as department chair for the accelerated business programs at Baker College, and adjunct professor at Davenport University and Trident University International.

  • Faculty +

      • Lihua Dishman,  DBA, MBA Lihua Dishman, DBA, MBA
        Assistant Professor
        Read Bio Grey LinkedIn logo
      • John Fick, EdD, FACHE John Fick, EdD, FACHE
        Associate ProfessorInstructor
        Read Bio Grey LinkedIn logo
      • Letha Williams, PhD Letha Williams, PhD
        Associate Professor and Chair
        Read Bio

Doctor of Health Administration Degree Admissions

  • Requirements +

      1. Application:
        • Completed and signed admissions application along with a nonrefundable application fee.

      2. Academic:

        • An accredited degree from a university recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (bachelor’s degree for masters programs and a master’s degree for doctoral programs). Applicants who graduated from a university outside the United States may have to provide a degree equivalency evaluation.*
        • Official transcript from the qualifying degree-granting institution. For students using VA benefits transcripts for all institutions attended are required.
        • Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) at the qualifying degree institution.
        • Some degree programs may require experience or credentialing relevant to the field.

      3. Elements of Success:

        • A current resume.
        • Completion of an essay.
        • English Proficiency **
        • Meet technology requirements.***

      *Applicants who have graduated from a foreign college or university should submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency. All course work taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated for American institution equivalence by one of the following services:

      **Applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Studies. Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:

      • Option 1 - English is your first language.
      • Option 2 - Graduated from a regionally accredited four year college/university in the United States with a BA/BS or graduate degree.
      • Option 3 - You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

      Acceptable minimal scores for CGHS applications are:
      The Computer Based Test (CBT), Internet Based Test (iBT), or the Paper Based Test (PBT) are accepted. The following are the minimum required score based on test type:

      • CBT - minimum total score of 213 Minimum of 22/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 26/Writing Skills section
      • iBT - minimum total score of 80 Minimum of 22/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 24/Writing Skills section
      • PBT - minimum total score of 550 Minimum of 57/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 61/Writing Skills section

      The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA 609. 771.7100. A.T. Still University’s institutional code is 0339. Please be sure to include this information when you submit your application packet. TOEFL Educational Testing Services P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, 609.771.7100

      ***ATSU technology requirements

  • Tuition+

    • Application Fee: $70
      Tuition: $1,000 per credit hour (2017-2018 school year)
      Technology Fee: $32 per credit hour

      Note: All fees and tuition are subject to change.
      Most courses are three credit hours while dissertation courses are five credit hours. There are additional fees for books and reference materials.

The Family and Culture

Doctor of Health Administration imagery Three medical students wearing white lab coats smiling, posed for a picture. Female medical students wearing white lab coats, smiling while consulting with a patient. Students gathered around a woman lying underneath an x-ray machine. Three medical professionals examining the ear of an elderly man. Physical Therapy students working together. A young woman wearing a white lab coat, talking with a small boy holding a teddy bear. Male medical professional examining a mouth mold. Physical therapy doctor examining the knee of a young woman.


  • Blackboard Demo Course +

    • ATSU has set up a demo course of our Blackboard
      Learning Management System for interested students.

      Please click the "Connect Now button below and use join code: DHAdemo

      • Fill out your full name
      • Choose a username, and a password.
      • Confirm your password
      • Agree to Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
      • Click the "Start Learning" button.

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Doctor of Health Administration Curriculum Overview

The Doctor of Health Administration degree curriculum is grounded in extensive research and provides a full continuum of healthcare specific knowledge and skills essential for effective industry leadership.

ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies provides broad training, integrated online instruction, directed readings, email and chat room interactions. The University’s mission driven, context-based curriculum design assesses student learning through authentic embedded assessments.

Academic areas of focus include:

  • Healthcare law
  • The economics of medical care
  • Organizational theory and its effect in the health industry
  • Health policy
  • The financing of healthcare
  • Effectiveness/cost-benefit analysis in the healthcare industry
  • Health information systems
  • Quantitative methods
  • Management science


  • Leadership and Ethics+

    • This self-reflective and development executive course is based upon group work and case based activity. Established leadership theories will be used to develop personal skills in leadership and individual ethical perspectives. Students will be required to engage an American College of Healthcare Executive ACHE Fellow as a mentor/coach throughout their Doctor of Health Administration program experience.

  • Coaching, Mentoring, and Interpersonal Communications+

    • Building upon practical experience gained via the Leadership and Ethics course, participants will examine the importance of succession planning and develop strategies for organizational development. Doctor of Health Administration program participants will identify interpersonal communication styles and strengths and further develop communication competencies.

  • Research Methods I+

    • This Doctorate of Health Administration course focuses on the fundamental techniques involved in designing research studies, including scientific thinking, effective evaluation of literature, identification of problems, and development of purpose statements and hypotheses. Reviews of basic statistics, computer software, and interpretation of statistical analyses are included.

  • Population Health+

    • In this executive course, Doctor of Health Administration students will investigate public health risks and how they relate to globalization, changing demographics, natural disaster, and terror based disaster. Population health and well-being will be covered along with identification of resources for data, information, and assistance.

  • Quality Improvement/Performance Excellence+

    • In this executive course, concepts and principles of continuous improvement and patient safety using the Baldrige Criteria will be used. Group work and case studies will allow Doctor of Health Administration program participants to develop evidence based management principles leading to patient centered, quality driven practices that will result in improved patient outcomes and more efficient and effective organizational practices.

  • Health Policy, Law and Regulation+

    • This executive course will cover significant legislation impacting the health care industry, including current topics in health care reform, along with discussion on advocacy and active participation in policy development. Students earning their doctorate in health administration are required to interface with local, state and federal legislators as a means to investigate and advocate for patient centered health related policy.

  • Research Methods II+

    • In this Doctor of Health Administration course, students will be immersed in the principles and techniques involved in quantitative research methods. Topics covered include survey and experimental methods; sampling; hypothesis testing; exploring, displaying, and examining data; measures of association; multivariate analysis; and presentation of results.

  • Negotiation, Mediation and Managing Conflict+

    • In this executive course, Doctor of Health Administration students will identify personal negotiation style and strengths; and how to use this individualized approach to mediating and managing conflict at various levels of the organization and with both practitioners and non-practitioners.

  • Healthcare Economics and Financial Management+

    • Doctorate of Health Administration program participants will use key financial and economic principles to examine executive level decisions relative to capitalization, credit ratings, debt capacity, alternate funding sources, business plan development, and overall organizational finance strategy. The concepts will be considered from both non-profit and for-profit healthcare organizational perspectives.

  • Healthcare Organization Informatics+

    • In this executive course, Doctor of Health Administration students will investigate the qualities necessary to strategically evaluate, select and implement system wide informatics. Consideration is given to the effects of the rapidly evolving informatics field and resulting organizational adaptation. Decision support systems integrating financial, human resources, continuous quality improvement, and strategy and resource utilization will be introduced and applied.

  • Research Methods III+

    • The Doctor of Health Administration degree program examines qualitative and mixed methods approaches in research. Students will focus on the researcher’s role in these types of studies, data collection techniques such as observations or interviews, data recording methods, data analysis, and validation of results. Mixed methods issues such as sequencing and integration of findings are also explored.

  • Health Organization Governance+

    • In this executive course, students earning their doctorate in health administration are involved in processes used to identify and recruit governing boards, and the use of effective management and communication skills to establish board accountability and buy-in. Board development, board composition, fiduciary responsibility, leadership roles, and the governing role of the board and its infrastructure are examined.

  • Strategic Change Management for Healthcare Organizations+

    • In this executive course, Doctor of Health Administration students will investigate and integrate change management practices to strategically position the healthcare organization for the future. Students will assess their organization’s current strategic position, apply relevant theoretical models and necessary change management practices resulting in development of organizational adaptability.

  • Healthcare Trends/Dissertation Review/Comprehensive Examination+

    • In this executive course, current healthcare trends and healing environments for patients will be studied. Students will review best practices and develop strategies to use in their specific work environments. In this capstone class, students review and present three dissertations and/or high level theses (if approved by the instructor) relating to their final applied dissertation, and then complete the comprehensive examination.

  • Dissertation (5 Credits)+

    • The dissertation is the cumulative project for the Doctor of Health Administration degree program. The topics and projects introduced and implemented during this program of study will be used to complete this requirement.

      *A series of DHAD 9500 courses (DHAD 9500, DHAD 9510, DHAD 9520, DHAD 9530) are taken until the dissertation is completed; a minimum of DHAD 9500 and DHAD 9510 are required, and typically four dissertation courses (DHAD 9500-DHAD 9530) are taken to complete the dissertation. The dissertation must be completed within seven years of beginning the program.

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A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) is seeking comments from the public about the University in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). How to submit comments.

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