Although doctors and nurses get most of the credit when it comes to saving lives, people in many roles play a part behind the scenes. Healthcare administrators such as hospital CEOs, department managers, nursing home administrators, clinic administrators, human resources directors, and marketing directors work hard to ensure hospitals, clinics, and other facilities function at their best.
An online master’s in healthcare administration (MHA) degree prepares individuals to work on the business side of the health sector. Many schools design their programs with working professionals in mind, enabling learners to earn an advanced degree while keeping their day jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the need for medical and health service managers to grow by 20% between 2016 and 2026. On average, these professionals make a nearly six-figure income of $99,730.
Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degree Online Ranking Guidelines
We selected the online healthcare administration programs shown below based on the quality of the program, the types of online classes offered for healthcare administration, the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation, including the school’s reputation for effectively providing quality online degree programs.
The Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degree Programs
1. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
The Texas Legislature established UTRGV in 2013 to bring high-quality education to residents of the Rio Grande Valley. The school offers campuses across the valley, including those in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville, South Padre Island, and McAllen. The school focuses on medicine, nursing, social work, and health professions. UTRGV may soon become the second-largest higher education provider for Hispanic students in the country. As such, it emphasizes cultural diversity and perspectives.
The school’s colleges of business and health sciences partner to offer a master’s in healthcare administration online. This program helps working professionals earn the credentials to move into healthcare leadership roles. Degree candidates take courses in healthcare accounting, compliance and risk management, competing through service, and professional proposal writing.
In total, degree candidates earn 36 credits entirely online. On average, students take one year to complete the accelerated program. They take one or two courses at a time during seven-week terms.
UTRGV makes education affordable for all. As such, students pay the same low tuition rates regardless of their residencies. Furthermore, online learners enjoy the same eligibility for school-funded financial aid as their on-campus peers.
Applicants should hold bachelor’s degrees from accredited universities with GPAs of at least 3.0. Some candidates with lower grades may earn conditional admissions. Applicants must send official transcripts, a letter of intent, and two letters of recommendation. The school does not require entrance exam scores.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
2. Peirce College
Peirce College opened soon after the end of the Civil War to train veterans in skills that would allow them to find work. This private school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania started offering higher education to business-oriented women, as well. The school continues its legacy of innovation as one of the nation’s oldest providers of online education.
Peirce offers a flexible master’s program in health administration. This online MHA allows learners to choose whether they want to attend class on campus or log on and live stream lectures. Students who choose online learning can complete the week’s requirements on their own schedules. Learners can communicate with professors through the course website, email, and text.
The 36-credit curriculum prepares degree candidates to work in non-clinical healthcare leadership roles through courses such as ethics in healthcare administration, healthcare law and compliance, healthcare informatics and information technology, and strategic management and finance. The program ends with a practicum and capstone course that learners must take simultaneously. Students use online simulations to learn about the processes and tasks that they use in their careers. The projects they complete can also be included in portfolios.
Applicants need undergraduate degrees or work experience in healthcare. They should also hold bachelor’s degrees from accredited schools with GPAs of at least 2.75. The school requires personal admissions essays and letters of recommendation.
Peirce College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
3. Colorado State University Global
Greenwood Village, Colorado
CSU Global is a fully online university and an independent member of the CSU system. The school invites students to make financially sound, fulfilling investments in themselves.
The university offers an online MHA program with accelerated courses and monthly start dates. Students enjoy asynchronous learning and the ability to fit their studies into their schedules. The 36-credit curriculum takes about one year to complete and includes courses in organizational behavior and human resources in healthcare, health law and ethics, healthcare finance, and healthcare information systems. Degree candidates take an optional internship course that gives them practical, hands-on experience in management.
As a fully online school, distance education students enjoy access to the same CSU Global resources as those studying on campus, such as free online tutoring around the clock. Degree candidates can also submit academic essays to the writing center for free expert feedback. The online library includes a 24-hour librarian chat service, industry publications, e-books, journals, writing tutorials, and resource guides.
Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. The school prefers candidates with GPAs of at least 3.0, but learners with lower grades can earn provisional admission. Prospective students should submit resumes and essays, and they must take a 30-minute assessment when they apply.
Colorado State University Global is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
4. Texas Woman’s University
TWU is the largest university in the United States that serves primarily women. About 15,000 students learn at the school’s campuses in the Denton, Houston, and Dallas areas of Texas. The university boasts more new healthcare graduates than any other school in the Lone Star State. Boasting a liberal arts curricula and private-school feeling, TWU still retains the benefits of public schooling.
Students earn TWU’s online master’s in healthcare administration degree through the business school’s MBA program. Degree candidates in this hybrid program must attend classes on the campuses in Houston or McKinney each week. The accelerated courses last just five weeks each. Learners earn 36–46 credits in about 15 months.
The curriculum includes courses like managerial finance, decision analysis for managers, concepts of health and disease for administrators, and performance management and quality in healthcare administration. Degree candidates can take most courses in any order, but they must complete the capstone course in business strategy and policy in the final term.
Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 on the final 60 credits from an accredited school. Prospective students can apply with degrees in any subject. However, some candidates may need to take foundational business courses before moving to the MBA classes. TWU does not require entrance exam scores.
Texas Woman’s University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The MBA in healthcare administration is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
5. Louisiana State University – Shreveport
LSUS boasts an excellent reputation in Louisiana and beyond. The school’s nearly 8,000 students learn from the most educated faculty in the Pelican State. More than half of these learners take graduate-level courses. The school participates in the Southern Regional Education Board as a certified Electronic Campus.
The school’s healthcare administration master’s program online offers full-time and part-time options. Learners without a business degree or those who need refreshers can take optional business foundation courses before starting the main curriculum. These courses use pass-fail grading and count for one credit hour. The required curriculum includes 10 courses in subjects such as healthcare organizational behavior, healthcare law and ethics, healthcare strategic management, and healthcare marketing. Full-time degree candidates can earn a diploma in as few as 10 months.
Students enroll in one or two classes each seven-week term. Most courses use asynchronous learning, which does not require learners to log on to live sessions. However, some professors use online video conferences.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Candidates with GPAs below 2.5 overall or 2.75 in the final 60 credits need three years of professional work experience or a GMAT score of at least 1,000. Other applicants do not need to submit test scores, and the school does not accept GRE results.
Louisiana State University – Shreveport is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The MHA online is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
6. California State University – Long Beach
Long Beach, California
CSULB’s 322-acre campus contains a nationally recognized art museum, an iconic blue pyramid, and beach views, and it also gives students some of the best higher education value in the Golden State. The university ranks among the top five in the country for the number of first-year applicants and boasts a network of about 330,000 alumni.
The school’s College of Health and Human Services offers an accelerated master’s in healthcare administration online. Applicants need five years of experience in the healthcare industry and must complete prerequisites in microeconomics, accounting, and statistics before the first semester in the program. The school requires a GPA of at least 2.5 to qualify for admission.
The accelerated program uses a cohort model, so learners take all classes in a specific order. Learners take two classes per quarter for two years until the final semester, which includes just one course. The 45-credit curriculum provides courses in healthcare economics, strategic management, marketing in healthcare, human resource management, and research methods in healthcare management. Students complete most of the coursework online, but they attend on-campus classes in Long Beach on Saturdays.
California State University – Long Beach is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).The online MHA is regionally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Management Education (CAHME).
7. Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, Florida
In 1961, FAU opened in Boca Raton, Florida with 850 acres near the ocean. Today, the university consists of 10 individual schools and colleges that offer 170 programs. The school’s approximately 30,000 on-campus learners primarily take courses on the main Boca Raton campus, but the university also maintains learning facilities in Davie, Dania Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, and Jupiter. Nearly 9,000 learners take FAU courses exclusively online.
FAU’s College of Business offers an Executive MHA online. Students choose whether to take courses entirely online or to go to the main campus every third weekend for in-person interactions. The online option includes only asynchronous classes so that learners do not need to stop working in order to earn their degrees. Many students complete the program in just 15 months.
The program includes coursework that leads to Lean Six-Sigma green belt certification. Degree candidates earn 30 credits from courses such as planning and marketing in healthcare, global issues in healthcare delivery, health law, and research methods for healthcare management.
FAU accepts new students each fall and spring semester. Applicants need an accredited bachelor’s degree in any area of study with a GPA of at least a 3.0 and four years of work experience. They must also submit professional resumes and two letters of recommendation.
Florida Atlantic University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The online MHA is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACBI).
8. Excelsior College
Albany, New York
Excelsior serves students primarily through online education. More than 170,000 graduates hold Excelsior associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. With eight-week classes, coursework held entirely online, and asynchronous learning, degree candidates enjoy flexibility while they earn their degrees.
The school offers a master’s in healthcare administration online with a 36-credit curriculum, allowing students to transfer up to 18 credits. Learners can also earn credits toward a master’s degree through relevant certifications, military service, and work experience.
Required courses include communication strategy for the healthcare leader, quality management in healthcare, and healthcare finance. Learners also choose nine credits from across the graduate school to form specializations. For example, learners may take three courses in marketing, accounting, or human resources management. In the final semester, degree candidates complete capstone courses in which they complete projects that support their unique career goals.
Excelsior provides students with several helpful resources, including an online library with access to e-books, journals, and academic papers. The Career Center at Excelsior College gives prospective, current, and graduated learners access to tools to guide them through their education. Students can get resume and cover letter critiques, learn about transitioning from military to civilian life, practice interviews, and determine which careers may fit them best. The Portfolium tool helps candidates create online, interactive portfolios that help them land jobs.
Excelsior College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
9. Midwestern State University
Wichita Falls, Texas
MSU educates more than 6,000 students, many of whom attend classes on campus in Wichita Falls, Texas. The school is the only university in Texas to earn membership to the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, which ensures that public schools provide a high-quality liberal arts education. U.S. News & World Report recognizes Midwestern State University as one of the top 10 schools for low, nonresident tuition rates.
The school’s Robert D. and Carol Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services offers an online MHA program with four concentrations: health information management, public and community sector healthcare management, medical practice management, and rural and urban hospital management. Students earn 45 credits, which typically takes 2–3 years to complete.
The curriculum includes 33 credits that all MHA students take and 12 credits for each concentration. The core courses include subjects such as health systems engineering and quantitative methods, healthcare and personnel law, managerial epidemiology and biostatistics, and healthcare financial management.
The MHA program accepts learners from various educational backgrounds, but admission remains competitive. To qualify for unconditional admission, applicants must score at least in the 50th percentile on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE and score at least 3.5 on the writing section. Candidates must also hold bachelor’s degrees with GPAs of at least 3.0. Finally, prospective students should boast volunteer, paid, or educational experience in healthcare.
Midwestern State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
10. Youngstown State University
What started as a single law course offered at the YMCA grew into a comprehensive research school in Youngstown, Ohio. YSU students enjoy an average class size of just 21 learners, more than 115 undergraduate programs, and at least 40 graduate degree options.
YSU provides an online master’s in health and human services for current professionals in these fields who want to work in managerial roles. Learners select one of three concentrations: health promotion, healthcare administration, and health informatics. All master’s in health and human services students take 24 credit hours from the core curriculum, including courses in managing organizational talent, community health practice, health informatics, and healthcare reform.
The healthcare administration concentration includes 11–13 credit hours from classes such as program planning and evaluation and planning and fiscal management. Courses take place asynchronously online through Blackboard.
The curriculum ends with practicum or thesis courses, depending on each student’s preference. The practicum requires in-person internship hours near the student’s home and a comprehensive exam on all previous coursework. Degree candidates who choose the thesis option present their ideas to at least two faculty members.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of at least 2.7 from an accredited university. Before enrolling, prospective students must pass courses in accounting, statistics, management skills, and research. Candidates with GPAs of at least 3.5 earn scholarships from YSU. Due to limited funding, such learners should apply early.
Youngstown State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
11. Weber State University
WSU dedicates itself to helping busy students earn their degrees. This public university in Ogden, Utah offers online, weekend, and evening courses for nontraditional students. In fact, 79% of learners have jobs to work their schedules around and 58% enroll part time. Although 92% of the school’s degree candidates come from Utah, WSU educates learners from all 50 states and 62 foreign countries.
The school’s Dumke College of Health Professions offers an executive master’s in health administration online. While all of the coursework takes place online, learners must attend a one-day orientation on campus before classes begin. The school offers a tuition discount for distance learners to help cover this cost.
Full-time degree candidates finish the program in two years. WSU breaks each semester into two, eight-week blocks. Most of the time, full-time students take only two classes at a time, which helps working professionals stay on track. Learners take courses in areas like health systems and the healthcare economy, population health and data analysis, accounting and financial principles for healthcare managers, and executive decision-making for healthcare leaders.
Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree in any subject from an accredited university with a GPA of at least 3.0. Applicants also submit GRE or GMAT scores unless they have at least five years of healthcare experience. The school prefers learners with at least two years in supervisory roles.
Weber State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The master’s in healthcare administration online is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
12. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
UNC-Chapel Hill celebrates more than 225 years of providing high-quality public education. When the school opened, it was the first public university in the United States. Since then, more than 390,000 students have earned UNC-Chapel Hill degrees. The university consists of 14 individual colleges and schools, and alumni in this network live in all 50 states and 165 foreign countries.
The UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Public Health offers an online master’s in executive healthcare administration. While most degree candidates complete most of the coursework online, they must attend five on-campus residencies for a few days each. While the curriculum requires dedication, learners may continue to work full time.
The two-year curriculum uses the cohort model and includes courses in healthcare statistics, economics of healthcare, public health concepts, and health law. Degree candidates take two courses at a time. Students attend live video conferences to discuss topics with their cohorts and professors. These meetings take place in the evenings for about two hours, typically on Tuesday and Wednesdays.
Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school with a GPA of at least 3.0. Applicants also need at least three years of experience in the healthcare or human services industries and must submit GRE or GMAT scores.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The master’s in executive healthcare administration online is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) and the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
13. Bellevue University
BU opened in 1966 as a private nonprofit school in Bellevue, Nebraska. The university designs programs with hands-on learning that give graduates skills that employers want. The school routinely ranks as one of the most military-friendly universities in the country and boasts an alumni network of about 50,000 graduates around the world.
The school’s online master’s healthcare administration degree uses the cohort scheduling method. Degree candidates get to know their classmates and build lasting professional relationships. The school develops their curriculum in keeping with standards set by the Healthcare Leadership Alliance. The schools also maintains membership in the Higher Education Network of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Graduates earn 36 credits through nine courses, such as legal, ethical, and compliance issues; organizational design and delivery systems; strategic management for healthcare organizations; and health information technology and administration. Learners pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency status.
To qualify for admission, candidates must provide proof they work at least part time at a healthcare organization, or that such an organization supports them through their education. This requirement ensures that learners have access to on-the-job learning, which helps in the capstone course. Candidates should also hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with a GPA of at least 2.5 or a master’s degree with a 3.0 GPA. In some cases, the university may require applicants to send an admission essay.
Bellevue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
14. California State University – East Bay
Cal State East Bay maintains campuses in Hayward, Concord, and Oakland, California [PDF]. The university has proudly served as part of the California State University system for more than 60 years and boasts a network of more than 130,000 alumni. Some of the most prominent graduates work as top executives for healthcare and wellness organizations.
The school’s master’s in healthcare administration online follow guidelines from the Health Care Leadership Alliance. As such, graduates are proficient in workplace communication, business skills, professionalism, understanding of healthcare organizations, and leadership.
The curriculum includes 48 quarter credits in courses such as U.S. healthcare system, project and change management in health informatics, healthcare quality assessment and improvement, and evolution of healthcare units. At the end of the program, learners complete capstone projects.
While some courses take place entirely online, most require one on-campus meeting per week. These take place in the evenings, which allows learners to continue working. Furthermore, all Cal State East Bay campuses are near public transportation stops. Degree candidates take courses in quarter terms throughout the year, including summer.
Candidates must submit an undergraduate transcript that proves degree conferment and a 2.5 GPA, as well as two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources, a professional resume, and a statement of purpose.
California State University – East Bay is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
15. The University of West Florida
UWF is a public university in Pensacola, with about 12,800 students and 87,000 alumni. More than one in four of those learners take courses entirely online, and more than 3,000 graduate degree candidates attend the university. Learners enjoy small class sizes and personalized education from passionate professors.
The school’s Usha Kundu, MD College of Health offers a master’s in healthcare administration online for professionals in their early healthcare careers. Learners earn 40.5 credits through classes such as management and organization behavior, business analysis and decision-making in healthcare, and human resources in healthcare.
The program begins with three management fundamentals courses that help learners with bachelor’s degrees in non-business areas. In the final semester, degree candidates must complete internships. With the exception of the in-person internet components, all coursework takes place online. Some classes require proctored exams that learners can take in testing centers near their homes.
Applicants must submit scores from the GRE, GMAT, or MAT. They must also hold bachelor’s degrees with cumulative and major GPAs of at least 3.0. The schools waives test requirements if learners hold a GPA above 3.5, an existing graduate degree, or at least three years of healthcare experience that requires a bachelor’s degree. Candidates should also submit resumes, three letters of recommendation, and personal essays.
The University of West Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
16. University of Nevada – Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada
UNLV is a public research institution located in Paradise, Nevada. Established in 1957, the school serves more than 30,000 students annually. The university offers an online executive master of healthcare administration program for distance learners.
Located in its School of Public Health, UNLV’s online MHA program readies learners for executive leadership and administrative roles. Students prepare to take on cross-functional responsibilities and meet professional demands as leaders in the healthcare industry.
Prospective students interested in applying to this healthcare administration master’s program online must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and have a 3.0 GPA or higher. Complete applications also include a personal essay, a professional resume, and official transcripts. Individuals may need to submit contact information for three references. The personal essay must explain why an applicant wishes to pursue a degree in healthcare management at UNLV and a career in this particular field.
The program best serves managers and administrators who already possess at least three years of experience related to healthcare. Many successful applicants also possess up to five years of clinical experience or hold a terminal clinical degree, such as an MD.
Master’s degree seekers complete a total of 36 credits. Required classes in this program include healthcare economics, operations and quality management, advanced healthcare clients, healthcare law and ethics, and strategic management. All MHA online students complete a healthcare administration capstone course, which includes an in-depth project or a comprehensive exam.
University of Nevada – Las Vegas is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
17. Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Established in 1906, WKU is a public university in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The school offers over 100 graduate-level academic programs, including a master of health administration that students can earn online.
This executive master of health administration program prepares learners for roles in leadership, administration, and management across the healthcare industry. WKU students complete a diverse curriculum over the course of two years. Remote learners develop the organizational and interpersonal skills needed to meet consumers’ needs on a daily basis.
Distance students in this program complete courses and requirements mostly online, except for three on-campus visits. These in-person meetings take place on predetermined weekends in July and August. Visits allow students to engage with fellow classmates and professors face-to-face and develop business and personal relationships.
Online learners complete 42 credits. Popular electives at WKU include ambulatory care, healthcare preparedness in leadership, healthcare systems design in behavior, health systems informatics, and decision-making in healthcare.
Students applying to this online MHA program must complete an online application form and submit a professional resume, personal statement, and two letters of reference. Recommendations must come from the applicant’s most recent immediate supervisors and should speak to an individual’s likelihood of finding success in a graduate program.
WKU online students enjoy remote access to the university’s writing lab, math tutoring, online learning tutorials, and career and professional development services. Pupils can also take advantage of discounted software, an information technology help desk, and full-text library access.
Western Kentucky University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
18. University of Louisiana at Lafayette
UL Lafayette is a public research institution established in 1889. With almost 20,000 students, it ranks as the largest school in the University of Louisiana System. UL Lafayette offers over 25 master’s programs, including an online MBA in healthcare administration. This program holds programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
This MBA prepares distance students for leadership and administrative roles across the healthcare industry. The curriculum allows learners to examine the technological and economic aspects of the field, helping professionals improve patient care and business outcomes.
Distance learners complete 39 credits, including two internships. Full-time students can complete the program in as few as 18 months. As a healthcare administration program structured inside of an MBA program, distance pupils take foundational courses in accounting, finance, economics, and quantitative methods. Healthcare administration-focused courses include healthcare information systems, quality management in healthcare, healthcare delivery systems, and healthcare economics.
The required internships last eight weeks and take place at an approved healthcare organization. One internship centers around a student’s original research project, while the other allows learners to explore executive roles and various services offered through healthcare facilities.
Students interested in earning this online master’s in healthcare administration degree must submit a resume and official transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities. Successful applicants typically possess a 3.0 GPA or higher, and UL Lafayette favors applicants with three or more years of relevant work experience.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
19. Montana State University – Billings
Established in 1927, MSU Billings ranks as the third-largest university in Montana. The school offers over 100 academic programs, including an online master of health administration degree.
Distance learners in this MHA online program develop the skills and knowledge needed to assume leadership positions in health services management and administration. The curriculum focuses on the growing rural-frontier healthcare delivery area.
In total, distance pupils need to earn 51 credits for graduation. MHA students complete several online classes, a two-day on-campus seminar each semester, and an internship. Distance learners also complete a capstone project. Full-time participants often finish this program in 20–24 months.
Faculty deliver synchronous classes entirely online. The department recommends students take 3–5 eight-week classes per semester, as well as three classes during a summer session. Required classes for this MHA online degree include rural-frontier healthcare management, statistics for healthcare administration, managerial accounting and budgeting, and health quality techniques.
Prospective students must submit two copies of official transcripts from previously attended undergraduate and graduate programs. MSU Billings expects applicants to possess a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants should also turn in GMAT or GRE scores, a professional resume, a letter of application, and contact information for three individuals who can speak to their potential for success in a health administration career.
Distance students can apply for internal scholarship awards through the graduate school. These merit-based awards require applicants to possess a minimum 3.25 GPA.
Montana State University – Billings is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
20. University of Southern Mississippi
Located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Southern Miss serves more than 14,0000 students each year. This public university, which was established in 1910, offers an online master of public health with a concentration in health policy and administration.
Individuals who complete this healthcare administration master’s program online take an 18-credit core that covers epidemiology, environmental health, social and behavioral aspects of health, and biostatistics. The health policy administration concentration requires 21 credits. Specialized courses for this track include healthcare financial management, health economics, healthcare marketing, and healthcare organizational behavior.
Distance students also complete an internship as part of the core requirements. The internship consists of 400 hours of supervised, hands-on fieldwork. Students complete all required courses entirely online, while the internship takes place at an approved health facility near a student’s home. Participants work with an academic advisor to find an appropriate internship site.
Online master’s students must pass a comprehensive exam to graduate. Full-time students who take four or five synchronous classes per semester typically finish the program in 15 months.
This graduate program prepares students to work as health services managers, hospital administrators, program managers, healthcare consultants, clinic managers, and health policy analysts.
University of Southern Mississippi is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
21. Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi, Texas
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is a state school that was established in 1947. The university’s business college offers four graduate degrees, including an online master of business administration with a concentration in healthcare administration. The program holds programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Distance students must complete 36 credits to graduate, and full-time learners typically finish the program in 12 months. Designed for working professionals who wish to advance their careers, this MBA program helps students obtain basic business knowledge and a foundational understanding of healthcare administration.
The degree requires four healthcare administration concentration classes, including health economics and policy, health law and ethics, healthcare financial management, and healthcare systems. Core business administration classes include managerial finance, software-based business solutions, and managerial economics.
Upon completion of the program, graduates should understand salient aspects of the American healthcare system, modern issues related to healthcare delivery, and principles of healthcare economics and their effects on public policies. Online pupils also acquire the necessary managerial and financial management skills to assume administrative and leadership roles in the healthcare sector.
Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, earned with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Individuals should submit GMAT or GRE scores, a current resume, a personal essay, and official transcripts. Students with non-business undergraduate degrees can still apply, but they must have completed prerequisite classes in accounting, economics, management concepts, and statistical and decision analysis.
Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
22. Ferris State University
Big Rapids, Michigan
FSU is a public institution that was established in 1884 in Big Rapids, Michigan. The school hosts approximately 15,000 students annually. FSU offers a variety of graduate degrees, including a master of healthcare administration that students can complete online.
Distance learners in this online MHA program prepare for leadership roles in healthcare organizations by following a curriculum focused on healthcare industry business essentials. The 40–46-credit degree track covers important areas of the field, including financial management, human resource management, quality improvement, resource efficiency, and marketing. Online students complete all classes remotely with no on-campus obligations. Faculty deliver courses asynchronously through interactive and collaborative web-based programs and Blackboard.
Distance students must complete a four-credit capstone research project. Other major requirements include classes in healthcare administrative law, healthcare informatics, healthcare marketing, and finance management. Additionally, online learners choose six elective credits to tailor the degree to fit their personal needs.
Upon completion of the degree, students can design and implement various projects to improve healthcare delivery in practical situations. Graduates should also possess the ability to create innovative marketing plans for healthcare settings, manage healthcare information systems, and follow evidence-based plans for enhancing patient care.
Prospective students must submit a personal statement, contact information for three professional references, a professional resume, and their official transcripts. Competitive applicants possess a 3.0 GPA or higher. Incoming students should be able to demonstrate a history of coursework in the social and natural sciences, including biology and chemistry.
Online students at FSU can take advantage of personal and academic advising, student financial services, information technology assistance, Blackboard support, and veteran services. FSU also offers students professional and career development services.
Ferris State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
23. Baker College
Baker is a private school located in Flint Township, Michigan. It offers more than 150 academic programs, including a healthcare management MBA that students can earn online. This graduate program holds programmatic accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
Students who earn an MBA with a concentration in healthcare management prepare for leadership positions where they can leverage business management skills, improve the quality of patient care, reduce costs, and create a positive environment for employees. Graduates typically seek careers in a health or medical services facility, doctor’s office, clinical specialty facility, or group medical practice.
Distance learners complete 36 credits, taking required courses like healthcare finance, law and ethics, quality management in healthcare organizations, healthcare administration, and programs and policies. Students also complete classes in economic environments, research and statistics for managers, human resource management, and human behavior management of organizations.
Prospective students must submit an online application that includes an admissions essay, a resume, and official transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities. Baker expects applicants to possess a 2.5 GPA or higher. Applicants with a lower GPA may still apply if they also submit a supplemental letter explaining their academic performance.
Accepted transfer students pursuing this master’s in healthcare administration online can bring in up to 12 credits; the registrar considers classes completed with a
B or higher on a case-by-case basis.
Baker College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
24. Austin Peay State University
APSU is a four-year public institution located in Clarksville, Tennessee. Established in 1927, the school currently serves approximately 10,000 students annually. Distance learners can take advantage of its online master of healthcare administration program.
Students can complete this graduate program remotely, without ever visiting campus. APSU uses a cohort learning format in which individuals progress through coursework in lockstep with their classmates on a predetermined schedule. Students begin in the fall semester and can graduate in 10 months.
Online MHA students need to complete 30 credits for graduation. Students who progress through the one-year degree plan with their cohort take 12 credits during the fall and spring semesters and six credits during the summer semester. Required courses for the major include an introduction to research methods; statistics and assessment; healthcare economics; human resource management; strategic healthcare management; and law, policy, and advocacy.
Alternatively, MHA online students may choose to follow a two-year degree plan, in which they take six credits during the fall and spring semesters and three credits during the summers. Regardless of their chosen degree pathway, healthcare administration students must meet a series of prerequisites and earn a
C or better in each required class. During their final semester, all master’s students must also pass an oral exam.
Prospective students should hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, earned with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Incoming students with a 3.5 GPA or higher receive a GRE waiver.
Austin Peay State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
25. University of Southern Indiana
USI is a public university that was founded in 1965. The school offers more than 80 academic programs, including a master of health administration online program. This degree track best serves professionals already working in the healthcare industry who wish to obtain additional credentials and skills to help them further their careers.
Distance students complete the majority of requirements for this degree online, although the program requires three on-campus visits in August, January, and May. In-person requirements allow students to attend faculty presentations and lectures, engage in leadership exercises, and network with their peers. These visits also feature guest speakers, class sessions, and on-campus meals.
Interested students must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college. USI expects incoming pupils to have at least two years of relevant work experience and a minimum 3.0 GPA. The school favors applicants with a documented history of experience in basic economics, statistics, and accounting. Applications also include a resume, letter of intent, admissions essay, and three letters of recommendation. Interested students may submit either their GRE scores or three essays written in response to a list of prompts.
In most cases, online learners complete this 39-credit program in six semesters. Remote coursework uses a cohort learning format, and students progress through courses such as biostatistics, health informatics, healthcare finance, and epidemiology with a group of their peers. Learners also take three capstone courses that result in one final project.
University of Southern Indiana is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
The Advantages of a Healthcare Administration Education
Earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in this field can prepare you for entry-level positions in healthcare administration, but a master’s degree will provide greater opportunities for advancement. Individuals with lower-level degrees often earn jobs as assistants or coordinators, while those with a master’s degree work in managerial or director-level positions.
Although earning a doctorate in this field positions learners for top-level administrative roles, a master’s degree paired with several years of experience also makes you a competitive candidate for high-paying jobs. Some professionals with an online MHA work their way up to a hospital’s executive board, serving as the CEO or the chief financial officer (CFO). If you still need motivation to pursue an online master’s degree in healthcare administration, take a look at the increased earnings this credential yields:
Average Salary by Degree Level
|Degree Level||Average Salary|
|Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration||$58,000|
|Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration||$75,000|
Healthcare Administration Degree Salary Information
Graduates with a master’s in healthcare administration online qualify for a wide variety of jobs. No matter the title, advanced positions require strong organizational and leadership skills. Accordingly, this field suits detail-oriented individuals who enjoy managing and motivating others. After gaining an MHA, you will have the skills and education needed for these five in-demand administrative roles.
- Medical and Health Services Managers
- These professionals coordinate medical and health services. Some managers direct an entire facility like a nursing home or hospital, while others supervise one department or section of the enterprise, such as an intensive care unit. Medical and health services managers must stay up to date on healthcare laws, regulations, and new medical technology.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $61,000
- Mid-Career: $60,000
- Experienced: $64,000
- Late Career: $72,000
- Top Executives
- Earning an online master’s in healthcare administration gives you the knowledge needed to thrive in executive positions. These professionals make big-picture decisions. Some executives, such as CFOs, oversee one aspect of operations, while CEOs manage the entire organization.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $101,000
- Mid-Career: $114,000
- Experienced: $140,000
- Late Career: $165,000
- Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
- Individuals who manage marketing departments within the healthcare industry are in charge of content and social media efforts for hospitals and other care facilities. These professionals typically manage graphic artists, writers, and other communications personnel and ensure that marketing and promotion efforts positively represent the organization.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $46,000
- Mid-Career: $56,000
- Experienced: $67,000
- Late Career: $75,000
- Human Resources Managers
- Human resources managers oversee personnel administration and staffing for healthcare organizations. Professionals in this role must know how to adequately resolve interpersonal conflicts among employees. They ensure that employees know about the latest changes in medical services laws and technology and often coordinate staff training sessions.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $49,000
- Mid-Career: $58,000
- Experienced: $66,000
- Late Career: $71,000
- Compensation and Benefits Managers
- These professionals work in the realm of employee compensation and benefits. By developing competitive pay structures and selecting benefits vendors, they help retain talent by ensuring that professionals feel valued and rewarded for their hard work.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $80,000
- Mid-Career: $73,000
- Experienced: $83,000
- Late Career: $96,000
Choosing an Online Healthcare Administration Degree Program
With many schools offering a master’s in healthcare administration online, you will need to conduct in-depth research to discover the program that best meets your needs. Aside from accreditation, the five major factors you should consider are program cost, transfer policies, school size and type, program length, and on-campus requirements. Learn why evaluating these factors should be an important part of your decision-making process.
- Program Cost
- Even if you land a high-paying job after graduation, a hefty student loan bill can significantly cut into your income. While you can attend a school based in any state thanks to distance education, pay attention to whether the school charges out-of-state tuition for online courses. Out-of-state rates are sometimes twice as much as in-state tuition.
- Transfer Policies
- Before enrolling for classes, read the school’s transfer policy agreements. Family events and other circumstances might require you to change schools midway through the program. You should also pay attention to transfer policies if you already have applicable credits earned at another institution.
- School Size and Type
- The school size and type can affect your tuition and your learning experience. For example, private schools often cost more to attend but they enroll fewer students per course, allowing you to receive more individualized attention from your professors. On the other hand, public schools tend to cost less but have more students in each class.
- Program Length
- Some accelerated programs only take one year to complete, but they move at a quicker pace, making it a little difficult to juggle a full-time job with studies. Even though some part-time programs can take as many as four years to complete, the slower pace might be worth the longer time frame.
- On-Campus Requirements
- Some online programs require annual campus visits or even weekly in-person classes. This can create scheduling issues and a need to budget for travel.
Accreditation for Online Healthcare Administration Degrees
While evaluating schools and programs, you might find a few colleges do not appear to have the resources for delivering a quality online education. To alleviate this concern, focus your search on schools that hold accreditation from a third-party organization.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation grant third-party organizations permission to accredit schools. Schools with accreditation have been assessed across multiple criteria to ensure students receive a top-notch education. Some organizations can grant accreditation in a particular region, while others grant accreditation to schools located across the United States. Choosing a school with regional accreditation provides some advantages, including a smoother process of transferring credits to other regionally accredited institutions. The ED publishes a list of regional accrediting bodies; you can check these organizations’ websites to find out if a college or university holds accreditation.
In addition to regional and national accreditation, schools can also hold a programmatic accreditation. The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education is the main accrediting body for healthcare administration programs.
Healthcare Administration Concentrations
While healthcare administration degrees cover a broad range of knowledge and skills, concentrations allow you to gain specialized training to target specific careers in the field. Available concentrations vary from school to school. We’ve listed five popular concentrations below that may be key to landing your dream job.
- Healthcare Marketing
- This concentration prepares students to succeed in the marketing department of a hospital or clinic. Learners who choose this concentration discover how to effectively communicate and persuade target audiences to take action, such as choosing a particular hospital or nursing home for their healthcare needs. A healthcare marketing concentration covers topics like social media management, content creation, and paid promotions.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Marketing Director, Public Relations Director
- Human Resources
- A human resources concentration teaches students best practices for creating compensation plans, onboarding new employees, maintaining up-to-date personnel information, and keeping abreast of labor laws and regulations. Some human resources programs also cover conflict management basics, which help resolve issues between coworkers.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Human Resources Director, Compensation and Benefits Manager
- Patient Safety and Quality
- Students who want to advocate for patients typically pursue a patient safety and quality concentration. This coursework covers current healthcare laws and financial assistance for patients. Learners gain knowledge to help empower patients and their families to make informed healthcare decisions. Professionals who obtain this concentration also work with hospital staff to ensure a safe environment for patients.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Hospital or Nursing Home Social Worker, Patient Advocate Director
- Healthcare Financial Management
- A healthcare financial management concentration covers topics related to the business side of a hospital or clinic, such as capital expenditures, cash flow, and financing. These professionals also work in accounting departments.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Hospital Accountant, Chief Financial Officer
- Healthcare Law and Policy
- In the healthcare industry, life-and-death situations occur daily. A healthcare law and policy concentration teaches students about the legal issues involved in providing healthcare and best practices for avoiding litigation. This concentration also covers insurance policies and other related topics.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Insurance Compliance Director, Human Resources Director
How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in Healthcare Administration?
The time it takes to complete a master’s in healthcare administration online depends on several factors, including students’ work status, course schedules, and on-campus requirements. On average, most full-time students complete their degree in just two years. Part-time students complete their studies in approximately four years. Pay attention to the maximum number of years a school allows students to spend on the degree. For example, some schools cap the max allowed time at five years, while others allow students as many as nine years to finish the program.
Some programs provide an accelerated format, meaning learners can complete the degree in as few as 1.5 years. Accelerated programs typically condense the material into shorter sessions that don’t include summer or spring breaks. Most schools encourage students in accelerated programs to make the switch from a full-time job to a part-time position during their studies. If you wish to enroll in an accelerated program, consider saving up enough money to cover your living expenses for a couple of years. Another consideration: with tuition costs likely to increase over time, an accelerated program can actually save you money.
Courses in an Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration Program
- Ethical Marketing
- In this course, learners discover best practices for marketing in the healthcare industry. The class covers topics like how to best relay information about sensitive health topics and how to present content in marketing campaigns. Students also study the latest consumer research trends, new market opportunities, and branding.
- Talent Acquisition
- The quality of a hospital, clinic, or nursing home greatly depends on its employees. Acquiring the best doctors and nurses is a difficult task, especially in regions with a small population. This class teaches students the best strategies for attracting and keeping good talent. Learners cover topics like employee relations and some aspects of marketing.
- Leading Organizations Through Change
- Change is inevitable, and top executives such as CEOs and CFOs must unite an organization and guide employees through transitions. An organizational change course teaches students about fostering open communications and developing strategic plans to best manage change.
- Healthcare Laws and Ethics
- In this class, students learn about laws that impact the healthcare industry. They also discuss ethically gray areas in which the best answer isn’t clear. After completing the course, students should feel confident in guiding healthcare employees through difficult decisions that can produce serious, life-altering consequences.
- Stakeholder Relations
- To keep a hospital or clinic in its best light, healthcare administrators must know how to identify and maintain strong stakeholder relationships. This class covers basic public relations principles for a variety of target audiences like employees, patients, donors, and the media. Students learn how to form new relationships and nourish existing connections through networking.
Healthcare Administration Membership Associations
The most successful healthcare administrators make a commitment to lifelong learning. To stay current with the latest healthcare laws, trends, and technological advancements, make an effort to network with other professionals, attend conferences, and read the latest healthcare news. Join professional organizations for an easy way to stay up to date with the industry.
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
- AAHAM connects healthcare professionals on the local and national levels. Members can attend monthly chapter meetings as well as annual national conferences. AAHAM also provides informative webinars about trending healthcare administration topics. Members can also earn AAHAM certification by taking rigorous exams.
- Healthcare Financial Management Association
- Healthcare administrative professionals who work in the financial sector benefit from joining HFMA. This organization hosts both virtual and in-person seminars about the ever-changing insurance field and patient payment plans. HFMA also hosts conferences with educational speakers and networking opportunities.
- Medical Group Management Association
- MGMA seeks to empower doctors, nurses, and other professionals to create meaningful change in healthcare. The organization provides its members with educational collateral, certifications, conferences, and networking events. MGMA also presents professionals with current benchmarking data and statistics.
- American Society for Healthcare Risk Management
- This organization educates professionals about managing risk at the enterprise level. ASHRM provides its members with informative publications and conferences that focus on how to cultivate safe working environments for staff and safe care environments for patients.
- National Association of Healthcare Access Management
- Joining NAHAM suits professionals who advocate for patients. The organization provides its members with an exclusive publication that publishes articles written by healthcare professionals about new regulations and guidelines. Members also receive discounts on continuing education programs including webinars and publications.