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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.

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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. ATSU-CGHS’ Doctor of Health Administration degree has been ranked by as one of the best online doctorate in healthcare administration degrees.

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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,

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

        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 +

      • Jim Farris, PT, PhD Jim Farris, PT, PhD

        Jim Farris, PT, PhD, is the associate dean for academics and assessment in A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS). Dr. Farris earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1987, and master’s degree in exercise science in 1989, both from California State University, Fresno; as well as a bachelor’s degree in physical therapying 1999 from Arkansas State University. His doctoral degree was conferred by The Ohio State University in 1995, where his studies focused on exercise physiology and nutrition. His current scholarship efforts are aimed at cardiopulmonary fitness throughout the lifespan.

        He joined ATSU in 2009, started his associate dean role in 2020, and is now in his 25th year of higher education and administration. Dr. Farris has over a decade of academic administration and assessment experience as a department chair and has strived for overall educational excellence in that role. He completed the American Physical Therapy Association’s Education Leadership Institute Fellowship, is an Educational Leadership Institute Fellow, and has served on the board of directors for the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy before joining ATSU-CGHS.

        He enjoys serving the community, and one our nation’s most underserved populations, through his role as a clinical director for the FUNfitness program that is part of the Special Olympics Healthy Athlete’s program. His home is in the west where outdoor activity and sunshine is abundant. Work-life integration is a goal and he “sharpens the saw” through golfing, cycling, fishing, hiking, cooking, brewing, and yardwork.

  • Chair, Health Administration Programs +

      • Robert Clegg, PhD, MPH, MCHES <br>Chair, Health Administration Programs Robert Clegg, PhD, MPH, MCHES
        Chair, Health Administration Programs

        Robert Clegg, PhD, has nearly 20 years of on-ground and distance learning (online) university-level curriculum development and academic instruction focusing on healthcare management, public health, and nursing. He also possesses over 18 years of progressive healthcare management experience, including program development, organizational leadership, operating and capital budget development, implementation of cost controls, risk management, quality, and regulatory and corporate compliance.

        Dr. Clegg began with ATSU as Chair of the Health Administration programs in March 2021. His areas of research primarily consist of patient safety, quality of care, hospital accreditation and compliance, public health and health promotion. Prior to his academic/teaching career, Dr. Clegg spent nearly a decade as the Patient Safety Officer at a large acute care hospital and in various leadership roles in the not-for-profit sector in the State of California. Philanthropically, Dr. Clegg proudly volunteers his time, talent and treasure on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross and serve on the Alumni and Volunteer Corporation, Inc., for Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity at California State University, Fresno (Fresno State).


        Academically, Dr. Clegg earned both his Bachelor of Science in Health Science and a Master of Public Health at Fresno State, and a Doctorate in Human Services with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration (graduation with distinction) from Capella University in Minneapolis, MN. Furthermore, he is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.

  • Administration and Faculty +

      • Lihua Dishman,  DBA, MBA Lihua Dishman, DBA, MBA
        Associate Professor
        Read Bio Lihua Dishman,  DBA, MBA  LinkedIn
      • John Fick, EdD, FACHE John Fick, EdD, FACHE
        Associate ProfessorInstructor
        Read Bio John Fick, EdD, FACHE  LinkedIn
      • Robert Clegg, PhD, MPH, MCHES Robert Clegg, PhD, MPH, MCHES
        Chair, Health Administration Programs
        Read Bio

Doctor of Health Administration Degree Admissions

  • Requirements +

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


      3. 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.


      4. 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+

    • Review tuition and fees for the Doctor of Health Administration program. Please note tuition and fees are subject to change.

The Family and Culture

Doctor of Health Administration Doctor of Health Administration Doctor of Health Administration Doctor of Health Administration Doctor of Health Administration


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

All courses in the Doctor of Health Administration program at ATSU-CGHS are Quality Matters Certified.

Year 1

  • Leadership and Practice +

    • Credits: 3
      Theoretical perspectives will allow students to discover the importance of incorporating leadership into healthcare practice. Each student will be able to link these theories to developing personal leadership competency. Students will also learn the features and benefits of involvement with a professional health care organization such as the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).
  • Introduction to Doctoral Studies +

    • Credits: 3
      This initial course in the Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) program prepares students to successfully integrate academic excellence into the world of healthcare leadership by connecting theory to practice. Students will be introduced to the competency model of the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) as well as the specific competencies and requirements of the DHA program at ATSU. Students will have multiple opportunities to strengthen their skills in information gathering, self-development, critical thinking, research, and academic writing. This course must be taken in the first block and students must receive a passing grade to continue in the program.
  • Coaching, Mentoring and Interpersonal Communications +

    • Credits: 3
      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. Participants will identify interpersonal communication styles and strengths and further develop communication competencies.
  • Population Health +

    • Credits: 3
      In this executive course students will investigate healthy people and healthy populations. Students will understand historical perspectives and emerging trends of health issues, populations, shared concerns of society and vulnerable groups. This will include public health risks and how they relate to epidemiology, globalization, changing demographics, and other factors that can affect the health and welfare of the overall population. The role of the health care administrator in promoting population health and wellbeing, as well as identification of potential resources for data and optimization of services will be explored.
  • Quality Improvement & Performance Excellence +

    • Credits: 3
      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 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 +

    • Credits: 3
      This executive course will cover significant legislation affecting the health care industry, including current topics in health care reform, advocacy, and policy development. Students will learn about significant legal issues and ethical questions affecting health care administrators, as well as the health policy analysis process.
  • Negotiation, Mediation and Managing Conflict +

    • Credits: 3
      In this executive course 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.
  • Research Methods I +

    • Credits: 3
      This course focuses on the fundamental techniques involved in the research process and designing empirical studies, including scientific thinking, effective evaluation of literature, identification of problems, and development of purpose statements and hypotheses. This course will also include reviews of basic statistics, institutional review board and ethical considerations in conducting research, and interpretation of statistical analyses.

Year 2

  • Research Methods II +

    • Credits: 3
      This course examines qualitative approaches in health administration research. Students will focus on the researcher’s role in these types of studies, data collection techniques, data recording methods, data analysis, and validation of results. This course will also evaluate computer software for analyzing qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Healthcare Economics and Financial Management +

    • Credits: 3
      Students 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.
  • Research Methods III +

    • Credits: 3
      This course focuses on the principles and techniques involved in quantitative and mixed methods research. Topics addressed include survey research; sampling design; hypothesis development and testing; data exploration, display, and examination; correlation and regression analyses; multivariate analysis; reliability and validity testing; and presentation of study results. This course will also cover mixed methods issues such as sequencing and integration of study findings.
  • Healthcare Organization Informatics +

    • Credits: 3
      In this executive course, 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.
  • Health Organization Governance +

    • Credits: 3
      In this executive course students 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 +

    • Credits: 3
      In this executive course, 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 and apply relevant theoretical models and the necessary change management practices resulting developing organizational adaptability.

Year 3

  • Dissertation III +

    • Credits: 5
      The dissertation is the culminating project for the DHA program. The topics and projects introduced and implemented during this program of study will be used to complete this requirement. In this course, DHA candidates will complete and obtain approval for Chapter 3, and present and obtain approval of their proposal.
  • Dissertation IV +

    • Credits: 5
      The dissertation is the culminating project for the DHA program. The topics and projects introduced and implemented during this program of study will be used to complete this requirement. In this course, DHA candidates will obtain IRB approval for their study, complete and obtain approval for Chapter 4, and defend the dissertation.

Other Courses

  • Directed Study +

    • Credits: 3
      Directed studies may be required as assigned by the program chair.
  • Dissertation Research +

    • Credits: 1
      Additional research studies may be required to complete dissertation course requirements.