Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration
| TBS Staff
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Healthcare continues to grow, which explains why earning a healthcare administration degree online can lead to a long-term, high-paying career. For example, one such career is as a healthcare administrator or manager, who has oversight of all care and services that occur in a hospital or health clinic.
After completing your healthcare administration degree online, you qualify for employment as a medical and health service manager, which comes with a median salary of $99,730 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This career is projected to grow 20% from 2016–2026, much faster than the average job.
An online bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration serves as a flexible and affordable option. However, students should pursue only the best online healthcare administration degrees if they want the best career outcomes. This article explores the benefits of an online healthcare administration degree and outlines what to look for in a program.
Featured Online Schools
Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration Degree Online Ranking Guidelines
We selected the following online healthcare administration programs based on quality of program, types of online classes offered, faculty, outside rankings, awards, and reputations, including the school’s reputation for effectively providing online degree programs.
The motto of TheBestSchools.org is Finding the best school for you. Here is how we do it:
The value of any ranking list of schools and/or degree programs depends on having a methodologically sound assessment of each school’s/program’s characteristics, especially insofar as these can be objectively measured. A college or university is a complex entity, with numerous factors to consider, and distilling these down to the place where meaningful comparisons can be made to form a defensible ranking list becomes part science and part art.
To meet this challenge—and thereby provide you with the most useful and insightful educational rankings on the Internet — TheBestSchools.org formulates our rankings based on five informational categories (six, when considering online schools). The major metrics and qualities for which we rank are these (with expanded, detailed considerations and weights listed):
1. Academic excellence based on a school’s curriculum generally or within the selected discipline [weight = 25%]
- Weighs school against known leading schools in that discipline
- Weighs number of core curricula listed as advanced courses within that discipline and compares against introductory courses
- Weighs school’s curriculum against known knowledge needs of major employers in that discipline
- Considers number and types of specializations offered within that discipline
- Considers faculty expertise in that discipline
- Considers range of electives within that discipline
- Considers quality of online environment offered to students (if applicable), particularly within that discipline
2. Strength of faculty scholarship [weight = 25%]
- Considers education background of the faculty
- Considers years of faculty experience both inside and outside of academia.
- Considers faculty membership and leadership within relevant, prominent associations
- Considers academic papers published by faculty in relevant, prominent periodicals
- Considers awards and recognitions given to faculty members from prominent organizations and from other sources
3. Reputation [weight = 20%]
- Considers a school’s reputation among academic peers and employers regarding the following:
- “Freshness” of academic knowledge
- Adaptability to changes in employment sectors
- Suitability of graduates for the workplace
4. Financial aid [weight = 10%]
- Mandatory: Requires full accreditation from an agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and listed on the federal register to accept student federal financial aid
- Considers range of school-sponsored financial aid such as scholarships and grants
5. Range of degree programs [weight = 20%]
- Considers range of degree levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral and professional
- Considers range of degree subjects offered, such as art & design, computers & technology, education & teaching, criminal justice, and business
6. Strength of online instruction methodology (if applicable) [weight = 25%; subtract 5% from each of the above for online schools/programs]
Considers the following of the online classes:
- Types of online technology used to deliver content
- Pedagogy style: asynchronous, synchronous, or both (depending on the degree)
- Extent and quality of the online, community learning environment, including options for communication, interactivity, and collaboration between students and also between students and instructors
- Variety, breadth, and depth of coursework, and its support, including project options and online tutoring
Considers the following of instructors:
- Extent of training for teaching within an online learning environment
- Amount of timely, consistent feedback to students
- Extent of collaboration with prospective employers to ensure suitability of instructional materials for achieving desired skills
- Ratio to number of students in a class
- Number and quality of internships in a student’s geographical area for applicable degrees
Because students tend to review a variety of information when choosing a school, the weight a student gives any one criterion will vary. For instance, it’s not enough to offer a carefully constructed ranking of great schools if many are too expensive or too difficult to get into.
To better serve the needs of prospective students, we are therefore increasingly offering filters that help you better use our rankings to find the schools that match your specific needs. These supplement our ranking criteria and include:
- Public or private status
- Acceptance rate
- Retention rate
- Graduation rate
- ACT/SAT requirements
- Cost in-state / out of state
- Undergrad, grad, or both offered
Get the best rankings here AND get them to suit your personal needs. That’s TheBestSchools.org advantage!
If you have any questions about our ranking methodology, please contact us.
Citations: For a broader account of our ranking methodology, especially as it relates to TheBestSchools.org's underlying educational philosophy and, in other ranking articles, looks beyond academic excellence (as here) to such factors as return on investment or incidental benefit, see our article "Ranking Methodology: How We Rank Schools at TBS." Reputation of schools and degree programs can at least in part be gauged through the school or department's publishing activity, citations, and desirability. At TheBestSchools.org, we keep track of such social and peer validation: "Making Sense of College Rankings." For nuts-and-bolts information about colleges and universities, we look to the National Center for Education Statistics and especially its College Navigator. Insofar as salary and inflation data are relevant to a ranking, we look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finally, nothing beats contacting schools and degree programs directly, which our researchers often do, with the result that all the entries in this article should be considered as belonging to this citation!
Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration
A public university in Ogden, Utah, Weber State University is a publicly supported coeducational university offering technical and liberal arts certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees. Founded in 1889 as Weber Stake Academy, the university went through three more name changes before adopting its current name upon gaining university status in 1991. Today, WSU students can pursue more than 250 programs, including an online bachelor’s degree in health services administration.
The online bachelor of science in health services administration with a health services emphasis prepares students for leadership roles in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, health departments, and rehabilitation centers. The curriculum emphasizes topics like teamwork, motivation, leadership theory and skills, decision-making, individual and group behavior, interpersonal skills, and organizational design and culture.
All admitted students may need to undergo a departmental background check and drug screen prior to any internship or professional practice experience. If background checks reveal any criminal or drug history, students might be dismissed from the program.
Students must maintain a grade of C or higher in all required courses for the health services emphasis in addition to their overall minimum cumulative 2.75 GPA. The curriculum comprises 120 credit hours of coursework with 40 upper-division credit hours. Students should meet with their academic advisor to determine how many credits they want to take each semester, which determines program length.
The University of Houston – Victoria is a four-year state university in Victoria, Texas. UHV belongs to the University of Houston System and spans 20 acres. Learners can also study at the satellite location, UHV-Katy. The school features separate accreditation from the University of Houston as a stand-alone university rather than a branch campus and offers its own programs and degrees. Previously a graduate school, UHV expanded in 2010 to include a variety of undergraduate offerings, including an online bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration.
The online healthcare administration program at UHV interweaves practical learning with team projects and case studies. Students interested in becoming healthcare administrators in hospitals, large medical practices, or other healthcare organizations can learn all the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the program. Graduates can go on to pursue careers as employee benefits analysts, healthcare facilities managers, health educators, and training and development managers.
Students can take most of the courses in the program completely online with some course offerings in Victoria and some available in both Victoria and Katy. Learners can work with their academic advisor to learn about online opportunities, including admission requirements, coursework, credit requirements, elective opportunities, and enrollment decisions. The amount of credits taken each semester determines program length.
Located in Pensacola, Florida, the University of West Florida is a midsized public university. Sitting on the third-largest campus in the Florida State University System, the campus spans 1,600 acres of preserved land bordered by two rivers and Escambia Bay. The university opened a College of Business Education Center in 2012 and features a waterfront property on Santa Rosa Island for academic, research, and recreational purposes. UWF’s program offerings include an online bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration.
The health sciences and administration department at UWF prepares students for careers in healthcare, health, and public health, offering online courses to accommodate learners currently working in public health or healthcare settings or those who do not live in northwest Florida. The department features three bachelor’s programs and one master’s degree.
The online bachelor of health sciences in healthcare administration prepares students to work in rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, hospitals, mental health organizations, insurance companies, and outpatient clinics. Coursework focuses on advances in medicine and technology, demographic pressures, and health regulations.
Featuring a main campus in Chicago, Illinois, National Louis University is a private university with additional locations in Poland and Florida. Since its founding in 1886, NLU has maintained a presence in education, helping found the National Parent Teacher Association and the National Kindergarten Movement. The university offers a wide variety of online learning opportunities, including an online healthcare administration degree program.
The online bachelor of science in healthcare leadership degree caters to students passionate about helping others through healthcare. Whether learners currently work in healthcare and want to advance their careers or they are newly entering the field, the program provides a curriculum to prepare them for career success. Students can pursue the healthcare leadership degree at both the Chicago and Florida locations or participate in the fully online program.
Distance learners should enroll in the online program if they want to prepare for promotions within the healthcare industry; pursue a healthcare career; work in a hospital, diagnostic, clinic, or private practice setting; or pursue a graduate degree in either business administration or health administration. Students can also pursue a concentration in long-term care while earning their degree. The concentration allows learners to tailor degrees toward specific career goals, cultivating the unique skills they need in their careers.
Pierce College is a public community college located in Pierce County, Washington. The school features two main campuses that include Pierce College Fort Steilacoom in Lakewood and Pierce College Puyallup. Pierce College also highlights auxiliary campuses at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and South Hill. Learners can choose from three different bachelor of applied science degrees and a variety of associate degrees. Students at Pierce College can also earn a healthcare administration degree online.
The online healthcare administration program provides practical, career-focused education for students looking to begin or advance their career on the business side of healthcare. Specifically, the program prepares learners to pursue administrative or management careers in healthcare insurance companies, hospitals, ambulatory care, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. The curriculum provides students with a foundation for managing and improving healthcare organizations.
The flexible format at Pierce College follows an asynchronous delivery, allowing students to complete their work at a convenient pace. Learners can also choose to combine their online coursework with on-campus courses for a hybrid option. Degree candidates must complete 121 credits of coursework focused on topics like rhetoric and research, speech communication, application software fundamentals, and healthcare law and ethics.
After graduating, students can pursue careers in information systems, medical staff relations, patient care services, human resources, and finance. Graduates can also consider pursuing a master’s program in the field.
A public research university, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette features the highest enrollment of the nine campuses within the University of Louisiana System. In fact, the school features the second-largest student enrollment in the state. UL Lafayette promotes the Acadian heritage of many of its students and offers a variety of academic programs, including an online bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration.
The online bachelor of science in business administration in management at UL Lafayette can qualify healthcare administrators for entry- and midlevel operational and administrative positions. Learners graduate with the ability to comprehend constantly changing technology, demands, and regulations. Students enjoy flexibility with UL Lafayette’s fully online program as they complete 120 credits of coursework through an asynchronous format, working at their own pace from any location.
Students enjoy guidance from professional staff advisors and take advantage of start dates in the spring, summer, and fall. Healthcare administration careers offer employment across hospitals, long-term care facilities, mental health organizations, and private practices. Students learn from distinguished faculty members who hold relevant experience and expertise in healthcare administration.
Texas State University is a public research university in San Marcos, Texas. In 1899, the university began as the Southwest Texas State Normal School. The university has since grown to become the largest institution within the Texas State University system and is the fifth-largest university in the state. Texas State boasts an enrollment of nearly 40,000 students each year, offering learning options through 50 schools and departments and ten colleges. Of Texas State’s diverse program offerings, students can pursue many online opportunities, such as a healthcare administration degree.
Students earning their online bachelor of healthcare administration must complete 120 credit hours of coursework. Texas State admissions are very competitive, accepting only a limited number of learners to each class. All admitted students must interview with the program director and hold a 2.75 minimum GPA. Students must successfully complete all general education core courses with a C grade or higher. Along with a completed admissions application, prospective students should submit a statement of purpose and previous transcripts.
Learners must complete a minimum of 36 credits in advanced-level coursework and nine credits of writing-intensive courses. Any students who did not complete a minimum two years of foreign language in high school must complete 6–8 credits of the same foreign language in order to graduate. Learners must also complete a residency for the program after successful completion of a criminal background check. In order to graduate, degree candidates must pass an exit exam and earn a grade of C or higher in all healthcare administration courses.
A private university in Washington, City University of Seattle comprises the Albright School of Education, the School of Management, the Technology Institute, the School of Education, the School of Applied Leadership, and the Washington Academy of Languages. The university offers education around the world and highlights online education through a variety of prestigious programs, including an online healthcare administration degree program.
The online bachelor of science in healthcare administration presents a completely online curriculum with 180 credits of required coursework. The curriculum emphasizes the practical skills professionals need to succeed in today’s healthcare organizations. Throughout their coursework, learners develop an understanding of the industry’s legal, financial, and ethical frameworks. Students graduate prepared to plan strategically for the needs of the healthcare administration sector.
Learners can pursue their degree in a flexible online format to continue cultivating field experience throughout their studies. Working healthcare professionals, such as practitioners, healthcare administrators, and insurance providers, teach program courses. Graduates can pursue careers as healthcare supervisors, nursing home administrators, medical office managers, and health information managers. Applicants to the university must submit official transcripts with their completed admissions application.
An online liberal arts college based in New Britain, Connecticut, Charter Oak State College offers associate, bachelor’s, and master’s programs to students from diverse backgrounds. Charter Oak was founded by the Connecticut Legislature in 1973 and sits adjacent to Central Connecticut State University. One of 17 higher learning institutions that comprise the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, Charter Oak features an online format that caters to working professionals who can pursue a healthcare administration degree online.
Charter Oak’s online bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration provides healthcare professionals with the knowledge needed to implement, create, and administer healthcare services and programs. Students interested in the major can also look into the health information management program.
The healthcare administration track requires students to complete 42 credits of coursework covering topics like healthcare systems and administration, financial accounting, healthcare finance, regulatory and accrediting requirements, and leadership in healthcare administration.
The healthcare information management program equips learners with the skills and knowledge they need to improve patient care and manage patient data in various healthcare environments. Courses focus on the principles of health information management, medical coding and billing, healthcare research and quality, and health information services management and leadership.
Located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State University is a public university that comprises eight undergraduate colleges and a college of graduate studies. MTSU features more than 80 major offerings through 35 departments across many disciplines. Learners can also pursue their education online through several programs and can earn a healthcare administration degree online.
MTSU offers a variety of online programs that allow students to take advantage of the school’s flexible formats. The online bachelor of science in professional studies features concentrations in healthcare administration, information technology, international organizational leadership, and organizational leadership. The program allows degree candidates to access their coursework asynchronously from any place at any time. The curriculum prepares learners to work in management positions across the information technology, business, communications, and healthcare industries.
MTSU students in the healthcare administration concentration prepare for careers in medical groups, hospital and health systems management, corporate benefits programs, consulting firms, health insurance, government organizations, care management, health IT firms, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Applicants to the program must complete college preparatory courses, hold a 2.7 minimum GPA, submit ACT or SAT scores, provide transcripts, submit an admissions application, and pay the application fee.
Founded in 1906 by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Western Kentucky University is a public university in Bowling Green with a yearly enrollment of about 20,000 students. Learners can pursue a variety of majors through WKU’s five academic colleges and myriad of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral offerings. Among these, students can earn a prestigious healthcare administration degree online.
The online bachelor of science in healthcare administration at WKU features a fully online format that prepares students to work in high-demand positions across the healthcare industry. Students complete practical courses for on-the-job application, exploring topics in healthcare quality, healthcare finance, and health organizations and management. Learners can also explore an undergraduate certificate in long-term care administration if they want to gain additional expertise. This option qualifies learners to take the Licensed Nursing Home Administrator board exam.
The online program is one of only 11 in the country and the only one offered in Kentucky that boasts accreditation from the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards. The program covers the fundamentals of healthcare financial management, legal aspects of healthcare, and health economics.
Southeast Missouri State University is a public university in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, located near the banks of the Mississippi River. The university began with a focus in teacher education. Recently adding the River Campus, SEMO now boasts a commitment to education in the arts with more than 200 areas of study. Students can pursue many flexible online programs, such as an online healthcare administration degree.
The online bachelor of science in healthcare administration focuses on the business aspects of healthcare. Along with the functional aspects of healthcare, learners explore how business operates within complex healthcare environments. SEMO also features an accelerated master’s degree option for students considering advanced programs.
Degree candidates must complete specific courses and at least 60 credit hours. Additionally, they must maintain a 2.25 minimum GPA and gain admission to SEMO’s College of Business. During the program, learners can pursue internship opportunities to give them extra professional experience in the field. Graduates can pursue careers at hospitals, insurance companies, government agencies and counseling centers and in risk management. Prospective students must submit a completed application along with their transcripts and application fee.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent is a public liberal arts university located near the Canada-U.S. border. The university boasts an academic center for French-American and Acadian heritage and culture. UMFK belongs to the University of Maine System and offers a healthcare administration degree online.
The online bachelor of science in healthcare administration at UMFK provides students with the background they need to lead in the healthcare field. Degree candidates learn about healthcare information systems and security, healthcare policies, privacy ethics and laws, and financial management in the healthcare industry. Graduates can pursue careers as human resources employees, hospital executives, and grant writers.
The healthcare program provides students with a complex set of skills for various career paths and provides them with the tools they need to thrive after graduation. Learners complete courses that include accounting principles, principles of business management, financial analysis and planning, and business policy and strategic planning. Degree candidates must also complete 24 concentration credits and 63–64 additional general credits. Students can work with their academic advisors to cultivate a degree plan outlining how many credits to enroll in each semester, or they can follow the suggested format for a standard program length of four years.
A public university, Montana State University – Billings is the third-largest university in the state with a campus that spans 110 acres in the downtown area. In 1972, the institution began as a normal school, transitioning to Eastern Montana College in 1965 and merging with the Montana University System in 1994 when the school took on its current name. Offering more than 100 specialized programs, the university boasts several prestigious programs, including an online healthcare administration degree.
The online bachelor of science in health administration at MSU Billings lets students earn their degrees completely online. The curriculum’s flexible format allows distance learners to complete their coursework at any time from any place. The program urges students to work closely with skilled academic advisors who help them successfully satisfy their major degree requirements, transfer any valid credits, and fulfill their academic goals and interests through course selection.
Learners graduate ready to meet the challenges of the constantly changing healthcare field, deliver quality care, and meet workplace needs within healthcare facilities. The curriculum provides students with a variety of instructional formats, internship, and field experience opportunities.
Established in 1944, Fresno Pacific University is a private, nonprofit institution that serves students through five campus locations and online classes. The school enrolls around 1,800 learners through its degree-completion programs, many available online. Distance learners can finish a bachelor’s degree in business administration, criminology, early childhood development, or healthcare administration through FPU.
The BA in healthcare administration requires 41 credits, and students complete the degree in an average of 18 months. Like many online healthcare administration degree programs, FPU’s degree prepares students to oversee and plan operations in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other healthcare organizations.
As part of their required coursework, students must take two religion courses: Jesus and the Christian community and biblical perspectives for healthcare. Learners also take classes that provide background on the healthcare industry. For instance, some core courses discuss healthcare in the U.S., healthcare law, and healthcare regulations.
Most of the curriculum, however, focuses on building practical administrative skills that graduates can use in their careers. Students develop abilities in leadership, quality management, healthcare information technology, conflict resolution, and financial management.
Applicants need at least 60 transferable bachelor’s-level units along with a 2.4 GPA. Students who have not completed many college credits may sign up for a general education cohort, an 18-month program that prepares students for a degree-completion program.
Based in Big Rapids, Michigan, Ferris State University is a public institution established in 1884. The school enrolls over 14,000 students through eight academic colleges. The College of Health Professions offers an online BS in healthcare systems administration.
The healthcare systems administration program boasts two tracks: a general option and a long-term care specialization. The 12-credit concentration covers nursing home administration, long-term care facilities management, and the role of healthcare professionals in long-term care. Students choose a course on gerontology or a sociology class on aging.
Regardless of concentration, learners complete 40 credits of core major courses, which cover topics including healthcare finance, healthcare law, and healthcare supervisory practices. They also complete 26 credits through professional support courses that build skills in fields like database applications, health information systems, accounting, and proposal writing.
Students must complete two internships over the course of the program. They participate in a six-week hospital internship in addition to a 10-week management internship during their last semester.
FSU’s College of Health Professions requires a minimum 2.7 GPA and an ACT composite score of at least 18. Transfer students need at least a 2.5 GPA in their postsecondary work. To earn a degree, learners must take a minimum of 30 credits through FSU. Additionally, FSU offers two program formats: one for first-time freshmen and students who completed an associate program and another that allows students to complete associate-level work before entering a bachelor’s program.
Old Dominion University, based in Norfolk, Virginia, is a public school serving over 24,000 students. Learners can choose from more than 120 undergraduate programs, along with over 130 graduate options. ODU’s undergraduates can earn their bachelor’s degree online in dozens of fields such as management, leadership, and health sciences.
The online bachelor’s degree-completion program in health sciences features a concentration in health services administration. Learners complete 120 credits to earn their BS degree, including at least 30 credits through the online program. Students who enter the program with professional healthcare experience can earn credit for prior training hours.
The health sciences program emphasizes public health and incorporates coursework on population health, managerial epidemiology, community health administration, and public health science. Additionally, the curriculum covers traditional healthcare administration topics like marketing, informatics, ethics, and finance. Students must complete an internship to earn the degree.
Applicants who want to earn their BS in healthcare administration online must submit a statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation. They also must have completed lower-division general education requirements. ODU prefers applicants who possess at least a 3.0 GPA.
Healthcare administration students might decide to take advantage of ODU’s early-entry MBA and MPA programs. These unique online options let high-achieving undergraduates take some master’s courses while completing their bachelor’s degree.
Based in Terre Haute, Indiana State University is a public school that offers over 100 undergraduate majors to more than 13,000 students. Distance learners can pursue more than 70 fully online and partially online programs at the undergraduate and graduate tiers.
Students can complete all required courses in the bachelor of applied science in health services program online. The program, which ISU offers in a degree-completion format, caters to health professionals who already hold an associate of applied science degree or an AS.
To complete the bachelor’s in health services, learners must complete 39 credits of core courses and maintain a 2.5 GPA. The interdisciplinary program includes administration classes on marketing, management, finance, accounting, and human resources. In addition, learners take healthcare-specific courses covering biostatistics, epidemiology, health program evaluation, and health sciences research methods.
While they work through the online program, distance learners benefit from many resources. The school’s career center offers mock phone interviews and resume guidance. Through the university library, students can access online materials and research guides along with distance tutoring in math and writing.
Applicants need an associate degree in a health-related field such as dental hygiene, medical laboratory technology, radiology, or medical assisting. They also need at least a 2.0 GPA in all postsecondary work. ISU sometimes admits students with unrelated associate degrees who currently work in a health services profession.
Founded in 1957, State College of Florida – Manatee-Sarasota is a public institution that serves 11,000 students through online classes and three campus locations. The college offers associate programs, bachelor’s degrees, and noncredit courses across 13 departments, including dental hygiene, nursing, radiography, and physical therapy.
Distance learners can complete their bachelor of applied science in health services administration through SCF. Students can finish the entire degree-completion program through five-week online courses. The online classes, which SCF delivers through Canvas, are not self-paced and may require occasional live chats.
To earn the healthcare administration degree online, learners must complete at least 120 credits through prior coursework and SCF classes. The health services administration major requires 45 total credits of core courses and electives. Through 10 core classes, students explore topics including evidence-based research methods, risk management, quality management, and finance. Through a capstone course, learners study hands on through a teaching, internship, observation, or work experience.
Students take five health services administration electives for a total of 15 credits. They may take interesting classes on sports nutrition, health education, gerontology, or nursing.
Applicants need at least a 2.0 GPA along with a minimum of 45 credits of prior college coursework. SCF prefers students who have completed an AA degree. Of a student’s 45 transferable credits, 26 must be from prerequisite courses including principles of microeconomics, anatomy and physiology, written communication, and elementary statistics.
Founded in 1912, the University of Memphis is a public research institution that educates more than 21,000 students through 13 colleges and schools. Undergraduates can pursue a bachelor’s degree in over 250 areas of study, including management, accountancy, health services, and healthcare leadership.
Through UofM, learners can earn a BS in health studies with a healthcare leadership concentration online. In addition to 41 credits of general education coursework, health studies students take 11 credits in the major, 45 credits in their concentration area, and 3–34 credits of electives. Learners complete 120 credits in total.
Through five core courses, the health studies major explores key areas like anatomy, physiology, and nutrition. The 14-course healthcare leadership specialization provides an overview of the U.S. health system, healthcare law, and health policy issues.
The program also builds practical skills. For example, through a class on professional writing in healthcare, students learn about presentation methods and business communication. A healthcare informatics class teaches learners about the design, use, and management of information technology in healthcare organizations. As part of required coursework, learners earn 3–9 credits by completing a healthcare leadership internship.
UofM offers many online resources to distance learners. The university provides career services including online practice interviews, job postings, resume and cover letter examples, and a career self-assessment tool. Additionally, learners can access live tutoring in more than 40 subject areas.
Located in Bismarck, North Dakota, the University of Mary is a Catholic, Benedictine institution that boasts over 60 undergraduate majors, 13 master’s degrees, and four doctoral programs. More than 3,800 learners study through the university, which offers classes at seven campus locations and online. Undergraduates can pursue 10 fully online degrees.
Mary’s online bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration boasts an accelerated format that lets students complete the major in as little as 18 months. Most classes last five or eight weeks rather than the traditional 12 weeks. Additionally, students can earn the degree through a combination of online classes and evening courses offered through five campus locations.
Since Mary delivers its BS in healthcare administration through the Gary Tharaldson School of Business, students build a strong basis in management and business skills. For instance, learners take two accounting courses and two economics classes along with courses in financial management, human resource management, marketing, and business law. The program emphasizes professional communication, and students must complete classes in composition, electronic communication, and oral communication.
Healthcare-specific coursework covers subjects including medical terminology, the U.S. healthcare system, and healthcare law. At the end of the program, all learners must pass senior competency tests to graduate.
Applicants must submit transcripts along with SAT or ACT scores. For acceptance, prospective students must demonstrate a 2.5 GPA along with a 19 on the ACT or a 980 on the SAT.
Based in Kentucky’s largest city, the University of Louisville is a public institution in operation since 1798. The university enrolls more than 22,000 students through 12 colleges and schools.
UofL offers two online learning formats for the BS in organizational leadership and learning with a healthcare leadership focus. The
flex pace track, which follows a competency-based education model, lets students move through course materials at their own speed. Learners who are already familiar with certain topics can complete those courses in four weeks. Alternatively, students can opt for the "set pace" option, which delivers classes through accelerated, eight-week sessions.
The healthcare leadership track requires 12 core courses. Similar to many accredited online healthcare administration degrees, UofL’s program includes coursework in key areas like healthcare law, needs assessment in healthcare organizations, and healthcare finance and accounting. The program also includes some unique required classes such as organizational change in healthcare and management of diversity in healthcare organizations.
For the healthcare leadership program, the university prefers applicants who have completed at least 24 college-level credits. Applicants need a 2.7 GPA on all postsecondary work. Those with fewer than 24 college credits must possess a 2.5 high school GPA and an ACT composite score of at least 21. All prospective students need a minimum of 2,000 hours (approximately one year) of professional healthcare experience.
Based in Orlando, the University of Central Florida is a public school that enrolls over 68,000 students through 13 colleges. Learners can choose from 220 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including dozens of online options. Students planning on a career in healthcare can earn an online bachelor’s degree in health informatics, nursing, or health services administration.
The College of Community Innovation and Education offers a fully online BS in health services administration. The program requires 120 credits of general education classes, core major courses, and a capstone. All students must take an introduction to computers course or a course on computer fundamentals for business.
The major curriculum comprises 48 credits and includes a class on healthcare reimbursement, insurance, and managed care plans. Through the capstone class, students apply the healthcare administration theories they’ve learned to evaluate an existing healthcare organization. Additionally, as part of their core requirements, learners must complete a 150-hour administration internship in an approved healthcare organization.
UCF offers numerous resources to online students. The University Writing Center provides free consultations to help students with their schoolwork or with nonacademic writing assignments. The writing center also hosts real-time virtual appointments using Adobe Connect. Additionally, distance learners can take advantage of online guides on citations, organization, brainstorming, argumentation, and other key writing topics. Outside of the writing center, students can access electronic resources and databases through the UCF Library.
Founded in 1884, Central Christian College of Kansas is a private, nonprofit institution affiliated with the Free Methodist Church of North America. The small college offers degrees in over 40 areas of study, including administration, exercise science, and business. Distance learners can choose from eight fully online undergraduate programs, including one of the best online healthcare administration degrees.
The online BS in healthcare administration requires 45 credits from major core courses. Some required classes study patient communication, conflict resolution, and professional communication.
As a capstone requirement, students must complete an applied research project, which builds their research and decision-making skills. The applied research project also gives degree candidates the opportunity to learn more about a healthcare administration topic closely related to their work or community. Learners must spend at least 200 hours on the project collecting data, analyzing information, and coming to conclusions. Students present their findings orally.
CCCK teaches all its program from a Christian perspective, and general education requirements include some religion courses. To satisfy a worldview requirement, students choose a course on Christian thought, world religions, or contemporary worldviews. Learners also take a Bible literature class dealing with covenant literature, synoptic literature, or apocalyptic literature.
Students earning a degree through CCCK Online, the school’s distance learning department, take classes in an asynchronous, self-directed format. Each course lasts six weeks.
Applicants need a high school diploma with at least a 2.0 GPA or a GED.
With its headquarters in Flint, Michigan, Baker College is a private, nonprofit college that features eight locations throughout Michigan’s lower peninsula. Baker functions as a career college, offering more than 150 programs. The college features certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs across a variety of disciplines. Students enjoy the opportunity to pursue a healthcare administration degree online.
The online bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration at Baker allows students to navigate the delivery, quality, and costs of healthcare services in the industry. Developed with the input of an advisory board of healthcare professionals, the curriculum combines healthcare and general education courses with healthcare management externship components.
Graduates leave the program equipped with the knowledge, training, and experience needed to begin successful careers in healthcare administration. The open-enrollment program does not feature special admission requirements beyond a high school diploma or GED, transcripts, and a completed admissions application. Students enjoy a fully online curriculum that follows an asynchronous format, allowing them to complete their work at any time from any place. Learners can also compete the healthcare administration program on campus at most of the eight Baker locations throughout Michigan. Program length varies depending on the amount of credits students enroll in each semester.
The Advantages of a Healthcare Administration Education
Most individuals interested in a healthcare administration career pursue either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, though some go on to doctoral programs. Both options can lead to a long, successful career in healthcare administration, but a master’s degree usually means more opportunities long term.
Most entry-level positions in healthcare administration require at least a bachelor’s degree, as do some of the higher-level positions. However, healthcare administration job prospects can also depend on previous experience in the field or in a related position. While less common, some online healthcare administration bachelor degree programs offer students the chance to earn this experience while completing their degree. Without any experience, a master’s degree goes a long way toward building your qualifications.
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|
Source: PayScaleReturn to the top
Healthcare Administration Degree Salary Information
A healthcare administration degree online can lead to a vital and fulfilling role in the healthcare industry. This can mean working within hospitals, with insurance companies, or in human resources. In general, working in administration means working closely with people. You may be in charge of managing a large workplace, or you might train and onboard new employees. Below are a few example careers related to healthcare administration.
- Medical and Health Services Managers
- Also known as healthcare executives, these managers take charge of directing health services. They usually run a specific department or facility, where they ensure that the environment complies with healthcare laws and regulations. Most executives hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $61,000
- Mid-Career: $59,600
- Experienced: $63,000
- Late Career: $71,600
- Nursing Home Administrator
- Nursing home administrators ensure that the needs of nursing home residents are met. They can work in every level of the organization, from facility management to managing individual departments. A nursing home administrator must hold licensure as a nursing home administrator.
- Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $71,500
- Mid-Career: $81,000
- Experienced: $94,000
- Late Career: $97,000
- Training and Development Manager
- As the title implies, training and development managers help develop the skills of new and current employees to improve performance. This role typically requires years of experience and a bachelor’s degree, making it a potential long-term career option for healthcare administration majors.
- Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $55,000
- Mid-Career: $63,000
- Experienced: $74,000
- Late Career: $84,000
- Human Resources Managers
- A human resources manager takes charge of planning and directing the administrative facets of a business or organization. Human resources managers typically hold at least a bachelor’s degree, and they can be found in any industry that deals with recruiting, hiring, and training employees.
- Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $49,500
- Mid-Career: $57,500
- Experienced: $66,000
- Late Career: $71,500
- Medical Billing Specialist
- A medical billing specialist requires expertise with the healthcare industry, insurance, people, and computers. These specialists manage the financial side of health insurance for patients, including processing insurance claims and keeping records. Computer coding is an increasingly important skill for this role.
- Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $34,500
- Mid-Career: $35,500
- Experienced: $37,500
- Late Career: $40,000
Source: PayScaleReturn to the top
Choosing an Online Healthcare Administration Degree Program
Determining which degree is best for you can prove challenging. Every student has different needs that they need to take into consideration. For example, many online schools offer in-state tuition, so home campus location is an important factor.
Prospective students should consider multiple factors before settling on a school, including the examples below:
- Program Cost
- College costs a lot of money. However, a smart shopper can find affordable options. Some schools offer a reduced rate or in-state tuition for online courses or program-specific scholarships. Make sure to look at the total cost before committing to a school.
- Transfer Policies
- You can greatly reduce the time and cost of earning an online degree through transfer credits. Some schools let you transfer credits from your previous associate degree or schooling while others accept work or volunteer experience as credit. Check with an admissions counselor before you apply.
- School Size and Type
- A school’s size determines how many students you share resources with — and how many you can network with. Larger schools may also have more students per teacher, making it harder to get one-on-one time with faculty. Picking between private and public proves important, too, since only public schools offer in-state tuition.
- Program Length
- How long are you willing to work on your degree? Accelerated online programs can take as little as 18 months, or an online program can take years of part-time study. Schools usually charge a flat rate per credit, semester, or year.
- On-Campus Requirements
- An online program may require an internship or an on-campus intensive, which could mean traveling to complete your degree. Some schools even use a hybrid model, requiring some on-campus classes. If you cannot make the commute, you probably should not apply to that school.
Accreditation for Online Healthcare Administration Degrees
When searching for a school, accreditation serves as one of the most important factors you should consider. Accreditation can impact your chances of finding federal financial aid, and most graduate schools and some employers may turn you away if your degree does not come from an accredited university.
Schools can hold either regional or national accreditation, with the former proving harder to achieve — rendering it the more reputable of the two. National accreditation typically applies to vocational schools, and students should note that national accreditation does not usually transfer to regionally accredited institutions. In general, students should prioritize schools with regional accreditation.
Accreditation is regulated through collaboration between the Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The ED sets standards for accreditation and CHEA oversees regulatory agencies. If a school does not boast accreditation from a CHEA-approved organization, it may not offer a legitimate degree.
Individual degree programs also hold programmatic accreditation in addition to the university’s accreditation. For healthcare administration, look for programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.
Healthcare Administration Concentrations
With so many career choices for graduates with a degree in healthcare administration, some schools offer concentrations to help students specialize their educations. These concentrations can increase an individual’s chances of finding a job immediately after earning an online healthcare administration degree.
- Healthcare Informatics
- This concentration emphasizes computer science. Students learn to operate commonly used healthcare software and take courses in data analysis, digital security, and information management.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Informatics analyst, informatics manager
- Project Management
- Keeping projects on track and within budget is a skill that many employers seek. This concentration covers contract management, negotiation, budgeting, and scheduling. Students also learn to make decisions in complex situations.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Healthcare project manager, project coordinator
- Strategic Communications
- Healthcare professionals deal in complex topics and serve a variety of patients. Keeping messaging clear and in line with facility values proves vital. A strategic communications concentration covers how to communicate internally and externally, resolve conflicts, and develop and build brands.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Human resources, health communications
- Healthcare Law and Policy
- Law and policy surrounding healthcare are complex and constantly changing. With a healthcare law and policy concentration, students learn to keep facilities compliant with regulations. It also covers human resources and ethics policies.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Healthcare attorney, healthcare law executive
- Handling the finances for any healthcare facility can prove challenging. This concentration establishes a firm understanding of accounting principles as they relate to healthcare, including taxes, financial management, and auditing. Students in this specialty also learn about payroll and departmental accounting.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Healthcare accounting, accounts payable specialist
How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in Healthcare Administration?
The beauty of an online degree is its flexibility. Students can take as much or as little time as they need. A bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration online usually takes four years; however, length can vary depending on several factors. For example, students with transfer or experience credits take much less time, and some schools offer year-round courses, allowing students to forge ahead during the summer.
Most bachelor’s degree programs require at least 120 credits. Working students often enjoy the option to study part time, depending on their schedules. If you work and need to study part time, find an online school that offers an affordable, per-credit tuition rate.
Courses in an Online Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration Program
While specific courses vary by program, a few topics come up in most healthcare administration programs online. The list below includes a few sample classes to give you a feel for what you might encounter during one of these programs.
- U.S. Healthcare Systems
- The United States healthcare system can be complicated, and healthcare administrators must know how to navigate it. This course covers the history of U.S. healthcare, the U.S. healthcare delivery system, and common U.S. healthcare facility styles. It also provides a brief overview of how health insurance billing works.
- Principles of Healthcare Management
- Related directly to a role you can find after graduating, principles of healthcare management teaches you how to plan and direct operations within your organization. This course is a blend of management and learning about the structure of healthcare facilities.
- Organizational Leadership
- Most healthcare administrators take on leadership roles in their facilities. This course covers different methods of leadership, including the best methods for individual workers and larger groups and the basics of psychology. This course sometimes emphasizes healthcare facilities.
- Strategic Management
- To get the most out of a facility, healthcare administrators must take a strategic approach to management and delegation. This course covers methods of planning and implementing strategies to achieve short- and long-term goals.
- Human Resources Management
- Healthcare administration is often about human resource management, such as processing new hires and ensuring a safe work environment. This course covers the process for evaluating, hiring, and training healthcare professionals while balancing against discrimination issues. It also covers how to structure and manage employee compensation.
Healthcare Administration Membership Associations
Whether you need networking opportunities or continuing education, membership associations serve as an excellent way to propel your healthcare administration career. These organizations serve niche groups within healthcare administration, and picking the best one can help you stay up to date with advancements in your field.
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
- Anyone interested in a career in administrative management can benefit from an AAHAM membership. AAHAM provides certification and classes to help you stand out when applying to new jobs, and members can access their extensive professional network.
- American College of Healthcare Executives
- ACHE is a national organization made up of several local chapters, offerings its members benefits on a regional level. Perks of membership include networking opportunities, access to continuing education, and an exclusive career resource center.
- American Health Information Management Association
- AHIMA focuses on certification and education, creating a supportive network for anyone looking to enter the field of health information or health management. Individuals currently in the healthcare field can use this association as a launching pad to a management career.
- Health Care Administrators Association
- While most organizations focus on education and career advancement, HCAA focuses on protecting and helping healthcare professionals. HCAA achieves this through lobbying at state and national levels and by hosting national conferences where members can advocate for their own needs.
- National Association of Healthcare Access Management
- NAHAM prides itself on establishing best practices for healthcare management. It provides education to current professionals, improving how they manage patient access services. Members tend work in scheduling, finances, or general administration.
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