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Health Administration, D.H.A.

Minimum Totals for Graduation: 63 hours

Applications are accepted for admission to the Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) program for the fall cohort start. Applications must be received for the fall start by April 15. Inquire with the DHA secretary at 989-774-1351 or the DHA program director at 989-774-1640.

The program leading to the Doctor of Health Administration degree is designed to provide advanced academic, relevant, and professionally-oriented education. The DHA degree is not for individuals wishing to gain a degree to enter a field; rather, it is designed for professionals already in the field. The curricular and learning outcome objectives of this applied doctorate program are directed toward preparing individuals with the theoretical foundations, applied skills and practical expertise required for leadership positions within the healthcare industry. Emphasis will be given to imparting and advancing skills that foster life-long learning, systematic investigation and testing of practices and operational models via data/evidence-based strategies, and the public dissemination, and reporting of new findings within the field. The intent of the program is to provide advanced knowledge, skills, and abilities to practicing health professionals in a convenient, yet rigorous academic environment.

The program course of study is delivered in a sequenced manner of fifteen internet-based courses, six intensive face-to-face two and a half-day seminars, a general comprehensive examination, and an applied research dissertation. Students matriculating into this program cannot be granted prior experience credit toward semester credit hour degree requirements. Students matriculating into the DHA program may, with the approval of the program, transfer up to twelve (12) credits of course work taken in another regionally accredited doctoral program. The applicant must request the transfer and identify which courses he/she wishes to transfer. The DHA Program will review the request and make a determination as to the relevancy of the courses to the program, whether the courses are equivalent to any of the DHA courses, and whether the request will be granted. No transfer credits will be accepted to meet the dissertation requirement nor DHA 714 or DHA 726. The applicant must have earned at least a B grade on any course being requested to transfer. The applicant needs to submit a transcript showing the courses, a course description and the syllabus for the course. Transfer credits are subject to the eight-year expiration rule for completion of course work in the degree. A new group of students will begin studies each year. Each student will be assigned an advisor for the didactic portion of the program. Using a modular format, fifteen courses and six intensive seminars during the first two years of the program comprise the didactic portion of the program. The successful completion of a comprehensive examination at the end of the didactic portion of the program will transition the student to doctoral candidate status where the doctoral candidate will begin their dissertation preparation, prospectus/proposal, implementation, and defense before their doctoral committee, and reporting. During the dissertation phase, each student will work closely with a dissertation advisor/major professor. The didactic portion of the program carries fifty-one (51) semester credit hours and the dissertation portion carries twelve (12) semester credit hours for a total of sixty-three (63) semester credit hours for the entire program. Students will choose between a three (3) year or a five (5) year degree plan. Students choosing the three-year option will enroll in two (2) courses per term and generally begin on the dissertation in the third year after passing the comprehensive examination. Those choosing the five-year option will normally enroll in one (1) course per term and generally begin the dissertation in the fourth year after passing the comprehensive examination.

Admission Requirements, Retention & Termination Standards

Admission Requirement Snapshot

Application Deadline: April 15 (Fall)

TOEFL or ECFMG accepted for English Proficiency

See Admission Requirement Details Below

The minimum requirements and standards for applicant admission to the program include the following criteria:

  • An earned regionally accredited master’s degree in an appropriate area of study (e.g., health administration, business administration, nursing management, public health, public administration) or a professional degree (e.g., M.D., D.O ., D.D.S.). Other areas of graduate study at the master’s degree level will be considered by petition to the faculty. GPA will be considered in the admissions process.
  • Satisfactory completion of graduate coursework or equivalent must be provided as evidence by student applicants in the areas of statistics and research methods.
  • Demonstration of at least three (3) years of responsible experience at the mid to senior level in health administration, management, clinical leadership, and/or health or public health policy. While it is not necessary to be a manager, the applicant must demonstrate that he/she has significant influence in decision making, planning, clinical programming, policy or other aspects of health beyond being in a staff role or supervisory role. The determination of what is considered significant, mid to senior level experience is made by the Program director.
  • Oral and written English language proficiency. Applicants whose native language is not English will be required to submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores or another test of English equivalency (such as the ECFMG for physicians who were foreign medical students). This requirement may be waived if prior academic experience and success in other United States colleges/universities or employment settings can be satisfactorily demonstrated.
  • Submission of a career goal statement and a current curriculum vitae or resume. The personal statement must include the following information: the applicant’s reason for seeking a doctoral degree, including how the applicant believes he/she will be able to use the degree as a leader in the field; personal background professionally that adds to the desire in seeking a doctoral degree; a brief description of the applicant’s background in quantitative reasoning, especially preparation to do statistics and research for the applied doctoral dissertation; what areas of interest he/she might have a doctoral research dissertation (what is the applicant passionate about in the field?); and anything else that the applicant wants to committee to know.
  • Submission of at least three (3) letters of reference from professional colleagues who can speak to the applicant's potential to doctoral work, transcripts and other documentation customarily required for admission to Graduate Studies, are required. Letters-of-reference should contain the following information: how the source knows the applicant professionally, the reference's opinion on the applicant's preparation to do doctoral level work, the applicant's ability to manage multiple tasks, and whether or not the reference believes the applicant is considered a leader or potential leader in the field.
  • Successful completion of an admission interview with the program faculty.
  • Students admitted to the Program are required to attend the on-campus new DHA student orientation normally held in mid-August. Applicants who cannot attend the orientation will need to defer to the following year.

Retention and Graduation Requirements

Students must maintain a 3.00 GPA for graduation with no more than two (2) grades of C or C+ in the required courses for the degree. Students are only allowed to repeat a course twice to earn a higher grade. Students must pass the comprehensive examination in order to declare candidacy for the degree. A student may not register for dissertation credits until they have declared candidacy. Students may only repeat the comprehensive examination twice.

Continuous Enrollment

Students must be continuously enrolled to have access to their email and library accounts. This is done by being enrolled in at least one (1) credit during any academic year. DHA 619 Continuous Enrollment will meet this requirement if there are no academic credits in the Program available to the student.

Program Requirements

Required Courses I (24 hours)

DHA 700Leadership Strategies for Healthcare Policy and Organizations


DHA 702Probability and Statistics for the Health Professions


DHA 704Population Health


DHA 705Seminar in Public Health


DHA 706Quantitative Analysis in Health Organization


DHA 708Organizational Theory and Behavior for the Health Professions


DHA 709Seminar in Health Dynamics: Current Issues, Trends and Change


DHA 710Qualitative Analysis in Health Care


DHA 712Research Methods and Practice for the Health Professions


DHA 713Seminar in Health Services Research


Required Courses II (27 hours)

DHA 714Health Systems Thinking and Practice


DHA 716Communication in Health Organizations


DHA 717Seminar in Healthcare Dynamics: Stakeholder Relations


DHA 718Healthcare Law, Regulations and Ethics


DHA 720Health Economics


DHA 721Seminar in Healthcare Policy and Politics


DHA 722Health Informatics


DHA 724Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability in Healthcare


DHA 725Seminar in Strategic Planning for Health Organizations


DHA 726Applied Leadership


DHA 728Comparative Health Systems


Required Courses III (12 hours)

DHA 898Dissertation


Total: 63 semester hours