Healthcare Administration (DHA)

Set solutions in motion with a doctorate in healthcare administration

Franklin University’s Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA) program reinforces the core technical aspects of quality research, yet also equips you with such sought-after skills as communication and technology. You’ll become a more dynamic leader because Franklin’s applied doctorate is a practical degree that enables both subject mastery and field application. That means you’ll be prepared to research and communicate complex, organization-wide issues.

Program Overview

Franklin’s applied Doctor of Healthcare Administration is a program designed to help you:

  • Design organizational strategies to improve healthcare operations and outcomes
  • Develop innovative healthcare leadership practices based on executive leadership practices
  • Assess and refine your own leadership competencies
  • Apply research to advance the field of healthcare administration


Improve healthcare processes, efficiencies and outcomes

Few would argue the large and complex nature of the administrative side of healthcare. Few also would argue the need for improvement in even the leanest, safest, most patient-friendly healthcare organization. The truth is, there’s always room for improvement – and you could be the catalyst for change in your healthcare organization. While earning your doctorate in healthcare administration from Franklin, you’ll focus on ways to drive quality improvements, including patient safety, risk management and service quality.

Make more informed decisions

When it comes to healthcare decision making, be it process improvement, program effectiveness or sustainability strategies, the crux of any decision is evidence. That’s why our doctoral program for healthcare includes major area coursework related to workflows, databases, informatics and analytics. Your Franklin DHA will help you better understand retrieving, analyzing and reporting intelligence metrics as part of healthcare decision making.

Create and influence healthcare policies and regulations

In spite of being highly regulated and governed, healthcare continues to require new and updated policies to ensure sustainability and parity. Your Franklin DHA will help you explore various aspects of corporate, state and federal policymaking, including regulations, enforcement and organizational impact. You’ll learn how to evaluate the role of agencies in implementation and enforcement, create policies at all government and corporate levels, and influence change for existing policies and regulations.

Get 360-degree support

We’ve taken a comprehensive and systematic approach to our online doctoral program, which includes team-based curriculum development, doctorally qualified faculty, and student-centered activities designed for the working adult. You’ll receive robust academic support from a variety of resources, including a graduate advisor, faculty advisor, personal librarian and peers, as well as the Student Learning Center staff and your Dissertation Committee members. You’ll also enjoy a cohesive and robust graduate culture and cohort. Together, our practice-minded faculty and your fellow students will support, mentor, encourage and keep you accountable to the program – and to yourself. At Franklin, you’re never alone on your doctoral journey.

Transfer Up to 24 Credit Hours

Want to complete your terminal degree in less than three years? Franklin grants up to 24 hours of prior-learning credit for previous doctoral work, and approved certifications and licensures. We honor your prior learning and make it easier to get credit for what you already know. Transfer credit can help you earn your applied doctorate degree faster, as well as reduce your overall tuition expenses.

Program Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate effective research skills; Formulate a research problem; Integrate previous literature into an appropriate literature review; Design a research study; Analyze data; Summarize and present research results; Discuss research results

  2. Demonstrate advanced knowledge and competencies in a major field of study in healthcare administration

  3. Create and present advanced forms of oral and written communication

  4. Evaluate and assess the ethical obligations and responsibilities of healthcare administration for the purpose of responsible leadership

Curriculum & Course Descriptions

Research Core
GRAD 888 - Introduction to Doctoral Studies (1)

The doctoral colloquium is designed to build a community and ensure that learners have the support, motivation and guidance necessary to succeed in their doctoral programs. This first colloquia will also provide students with an overview of the doctoral program expectations, coursework sequence, doctoral student support services, as well as comprehensive exam and dissertation requirements. The first colloquium is designed to establish a learning community and graduate culture for the doctoral students at Franklin University. The doctoral colloquium will be held at the University's main campus in facilities that provide appropriate online interaction for out-of-state and international students.

ENG 800 - Doctoral Writing & Research (3)

In this course, students prepare to be active participants in advanced professional and academic discourse communities by practicing the writing and research strategies associated with their chosen field of study. By calling attention to the conventions of research writing, the course provides students the analytical tools that will help them join ongoing scholarly conversations. Students will analyze and compose a variety of academic writing genres as they develop a literature review over the course of the term. They will also develop their presentation, peer review, proofing, and reflection skills in alignment with the standards of advanced academic study.

MTHD 803 - Intro to Quantitative Methods & Design (2)

Through this course, students will gain an overview of quantitative research designs and methods. The course starts with successful completion of the CITI training - the protection of human research participants, to move on to an introduction of quantitative sampling designs, data collection approaches, experimental versus non-experimental designs, and data analysis. Students will engage in practical hands-on experience with formulating a research question or hypotheses, discussing important ethical issues, designing sampling methods, collecting data, and analyzing data. They will learn how to examine validity and reliability issues and will be introduced to available software for conducting quantitative design. At the end of this course, students will be introduced to the research proposal to get a start on the guidelines required for their dissertation proposal.

MTHD 804 - Intro to Qualitative Methods & Design (2)

Through this course, students will gain an overview of qualitative research designs and methods. The course starts with an introduction to qualitative approaches. Students will become familiar with the narrative approach, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, and case studies. This course will introduce students to some of the critical works in qualitative research methods and design and give an overview of the historical progression of the field. Students will gain hands-on experience with observations, qualitative data collection, and qualitative sampling design. They will also get some introduction in qualitative data analysis, validity, reliability, and researchers' bias in qualitative work. At the end of this course, students will be introduced to the research proposal to get a start on the guidelines required for their dissertation proposal.

MATH 807 - Introduction to Statistics (2)

This course will introduce the concepts of descriptive statistics and probability distributions. Topics will include basic statistical terminology, statistical graphs, numerical summaries of data, probability concepts and distributions, and sampling distributions. The course is designed to allow students integrate statistical software of choice with the aforementioned concepts and to provide opportunities to interpret resulting outputs.

MATH 810 - Applied Statistics (3)

Applications of statistical techniques and methods will be explored, including fundamental statistical tests for central values, variances and categorical variables; regression analysis and general linear model. The emphasis will be on selecting and applying the appropriate statistical techniques as well as interpretation and reporting of results with the use of a major statistical software. The course is also designed to provide numerous opportunities to critique statistical techniques commonly used in empirical research articles.

MTHD 820 - Advanced Quantitative Research & Design (3)

This is an advanced course in statistics that covers complex analyses used in education and data-driven decision making. The course is designed to broaden and deepen student understanding of advanced statistics in multivariate techniques. The emphasis of the course is on practical application of concepts learnt. To this end, the course is developed to balance theory and application and provides numerous opportunities for application to practical problems. Students will also complete their second colloquia.

OR MTHD 822 - Advanced Qualitative Research & Design (3)

The advanced qualitative research course builds on the knowledge and skills students acquire in GRAD 805. This course leads students on an in depth treatment of qualitative research methodology, exploring its theoretical underpinnings and associated methods for design, data collection, interpretation, and reporting of results. Ethics are emphasized for each stage of research. This course will guide students to develop the methodology and data analysis for their dissertation proposal and research. Students will also complete their second colloquia if they had not enrolled in GRAD 820.

OR MTHD 824 - Advanced Mixed Methods Research & Design (3)

Through this course, students will familiarize with mixed-methods research and design. They will gain knowledge on the four different types of mixed-methods: triangulation design, embedded design, explanatory design, and exploratory design. Students will learn how to conceptualize their own study in terms of these different design types. They will gain hands-on experience on how to formulate a research question fitted for a mixed-methods design, collect some data, and analyze it. They will discuss and learn about challenges and advantages of mixed-methods designs. At the end of this course students will be able to work on their dissertation proposal.

Major Area Required
HCM 810 - Organizations, Community & Global Health (4)

This science of epidemiology is essential for projecting the population health needs, and appropriate allocation of public and private resources. This course focuses on the utilization of epidemiologic studies and techniques as a basis for organizational policy and administrative decision-making. Students will examine the connection between organizational leadership and social health. Students will create and recommend organizational strategies that enhance organizational, community, and global health.

HCM 820 - Healthcare Policy, Regulations & Reform (4)

This course will explore various aspects of corporate, state and federal policy making. Students will examine the impact of existing health policies on healthcare organizations, providers and patients. Students will develop skills to influence and change existing healthcare policies. Students will also create and propose a new healthcare policy.

HCM 830 - Healthcare Economics, Resources & Finance (4)

This course will examine the importance of resource and financial management in a healthcare organization. Students will determine the financial status of a healthcare organization and create strategic plans to sustain healthcare services. This course will also explore the various concepts driving healthcare economics. This course will also critique the use of organizational supplies, human resources, and technology.

HCM 840 - Healthcare Quality, Process & Improvement (4)

This course will examine various aspects of patient safety, quality improvement and risk management in healthcare. Students will compare and contrast several process improvement models with the goal of improving organizational efficiency, patient safety, and service quality. Students will also research governmental agencies driving quality improvement in healthcare organizations.

HIM 802 - Advanced Health Information Governance (4)

In this course students will evaluate an organizations current health information governance infra-structure and will make recommendations for improvement that will cover the broad spectrum of strategic issues in healthcare including policies, guidelines, standards, processes and controls required to manage and implement enterprise-level information. Students will research how health data and organizational information systems are utilized as a strategic asset to healthcare organizations, process to manage various risks to the quality of information and ensure its appropriate use.

Major Electives

12 credits from levels 800-899 in the following subjects: ACCT, EDUC, HIM, HRM, IDL, MGMT, MKTG, MTHD, PUAD, HCM.

Dissertation/Dissertation in Practice Requirements
DISS 9000 - Comprehensive Exam (1)

This course is designed for students to prepare for, take and complete their comprehensive exam. Remedial strategies and actions will also be provided for students who do not successfully pass their comprehensive exam on the first attempt, with the opportunity for a retake during the six weeks of the course if the student chooses to do so.

At least 8 credits from the following courses:

DISS 9100 - Dissertation (1-4)

In consultation with the Dissertation Chair and Committee Members, the doctoral candidate will design and conduct research to complete the aims identified in their research prospectus, proposal and IRB application or as subsequently modified in line with recommendations from the Chair and Committee Members. This course may be repeated as necessary to earn sufficient credit or to finalize the Dissertation to fulfill requirements to earn the doctorate.

DISS 9200 - Dissertation in Practice (1-4)

In consultation with the Dissertation in Practice (DiP) Chair and Committee members, the doctoral candidate will design and conduct research to complete the aims identified in their research prospectus, proposal and IRB application or as subsequently modified in line with recommendations from the DiP Chair and Committee members. This course may be repeated as necessary to earn sufficient credit or to finalize the DiP to fulfill requirements to earn the doctorate.

DISS 9400 - Defense of Dissertation (1)

Doctoral candidates will finalize all aspects of the Dissertation/Dissertation in Practice and make an oral defense of their design, methods and findings.

Optional Focus Areas

Students may complete 8 credit hours of a focus area to count within the Major Elective requirement.

OR

8 credits from the following subjects: ACCT

OR

8 credits from the following subjects: EDUC

OR

8 credits from the following subjects: HIM

OR

8 credits from the following subjects: HRM

OR

8 credits from the following subjects: IDL

OR

8 credits from the following subjects: MGMT

OR

8 credits from the following subjects: MKTG

OR

8 credits from the following subjects: MTHD

OR

8 credits from the following subjects: PUAD