High-quality online Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degrees prepare graduates to effectively take part in the dynamic healthcare industry.
The best online MHA programs help individuals develop the skills they need to help manage a nonprofit, government, or private health organization. Such organizations include hospitals, nursing homes, pharmaceutical companies, or a health insurance companies.
Health managers and program directors ensure the efficient delivery of medical services. These professionals must navigate a field that evolves rapidly due to emergent technologies and changes to federal regulations for hospitals, insurers, and patients. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that medical and health services management positions will grow 20% through 2026, compared to the national average of 7%. These positions are highly profitable; in 2017, the median pay for health managers was $98,350.
Earning a master’s in healthcare administration online prepares students for advanced leadership positions in one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing industries in the country. These programs give students hands-on training in business standards and best practices in the healthcare industry.
Choosing a Program
Because working in the healthcare industry requires organizational knowledge and skills, MHA online programs generally contain introductory coursework in business and health management. Common courses include biostatistics, financial decision making, human resource management, and program planning and evaluation. Students also examine the U.S. healthcare system and relevant ethical and diversity concerns. These classes provide learners with the groundwork to be effective administrators and leaders in a complex and expansive field. These programs also prepare students to sit for professional certification exams.
The best online MHA programs allow students to personalize their education through electives, concentrations, and research. Some schools offer specializations in areas such as health informatics, financial management, patient advocacy, and public policy and healthcare law. Most online master’s in healthcare administration programs require a capstone experience, but specifics vary from school to school. Some programs advertise a 100% remote degree plan that does not require any on-campus visits. Other programs require students to spend some time on campus, usually through a summer residency. Most distance learning programs allow students to complete any in-person practicum requirements in their local communities.
For career information, skip down:
- What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration Program?
- Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration Careers
- Accreditation for Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degrees
- Professional Organizations for Healthcare Administration
Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.
What Are the Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration Programs?
1. University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
Offered through the Sol Price School of Public Policy, USC’s online master’s in healthcare administration is intended for experienced healthcare executives, managers, and managing clinicians. Focusing on research and innovation, this MHA online program trains learners to adapt to changes in the healthcare landscape, including government regulations. Experiential learning activities provide valuable opportunities to network with industry-experienced faculty, guest speakers, and like-minded healthcare professionals from all over the country.
Over the course of 36 credit hours, students explore a value-based and outcome-oriented approach to healthcare management. Core courses address topics such as organizational design, emerging technologies, change management, and methods of maximizing patient safety. Students gain proficiency in Six Sigma and Learn Metric tools and methodologies, which they apply during a final applied capstone experience. Consisting of four units, this hands-on capstone builds problem-solving skills associated with risk management, program development, and efficient administrative processes.
Full-time students typically earn their degree in two years, with coursework spread across six semesters. Classes begin in summer, fall, and spring, and run for 14 or 15 weeks.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Along with transcripts from all institutions attended, prospective students should provide three letters of recommendation, a professional resume, and a personal statement of purpose. Once admitted, students are encouraged to apply for financial aid. USC maintains tuition reimbursement agreements with numerous companies and organizations.
USC is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health has a reputation for impacting public health worldwide through research and innovation. With ongoing research projects in more than 80 countries, UNC students strive to develop new solutions to complex public health challenges. In keeping with this goal, the university offers an online master’s in healthcare administration for current professionals interested in developing high-quality, accessible, and affordable public health care systems.
Exploring management methods and public policy, the 49-credit curriculum refines and strengthens leadership and decision-making skills. Addressing recent and historical developments in healthcare strategy, health law, and emergency management, courses offer insight into administrative practices. Prior to graduation, learners complete four written assignments before beginning a capstone prep course. During this unique culminating experience, students create mock business teams, develop a project focus, and put their business plans into action. Faculty provide feedback on each team’s initial concept and project execution.
While most coursework is presented online, the program includes three on-campus residencies, requiring distance learners to spend a total of 14 days at the university. Classes begin every fall, and most students earn their degree in around two years.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.3, and should provide GRE or GMAT scores and three letters of recommendation. Prospective students should have a working knowledge of microeconomics, calculus, financial accounting, and statistics.
UNC is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The online MHA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
3. University of Central Florida
UCF’s Department of Health Management and Informatics offers one of the best online MHA programs in the country. Based in Orlando, Florida, the university offers an executive MHA program intended for mid-career professionals with at least three years of healthcare management experience.
The 44-credit executive master’s program follows a full-time cohort model. With each cohort limited to 30 students, learners are able to participate in nuanced discussions, receive individualized support, and network with like-minded peers and faculty members. Featuring a lock-step course sequence, the program requires students to complete coursework in a specific, predetermined order. The robust curriculum includes a final capstone course and a cumulative written examination. While there are no on-site requirements for U.S.-based students, international learners must enroll on a full-time basis during the fall and spring semesters, and only three credit hours may be taken in the online format.
Prospective students should submit transcripts from all institutions attended, a professional resume, three letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and GRE or GMAT test scores. Students are admitted during the fall semester of each year. Once accepted, learners are encouraged to apply for assistantships, tuition support, and loans. Academic merit-based fellowships are awarded to some students who do not have work obligations, and new online students may be eligible to receive reduced campus-based fees.
UCF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The online MHA program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
4. George Washington University, GW Online
Washington, District of Columbia
GW’s Milken Institute School of Public Health has received national acclaim for designing comprehensive, innovative graduate programs. Combining cutting-edge technology with over 50 years of experience, the university’s MHA online program offers more than just advanced credentials. Known as MHA@GW, the program provides current healthcare professionals with an immersive educational experience and the chance to build industry-wide connections.
The 50-credit curriculum is presented in eight 10-week learning modules centered on topics such as healthcare management and strategy, medical informatics and decision management, and community and public health. Coursework explores contemporary challenges surrounding healthcare ethics, IT, quality improvement, and law. Along with web-based classes, candidates participate in four in-person immersion experiences, in which they travel to health care facilities in the U.S. and abroad. An additional applied research project is required to graduate.
While most classes are presented in real time, some feature self-paced components. The majority of learners complete the program in two to four years.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, and should have received a grade of B or better in financial accounting and introductory statistics. Two or more years of healthcare experience are required, and prospective students must currently be employed in the health sector. Those with three years of professional experience in other industries may be admitted after passing an entrance exam.
GW is regionally accredited by the by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA). The Milken Institute School of Public Health is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
5. Georgetown University
Washington, District of Columbia
Founded in 1789, this Washington, D.C. institution is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the nation. Georgetown’s School of Medicine was established in 1851 through the efforts of Patrick F. Healy, the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. The university’s master’s in healthcare administration online program is part of an ongoing initiative to improve the overall quality and value of healthcare by advancing knowledge in the industry. Taught by seasoned, executive-level faculty, the curriculum offers valuable professional insights framed by Jesuit values.
Working in a cohort of fellow mid-career professionals, students explore advanced concepts in marketing, healthcare policy, and organizational and financial management. Five 12-week online sessions are divided by four week-long face-to-face intensive experiences during the fall, spring and summer semesters. Intensives consist of classwork, networking sessions, site visits, and experiential learning activities. Three are held near Washington, D.C., while the fourth is a seminar that takes place in a global location. The program generally takes 22 months to complete.
Prospective students must have a minimum of five years of professional experience in the healthcare industry or a related field. GRE/GMAT scores are not required, although candidates must submit a video interview within one week of applying. Georgetown accepts up to 10 transfer credits from accredited colleges and universities.
Georgetown is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The online MHA program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
6. University of St. Francis
Established in 1920, the University of St. Francis is located approximately an hour outside of Chicago in Joliet, Illinois. A Catholic, Franciscan institution of higher learning, St. Francis offers rigorous healthcare programs rooted in the liberal arts and influenced by the school’s tradition of faith.
Taking an interdisciplinary approach to the field, the master’s in healthcare administration online program is a 36-hour MBA with a concentration in healthcare management and administration. Students explore the evolving healthcare environment, using case analyses and interactive technologies to examine ethical and legal issues, financial matters, and strategic management. Emphasizing ethical decision-making skills, the curriculum builds the practical expertise needed to manage diverse administrative processes. Along with foundational accounting and management coursework, classes such as medical sociology, law and compliance, and ethics complete a well-rounded survey of the industry. Full-time students typically earn their degree in around two years.
Applicants should have a minimum of two years of professional healthcare or related experience and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75. While GRE and GMAT scores are not required, candidates must provide an admissions essay, transcripts from all institutions attended, a letter of recommendation, and a professional resume. Students are encouraged to apply for financial assistance opportunities, including need-based financial aid, scholarships, and grants offered through the university.
St. Francis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. USF’s School of Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
7. University of Cincinnati
Developed through a partnership between the College of Allied Health Sciences and the Carl H. Lindner College of Business, the University of Cincinnati offers one of the top MHA online programs in the country. Combing competency-based coursework with hands-on learning experiences, the two-year program provides a comprehensive overview of advanced topics in healthcare administration.
Over the course of 39 semester hours, distance learners examine emerging issues in health education, epidemiology, law, and healthcare policy. The curriculum emphasizes factors and controversies surrounding the cost, access, and quality of healthcare, including managerial and public policies. Students refine leadership and analytical business skills, exploring evidence-based decision making for managers, total quality management, and administrative strategies used in global health systems. The program culminates in an applied capstone course, in which students conduct original research in a local healthcare setting before presenting a written report on their findings. Most students take two or three courses every 15-week term, and each class is seven-and-a-half weeks long.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0. They must also submit three references, a resume, and a written statement of professional and academic goals. Admitted students are encouraged to apply for financial aid.
The University of Cincinnati is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (NCA). The NCA is recognized by both the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.
8. Clarkson College
Established in 1888 as a nursing college, this Nebraska institution has greatly expanded in both size and scope while remaining committed to providing top-tier training for healthcare professionals. Today, the college offers programs in a variety of medical fields, including an accelerated online master’s in healthcare administration.
Emphasizing leadership strategies, the curriculum explores fundamental concepts associated with management and business theory, project management, and strategic analysis and integration. Distance learners complete between 39 and 45 semester hours of major and elective coursework, during which they strengthen scholarly writing and research skills, build familiarity with various healthcare delivery systems, and gain a broad understanding of business law and ethics. The program culminates in a three-part capstone project, in which students develop and present a model business plan.
Courses are taken one at a time, over three 12-week terms. The duration of the program varies between four and seven semesters; however, courses typically start every six weeks and run through two fall semesters, one spring term, and one summer session. Electives and capstone courses are 12 to 15 weeks long.
Along with a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and a minimum GPA of 3.0, prospective students must provide two professional references, a scholarly essay, transcripts from prior institutions, and a resume. The college accepts up to nine transfer credits earned from other accredited institutions.
Clarkson College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
9. Trinity University
San Antonio, Texas
Unlike many online MHA programs, Trinity University’s executive program in healthcare administration was developed to meet the needs of both experienced professionals and recent college graduates. The 42-credit curriculum is presented in a flexible, part-time format, making it a great option for individuals who intend to work full-time while they study.
Throughout the 23-month program, distance students learn to plan proactively and tackle financial challenges unique to the healthcare industry. Coursework addresses statistical analysis in healthcare organizations, managerial accounting, epidemiology, and effective strategies for operations management. To encourage student-faculty communication, online classes are limited to 20 students. Integrating conceptual and experiential learning, each course includes five two-hour teleconferencing sessions intended to stimulate class discussion. Each fall, spring, and summer semester begins with a three-day intensive study session on campus.
To receive acceptance into the program, applicants must be employed in a healthcare-related environment, hold prior supervisory or management experience, and have a general knowledge of accounting, economics, and statistics. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, official transcripts, current resume, a statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation are also required. After submitting all application materials, candidates must undergo a brief on-campus interview with faculty members. While cohorts are formed in the fall semester, applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Trinity is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The online MHA program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
10. Marist College
Poughkeepsie, New York
Marist College’s master’s in healthcare administration online program arms candidates with the skills needed to face challenges in the healthcare industry head-on. Addressing issues from profitability difficulties and changing regulations to managing an increasingly diverse workforce, the flexible program presents effective strategies for managing a modern healthcare organization.
Over the course of 32 to 39 credit hours, students explore emerging healthcare technologies, economic concepts, ethics, policy, and financial management. The curriculum combines foundational and specialized coursework related to both business and healthcare, making the program ideal for learners from all academic and professional backgrounds. Students may also select a concentration in public management, ethical leadership, nonprofit management, or analytics.
Courses are delivered asynchronously in eight-week sessions. Full-time students typically complete the program in two years, while most part-time learners graduate in three. Online students receive access to an academic advisor, writing tutors, and technical support through the Office of Academic Technology.
Applicants must submit official transcripts from all institutions attended, a current resume, a personal essay, and official GRE scores recorded within the last five years. Some applicants may not be required to submit standardized test scores. Once admitted, students may enroll in classes in late August or late January. Students are encouraged to apply for federal and private loans, merit scholarships, and need-based grants.
Marist College is institutionally accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The online MHA program is fully accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).
11. Seton Hall University
South Orange, New Jersey
Based in New Jersey, Seton Hall is a Catholic institution best known for its nationally-ranked School of Law. The university’s MHA online program was developed by professional healthcare administrators working in conjunction with academics to create an optimal curriculum for recent graduates and experienced professionals alike.
Classes begin in August with a five-day intensive residency on campus. Emphasizing problem-solving skills and high-level critical thinking, the program builds competencies needed to excel in healthcare leadership positions. Notable courses provide an overview of 21st century healthcare systems, healthcare policy development, emergency management, and ethical issues in the industry. Students are required to travel to Seton Hall for two additional five-day intensive seminars at various points throughout the program. Most online courses are seven weeks long, and full-time learners typically earn their degree in two years.
While professional healthcare experience is optional, candidates must come from a strong academic background and have a desire to work in the industry. Individuals with volunteer experience are preferred. All applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, as well as three letters of recommendation. Students may transfer up to six credits or two courses toward their degree from Seton Hall. Students are encouraged to apply for federal financial aid and graduate assistantships, and teaching, research, and administrative jobs through the university.
Seton Hall is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The online MHA program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
12. Virginia Commonwealth University
Developed in conjunction with the Department of Health Administration, VCU’s School of Allied Health Professions is proud to offer one of the top online MHA programs in the country. The 41-credit curriculum presents a flexible opportunity for self-motivated, experienced professionals from both public and private healthcare sectors to refine their management abilities.
Focusing on research in organization and administration, the curriculum instills techniques for investigating, planning, and evaluating healthcare policies and systems. Core courses present concepts related to healthcare law and bioethics, marketing, and human resources management. Along with mastering business and financial practices, students learn to create and disseminate healthcare knowledge in community settings.
Web-based coursework is presented asynchronously, and distance learners may enroll on a part- or full-time basis.
To be admitted to the program, candidates must have five years of managerial experience in the healthcare industry, and must be currently employed in the field. Applicants are also required to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75. Prospective students should submit official transcripts, a professional resume, three letters of recommendation, and must undergo an interview with the admissions committee. Those who have not previously completed college-level coursework in microeconomics, accounting, and statistics must take independent-study modules prior to beginning the program.
Virginia Commonwealth University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The online MHA program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Management Education.
13. Pennsylvania State University - World Campus
University Park, Pennsylvania
Penn State World Campus educates more than 18,000 distance learners every year. The university offers 150 career-focused online degrees and certificates, including comprehensive MHA programs online. Consisting of 49 credit hours, the curriculum provides mid-level healthcare professionals with the business and change management skills highly sought after in the workforce.
Highlighting changes in regulation and policy, shifting population demographics, and technological advancements, the curriculum readies students for leadership roles in a rapidly evolving healthcare environment. Coursework stresses critical thinking and oral and written communication skills, as well as project management and financial strategy. During two one-week face-to-face intensive sessions in August and December, distance students interact with peers and teachers in person at the University Park campus in State College, Pennsylvania. Learners also complete a final capstone course in strategy development and a project-based independent study course before graduating.
Applicants are expected to have a minimum of five years of full-time professional work experience. They must also hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or a postsecondary degree comparable to a four-year bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants should provide official transcripts, two references, a resume, a personal statement, two essays, and must conduct an interview with the admissions committee.
Penn State World Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The online MHA program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
14. Mount Vernon Nazarene University
Mount Vernon, Ohio
Based in central Ohio, MVNU was established by the Church of the Nazarene in 1968. Nearly a quarter of MVNU’s student body is enrolled in one of 14 available distance learning programs, and nearly half are over the age of 25. Like most of its web-based degrees, the university’s unique online master’s in healthcare administration was created with working adults in mind. Focusing on recent trends in the healthcare sector, the 36-credit curriculum provides cutting-edge insight into industry operations.
Coursework stresses experiential learning, and candidates refine their leadership and business skills by planning projects, creating mock budgets, and developing strategies to meet industry challenges. Using specialized computer software, students acquire crucial skills in patient information management and budget development. Other courses address ethical leadership in healthcare administration, managerial economics, and corporate finance.
The program may be completed in two years, with students taking one class at a time. Like their counterparts on campus, distance learners receive access to MVNU’s rich career-building resources.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.8. Those with lower GPAs may be admitted on academic probation.
Students may transfer up to six semester hours from regionally accredited institutions with a minimum grade of B.
MVN is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The online MHA program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
15. Drexel University
This Philadelphia university is known worldwide for performing innovative research in science and technology, but it also offers one of the best online MHA programs in the country. Based on the National Center for Healthcare Leadership Competency Model, the 45-credit curriculum strengthens prior knowledge and presents experienced healthcare professionals with new strategies for success.
Spanning a wide variety of pertinent topics, coursework covers advanced concepts in fiscal accountability, change management, human resources, and healthcare ethics and law. Learners are encouraged to examine administrative processes and policies in light of community needs and challenges. The curriculum reflects this focus in classes such as national health expenditures, planning in the era of the Affordable Care Act, and historical influences on the U.S. healthcare system. Prior to graduation, students work in teams to solve a real-life business challenge during an applied management project.
Courses at Drexel are offered in 10-week quarters. Distance learners must participate in real-time synchronous discussions with local healthcare leaders, and must complete one five-day on-campus residency.
Candidates are required to have at least three years of healthcare management experience, a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, and a minimum GPA of 3.3. Individuals with an undergraduate GPA below 3.3 are encouraged to apply, but should focus on providing a strong personal statement. All applicants must submit official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, an essay, and professional resume.
Drexel is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
16. Simmons College
Simmons College is located in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts — a well-known hub for healthcare innovation. Presented in partnership with the school’s renowned Center for Research in Health Policy and Management, the Simmons School of Business offers a master’s in healthcare administration online for trained professionals with a desire to enhance current skills and gain new ones.
With a low student-to-faculty ratio and courses taught by industry experts, HealthCareMBA@Simmons provides a supportive framework in which learners refine critical thinking skills and strengthen analytical abilities. A unique program structure combines self-paced coursework, interactive assignments, streaming lectures, and two in-person immersive experiences spread across 50 credit hours. Comprised of 18 credits of core business coursework and 30 hours of healthcare coursework, the curriculum instills a thorough understanding of administrative roles in the rapidly changing healthcare industry. During immersion sessions hosted in major U.S. cities, distance learners have numerous opportunities to network with classmates, guest speakers, faculty, and prominent business leaders.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and should have a minimum of one year of full-time progressive healthcare work experience. Along with an application, prospective students should submit official transcripts, three essays, three letters of recommendation, and a resume. While GRE/GMAT scores are not required, they will be reviewed if provided.
Simmons college is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). The Simmons School of Business is accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
17. Liberty University Online
Liberty University is a nonprofit Christian institution founded on evangelical principles. Boasting an impressive array of majors, Liberty offers more than 550 unique academic programs at its Lynchburg, Virginia campus and 289 web-based degrees and certificates. Among these is a flexible, customizable MHA online program presented through the university’s School of Business. Combining business theory with best practices in healthcare, the 48-credit curriculum helps students develop strong strategic management skills and leadership abilities.
Coursework examines a variety of integral business and management concepts from a healthcare industry perspective, exploring the unique challenges associated with health policy and ethics, financial models and principles, and regulation compliance. Liberty’s online MHA is notable for letting candidates enhance their degree with a specialization. Specialization areas include accounting, finance, project management, and supply chain management and logistics. Students pursuing a nonprofit management concentration receive free access to the Foundation Center, a philanthropic advocacy and professional organization.
Classes are offered in eight-week terms, eight times throughout the year, and are presented in an asynchronous format. Most students complete the program in around two years. The school’s online library portal provides distance learners with a wealth of academic resources, and additional benefits and discounts are available to service members, veterans, military spouses, and Department of Defense employees. A bachelor’s degree is required for admission.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The School of Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
18. Robert Morris University - RMU Online
Moon Township, Pennsylvania
This Pittsburgh university offers a master’s in healthcare administration online program suitable for both entry-level and experienced healthcare professionals. Presenting a variety of clinical learning opportunities, the curriculum incorporates the latest techniques in budgeting and finance, strategic planning, and organizational leadership. Students learn from experienced faculty associated with elite healthcare agencies, including Highmark and the Heritage Valley Health System.
Consisting of 42 credit hours, the program stresses experiential learning and hands-on engagement. Along with an internship at a nearby facility, distance learners synthesize and demonstrate their acquired knowledge through three one-credit capstone research projects. Core courses introduce principles of executive leadership, accountable care management and finance strategies, and evidence-based decision-making processes. Learners also examine recent developments in health care policy and law, and their subsequent effects on administrative practices. Online courses are self-paced, and most are eight weeks long, with six year-round start dates.
Applicants must submit official transcripts, two recent letters of recommendation, and official GMAT or GRE scores from the last five years. Prospective students are paired with a graduate enrollment manager to assist with the application process. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Financial aid counselors are also on hand to help learners understand their financing options. RMU participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, and offers numerous benefits to active-duty military and veterans.
Robert Morris University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
19. Samford University
Samford University’s School of Public Health offers a master’s in healthcare administration online program rooted in Christian values and principles. Endorsed by the Association for University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA), the program was developed to provide exceptional career flexibility. The unique curriculum readies students for a variety of administrative roles in diverse regions, from large metropolitan areas to small rural communities and abroad.
The 48-credit program is based on the critical domains identified by the Healthcare Leadership Alliance — business skills and knowledge; leadership; communication and relationship management; professionalism; and knowledge of the healthcare environment. Course offerings include healthcare financial management, project management, and organizational dynamics. Learners also examine timely issues such as patient safety and healthcare informatics. The program culminates in a three-credit capstone course and an internship in a hospital, group practice, or similar facility.
The online MHA is offered solely on a full-time basis, and takes five semesters to complete. Classes are delivered synchronously, in real-time.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Three years of professional experience are also required. Those who without work experience must have an undergraduate degree in healthcare or business management, and applicants who do not meet the GPA requirement may submit GRE scores.
Samford University is regionally accredited by the Commission on College of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The university is intending to seek accreditation for the online MHA program from the Commission on the Accreditation for Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
20. Tennessee Technological University
Tennessee Tech offers one of the best MHA online degrees for individuals who want to develop a variety of versatile skills. Students who pursue the school’s master of professional study degree with a concentration in healthcare administration are simultaneously able to earn a certificate in healthcare informatics upon graduation.
The 33-hour program explores cost reduction methodologies and strategies used to enhance quality of care in group medical practices, hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities. By examining the importance of data analysis, informatics, and research in healthcare management, students master both the analytical and leadership skills required of high-level administrative positions. Coursework addresses issues and ethics in professional environments, computer-based decision modeling for healthcare administrators, public health, and biological science. Prior to graduation, learners complete a 15-week internship, in which they receive on the job training in a professional healthcare setting. The curriculum also includes a capstone project based on independent research. Students who work on a full-time bases may take two online courses each semester.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a minimum GPA of 2.7, and should provide official transcripts and GRE scores. Prospective students with five or more years of work experience may submit a portfolio with a resume, an essay, and two letters of reference in lieu of standardized test scores. Numerous graduate assistantships and grants are available through Tennessee Tech and TNTech Army ROTC.
Tennessee Technological University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
21. St. Joseph’s College of Maine
Saint Joseph’s is a private, Catholic institution located in Standish, Maine. The college offers a wide array of challenging web-based graduate programs, including an online MHA program based on the Healthcare Leadership Alliance Competency Model. Consisting of 42 credit hours, the curriculum provides a toolkit for meeting the complex challenges of a changing healthcare industry.
Emphasizing strong leadership skills, the program imparts strategies for improving efficiency by effectively utilizing interpersonal communication. Students build crucial core competencies in human resource and financial management, along with specialized skills related to long-term care administration. Learners may also pursue a Catholic health leadership concentration. The program culminates in a capstone course, in which students complete an applied research paper or management project.
Saint Joseph’s offers a unique fast-track degree option, which allows health administration students to substitute some undergraduate coursework for graduate courses. Classes are offered in 12-week terms, and most distance learners who take two courses each term earn their degree in two years. Prerequisites include three credits of undergraduate-level accounting study and three credits of statistics coursework. Those with sufficient health administration work experience may apply for a prerequisite waiver.
Applicants must have at least two years of work experience in a healthcare setting and hold a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5. They should also provide a professional resume, letter of intent, and two references.
Saint Joseph’s College is regionally accredited by the by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges. The online MHA program is accredited by the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB).
22. Saint Joseph’s University
Founded in 1851, this Philadelphia university upholds the centuries-old traditions of scholarly inquiry and intellectual freedom that characterize Jesuit institutions. Saint Joseph’s web-based master’s in health administration is unique among MHA online degrees for its emphasis on ethical and moral considerations in the industry. Addressing topics from pre-birth genetic testing to euthanasia and end-of-life care, the program explores both philosophical and technical aspects of healthcare management.
Developed in conjunction with the National Center for Healthcare Leadership, the 36-credit curriculum covers core skills defined by the Health Leadership Competency Model. Courses address topics such as healthcare law, informatics, computer-based patient records, and community health. Candidates also choose a concentration in either general healthcare administration, informatics, or organizational development and leadership. While the general track explores medical ethics and policy, the informatics concentration focuses on IT infrastructure and the application of emerging healthcare technologies. Students pursuing an organizational development and leadership concentration learn to create healthy organizational cultures through systems thinking and successful change management.
Students in the general concentration complete 12 courses and a total of 36 credit hours, while the informatics and organizational development concentrations both require 42 credit hours taken across 14 courses. Most distance learners complete the program in two or three years.
Applicants must submit official transcripts from all previously attended colleges, a letter of intent, and two letters of recommendation. Admitted students are encouraged to apply for financial aid.
Saint Joseph’s University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS).
23. Otterbein University
Ohio’s Otterbein University might be best known for its rigorous MBA program, but it also offers one of the best online MHA programs in the country. With a focus on flexibility, project-based learning, and small class sizes, this allied healthcare administration program emphasizes the importance of strong leadership and empathy in the workplace.
Ideal for working professionals, the customizable 30-hour hybrid program consists of 15 hours of core requirements, six hours of advanced practice content, and three hours of elective coursework. Rigorous and challenging courses explore evidence-based practice, leadership and advocacy in policy and healthcare, and program planning and evaluation. The program concludes with a six-credit research thesis or a hands-on practicum project.
Prospective students must have professional work experience, and should hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants must also submit two letters of recommendation, a personal essay, a professional resume, and official transcripts. Individuals who do not meet the undergraduate GPA requirement may submit official GRE scores. Some applicants may be asked to conduct a personal interview.
Students are accepted on a rolling basis. Admitted students may begin their studies during any term, and are encouraged to apply for institutional scholarships. The school also offers deferred payment arrangements and a four-part payment plan.
Otterbein University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
24. University of Southern Mississippi
USM’s Department of Public Health provides several great options for experienced healthcare professionals who want to advance their careers with an MHA online degree. Candidates master the arts of strategic planning and resource allocation as they strengthen their understanding of the political, social, and economic forces and regulations that influence health policy. Coursework introduces time-tested strategies for organizing, marketing, and supervising health services operations, as well as budgeting and financial management methodologies. By learning to incorporate legal and ethical principles in the decision-making process, students develop a people-focused approach to healthcare administration.
Consisting of 45 credit hours, the curriculum includes a mixture of required public health courses and 27 hours of coursework related to policy and administration. Before graduating, candidates must sit for a comprehensive exam at USM’s Hattiesburg campus. While distance learners typically take 15 hours of coursework during the spring semester, they may also enroll in a 12-hour summer semester. Along with the online MHA program, the school offers a hybrid executive program that features a similar curriculum but requires learners to attend regular weekend classes.
Applicants must submit official transcripts, a personal essay, GRE scores, and three letters of reference. They must also have a minimum GPA of 2.75 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework.
The University of Southern Mississippi is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The online MHA degree is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
25. Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Featuring a highly flexible format and career-focused curriculum, Boston College’s competency-based online MHA program lets students personalize their degree by designing professional development plans that meet their individual needs. Using webinars and professional association events, the program also provides distance learners with valuable opportunities to develop and grow industry networks.
The 46-credit curriculum is comprised of 12 required courses, with no electives. Classes build marketable skills in quality and change management, innovation-based strategies, health analytics, and information technology. The program culminates in a four-credit strategic planning and marketing course, during which students conduct an applied research project before developing a business plan for a new healthcare facility.
While most of the program is presented online, it does include one on-campus session. During this residency, distance learners convene at BC’s Chestnut Hill campus to solve a real-world strategic challenge affecting the healthcare industry. Web-based coursework combines self-paced activities and faculty-led elements, during which classmates collaborate in real time. Classes begin during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Prospective students must hold a bachelor’s degree and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement are encouraged to submit GRE or GMAT scores. Distance learners who enroll in at least six credits per semester are eligible to apply for federal financial aid. Payment plans are also available.
Boston College is regionally accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE). The online MHA program is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC).
What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration Program?
Though master’s in healthcare administration online programs vary from school to school, students can expect certain common courses in topics such as financial management and informatics. Some schools focus on technical skills, while others emphasize general business knowledge. Many programs allow students to customize their degree by choosing courses of interest and completing a relevant practicum. Consult an academic or faculty adviser to discover how you can create a curriculum that best aligns with your career goals.
The Curriculum for an Online Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration
- Strategic human resource management: This course analyzes human resource topics and fundamental regulatory procedures as they relate to healthcare organizations. Students learn best practices in employee recruitment, training, and career development. The class also touches on project management and assessment. Considered a core course in most MHA online programs, this class benefits all healthcare administrators, managers, and directors.
- Global health and diversity: Students learn how healthcare systems are affected by social, financial, and political factors. The course also delves into issues of access and equity. Students assess the efficacy of existing programs and policies, as well as how to develop and implement changes if necessary. Healthcare professionals interested in community health, public health, or public policy may benefit from this course.
- Healthcare financial management: An essential course in nearly all MHA online programs, this class provides students with the accounting and finance skills necessary to maintain a healthcare business. Topics include financial statements analysis, operating and capital budgets, and effective business planning tools. All healthcare administrators, particularly those who wish to pursue leadership roles, benefit from this class.
Certifications and Licenses a Master’s in Healthcare Administration Prepares For
- AHIMA Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist: This certification suits professionals who wish to develop their information technology skills. Healthcare administrators can choose from six specific content areas, including computer diagnostics, workflow assessment, and systemic staff training. The current passing score is 500 out of 600. Exams generally cost $299 for members and $399 for all other candidates. Eligibility requirements include academic or work experience in the healthcare field.
- AAHAM Certified Compliance Technician: This certification focuses on financial skills, including budget planning and revenue cycle assessment. The online exam takes 90 minutes and contains four content areas. Candidates must achieve a score of 70% or higher to pass. Candidates who do not pass have a 12 month window retake the exam.
Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration Careers
The best online MHA programs prepare students for high-ranking positions in healthcare settings such as hospitals, outpatient care centers, community health organizations, and government agencies. Though duties are largely defined by individual positions, healthcare administrators generally oversee daily operations and special programs in an organization. These leaders must have not only exceptional management skills, but also in-depth knowledge of industry standards and federal regulations.
Health Information Technician: These professionals maintain and update an organization’s paper and electronic health information. They utilize computer infrastructures and databases to ensure information is organized, accurate, accessible, and secure. Though you can obtain positions in small practices with an associate degree, most technicians earn at least a bachelor’s. Technicians interested in management go on to pursue their master’s.
- Median Annual Salary: $39,180
- Projected Growth Rate: 13%
Community Service Manager: Focusing on public safety and health, these managers provide services such as safe sex education and food safety campaigns. These efforts usually target underserved populations. Community service managers also oversee administrative functions such as funding proposals, program evaluations, and employee training. As with most management jobs, candidates must hold a master’s degree and extensive work experience.
- Median Annual Salary: $64,100
- Projected Growth Rate: 18%
Health Services Manager: These professionals develop, implement, and evaluate medical and health services to ensure they meet organizational standards and government regulations. Health services managers train and motivate staff, create departmental goals, and maintain budgets. Though this career requires a master’s degree and a great deal of relevant experience, it is also one of the fastest growing and highest paying positions in the field.
- Median Annual Salary: $98,350
- Projected Growth Rate: 20%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Accreditation for Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degrees
For colleges and universities to confer valid degrees, they must earn and maintain accreditation. Accrediting bodies assess schools based on academic and professional standards. The two main forms of accreditation are national and regional. National accreditation is granted by organizations approved by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Association (CHEA). Colleges and universities obtain regional accreditation from one of six organizations, depending on where they’re located. The best online MHA programs hold both national and regional accreditation. Of the two, regional accreditation is more prestigious and requires higher standards.
Master’s in healthcare administration online programs can also earn specialized accreditation from a professional organization such as the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). These professionals organizations provide additional funding, grants, academic assistance, and research.
Professional Organizations for Healthcare Administration
Students enrolled in MHA online programs can benefit greatly from joining professional associations such as those listed below. These organizations often charge an annual fee, but in return, they provide benefits such as academic scholarships, research grants, publications, and discounts on legal services. Members can participate in professional development opportunities, including online webinars and continuing education classes. Almost all professional organizations host networking events such as small chapter meetings and large national conferences. Lastly, professional associations often host job boards to help recent graduates and experienced professionals find jobs.
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management: Founded in 1968, AAHAM is the premier professional organization for healthcare professionals in the U.S. The association facilitates certification training and exams. AAHAM also hosts a career services center that assists members with resume building, networking, and job searching.
- American Health Information Management Association: AHIMA represents over 103,000 individual members and 52 affiliated state organizations. The association supports members through advocacy and public policy initiatives. Students benefit from conference speaking opportunities, financial aid, and professional certification programs.
- Health Care Administrators Association: Through membership with HCAA, healthcare professionals can complete training programs and earn certifications such as the certified self funding specialist credential. HCAA also provides job postings, seminars and webinars, an annual conference, and networking events.