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What Are the Courses in an Online Doctorate Degree Program in Health Services?

An online doctorate degree program in health services leads to a Ph.D in Health Services. This degree prepares students for advanced administrative careers in healthcare through core courses in research, ethics, law and healthcare issues.

Doctorate in Health Services Degree Program Information

An online Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Health Services program allows students to earn advanced post-professional degrees without disrupting their careers. While the core courses are taken online, programs require a few week long residency periods at the university to discuss research methods and dissertation writing. The time to complete these programs varies, depending on courses the student requires and if full- or part-time study is pursued.

Important Facts About Online Health Services Doctorate Programs

Entry-Level EducationMaster's or Doctoral degree in health field
Key SkillsCritical decision-making, Interpersonal Communication, Organization
Possible CareersHealth Service Manager, Healthcare Administrator
Median Salary (2018) $99,730 (for all medical and health services managers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 20% (for all medical and health services managers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Core Courses

These programs prepare students for careers in healthcare administration and community education. Classes focus on professional behavior, health issues, social behavior and healing. The curriculum is structured around core courses, specialization classes and dissertation research.

Core courses focus on instruction in research methods and professional and research ethics. Other core classes include:

  • Human development
  • Organizational and social systems
  • Contemporary issues in healthcare

Most doctoral programs in health services allow students to choose an area in which to specialize. Common options for specialization include:

  • Healthcare administration
  • Operations
  • Quality control
  • Legal Issues

Dissertation

Doctoral degree programs in health services, both online and on campus, require students to write an original dissertation. A student's dissertation must contribute something new and significant to the field of health services. Once the dissertation is completed, students must defend their research to a panel of faculty members in order to receive their doctoral degrees.