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Health Policy and Advocacy Specialization Doctor of Health Administration

School of Nursing & Health Sciences

Influence health policy, change lives with advocacy

You have the potential to lead change in health care policy and drive improvements that have a real impact on patients’ lives. The Capella DHA Health Policy and Advocacy degree gives you a chance to grow as a leader in this vital field. You’ll delve into the reality behind health care policy—using case studies, simulation exercises, consulting projects, a practicum, and more—that can help you build an understanding of advocacy and ethics.

With courses that are 100% online, you can take control of when and where you learn, giving you a chance to get the most out of your education—and your life—while pursuing your degree.

At a Glance

  • Online 
  • 9 core courses
  • 3 specialization courses
  • 4 capstone courses/practicum
  • 76 total quarter credits
  • 18 max transfer credits

Classes Start June 3rd

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo SPRING)

Doctor of Health Administration program highlights

Transfer credit savings

You may be able to transfer 12 credits—an equivalent of two courses—if you have an MHA or related degree, saving you up to $8,800.

Professionally relevant

Our curriculum is credible and relevant, designed around the National Center for Health Care Leadership Competency Model™ (NCHL).

Integrated capstone & practicum

Our integrated approach allows you to work with inspiring mentors within an organization to solve real-world challenges.

Learner success lab

Learn how to use your academic resources like the writing center, teaching assistants, and more to your fullest advantage.

Scholarships available

See if you can save: enroll in a qualified program, apply for a $5,000 scholarship, and meet the eligibility requirements.

Apply now »

Interprofessional education

Share your learning and insights with nursing and public health students completing related degree programs as part of Capella’s interprofessional course structure.

25 years of online doctoral experience

With over 25 years of experience in online doctoral education, we understand the unique needs of doctoral students, and have designed our programs to meet those needs. We've structured our programs to help you reach your goals and obtain critical skills—with our expert faculty, support teams, and online resources to help guide you every step of the way.

Meet your DHA faculty

Our distinguished DHA faculty are industry leaders, bringing real-world relevance into the courseroom to enrich your education, and career.

Christy Davidson, DNP

Interim Dean, School of Nursing and Health Sciences

Susan Collins, PhD, MHA

DHA Core Faculty

Ben Spedding, DHA, MA

Health Administration Faculty Chair

Get the support you need for success

Our dedicated support teams guide and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment counselors

These experts will set you up for success. They’ll help you find the right degree and program, and answer all your questions about Capella.

Doctoral advising

Doctoral programs are specific and challenging. That’s why you’ll have access to expert support at every step along the road to your degree.

Financial aid counselors

Our team knows how to run the numbers and help find ways to save on costs.

Cost & learning format

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it. We'll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$735 per credit, 76 total quarter credits, 18 max transfer credits

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Accredited & recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

DHA sample courses

Your coursework in the online DHA in Health Policy and Advocacy covers global perspectives of health policy and advocacy, with a focus on evidence-based strategies for promoting positive community-oriented health outcomes and influencing change.

Support to reach the finish line

You’ll get dedicated support early in your program, so you can be confident in the steps to completing your degree.

Capstone mentors

For the culminating project of your doctoral degree, you’ll be paired with a knowledgeable mentor to help you along the way.

Keystone course

Work with a faculty member who can help you examine key support elements and identify potential project sites for your capstone topic.

Show course with description
DHA8020
Health Policy in the United States

In this course, learners evaluate the impact of and connection between U.S. health policy and services delivered from a results-based, community impact perspective. Learners examine innovations in and challenges and opportunities associated with U.S. health policy development and implementation, including those related to assessing community needs; building coalitions; and measuring the success of evidence-based, health care policy solutions. Learners also study ethics and social accountability relative to domestic health policy.

6 quarter credits
DHA8022
Global Health Policy

In this course, learners evaluate global health policy from a results-based, sociopolitical perspective. Learners examine innovations in and challenges and opportunities associated with global health policy development and implementation, the importance of global industry models in global health policy, and the strategic communication skills needed to influence global health care policy change. Learners also study ethics and social accountability relative to global health policy.

6 quarter credits
DHA8008
Health Care Policy Processes

In this course, learners develop an understanding of health care policy processes and examine the ways health care policy can affect organizational and community wellness; the ways interpersonal and professional skills, policy-related relationships, and credible sources of evidence can influence health care policy decisions and change; and the ways appropriate use of health care ethics create equitable solutions to disparities in health care policy.

6 quarter credits
DHA8040
Health Data Analytics in Quality

In this course, learners become familiar with regulatory and policy forces in health care that result in the demand for improved quality and clinical outcomes. Learners examine a variety of technical specifications, statistical procedures, and data sources to drive improvement. In addition, learners create and present quality dashboards to identify opportunities for improvement that drive change in a systematic, strategic way.

6 quarter credits
NHS8070 *
Evaluation and Interpretation of Data in Health Care

In this course, learners explore underlying concepts and reasoning related to the collection and evaluation of qualitative and quantitative data in health care research. Learners apply appropriate statistical techniques and practice interpreting frequently encountered statistical outcomes. In addition, learners assess the quality of statistical and qualitative research methods reported in peer-reviewed health care literature. Prerequisite(s): NHS8060. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

What you’ll learn

  • Use evidence-based methods to define health problems and build advocacy solutions.
  • Evaluate the impact of proposed policies on organizational directional strategies.
  • Develop advocacy positions that reflect the needs of specific interest groups.

  • Communicate effectively as a health care scholar and practitioner.
  • Model health care professionalism through ethics, accountability, and community stewardship.

Doctor of Health Administration career insights

The Value of Interprofessional Education in Health Care

Learn what interprofessional education is and why it's important in the health care field.

Capella’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences Advisory Board

Is a PhD in Health Care Administration or a Doctor of Health Administration a better fit for your career?

DHA professional paths

Your education can help you reach your goals, professionally and personally. Here are some of the jobs and employment settings to consider with a Doctor of Health Administration, Health Policy and Advocacy degree.

Related job titles to explore*

  • Chief compliance officer
  • Chief executive officer
  • Clinic director
  • Director of health care quality
  • Government affairs vice president
  • Health care consultant
  • Health policy consultant
  • Health policy analyst
  • Public affairs director
  • Public affairs vice president
  • Public policy director
  • Regulatory director

Related employment settings to explore

  • Hospital
  • Health care consulting firm
  • Health clinic
  • Health system
  • Accountable care organization
  • Ambulatory health care service
  • Health plan
  • Home health care service
  • Insurance company
  • Medical and diagnostic laboratory
  • Nursing or residential care facility
  • Outpatient care center
  • Wellness and health promotion organizations

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other programs to explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.