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Prepare to lead in influencing policy that can make a difference in the field of health care. Capella University's online Doctor in Health Policy and Advocacy program prepares you to advocate globally for positive health outcomes. This program focuses on such topics as U.S. health policy, global health policy and policy advocacy and analysis, in addition to core courses covering advanced health administration concepts and practices.

The nationally recognized NCHL Health Leadership Competency Model — which is integrated into Capella's Doctorate in Health Policy and Advocacy program — features a real-world, action-oriented approach: evidence-based case studies, simulation exercises, consulting projects, presentations and more. With our interprofessional education, you learn about, from, and with other health care professions, gaining leadership skills to partner across professions to achieve common goals.

Degree Highlights

  • Direct path: Complete your DHA in Health Policy and Advocacy in as few as three years when you have an MHA, or three and a half years when you have another master’s. For those with an MHA, you can transfer 12 quarter credits, saving you six months and more than $8,000. If you have additional applicable doctoral coursework, you may be able to transfer six more credits for up 18 transfer credits in total.
  • Professionally aligned: Our competency-based curriculum allows you to gain the relevant competencies that employers require.
  • Credible: Capella is a participant in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Higher Education Network.
  • Real-world experience: Practice real-life leadership scenarios in a fail-safe, virtual health care environment during your specialization courses—then use those skills in your integrated capstone and practicum course to lead at the top of your field.
  • Distinguished faculty: Provide comprehensive feedback on your work, encourage different ways of thinking, and provide insight into how well you’re demonstrating competencies.
  • Online learning: 24-hour access to courses through Capella’s virtual courseroom. 

The Building Blocks of Your DHA

The nationally recognized NCHL Health Leadership Competency Model—which is integrated into Capella's DHA program—features a real-world, action-oriented approach.

Your first course incorporates our Learner Success Lab into your core assignments to help you learn the tools to manage your time and use your resources effectively—keeping you as efficient as possible throughout your entire program.

Beyond your first course you’ll have support staff, teaching assistants, a faculty mentor once you enter your capstone, and more to keep you on the path of success to graduation—including a keystone course to transition you successfully from your program-specific courses to your integrated doctoral capstone and practicum. Working through these experiences at the same time will allow you to seek guidance from faculty, network with stakeholders, and solve a real-life organizational issue for your practicum site—giving you real-world experience leading change.

View a sample course sequence to understand program timing and see how your coursework, and dissertation all fit together.

To learn more about this program, request more information and we will match you with an enrollment counselor who specializes in your area of study.

Degree Outcomes

With your DHA in Health Policy and Advocacy from Capella, you'll lead transformational health policy and advocacy processes, and execute strategies to optimize policy effectiveness. Discover specifically what you'll learn — and how you can apply it.

View full learning and career outcomes report for this program at

Career Outcomes*

Common careers with a DHA in Health Policy and Advocacy include chief executive officer, clinic director, department or division manager/supervisor, nursing director, public affairs director, public policy director or regulatory director. Potential workplaces include: federal government health care facility, health care organization, hospital, insurance company, nonprofit organization, nursing or residential care facility, research organization or social welfare agency.

*These examples are intended to serve as a general guide. Many factors determine what position an individual may attain and Capella can't guarantee a graduate will secure any specific job title.