The Best Online Associate in Healthcare Administration Degree Programs
by TBS Staff
Updated May 23, 2022
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An online associate degree in healthcare administration prepares students to enter the growing healthcare industry. Healthcare administrators support medical care facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and retirement centers.
As members of the baby-boom generation reach retirement age, the healthcare field will likely continue to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the number of healthcare administration positions will increase 20% by 2026, a rate much faster than the national average for all occupations.
Graduates of online healthcare administration associate degree programs often secure positions supporting the daily operations of hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient care centers, and clinics. These professionals create and manage budgets and develop strategies for increasing revenue.
Healthcare administrators need strong problem-solving and communication skills. They must also stay apprised of current and proposed healthcare legislation, and they need the technological skills to understand new databases and internet security measures.
Students earning an associate in healthcare administration online typically complete coursework in business management, accounting, and strategic planning principles. They also take major courses in areas such as healthcare laws, regulations, and ethics.
Many respected colleges and universities offer online healthcare administration associate degree programs to meet the growing demand for healthcare management professionals. Students in these programs generally complete online coursework and in-person, practical learning experiences supervised by healthcare professionals. In addition to pursuing healthcare administration roles in medical facilities, graduates are qualified to enter bachelor’s in healthcare administration programs.
To rank the following online healthcare administration associate degree programs, we considered each program’s quality, available courses, faculty members, awards, and reputation. We also considered the institution’s reputation for providing quality online education.
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The Best Online Associate in Healthcare Administration Degree Programs
Florida Institute of Technology – Florida Tech University Online
Located in Melbourne, Florida on the state’s “Space Coast,” the Florida Institute of Technology serves nearly 6,500 students from more than 100 countries. The school first offered off-campus educational programs in 1972, and online degrees in 2009. Today, its numerous distance education degrees include the associate of arts in healthcare management.
Admission to this healthcare administration degree online requires proof of high school graduation, or a GED if the applicant possesses fewer than 24 transferable credits. College courses with a grade of C- or higher taken at regionally accredited institutions typically transfer into Florida Tech. Applicants may also submit credits earned from CLEP, DANTES, or GED college level exams.
Once admitted, students complete 22 courses to earn this healthcare management degree. Each course lasts eight weeks, and most learners can complete the program in two years. The 64 credit curriculum includes courses such as global business perspectives, principles of accounting, managed care, and medical ethics along with courses in general education.
Learners explore facets of the organizational structure and management of healthcare, gaining skills in strategy, planning, staffing, change, and leadership. Once learners finish the associate degree, they can apply all credits they have earned toward Florida Tech’s online bachelor of arts in business administration - healthcare management.
Affiliated with the nine-member Concordia University System, Concordia University-Wisconsin (CUW) serves nearly 8,000 students. CUW’s main campus sits in Mequon, Wisconsin, though programs are also available online and at a satellite campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The school maintains an affiliation with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.
Among its online programs, CUW offers a 64 credit associate of healthcare management. This program prepares graduates with administrative and management skills to serve in community, acute, and long-term healthcare settings. Applicants to the associate in healthcare administration need to submit their high school transcripts and either their SAT or their ACT scores. Minimum requirements for admission include a GPA of 2.5 or higher, an ACT composite of 18 or above, or an SAT equivalent of 940 or higher for combined math and evidence-based reading and writing.
Once enrolled at CUW, students complete a blend of core courses, major requirements, and electives. Courses include management principles in healthcare, financial issues in healthcare, eldercare, and healthcare planning and evaluation. Students also complete a practicum and an integrative project.
The practicum requires 60 hours of supervised work experience over a six-week period, and students must keep a journal, complete a reflective plan for professional and personal development, and write a research paper on a topic related to their practicum. To complete the integrative project, students create a business plan that includes marketing, operations, financial, and human resources components.
One of Minnesota’s public two-year higher education institutions, Minnesota West Community and Technical College (MWCTC) offers more than 60 academic programs through five campuses and three learning centers. The current college configuration began with a merger of existing schools in 1997, but the college’s history dates back more than 75 years.
MWCTC online programs include a management and supervision in healthcare associate degree. This associate in healthcare administration prepares learners to be effective managers in the field. In fact, most students in the program are healthcare professionals who take advantage of the online format to remain in their current facilities while honing their management skills.
Applicants need to submit an application, high school transcripts, and proof of immunization. Once enrolled, students complete courses such as finance for healthcare, principles of supervisory leadership, problem-solving and decision-making, and finance and accounting for non-financial managers. In addition to courses in healthcare leadership, learners complete 30 credits of general education classes.
In MWCTC’s internet-based classes, students engage in virtual role-playing exercises and independent practice, interacting with faculty and other students through email and discussion groups. Learners usually devote 6–9 hours per week to studying for a single three-credit course.
To graduate, students complete at least 60 semester credits, with at least 15 of them earned at MWCTC. They also need a GPA of 2.0 or better. Once students complete their associate degrees, they can transfer to a four-year bachelor’s degree in healthcare management at another institution.
A private, nonprofit university with a main campus in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Keiser University also maintains satellite campuses around the state, one in Nicaragua, and a robust online program. Keiser University began in 1977 and now boasts an enrollment of more than 16,000 students. The school’s programs include a fully online associate of arts in health services administration.
Keiser’s associate in healthcare administration provides learners basic instruction in computer skills, software applications, medical terminology, and business principles to effectively manage a healthcare workplace. Applicants must have completed high school or earned their GED and must submit SAT, ACT, or Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) scores.
Minimum acceptable scores are 17 for the ACT, 910 for the SAT, and 50 for the ASVAB. Prospective students who hold an associate degree or higher with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or above do not need to send standardized test scores. Applicants who do not meet these requirements may contact the university about alternative admission options.
Upon acceptance into Keiser, students in the healthcare administration program must earn 60 credits or more to complete their degrees. The curriculum includes 36 credits of general education and 24 credits of healthcare administration. Healthcare courses include healthcare medical terminology, medical office administration and billing, principles of health service administration, and current procedural terminology coding for health service administration. None of the major courses requires a prerequisite.
Founded in 1914 in Lakewood as a private and interdenominational Christian institution, Colorado Christian University (CCU) serves about 8,500 students in both Protestant-centered and liberal arts majors. The school’s main campus sits 10 miles west of Denver, though CCU also operates numerous satellite campuses and learning centers, as well as an online program.
The College of Adult and Graduate Studies, which supports online education, enrolls nearly 7,000 learners in more than 80 academic programs. CCU offers an internet-based associate of science in healthcare administration for students who wish to study healthcare administration from a Christian worldview.
This 60-credit associate in healthcare administration focuses on healthcare informatics, terminology, and delivery systems. Students learn the principles of decision-making, human resource management, ethics, and spirituality in healthcare. The curriculum includes 18 credits in the major, 36 in general education, and six in electives. Each class lasts five weeks, and most students complete the program in two years — even with no transfer coursework.
For applicants who hold either prior coursework or credit earned by examination, CCU accepts up to 45 credits toward the associate degree. Applicants must submit proof of a high school diploma or GED and may start the program at the beginning of any five-week session throughout the year.
Courses include introduction to healthcare informatics, healthcare delivery systems, healthcare administration and management, and managing healthcare human resources. To graduate, students must earn a “D” or better in all courses and must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 or higher.
A private institution located in Naples, Florida, Hodges University began in 1990 and now serves more than 1,500 students degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s level. The school has conferred nearly 10,000 degrees since it began, and it also maintains a large English as a second language program. As one of its online programs, Hodges offers an associate in science in healthcare office administration to equip managers with business and healthcare skills to run their facilities smoothly.
This associate in healthcare administration online prepares students for careers such as assistant administrator, clinical manager, or nursing home administrator. For admission, students need to submit an application and complete an interview either through Skype or in person. Where an applicant begins in the program depends on their academic and professional background.
Students must complete 60 credits to earn their degree. The curriculum includes a six-credit health sciences core, a 30-credit healthcare office administration core, an 18-credit general education component, and six credits of electives. Courses include introduction to healthcare information technology, principles of marketing, introduction to financial accounting, and reimbursement and revenue cycle management.
Most students take 12 credits per term for five terms, and they can complete the degree in 18–21 months. Since some courses require prerequisites, students who want to optimize their time should adhere to the university’s suggested course schedule.
A school of nearly 3,000 students located in Wichita, Kansas, Wichita State University Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology (WSU Tech) provides more than 100 vocationally oriented academic programs. The university maintains four campuses in the Wichita metropolitan area, along with an education division in south-central Kansas.
The school began in 1965 and has undergone several mergers since to create the current institution. WSU Tech offers an online associate of applied science in healthcare administration and management to enhance the management skills of practical nurses.
Applicants need to submit a formal application, meet with an admissions counselor, and send both high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. Prospective students may take the Accuplacer NextGen/EdReady assessment in place of the SAT or ACT. Applicants whose transcripts show they have passed English composition I and/or college algebra with a grade of “C” or better do not need to submit standardized test scores.
This online associate in healthcare administration requires 67 credits. Courses include healthcare issues, healthcare practice management, healthcare management research, and foundations of nursing. Students also take two medical surgical nursing clinicals and one maternal child nursing clinical. Courses emphasize time management, social awareness skills, study skills, critical thinking, and APA format. They also review practical nursing policies and procedures. Graduates pursue a variety of careers in healthcare, higher education, or the military.
Established in 1937 by members of the Christian churches and churches of Christ, Point University serves about 2,000 undergraduate students and thousands of graduate students. The university’s main campus sits in West Point, Georgia, which is located just off I-85 halfway between Atlanta and Montgomery, Alabama. Point University offers numerous online degrees, including an associate of arts in healthcare administration.
Applicants to this program need to submit an online application and high school transcripts. Prospective students with 12 or more college credits may submit undergraduate transcripts in lieu of ones from high school.
Point’s online associate in healthcare administration requires 60 credits and takes about two years to complete. Transfer students can bring up to 30 credits into Point, thus reducing their time in the program by half. Additionally, the asynchronous program allows online students to work on courses at their own pace.
The curriculum of this online associate degree includes courses in the liberal arts and in healthcare administration. Learners complete 31 credits of general education, nine credits of biblical studies, 15 credits of professional studies, and five elective credits. Selected classes include introduction to healthcare industry, human resource management, personal and professional accountability, and communication and relationship management.
Point’s professors teach all courses from a biblical worldview. Graduates pursue employment in fields such as public health, healthcare management, healthcare administration, and business.
A school of about 3,500 students, Mitchell Community College provides vocational education year round at its campus in Statesville, North Carolina, and online. Mitchell started in 1865 as a women’s college, first accepted men in 1932, and joined the North Carolina Community College System in 1973. Today, the school offers an online health information technology AAS. This degree falls under the larger umbrella of business technologies, which also includes business administration, office administration, and accounting and finance.
Applicants must submit an application form, high school or college transcripts, and placement test results. Prospective applicants with a high school GPA of 2.6 or above and four years of math courses may opt out of placement tests.
Mitchell’s online associate in healthcare administration prepares learners with the managerial, communication, and supervisory skills needed to ensure that healthcare organizations run efficiently. Students also explore the legal and ethical practices of healthcare management. The 65-credit degree takes five semesters to complete.
The curriculum consists of 15 credits of general education courses, 28 credits in the major, and 22 credits in general healthcare management. Courses include medical terminology I and II, introduction to healthcare management, long-term care administration, healthcare financial management, and employee law and regulation. Graduates pursue careers in physician offices, medical clinics, insurance companies, hospital business offices, and long-term care facilities.
Iowa Central Community College serves more than 5,000 students on its main campus in Fort Dodge and on its satellite campuses in nearby Webster City and Storm Lake. The school offers approximately 50 associate of arts programs and more than 30 associate of science degrees, many of which students can earn completely online, including the online associate of professional studies in healthcare administration. The school also maintains a relationship with Buena Vista College in Storm Lake that allows students to move seamlessly into a bachelor’s program.
Applicants to this associate in healthcare administration online need to submit an application, placement test results, and high school or college transcripts. Prospective students must also complete an online orientation prior to enrollment. Students can begin the 66-credit associate degree in healthcare administration any time after receiving their letter of acceptance to the college.
Courses include introduction to gerontology, technology of healthcare, introduction to ethical conflict, and financial matters for healthcare professionals. Students also take liberal arts courses in areas such as math, public speaking, and economics. Most learners complete the program in two years, but students who need prerequisite courses for college-level math or English may require an additional semester.
Online students can take advantage of resources such as tutoring through SmartThinking, a software platform that makes live tutors available to students 24 hours a day. Tutors can answer math and science related questions in both English and Spanish.
Located in Tyler, Texas, a city of about 100,000 residents in the central-east Texas region, Tyler Junior College (TJC) serves more than 11,000 students, making it one of the largest two-year colleges in the state. The school also maintains satellite campuses in Jacksonville and Lindale, along with an online program. TJC offers an online associate of applied science in healthcare administration for students who hold at least one year of practical experience in healthcare.
Applicants need to submit an application and evidence of graduating high school or successfully earning a GED. Students also need to take TJC’s admissions exam or an approved alternative placement test such as the AccuPlacer.
Students in this 60-credit online associate in healthcare administration take courses both online and on campus to finish their degrees. Students can take every course online except anatomy and physiology and the associated labs. The curriculum includes 41 credits of major courses and 19 credits of general education courses.
Courses in the major include credentialing and managed care contracts, medical law and ethics for health professionals, and advanced medical billing and reimbursement. General education courses come from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The program takes four semesters to complete, and students must earn a “C” or better in each healthcare administration course to qualify for graduation.
Founded in 1961, Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC) enrolls more than 6,000 students in weekday, weeknight, online, and on-campus programs. Approximately 70% of its student body take courses part-time. The school offers more than 40 degrees and certificates mainly in technical fields, including an online associate in science in healthcare administration.
Applicants to this associate in healthcare administration online need to submit high school or college transcripts, an immunization waiver, and a placement test score such as the ACT or SAT. Prospective students 21 and older do not need to submit high school transcripts. Nearly every applicant to OSU-OKC gets accepted, though requirements vary slightly by program.
The 63-credit program includes 37 credits of general education courses, 23 credits of the technical occupational specialty, and three credits of electives. Specialty courses include medico-legal principles and ethical issues, healthcare human resource, and management healthcare provider relationships. General education courses include English composition I and II, American government, and introduction to sociology. To qualify for graduation, students must hold a GPA of 2.0 or higher and earn at least 15 credits through OSU-OKC. Students can complete the program without taking any on-campus courses.
OSU-OKC offers a number of services for students, including Hispanic student services, deaf student services, student disability services, and international student services.
Located in Henniker, New Hampshire, a town of about 5,000 residents situated near the Pats Peak Ski Area, New England College (NEC) serves nearly 3,000 graduate and undergraduate students online and on campus. A nonprofit, private institution established in 1946, NEC offers nearly 40 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s programs, and one doctoral program. The school also provides an associate of science in healthcare administration that prepares graduates to coordinate and manage medical services.
Applicants need either a GED or a high school diploma. Prospective students do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores. Students in NEC’s online courses learn through podcasts, video lectures, interactive exercises, and chat rooms, completing weekly assignments and posting them to discussion boards. The asynchronous, flexible coursework means students can learn on their own schedule.
NEC’s fully online associate in healthcare administration includes courses in finance, marketing, ethics, and health informatics. Students also explore the ways health service management differs from other business models.
The program requires 60 credits, and the curriculum consists of 28 credits of general education, 24 credits in the major, and eight credits of electives. Courses cover using the internet to understand the world, overcoming prejudice and discrimination, financial management of healthcare, and issues in ethics for healthcare administrators. Each four-credit course lasts seven weeks, and students typically take two years to complete their degree.
A public community college located in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina, Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) began in 1958 with 42 students, and it now serves more than 15,000 learners from its home campus, satellite campuses, and online. The school participates in the North Carolina Community College System and is one of the three largest community colleges in the state. GTCC offers an online associate in applied science in medical office administration-healthcare administration to prepare graduates for supervisory and administrative positions in healthcare settings.
Prospective students must submit an application, send in official high school or college transcripts, and take a placement test. Applicants who meet certain criteria do not need to take placement tests. If an applicant does not pass the placement test in math, they may enroll in developmental math prior to starting the program’s regular math course.
Students in this online associate in healthcare administration learn to apply healthcare principles, perform financial management tasks, use medical terminology, and use software packages relevant to medical office administration. The 68-credit program includes coursework in healthcare financial management, long-term care administration, and management of healthcare organizations.
Learners also take general education courses such as general psychology, public speaking, and technology and society. Most students complete the program in five semesters. While the program is available entirely online, some courses may require students to participate in synchronous activities. In most cases, however, learners study on their own schedules.
A private, nonprofit career college located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Community Care College (CCC) began in 1995 as a for-profit institution. Today, it offers about 45 programs in career fields such as accounting, dental assisting, paralegal studies, surgical technology, and healthcare administration. The school’s AOS healthcare administration degree equips learners with the administrative and office management skills needed to serve in a hospital, medical clinic, or physician’s office.
In this associate in healthcare administration online, students learn to communicate with patients; manage front desk operations; schedule appointments; file insurance claims; and perform electronic billing, electronic medical records, and basic diagnostic coding. The 63 credit program requires about 84 weeks to complete. Students take 24 credits every 32 weeks in a traditional semester format.
The program’s curriculum draws from the disciplines of business, healthcare, and general education. Courses include software applications in healthcare, medical records administration, medical legal compliance, and intro to diagnostic coding. No courses require a prerequisite.
Students in the program complete online courses using a progressive learning management system and may begin their degree at the start of any course. Once students near graduation, they can take advantage of career services coaching in resume writing, interviewing, job search techniques, job skills, and salary negotiation.
Admission to the degree requires a high school diploma with an unweighted GPA of 3.0 or higher, a meeting with a personal representative of the institution, and a tour of the school.
Healthcare Administration Associate Degree Salary Information
Earning a healthcare administration associate degree online prepares students to pursue support positions in healthcare facilities. Graduates often work with doctors and registered nurses as credentialing specialists and patient registration clerks. Others become insurance clerks, who help patients make medical claims and set up payment plans. Graduates can also enter roles as patient account representatives. Each of these entry-level positions can lead to higher-paying managerial roles.
These specialists monitor medical professionals at hospitals and clinics by checking their professional credentials and ensuring they maintain licensure. Credentialing specialists advise professionals on licensure renewal and check the status of potential employees. This position may lead to higher management positions in credentialing.
These professionals greet patients as they arrive and collect forms, documentation, insurance records, and copays. They also answer phone calls and emails, make patient appointments, and coordinate office scheduling.
These professionals work at hospitals and medical centers, answering patients’
billing questions. They collect payments, process claims, and work with insurance companies to provide information to patients.
Prospective students should research programs to find the option that fits their career objectives. The growing number of online programs means learners have a variety of options and can often find a program that meets all their needs, including academic interests, budget, and lifestyle requirements.
In-state programs generally offer the most affordable tuition rates. However, some schools charge all online learners the same tuition rates, regardless of residency status. In addition to tuition rates, students should consider costs such as application fees, transfer credit fees, and graduation charges.
This is the overall cost of the program, including tuition, registration, and administrative fees. Some schools offer a prorated fee for distance students, which can result in a reduced overall program cost. Program cost also includes technology fees for online students.
Since many graduates of associate programs transfer to bachelor’s programs, learners should choose a school that offers easily transferable credits and degrees. Many associate programs maintain transfer agreements with local four-year institutions to ensure graduates can apply their associate degree to a bachelor’s program at the school.
School Size and Type:
School and program sizes impact classroom sizes and student-to-instructor ratios, which affect the learning atmosphere. Students in smaller programs often receive more individual attention, and program size can impact the availability of resources and funding. Students should also consider the respective benefits of public and private schools. Public schools receive government funding, but private schools often maintain smaller class sizes.
Degree completion time varies based on many factors, including enrollment status. Full-time students typically complete associate programs in two years, and part-time students generally take 3–5 years. Learners with busy personal and professional lives often take fewer classes per term and require longer to earn their associate degree.
Students earning their healthcare administration associate degree online generally do not need to complete any on-campus requirements. However, some programs include mandatory on-campus orientations. Additionally, graduates who enter online bachelor’s programs in the field may need to visit campus for final exams or capstone presentations.
Accreditation for Online Healthcare Administration Associate Degrees
Accreditation is a crucial consideration when choosing a school. Accreditation demonstrates a school or program meets set standards of academic quality and prepares graduates for positions and further education in the field. Many institutions and employers only recognize degrees earned from accredited institutions, which means attending an unaccredited school may prohibit graduates from securing a job or earning admission into bachelor’s programs.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Associate Degree in Healthcare Administration?
The time necessary to earn an associate degree in healthcare administration online depends on several factors, including enrollment status and credit requirements. Full-time students generally take 4–5 courses per term and complete a 60-credit program in two years. To graduate more quickly, students can take 6–7 courses per term and earn their associate degree in 1.5 years.
Part-time students generally take 1–4 courses per term and require 3–5 years to graduate. Part-time enrollment is ideal for learners with personal or professional obligations, including students who work full time while earning their degree.
Courses in an Online Healthcare Administration Associate Program
Students completing paralegal degree programs online often take a combination of elective and core courses. Learners choose electives that fit their career goals, and core courses provide a foundation for effective legal practice. While course offerings vary by program, the classes below are common in most paralegal bachelor’s programs.
This introductory course covers the fundamentals of written and oral communication. Learners review grammar and paragraph structure, the fundamentals of writing a thesis, and elements of a multi-argument essay. Coursework also addresses the impact of tone and writing styles and how to tailor public memos and press releases.
To manage patients, doctors, and insurance claims, healthcare administrators need a working knowledge of medical terms, including terms related to diagnoses and pharmaceutical treatments. Learners in this course study the structure of the human body, including muscular, digestive, respiratory, and neurological systems. Coursework also introduces major healthcare branches, such as oncology and radiology.
Medical Office Management:
Students explore processes within medical centers, including patient enrollment, medical history acquisition, physician diagnosis and treatment, and outpatient care. This course examines communications, safety procedures, and major technological systems in healthcare facilities.
Health Records Management:
Learners explore how patient records are constructed and protected. Coursework builds on basic office management skills to examine complex issues related to records management. Students learn about the processes behind ethical records acquisition, sharing, and storing, along with the legal responsibilities of healthcare facilities.
Medical coding involves the clear identification of medical procedures and the matching of treatments with appropriate claims reports. Students in this class explore the dominant healthcare claims systems and prepare to address practical patient claims and billing situations.