MBAs in Healthcare Management

Holland Webb, MA
Updated March 21, 2024
Edited by
Are you ready for healthcare leadership roles? Consider earning your online MBA in healthcare management at one of these top schools.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

An MBA in healthcare management focuses on business concepts and leadership best practices in healthcare contexts. This degree combines the rigor of a general MBA with the specific knowledge and skills needed to work in hospital management, nursing home administration, or pharmaceutical project management.

Consequently, an MBA can offer a more versatile curriculum than a master’s in healthcare administration or management. These programs are available in online, hybrid, accelerated, part-time, full-time, and executive formats. Often, online MBAs are designed to accommodate working professionals ‘ schedules.

A master of business administration in healthcare management can help graduates qualify for roles like healthcare administrator, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports had a median salary of $104,830 in 2022 — a higher-than-average wage. The BLS also projects this career will grow 28% between 2022 and 2032.

Why Get an MBA in Healthcare Management?

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    Hands-On Learning

    Many MBA programs let students apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios, including mentorships, international educational experiences, and internships.
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    Dynamic Career

    Because healthcare is a field with ever-changing priorities, a healthcare administrator career can be dynamic. Managing doctors, nurses, therapists, and other medical professionals can offer a job where no two days look alike.
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    Transferable Skills

    By earning an MBA instead of a master’s in healthcare administration, you can gain business leadership skills you can apply to multiple industries. In addition to healthcare management-specific courses, many MBAs in healthcare administration cover topics like accounting, marketing, management, and human resources.

Featured Online MBA Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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What to Expect From a Healthcare Management MBA Program

An MBA in healthcare management is a business leadership degree tailored for professionals like hospital administrators, pharmaceutical project managers, and health informatics directors.

These degrees generally require 33-36 credits and take 1-3 years to complete. However, each MBA program maintains its own requirements, so research each prospective institution to understand its expectations for students.

Some healthcare MBA programs accept transfer credits from previous institutions or allow you to earn a dual degree, such as a joint MBA-MPH, MBA-MD, or MBA-JD. Some schools may hold programmatic accreditation from organizations like AACSB International, which evaluate how well coursework prepares students for business and management careers.

Admissions Process

Most MBA in healthcare management programs require applicants to hold a bachelor ‘s degree. Some institutions also require a minimum number of years of professional experience. Prospective students must send transcripts from all higher learning institutions, typically demonstrating a minimum 2.5-2.75 GPA.

Other application materials may include a resume, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Some institutions also require GRE or GMAT scores, though others offer waivers or do not ask for standardized test scores.

Popular Healthcare Management MBA Courses

Each institution determines its MBA curriculum based on its resources, faculty expertise, and perception of the market needs. Consequently, courses can vary significantly across schools. In addition to core business courses, MBAs in healthcare management typically offer classes like:

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    Healthcare Administration

    In this constantly evolving field, administrators must add value to their programs while considering cost, access, and quality of care. This course introduces the principles of management as applied to healthcare settings. Topics include characteristics of global healthcare systems; cost, access, and quality of care; and the future of service delivery.
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    Healthcare Informatics

    Healthcare organizations collect, store, clean, and surface large volumes of sensitive, protected data every year. Administrators must know how to access, maintain, and retrieve this information efficiently. This course covers topics such as telehealth, healthcare information systems infrastructure, and informatics theories.
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    Legal and Ethical Issues for Healthcare Professionals

    Students explore legal and ethical issues that healthcare professionals face. Topics include high-tech medicine, patient-caregiver relationships, healthcare ethics, regulatory compliance, patient rights, medical records, and criminal aspects of healthcare.
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    Health Policy

    This course investigates public policy and politics, focusing on healthcare policy formation and evaluation in the United States. Learners examine the intersection of healthcare with fields like economics, political science, communications, management, and public health.

How Much Do MBA in Healthcare Management Programs Cost?

The cost of an MBA in healthcare management ranges from less than $10,000 to more than $80,000. Many factors influence the price of a degree, including delivery format, institutional public or private status, and student state residency.

In addition to tuition, you should budget for cost of living expenses like housing, food, and transportation. Earning your degree online can reduce or eliminate costs like relocation and commuting. Financial aid such as scholarships, fellowships, loans, or employer reimbursement can help you cover educational expenses.

Should You Get Your Degree Online?

The National Center for Educational Statistics reported about 1.8 million graduate students enrolled in at least one distance education course as of 2021, including 1.3 million students who took distance education courses exclusively.

Distance education can benefit MBA in healthcare students by offering convenient, flexible education learners can integrate into their busy schedules. However, this increased flexibility means enrollees must be disciplined, organized, and engaged to succeed.

MBA in Healthcare Management Programs

We have compiled a list of institutions that offer this degree. Use the table below to compare student population size and graduation rate.

Healthcare Management MBAs
SchoolStudent Population SizeGraduation Rate
Johns Hopkins University64,09893%
Florida International University113,32867%
Purdue University50,88482%
University of North Carolina Wilmington17,84372%
University of Delaware18,88381%
Source: NCES

Purdue University

Purdue University offers an online MBA through its global campus. This degree consists of 19 courses, requiring two years of study. The program expects enrollees to devote 15 hours per week to each class.

The degree requires 76 quarter credits, including 60 core business credits and 16 credits in the healthcare management concentration. These 16 credits comprise four classes: health policy, healthcare operations and quality assessment, public health leadership and administration, and marketing concepts and strategies in healthcare.

Purdue graduates can apply some of their MBA courses toward a professional law degree from the Concord Law School. According to the school, within 18 months of graduation, 94% of Purdue MBA graduates from the 2020-21 school year were employed or continuing their education.

University of North Carolina Wilmington

The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) offers an MBA with a specialization in healthcare management online through its Cameron School of Business. This degree requires 36 credits. Students can finish the program in as few as 12 months.

The curriculum includes a 30-credit core and a 6-credit concentration in healthcare management. Learners complete three specialization classes: healthcare finance, healthcare analytics, and introduction to healthcare systems. Each course lasts seven weeks. The program offers six start dates each year.

Applicants need a bachelor ‘s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and two years of full-time work experience. UNCW expects prospective students to score 500 on the GMAT, though it offers exemptions for some applicants.

University of Delaware

The University of Delaware (UD) offers its MBA with two healthcare management options: a major or a concentration. In addition to business management classes, students take three healthcare management courses for the concentration and five classes for the major.

The program ‘s healthcare management coursework includes patient experience and engagement, leadership and innovation in population health, and population health informatics. Students can complete UD ‘s healthcare management MBA in online, hybrid, full-time, or part-time formats. Full-time students can finish in two years, while part-time students usually take three years.

The school offers opportunities for one-on-one mentorships, collaborative opportunities with local businesses, and industry internships. Applicants need a bachelor ‘s degree. UD recommends prospective students hold at least five years of work experience.

Common Questions About MBAs in Healthcare Management

What is an MBA in healthcare management?

An MBA in healthcare management is a business leadership degree emphasizing strategy development and operational oversight in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. This 1- to 3-year graduate degree builds on bachelor ‘s programs and can prepare you for advanced roles, including management positions.

Is an MBA in healthcare management worth it?

Whether an MBA in healthcare management is worth it depends on your career goals. These graduate-level programs can help you advance your career by qualifying you for increased pay or advanced jobs, including managerial roles. As of October 2023, Payscale reports workers with MBAs earn an average salary of $96,000, which can signal a positive return on investment for this degree.

Which MBA is best for healthcare?

To qualify for management roles in healthcare, you can earn a general MBA or a more specialized degree, like an MBA in healthcare management or healthcare administration.

What is the average salary for MBA in healthcare management in the US?

October 2023 Payscale data shows workers with MBAs earn an average salary of $96,000. The same source also reveals hospital administrators earn an average salary of $91,480, while healthcare consultants earn an average wage of $84,740.