Organizational Leadership EdD: Healthcare Administration Emphasis

Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership: Health Care Administration (Qualitative Research)

Offered By: College of Doctoral Studies

Prepare to Inspire the Next Generation in Healthcare

Position yourself for general management, administration and leadership roles in various healthcare settings with Grand Canyon University’s Doctor of Education (EdD) in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Health Care Administration. Offered by the College of Doctoral Studies, this EdD program examines the modern challenges in the healthcare field and teaches you how to apply an evidence-based, systematic approach toward addressing those challenges in a way that benefits all stakeholders, including patients and staff.

Earn Your Doctoral Degree in Organizational Leadership From GCU

The healthcare system faces unique challenges, with a need to balance the dual priorities of improving the quality and safety of patient care while also meeting the healthcare facility’s financial objectives and supporting the needs of staff. As a current or aspiring healthcare administrator, you likely already understand the critical importance of highly competent organizational leadership in healthcare. Prepare to meet the challenges of tomorrow by working through GCU’s evidence-based curriculum while benefiting from exposure to diverse viewpoints in classes as you earn your degree.

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GCU strives to accommodate the needs of working professionals who wish to enhance their career qualifications through higher education. You can earn your degree from virtually anywhere via online classes. Log into our intuitive e-learning platform to access your course materials and connect with fellow learners and experienced instructors on the discussion boards. Benefit from the same quality of education as our on-campus students with added flexibility and convenience. In addition to online courses, learners will also participate in two in-person residencies on or near GCU’s campus. 

This Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership degree is a qualitative program. With a qualitative focus, it examines events to better understand an observed phenomenon, whereas the quantitative EdD program focuses on examining and analyzing events by interpreting numeric data. In this qualitative program, you will be expected to:

  • Create a sampling plan
  • Design and field test research tools
  • Collect data
  • Conduct a deep and careful analysis of the data using a systematic approach 
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GCU alumni enrolling in a doctoral program for the first time may be eligible for a $2,000 scholarship.§

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Healthcare Administration Leadership Coursework and Topics

This EdD: Healthcare Administration emphasis covers current topics and issues facing the healthcare industry, including:

  • Governance structures and their connections to leadership
  • Public, private, nonprofit and for-profit governance structures
  • Healthcare regulations
  • The effects of mandatory and voluntary measures established by entities such as state and federal governments and medical and professional boards

Develop a framework for effective management and organizational leadership in healthcare using evidence-based research and strategies to cultivate a positive, productive culture. Discover the benefits of shared values and tactics that promote organizational excellence. Combining GCU’s comprehensive curriculum with reflective practice, you will have opportunities to increase your aptitude for scholarly research while exploring methods of design, analysis and dissemination. This online EdD program includes a formative dissertation process, the initial step of which begins in your first course.

Cultivate Leadership Skills in Healthcare Administration

This doctorate program strives to equip you with the necessary skills to manage and lead healthcare organizations with integrity and a servant leadership mindset.

Some of the skills you will be taught throughout the coursework include:

  • Implementing best practices in leading diverse teams within a global culture
  • Nurturing professional development and empowering teams to achieve their full potential
  • Applying systems thinking and interprofessional teaming for the development of a collaborative workplace community
  • Cultivating resilience when embracing change in today’s dynamic healthcare landscape

Throughout this EdD program, you will have the opportunity to acquire the following competencies:

  • Ethical practices in research, leadership and decision-making in behavioral health settings with incorporation of social responsibility and stewardship
  • Methods of research design and analysis to aid with strategic planning and development of best practices

As a private Christian university, GCU encourages all our students to strive toward a Christ-like character and to apply ethical principles when solving modern dilemmas in the workplace.

EdD Degree Holder Poses Standing in Her Office

Careers for EdD: Healthcare Administration Emphasis Graduates

This degree program is designed for healthcare leaders looking to specialize their leadership skills in healthcare administration. Graduates may have opportunities to pursue careers in the following settings:1

  • State, local and private hospitals
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Nursing and residential care facilities
  • Governmental agencies
  • Physician offices

As of May 2022, the median annual pay for medical and health services managers was $104,830, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).2 The BLS estimates job growth for these professionals to be 28% from 2022 through 2032, much faster than average. This rate of job growth indicates the expected addition of 144,700 new jobs during this time period.3


Median annual salary for medical and health services managers2

28% Job Growth

144,700 new jobs expected for medical and health services managers3

EdD Programs From an Institutionally Accredited University

GCU is proud to be an institutionally accredited university that prioritizes academic excellence and student support. The Higher Learning Commission has continually accredited GCU since 1968. The College of Doctoral Studies shares the university’s commitment to upholding the principles and standards established by our accrediting bodies.

EdD in Organizational Leadership: Healthcare Administration Emphasis FAQs 

As you reflect upon your intended career pathway, some questions may arise about doctoral programs and the healthcare field itself. GCU has compiled the following FAQs and answers to guide your decision-making process.

Healthcare administration leadership can encompass a variety of job titles. No matter the job title, however, healthcare leaders are generally charged with establishing and working toward department-wide or facility-wide objectives that serve all stakeholders, including patients, staff and the broader community. To fulfill the mission of the organization, healthcare leaders are responsible for inspiring and motivating staff to improve patient care, outcomes and healthcare practices, and to encourage continuous innovation and professional development.4

This doctoral degree in organizational leadership requires a minimum of 60 credits for completion. If you would like to better understand how long it might take you to earn your EdD, you can fill out the form on this page to request a consultation with a university counselor.

If you are motivated to work toward career advancement in your field, then you may find a doctor of education degree to be worth the effort. As a healthcare leader, you would have the opportunity to inspire your team to achieve their true potential and to work for the betterment of the patient/staff community. An EdD can prepare you to address complex challenges in the field — from regulatory compliance to public health issues and beyond. During your degree program, you will be encouraged to approach these common challenges from an ethical servant leadership perspective.c

Apply online at GCU today and begin working toward your EdD: Healthcare Administration emphasis.

§ MOU-Alumni 2000 Doctoral-May2024: The Alumni Scholarship for Doctoral Programs is only valid for those applicants who submit a complete application and begin a Doctoral program in May 2024. This scholarship cannot be used in conjunction with any other GCU scholarship or awards and only applies to online and evening programs. Please speak to a university counselor for complete details.

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023, Sept. 6). Medical and health services managers: work environment. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved Feb. 7, 2024. 

2 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), Medical and Health Services Managers as of May 2022, retrieved on Oct. 19, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020-2022 may be atypical compared to prior years. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers nationwide with varying levels of education and experience. It does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as medical and health services managers, nor does it reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country, or a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries. Your employability will be determined by numerous factors over which GCU has no control, such as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, the graduate’s experience level, individual characteristics, skills, etc. against a pool of candidates. 

3 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020-2022 may be atypical compared to prior years. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2023, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical and Health Services Managers, retrieved on Oct. 19, 2023. 

4 Indeed. (2023, Aug. 16). Leadership in health care: Definition, qualities, and styles. Retrieved Feb. 7, 2023.

Time to Completion and Dissertation Process

To learn more about time to completion and the dissertation process at GCU, visit our doctoral page.

Course List

60 credits
Degree Requirements:
60 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course introduces doctoral learners to the principle elements of research, scholarly writing, and effective argumentation. Learners are made aware of the dispositions and expectations of doctoral researchers as well as the University’s overarching values and beliefs regarding research and the responsibility of scholars to contribute new knowledge to their respective fields of study. Learners begin the process of identifying a researchable dissertation topic and are acquainted with appropriate scholarly resources that support the development of the dissertation.

Course Description

In this course, learners are introduced to the critical reading of scholarly qualitative and quantitative literature at the doctoral level. Learners also explore the concept of synthesizing the scholarly literature to identify problems and problem spaces that emerge to form a researchable topic of study. The application of scholarly argumentation from the extant literature to defend the need for a research study is discussed.

Course Description

This course examines multiple ethical frameworks, principles, and theories as they apply to the study and practice of leadership. Corporate social responsibility will be addressed from the perspective of ethical decision making. Prerequisite: RES-815.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the impact of leadership and the effects of behaviors on the formulation and execution of strategy within an organization. Topics include the increasing importance of resilience and change in today’s global and turbulent economy.

Course Description

In this course, learners are introduced to key components of qualitative and quantitative research designs and the means to critically appraise the application of research designs as observed in the scholarly literature. The University's core research designs are presented. Consideration is given to the initial selection and defense of a research design to address a problem that emerged from the extant literature.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the sampling, data collection, and data analysis methods employed in qualitative and quantitative research designs. Learners explore the alignment of sampling, data collection, and data analysis methods to the research topic, research questions, and research design. The course positions learners to select qualitative or quantitative designs for their dissertation studies. Prerequisite: RES-831.

Course Description

This residency allows learners to continue developing their skills as academic researchers. Learners will have hands-on experience applying quantitative and qualitative design principals to develop the foundational elements for their potential dissertation studies. Prerequisite: RES-850, RES-825, RES-831, or RCS-831.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of many levels of regulation in the health care industry. These include state boards, medical boards, professional boards, and the federal government. Various organizational and self-regulatory measures are presented, and the impact of mandatory and voluntary measures are discussed.

Course Description

The course explores the connection between leadership and professional development with a focus on assisting employees in achieving personal potential. The course promotes creating a culture of shared values and ownership to promote a standard of organizational excellence.

Course Description

The course discusses the importance of assessing the current culture of an organization as well as how the concept of collaboration is employed as a means for building a culture of community in health care. Systems thinking and inter-professional teaming are presented as strategies for building a collaborative community.

Course Description

In this course, learners explore the basic components of GCU qualitative core research designs including descriptive, case study, and phenomenology. The nature of epistemological foundations and the structure of problem statements, purpose statements, research questions, data sources, collection and analysis approaches are discussed in the context of each design.

Course Description

In this course, learners differentiate the epistemological foundations and explore the data trustworthiness, research ethics, and potential for bias in descriptive, case study, and phenomenology research designs. The process of building a rationale for design choice and aligning the research questions, interview questions, problem statement, and purpose statement is addressed. Sources of qualitative data are introduced for each design, and ethical aspects of research are discussed. Prerequisite: RES-841.

Course Description

This course explores the opportunities and challenges facing leaders in the global environment. The course topics focus on aspects of leading global and diverse workforces, and on theories of leadership and leadership development in diverse and global cultures.

Course Description

In this residency, learners orally present and defend an expanded design of their preliminary dissertation research from RSD-851. Emphasis is placed on developing the qualitative dissertation. Prerequisite: RES-843.

Course Description

The course addresses how continuous improvement guides organizations to promote change and innovation as a means of being viable and sustainable. Prerequisite: RES-866.

Course Description

In this course, learners apply the skills of the practitioner-scholar. They are self-motivated and committed to reflective practice. They actively seek input from other scholars while continuing to design independent research under the guidance of the dissertation committee. Prerequisite: RES-871, RES-885, RSD-883, or RSD-884.

Course Description

In this course, learners explore qualitative data collection techniques and sources of qualitative data in the context of answering the research questions posed by a study. Consideration is given to the recognition of data saturation and the management of data. Learners continue to work with their respective dissertation chairs to prepare a written statement of data collection, and management activities. Prerequisite: RES-843.

Course Description

In this course, learners apply the skills of the practitioner-scholar. They are self-motivated and committed to reflective practice. They actively seek input from other scholars while continuing to design and/or conduct independent research under the guidance of the dissertation committee. Prerequisite: DIS-955.

Course Description

In this course, learners focus on the interpretation of qualitative data to produce written research findings, results, and implications. Learners continue to work with their respective dissertation chairs and apply information from this course to move ahead in the dissertation process. Prerequisite: RES-873.

Course Description

In this course, learners apply the skills of the practitioner-scholar. They are self-motivated and committed to reflective practice. They actively seek input from other scholars while continuing to design and/or conduct independent research under the guidance of the dissertation committee. Prerequisite: DIS-960.

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.