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Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Healthcare Administration

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Healthcare is a burgeoning and complex industry that offers an array of career opportunities in both direct patient care and in administration. Responsible for the leadership and overall management of healthcare systems and hospital networks, healthcare administrators deal with a spectrum of issues, from setting policies to determining services, and from managing personnel to implementing technology solutions. Below, learn why this is one of the fastest growing occupations in the nation and discover the educational options available to those looking to pursue a career in the field.

Best Online Health Administration Programs 2018-2019

Best-Online-Healthcare-Administration-Degree
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As the healthcare administration industry continues to grow, so too do the degree programs offered online by both colleges and universities. Among all of these, some school have clearly risen to the challenge, bringing online students programs that deftly combine the flexibility of a virtual classroom with all the benefits of a traditionally-earned degree. The below schools have proven their dedication to online learning, and have been ranked using our methodology to determine their inclusion on our Best Online Healthcare Administration Degrees for 2018.

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Rank School Name Location Tuition Financial Aid Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate # of Online Programs Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida$4,47843%50%73%2Yes Yes Yes School website
2 Independence University Salt Lake City, Utah$18,02179%-100%2Yes Yes Yes School website
3 Brigham Young University-Idaho Rexburg, Idaho$3,92033%96%53%1No Yes Yes School website
4 University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, Alabama$8,04077%58%59%1Yes Yes Yes School website
5 University of Minnesota-Crookston Crookston, Minnesota$10,18085%68%48%1Yes Yes Yes School website
6 Florida International University Miami, Florida$4,72144%50%60%1No Yes Yes School website
7 Weber State University Ogden, Utah$4,61158%-50%2Yes Yes Yes School website
8 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Stevens Point, Wisconsin$6,69815%81%62%1Yes Yes Yes School website
9 Winona State University Winona, Minnesota$7,10347%60%59%1Yes Yes Yes School website
10 Bellevue University Bellevue, Nebraska$6,84062%-32%1Yes No Yes School website
11 University of Toledo Toledo, Ohio$8,05292%94%47%2Yes Yes Yes School website
12 Park University Parkville, Missouri$11,73049%85%27%1Yes Yes Yes School website
13 University of Cincinnati-Main Campus Cincinnati, Ohio$9,32258%76%72%1Yes Yes Yes School website
14 Columbia College Columbia, Missouri$7,88727%-40%1Yes Yes Yes School website
15 Ferris State University Big Rapids, Michigan$11,14469%78%51%1Yes Yes Yes School website
16 Dakota State University Madison, South Dakota$6,98461%83%43%1Yes Yes Yes School website
17 University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Green Bay, Wisconsin$6,29828%73%53%1Yes No Yes School website
18 Alaska Pacific University Anchorage, Alaska$19,90097%55%58%1Yes No Yes School website
19 Northwood University Midland, Michigan$23,86093%67%57%1Yes Yes Yes School website
20 Colorado Christian University Lakewood, Colorado$22,36096%-41%1Yes Yes Yes School website
21 University of Mississippi University, Mississippi$7,64465%78%64%1No Yes Yes School website
22 Jackson State University Jackson, Mississippi$7,14139%63%48%1No Yes Yes School website
23 St. Joseph's College-New York Brooklyn, New York$24,50095%67%69%1Yes No Yes School website
24 Louisiana State University at Alexandria Alexandria, Louisiana$4,98475%33%28%1Yes Yes Yes School website
25 New England College Henniker, New Hampshire$23,16277%99%36%1Yes Yes Yes School website
26 National University La Jolla, California$13,0164%-50%1Yes Yes Yes School website
27 Concordia University-Saint Paul Saint Paul, Minnesota$21,25097%57%49%2Yes Yes Yes School website
28 Washburn University Topeka, Kansas$7,64464%-38%1Yes Yes Yes School website
29 Eastern Oregon University La Grande, Oregon$6,07383%97%37%1Yes Yes Yes School website
30 Belhaven University Jackson, Mississippi$22,726100%43%51%1Yes Yes Yes School website
31 Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath Falls, Oregon$8,11060%73%50%1Yes Yes Yes School website
32 East Carolina University Greenville, North Carolina$4,36542%70%61%1No Yes Yes School website
33 Dalton State College Dalton, Georgia$2,4525%-26%1Yes Yes Yes School website
34 State University of New York at Canton Canton, New York$6,47085%83%33%1Yes Yes Yes School website
35 Nebraska Methodist College Omaha, Nebraska$13,63275%35%49%2No No Yes School website
36 University of Wisconsin-Parkside Kenosha, Wisconsin$6,2988%62%35%1Yes Yes Yes School website
37 Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Carbondale, Illinois$8,69174%77%46%1Yes Yes Yes School website
38 Louisiana Tech University Ruston, Louisiana$6,40175%63%57%1No Yes Yes School website
39 Clarkson College Omaha, Nebraska$11,97658%52%17%1Yes Yes Yes School website
40 Metropolitan State University of Denver Denver, Colorado$5,69318%64%31%1Yes Yes Yes School website
41 Norfolk State University Norfolk, Virginia$5,31840%85%37%1Yes Yes Yes School website
42 Baker College Flint, Michigan$9,00080%-18%1Yes Yes Yes School website
43 SUNY Polytechnic Institute Utica, New York$6,47090%64%45%1No No Yes School website
44 Montana State University-Billings Billings, Montana$4,39753%-28%1Yes Yes Yes School website
45 National Louis University Chicago, Illinois$12,4565%76%25%1Yes Yes Yes School website
46 Warner Pacific College Portland, Oregon$22,05098%53%45%1Yes Yes Yes School website
47 University of Virginia-Main Campus Charlottesville, Virginia$12,49631%30%95%1No Yes Yes School website
48 Tiffin University Tiffin, Ohio$22,80091%76%44%2Yes Yes Yes School website
49 Mid-America Christian University Oklahoma City, Oklahoma$15,91244%-38%1Yes Yes Yes School website
50 Mercy College of Ohio Toledo, Ohio$11,88021%58%47%1No No Yes School website
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Rank School Name Location Tuition Financial Aid Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate # of Online Programs Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Hutchinson Community College Hutchinson, Kansas$2,68866%33%6Yes Yes Yes School website
2 Barton Community College Great Bend, Kansas$2,30469%29%5Yes Yes Yes School website
3 Minnesota State Community and Technical College Fergus Falls, Minnesota$4,8247%34%10Yes Yes Yes School website
4 Metropolitan Community College Omaha, Nebraska$2,62531%13%3Yes Yes Yes School website
5 Georgia Northwestern Technical College Rome, Georgia$2,136-23%5Yes Yes Yes School website
6 San Juan College Farmington, New Mexico$1,10433%15%2Yes Yes Yes School website
7 Rochester Community and Technical College Rochester, Minnesota$4,8745%22%7Yes No Yes School website
8 Pitt Community College Winterville, North Carolina$1,82416%10%4Yes Yes Yes School website
9 Central Community College Grand Island, Nebraska$2,52034%32%3Yes Yes Yes School website
10 Minnesota State College Southeast Winona, Minnesota$4,969-26%6Yes Yes Yes School website
11 Collin County Community College District McKinney, Texas$2,4603%13%2Yes Yes Yes School website
12 Alexandria Technical & Community College Alexandria, Minnesota$4,76833%64%5Yes Yes Yes School website
13 Great Falls College Montana State University Great Falls, Montana$2,4965%15%7Yes Yes Yes School website
14 State Fair Community College Sedalia, Missouri$3,60020%22%2Yes Yes Yes School website
15 Albany Technical College Albany, Georgia$2,1406%39%1Yes Yes Yes School website
16 Sinclair Community College Dayton, Ohio$3,16944%16%3Yes Yes Yes School website
17 Laramie County Community College Cheyenne, Wyoming$2,13642%22%3Yes No Yes School website
18 Shoreline Community College Shoreline, Washington$3,32830%32%2Yes Yes Yes School website
19 Ogeechee Technical College Statesboro, Georgia$2,136-45%2Yes Yes Yes School website
20 Craven Community College New Bern, North Carolina$1,82415%14%2Yes No Yes School website
21 Northland Community and Technical College Thief River Falls, Minnesota$4,900-37%4Yes No Yes School website
22 Dakota College at Bottineau Bottineau, North Dakota$3,46941%28%2Yes No Yes School website
23 Wake Technical Community College Raleigh, North Carolina$2,4322%16%3Yes Yes Yes School website
24 Guilford Technical Community College Jamestown, North Carolina$2,1284%13%2Yes Yes Yes School website
25 Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Valdosta, Georgia$2,136-24%1Yes Yes Yes School website
26 Fayetteville Technical Community College Fayetteville, North Carolina$2,4322%12%2Yes Yes Yes School website
27 Cincinnati State Cincinnati, Ohio$3,56719%12%3Yes Yes Yes School website
28 Cosumnes River College Sacramento, California$6,6602%25%2Yes Yes Yes School website
29 Camden County College Blackwood, New Jersey$3,3302%15%2Yes Yes Yes School website
30 Wallace State Community College Hanceville, Alabama$3,51023%35%3Yes Yes Yes School website
31 Columbus State Community College Columbus, Ohio$3,8087%15%4Yes Yes Yes School website
32 Central Maine Community College Auburn, Maine$2,76028%27%1Yes Yes Yes School website
33 Richmond Community College Hamlet, North Carolina$2,43211%11%3Yes Yes Yes School website
34 Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Fennimore, Wisconsin$4,00221%51%3Yes Yes Yes School website
35 GateWay Community College Phoenix, Arizona$2,06427%14%1Yes Yes Yes School website
36 Southwestern Community College Sylva, North Carolina$2,1289%30%1Yes Yes Yes School website
37 Northwest Iowa Community College Sheldon, Iowa$4,71037%56%2Yes No Yes School website
38 Rowan College at Burlington County Pemberton, New Jersey$3,4807%22%2Yes Yes Yes School website
39 Southern Arkansas University Tech Camden, Arkansas$3,24044%43%1Yes Yes Yes School website
40 Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Green Bay, Wisconsin$3,91116%42%2Yes Yes Yes School website
41 Kennebec Valley Community College Fairfield, Maine$2,76034%35%1Yes No Yes School website
42 Eastern Iowa Community College Davenport, Iowa$4,76821%29%2Yes Yes Yes School website
43 Everett Community College Everett, Washington$3,39315%28%2Yes Yes Yes School website
44 Mitchell Technical Institute Mitchell, South Dakota$3,48826%70%1Yes Yes Yes School website
45 Lakeshore Technical College Cleveland, Wisconsin$3,9106%58%1Yes Yes Yes School website
46 Herkimer College Herkimer, New York$4,2707%36%2Yes Yes Yes School website
47 Spokane Community College Spokane, Washington$2,68812%24%1Yes Yes Yes School website
48 Kirtland Community College Roscommon, Michigan$4,74044%21%2Yes Yes Yes School website
49 Moraine Park Technical College Fond du Lac, Wisconsin$3,96512%46%1Yes Yes Yes School website
50 Passaic County Community College Paterson, New Jersey$4,29013%13%3Yes Yes Yes School website

Healthcare Administration Certifications

Continued professional development is a cornerstone of the entire healthcare industry. A range of certifications is available to graduates of online healthcare administration degree programs. These advanced credentials signify the holder has current and applicable experience and knowledge of not only the entire industry, but also specific areas such as finance, technology, health informatics, or risk management.

Below is a list of well-recognized healthcare administration organizations that offer a variety of certifications and credentials:

American Association of Healthcare Administration Management (AAHAM)

Founded in 1968, the AAHAM is the leading professional organization in the field of healthcare administrative management. The AAHAM offers four certifications ranging from specialist to executive designations:

  • Certified Revenue Cycle Executive (CRCE)
  • Certified Revenue Cycle Professional (CRCP)
  • Certified Revenue Integrity Professional (CRIP)
  • Certified Compliance Technician (CCT)
Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals (AHCAP)

A membership and advocacy-based organization, the AHCAP offers members leadership and professional development opportunities, including a certification program for healthcare administrative professionals.

  • Certified Healthcare Administrative Professional (cHAP)
American Hospital Association (AHA)

An international professional society, the ACHE includes more than 40,000 health care executives working in a variety of health care systems, hospitals and more. ACHE offers the leading board credential in healthcare management.

  • Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC)
  • Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Professional (CHESP)
  • Certified Healthcare Facility Manager (CHFM)
  • Certified Materials & Resource Professional (CMRP)
  • Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM)
Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA)

A diverse organization that represents insurance, human resources, hospitals, consultants and more, the HCAA works in health care legislative advocacy. The group offers a certification for individuals working with self-funded health care plans.

  • Certified Self-Funding Specialist (CSFS)
American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)

An international professional society, the ACHE includes more than 40,000 health care executives working in a variety of health care systems, hospitals and more. ACHE offers the leading board credential in healthcare management.

  • Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE)
American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

AIHMA is the top membership organization for health information management professionals, serving more than 71,000 members worldwide. AHIMA provides a range of professional education opportunities for health care administrators working in technology or health information.

  • Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist (CHTS)
  • Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist—Clinician/Practitioner Consultant (CHTS-CP)
  • Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist—Practice Workflow and Information Management Redesign Specialist (CHTS-PW)
  • Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist—Implementation Manager (CHTS-IM)
  • Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist—Implementation Support Specialist (CHTS-IS)
  • Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist—Technical/Software Support Staff (CHTS-TS)
  • Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist—Trainer (CHTS-TR)
College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME)

The leading professional organization for senior healthcare professionals, including Chief Information Officers, CHIME represents more than 1,4000 individuals worldwide. The group offers a certification program designed exclusive for IT executives and CIOs working in healthcare.

  • Certified Healthcare CIO (CHCIO)
American Academy of Medical Administrators (AAMA)

Founded nearly 60 years ago, the AAMA is an association of healthcare management professionals working in the industry. The AAMA offers both examination-based credentials, as well as experience-based fellowships.

  • Credentialed by the American Academy of Medical Administrators (CAAMA)
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Medical Administrators (FAMMA)
  • Fellow of the American College of Cardiovascular Administrators (FACCA)
  • Fellow of the American College of Contingency Planners (FACCP)
  • Fellow of the American College of Neuroscience Administrators (FACNA)

Evaluating Online Healthcare Administration Programs

Before making a decision and enrolling in a healthcare administration online degree, students should create a list of potential target schools based on five quality factors: faculty, curriculum, graduation rate, accreditation, and graduate school funding.

Faculty

First and foremost, students should review the faculty members of each school under consideration. Do faculty members have industry experience? What are their educational qualifications? Are they committed to teaching and student excellence? Have they conducted and published any independent research? What is the faculty student-ratio for the major?

Curriculum

What is the quality of the department’s course offerings and do these offerings help you achieve your career goals? What about course availability? Does the school have a solid reputation for academic excellence? Does the program offer research opportunities or provide students with the chance for real-world application of knowledge?

Graduation Rate

What is the percentage of students who fully complete the program and graduate within a proper window of time? Additionally, what percentage of graduates actually go on to careers in healthcare administration?

Accreditation

Has the program been reviewed and accredited by an organization or agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education? For instance, is the program a member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA)? Is the program accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)? For MBA programs, are they part of the Business School Alliance for Healthcare Management (BAHM)?

Graduate School Funding

For graduate students, what type of funding is available? Are graduate assistantships available for online students? Tuition waivers? Is there an opportunity to work with faculty and participate in grant-funded research or teaching opportunities in the department?

Why Earning a Healthcare Administration Degree Online is A Good Investment

The benefits of earning of earning an online degree in healthcare administration are numerous and individual. For example, one student may think it is a good investment because he or she was able to attend a reputable college across the country without having to relocate, while another may be more thrilled that he or she was able to keep their fulltime job while earning a degree. One benefit, however, is sure to be fairly unanimous—a career in healthcare administration gives graduates the potential to earn salaries exceeding six figures annually. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national average salary for healthcare administrators topped $90,000 in 2013, with the top ten percent of earners taking home more than $155,000.

At least 19 states had average salaries of $100,000 or more in 2013, while another 20 states had average salaries between $80,000 and $90,000. Additionally, job opportunities are expected to be strong between 2012 and 2022, with 23 percent growth projected nationally by the BLS.

Those figures represent a solid rate of return for an educational investment in healthcare administration.

Firsthand Insight: Interview With a Healthcare Administration Graduate

Growing up with a father who was an internist and a mother who worked as a nurse before becoming a stay-at-home mother, Joan Farris seemed destined to find herself working in healthcare. Currently, she works for a local nonprofit agency that is striving to improve the quality and overall costs for health care.

Farris holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration and graduated with a master’s degree in healthcare administration from an online program in 2013. Below, she provides valuable insight and feedback on her academic experiences:

Why did you choose a degree in health administration?

During my research, I found the programs of study within health administration offered two main benefits: they provided me with the opportunity to develop a technical and theoretical skill set that is not only in demand but can be applied in both the public and private sectors. Second, I would be prepared to work in health policy, an area I am passionate about.

How long did it take you to complete your online master’s degree?

Because I was working full-time (and had a young son), I could only commit to about 18 hours of study per week to my program. That’s one major reason why I chose to pursue a degree through online learning—the flexibility. Yet, it still took me 28 months to finish my degree, including writing and defending my thesis.

What did you find most surprising about your online program?

That I would be so well-supported by my college and program advisor. Through phone calls and emails, I worked closely with my program advisor to keep graduation in sight. Although we didn’t spend any time together in a physical classroom, I was also able to build relationships with my classmates through online chats and, my favorite, Google+ hangouts.

How does your degree help you address challenges in your current position?

I’ve discovered every situation I encounter is a distinct learning opportunity. My undergraduate education and my master’s degree introduced me first and foremost to the importance of serving patients. That’s the number one priority. The biggest challenge I encounter is making sure the support infrastructures and patient-centered policies are in place to ensure patients receive the care they need.

Healthcare Administration Degree Search Tool

With the rapid growth of the healthcare industry set to continue in an upward trend, many students are looking for reputable online programs matched to their specific passions in this industry. With so many career paths available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when researching the best degree level and area of study to undertake. By making use of the search tool below, students may consider these factors side-by-side, and use the provided information to help determine which program will deliver the best overall education according to their specific needs.

Types of Online Healthcare Administration Degrees

Distance degrees in healthcare administration are offered at all levels of education, from associate to doctoral, and even online graduate certificates in between. Much like campus-based programs, online degrees provide students with an understanding of management principles and practices within healthcare. Coursework covers topics such as healthcare policy and law, healthcare systems, risk management, operations management, and policy development and analysis. An undergraduate degree can serve as the foundation to practical knowledge of the field, and the higher the degree, the more complex and in-depth the coursework.

Online Associate Degree in Healthcare Administration

An associate degree is the most basic educational option in healthcare administration and can prepare graduates to pursue an entry-level position within the field, such as medical secretary, or set the groundwork for a bachelor’s degree. The Associate of Health Care Administration usually requires 60 credit hours of online study, which typically takes two years of full-time study to complete.

At this level, students can develop a fundamental understanding of the structure and components of the nation’s healthcare system. Curriculum introduces students to organizational concepts, information technology, ethics, and other issues related to healthcare administration.

National University
  • Enrollment: 15,925
  • Tuition: $12,096
  • College Type: Private
  • State: California
  • Associate of Science in Health Informatics

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Health Care Administration

Undergraduate degree programs provide prospective healthcare professionals with a strong foundation in the core aspects of health administration: business, marketing, communication, human resources, and finance. There are two types of bachelor’s degrees in the field:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Administration. An academic-focused degree, these programs emphasize a broader set of general education coursework.
  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration. A research-based degree, these programs provide a targeted approach to skill building for entry-level positions.

Both options typically require the completion of 120 credits, which are split between general education, major course requirements, and electives. Curriculum in an online healthcare administration bachelor’s program is interdisciplinary, thus covering a spectrum of subjects from healthcare law to healthcare planning, risk management to delivery of care.

Students may also choose to specialize their program of study, focusing on areas such as the following:

  • Emergency management
  • Health information systems
  • Healthcare informatics
  • Project management
  • Organizational leadership
Middle Tennessee State University
  • Enrollment: 25,850
  • Tuition: $7,546
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Tennessee
  • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies: Healthcare Administration
National University
  • Enrollment: 15,925
  • Tuition: $12,096
  • College Type: Private
  • State: California
  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration
Indiana Wesleyan
  • Enrollment: 15,890
  • Tuition: $23,628
  • College Type: Private
  • State: Indiana
  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration
University of South Florida-St. Petersburg
  • Enrollment: 4,940
  • Tuition: $5,821
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Florida
  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Enrollment: 3,939
  • Tuition: $28,470
  • College Type: Private
  • State: Massachusetts
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
King College
  • Enrollment: 2,478
  • Tuition: $24,960
  • College Type: Private
  • State: Tennessee
  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration

Online Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Administration

Another educational option for health professionals is earning a graduate certificate in healthcare administration. These online programs are usually designed for individuals interested in either pursuing future graduate study in the industry or developing or updating specific healthcare management skills without investing in a full graduate degree program.

If choosing this route, students will need to complete 15 or 18 credits, which equates to about a year of study. Example curriculum includes healthcare economics, strategic health care planning, quality and information management systems, and health care risk and regulatory compliance.

Healthcare Administration Online Doctoral Degrees

The highest level of graduate education in healthcare administration is the doctoral degree. Healthcare professionals can select from two equivalent, but slightly different, doctoral paths:

  • Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration. The Ph.D. option concentrates on academic study and research in the field.
  • Doctor of Health Administration. The D.H.A. is a professional degree that focuses on applied healthcare research.

The D.H.A. and Ph.D. are integrative degrees that blend advanced business education with innovative, analytical study of healthcare management. Both degrees typically require between 60 and 80 credits beyond the master’s degree. These degree options are available through a variety of learning formats, including entirely online and through a combination of online study and required residential colloquia.

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Enrollment: 1,869
  • Tuition: $19,230
  • College Type: Private
  • State: Massachusetts
  • Doctor of Health Sciences