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DHA Information Systems Program

The challenge to develop cost-effective, quality delivery systems responsive to policy initiatives requires a substantial increase in new knowledge and leadership skills. The long-term success of healthcare organizations will be directly linked to highly skilled, strategic leadership.

The Information Systems and Leadership track of the DHA program focuses on the development of Information systems/ technology leaders in health policy, strategic management and healthcare information technology. Students will be practicing healthcare information specialist who currently hold or who are seeking leadership positions to influence healthcare practice. The central theme of the curriculum will be the development of information systems building on the domains of leadership, change management, policy, and advocacy.

Graduates of the DHA-Information Systems and Leadership program will be prepared to assume leadership roles in practice and academe. They will work as health system leaders facilitating system change, as policy advisors and advocates, and as faculty members in health related educational programs.


The DHA-IS program is a three-year curriculum, with new classes beginning each fall. Courses are taught by resident faculty along with nationally known visiting scholars. The program combines face-to-face meetings with internet-based instruction. Each semester students will be required to spend one long weekend on MUSC's campus attending classes. Two years of formal course work are provided through online presentations and asynchronous discussion. Papers and other required assignments are completed during home study between campus sessions. The third year of the program is devoted to individual, supervised doctoral project research.

Program objectives:

  • Development of leadership skills necessary to ensure responsiveness and sustainability
  • Application of advanced team-building and decision-making skills in the clinical environment
  • Development of professionals who will apply theory to real world healthcare settings
  • Build long-term mutually beneficial professional relationships among an array of healthcare professionals and academicians


The DHA curriculum consists of 54 semester hours: 36 semester hours of core course work and 18 semester hours of doctoral project work. Course topics include health policy, strategic management, leadership, quality improvement, applied research, healthcare information resources, evidence-based decision-making, and management of change. The central theme of the curriculum is the development of information systems building on the domains of evidence-base practice, quality improvement, and health informatics. There is a thread of interprofessional and team building skills woven throughout the curriculum.

The curriculum features four clusters of skill areas, each of which requires its own progressive ladder of competency development:

  • Leadership
  • Applied Research
  • Health Policy
  • Information System Building

Admission Requirements:

  • Considerable experience (5 years minimum) in a clinical practice specialty
  • A post-baccalaureate professional degree or master's degree in health administration, business administration, public health, or public administration
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Job Opportunities:

It’s hard to imagine a more dynamic, fast-paced and rewarding field than health care. Individuals who possess a doctoral degree in health administration from MUSC/CHP gain unique competitive advantages. Armed with your DHA, you can pursue a career in academe, public policy/advocacy, or as a leader in a health care organization. Possessing a DHA gives you a clear, competitive edge in a dynamic marketplace.

Our focus on leadership training, policy/advocacy, inter-professional learning, and systems thinking will put CHP grads in high demand. Among the positions we expect our grads to assume:

  • Chief Information Officer (CIO)
  • Consultant
  • University/college faculty member
  • Information Systems vendor executive

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