Students enrolled in a healthcare management program will learn both the business skills and industry knowledge to pursue careers in this growing field. At the Ph.D. level, students will also develop the research and professional expertise to work in academia, advanced research, or policy. Common subjects covered in online PhD programs in healthcare management include health care delivery systems, health policy, health care law and ethics, risk management, strategic management, and health care finance, to name a few. Graduates may pursue leadership or teaching positions with hospitals, schools, or even government agencies.
Why a Ph.D.?
A PhD in healthcare management is ideal for those interested in pursuing a career in academia, research, policy, or health care leadership. This type of program is an advanced research curriculum but also features seminars and survey courses in topics such as health policy, health economics, health finance, strategic management, and health care law and ethics. At this level, students can tailor the curriculum to meet their own research interests. If you are interested in teaching at the college or university level, a Ph.D. is almost always required.
Getting Into a Ph.D. Program
Ph.D. programs present a rigorous course of study. For this reason, schools may be more selective in their admissions. Below are a few common application requirements:
- A master’s degree from an accredited university
- Official transcripts from all colleges you have attended
- Minimum GPA (as outlined by the school)
- GRE or GMAT test scores (if required)
- Resume or curriculum vitae
- Professional experience
- Application form and fee
- Statement of purpose
- Letters of recommendation (if required)
Inside a Healthcare Management Ph.D. Program
A doctoral program usually takes four to six years of full-time study. Other factors such as how long it takes you to complete your dissertation will also influence time to completion. Classes may focus on areas such as health care delivery systems, health policy, health care economics and finance, strategic management, and many more subjects. Ph.D. students will also work closely with faculty advisors to pursue their personal research interests. Online students can organize their field research in their local community and, since this type of curriculum is catered to the needs of working adults, they may even incorporate their research into their current workplace experiences.
Most online Ph.D. programs function in an asynchronous format, which means you can log in whenever it’s convenient. Web conferencing, streaming video, and chat technology may also be used to enrich the learning process.
What’s Next for Healthcare Management Ph.D. Holders?
Graduates who earn their Ph.D. in healthcare management are prepared with the industry knowledge, business acumen, and research expertise to work in academic, advanced leadership, or health care policy positions. These can be in either the public or private sectors with hospital systems, clinics, schools, or government agencies. Strong job prospects are expected for medical and health services managers according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Demand for individuals in this occupation is expected to rise by 22% from 2010 to 2020. The demand for postsecondary teachers is expected to increase by 17% over this same time period.
In 2011, the average annual salary for medical and health services managers was $96,030. For postsecondary teachers in health specialties, this was $99,210. However, it is important to note, actual job openings and starting pay will depend on level of experience, education, location, the job market, specific position, and the type of employer.