Online Master’s In Healthcare Management & Administration

Earn an Online Master’s in Healthcare Management & Administration

The job outlook for the healthcare administration field remains positive as the growing population of elderly individuals, or baby boomers, stay active, live longer and seek medical services to stay in the best shape possible long term. If you want to gain a competitive advantage in the field, you might benefit from earning an online master’s degree in healthcare management and administration. Find out what you can expect to learn in these types of degree programs, what careers they can lead to and the top-ranking online master’s programs for aspiring healthcare administrators.

Top 10 Online Master’s in Healthcare Management & Administration

Rank School Location
1 Rosemont College Rosemont, PA
2 Independence University Salt Lake City, UT
3 Concordia University-Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN
4 Belhaven University Jackson, MS
5 New England College Henniker, NH
6 Anderson University Anderson, SC
7 Ohio University Athens, OH
8 Mississippi College Clinton, MS
9 Park University Parkville, MO
10 Midwestern State University Wichita Falls, TX
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Best Online Master’s in Health Administration


  • Methodology

    Best Online Master’s in Health Administration

    Deciding which college to go to is no easy task, so ACO evaluated more than 3,500 colleges to give you the information you need to make the search more manageable. Our 2018 college rankings are based on statistical data from trusted sources, eligibility criteria and various ranking factorsData Sources:

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Each college must be accredited
    • Each college must be a not-for-profit institution
    • Each college must be located in a state (US territories and Washington DC were excluded)
    • Each college must have at least one online program 1

    Ranking Factors:

    • Affordability
    • Quality
    • Flexibility
    • Program

    Several individual data points were objectively evaluated to calculate a score for each ranking factor listed above. For affordability, the most impactful data points were tuition2 and grants; for quality, graduation and acceptance rates; for flexibility, part-time enrollment options; and for program, degrees granted in that specific program area. Each score was then weighted, with affordability being the most highly weighted factor for all ACO rankings.

    1 Best Vocational Programs included data for both online and campus programs.

    2 Both in-state and out-of-state tuition rates were used in our methodology; however, our rankings tool currently only displays in-state rates.Notes:

    • A dash in our Rankings Tool indicates IPEDS data was not available.
    • Tuition displayed in in-state and per year unless stated otherwise.


The best online MPH programs incorporate both practical application and theoretical learning to prepare students to manage private health organizations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Take a peek at our rankings list below to find out which colleges and universities offer the best online MHA degree programs. For these rankings, we obtained our data from the United States Department of Education, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDs) and the universities’ own published materials. All of the schools in our list are accredited.

  1. Rosemont College
    Location

    Rosemont, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Drawing from its Catholic roots, Rosemont College offers a holistic education, emphasizing mind and spirit in all its academic programs. Its online Master of Science in health care administration provides a flexible path for professionals seeking leadership and management positions in public, private, and nonprofit health care agencies. The MS curriculum blends practical knowledge necessary for health care administration with ethical instruction, drawing inspiration from Catholic teachings. Courses are offered in accelerated, flexible 7-week terms, which students can complete on their own schedule, even while working full time. Students will learn information technology, risk management and community assessment skills through a broad range of courses. On top of academic and spiritual instruction, Rosemont also places an emphasis on leadership with all its online degrees. Students should be prepared to take courses related to ethics and leadership in order to graduate. In total, students will need to earn 33 credits, 3 of which will be from a capstone project. Depending on how many courses students take each term, Rosemont estimates that it should take 18-24 months to earn the degree. All of the courses offered for this program are available entirely online, and all students will pay the same flat tuition rate of $655 per credit. To apply, applicants must submit transcripts from their 4-year undergraduate degree and a statement of purpose regarding how they expect the degree to further their career along with their application. This program is suitable for students who already have a degree related to healthcare and have some relevant work experience or are currently employed in a related field.

  2. Independence University
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Independence University's Master of Science in health care administration degree is only offered online. The program is career-focused, prioritizing the skills and education you will need to be a successful health care administrator and electives that provide the knowledge to help advance your career. Graduates are qualified to go on to work as health care administrators, policy analysts and human resources managers in a health care agency, to name just a few potential career options. The curriculum covers both health care and business topics, including courses on health care marketing, policy, finance and information systems. Studying full time, Independence estimates that it will take students15-20 months to earn their master's degree. There are multiple start dates throughout the year, so students can begin their studies whenever they're ready. The master's in health care administration is meant for all students, so no previous health care experience is required. To graduate, students have to complete 57.5 credit hours. Many of the courses offered by Independence are worth 4 credits instead of the usual 3, so the high credit count doesn't necessarily mean a longer program. All online graduate students will be charged the same flat tuition rate of $506 per credit. The university also offers a grants and scholarships through its Good Neighbor Initiative. These awards are not dependent on previous grades, but require a separate application, references and an essay on how earning a degree will change your life.

  3. Concordia University-Saint Paul
    Location

    Saint Paul, MN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Graduate success is a priority for Concordia University – Saint Paul, and 95% of its graduates are employed within a year of earning their degree. Students who pursue a degree in a high-demand field, such as the Master of Business Administration in health care management, often have strong career potential. The program looks at how business principles impact health care industry trends. Concordia's MBA in health care management requires 42 credit hours to graduate. Most courses will last 7 weeks and there are 6 sessions throughout the year, so students can accelerate or pace their education in whatever way works best for them. While all of the courses for the program are offered entirely online, some courses can be studied on-campus and others can blend on-campus and online studies. The time it takes to complete this program depends on how many courses the student takes each term, but most students will earn their MBA is less than 2 years. To apply, students must submit an application, an undergraduate transcript showing an average of 3.0 GPA or better, a personal statement and a resume. All students in this program will pay the same tuition rate per credit. A unique aspect of the MBA program at CSP is the Mentor and Managerial Application Portfolio (MAP) program. This pairs each graduate student with a faculty member who will serve as a mentor throughout the student's education. Along with guiding the student toward their degree, the mentor will also help students make professional connections, offer advice on how to polish their resumes and help them prepare for interviews.

  4. Belhaven University
    Location

    Jackson, MS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Belhaven University is a small, Christian school that has a growing online curriculum that accounts for nearly half its academic programs. The online Master of Health Administration combines academic and technical topics with teachings of Christian values. The goal of the program is to prepare students for a career in health care administration, so coursework covers areas like health care ethics, the health care legal and regulatory framework, health care quality management, and health care finance. All of the courses are offered entirely online, in 8-week formats, and most students complete the MHA in just 2 years. While most of the courses are flexible and allow students to study whenever they want, some courses will have project team activities. These are required and will have students work with each other at a set time, gaining experience and preparing them for a real-life position. In total, students will need to complete 12 3-credit courses, including a capstone project, to earn their degree. Students don't need any previous experience in the field prior to applying. Applicants must have a 2.8 cumulative GPA from their undergraduate degree or 9 hours of graduate work with a B in each class. Motivated students who don't meet that standard can submit an essay and two letters of recommendation and may be admitted on a conditional basis. All students in the MHA program are eligible to join the Belhaven chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), which provides ongoing educational and networking opportunities with health care executives.

  5. New England College
    Location

    Henniker, NH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Through New England College's online school, students interested in healthcare administration can earn a Masters of Science in Management with a specialization in health care administration health care administration. The curriculum requires completion of 12 courses. Five core courses cover general management topics including organizational leadership, strategic planning and professional ethics. The remaining 7 courses cover topics like marketing, finance, and legal issues as they relate to the health care industry. In total, these courses add up to 34 credits. A strategic capstone project is part of the core coursework required. The program is designed for students who already have some business and health care knowledge or professional experience. However, there is no previous experience required, and students will have learned everything they need for a career in health care upon earning their graduate degree. Graduates will be prepared for a wide range of health care careers, including hospital administrators, directors of long term care facilities, or managers in biotech firms. The school offers rolling admission every seven weeks. No GMAT or GRE tests are required for admission. Once students enroll in the program, they'll be included in a cohort. This is a group of up to 15 other students that they will take every class with, helping them build teamwork skills while working toward a common goal. Courses are laid out ahead of time, so students will be able to look at what will need to be completed down the road. The small class sizes of this cohort system allow students to get personalized attention from their professors.

  6. Anderson University
    Location

    Anderson, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Anderson University is a small Christian university offering an online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in health care leadership. Courses are available entirely online, although students can combine online courses with evening, on-campus courses if they choose. Because it was designed for working students, this program is also accelerated with courses lasting 6 weeks and start dates throughout the year. Typically online students take one class at a time. Working students can complete their MBA in as little as 18 months. There are 2 parts to earning this degree. First, students will need to complete 12 required core courses (36 credit hours) for the Master of Business Administration. These are typical MBA courses, covering business topics like financial management, leadership ethics, marketing and human resources. In addition to the core courses, students earning a health care leadership concentration then take 3 courses (9 credit hours) focused on key areas of health care administration: healthcare structure and policy, health care finance and economics and health care quality, safety and outcomes. In total, students will need to complete a minimum of 45 credits in order to earn the MBA degree with the health care concentration. While no previous work experience is required for the MBA in health care leadership, students are expected to have a bachelor's degree, preferably in business. Those who do not have a bachelor's degree in business may need to take 4 foundational business courses at the start of their MBA program. Potential internship opportunities are provided for students that aren't working while earning their degree.

  7. Ohio University
    Location

    Athens, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    As the 9th oldest public school in the nation with over 200,000 alumni, Ohio University offers 21 different online master's degrees, including a Master of Health Administration (MHA). The MHA is an entirely online degree program that is meant to provide students with a broad foundation in health care leadership to prepare them for executive positions in the health care industry. Ohio's large alumni network can be useful in making connections and finding work after earning a degree. The curriculum assumes that students have some business and/or health care experience, although neither is required for admission. Each course in the program is 7 weeks long, and students need to take 12 courses in order to earn the required 36 credits to graduate. Students can start in Fall, Spring or Summer. The curriculum covers the key knowledge and skills health care executives need, including quality assurance, ethics, legal issues, finance, marketing and policy. The program is designed for busy professionals, so students typically take one course per term and thus can complete their degree in 2 years. Students taking more than one course per term can complete their degree in even less time. Ohio residents get a small discount on tuition, paying $654 instead of $673 per credit unit. Applicants to the MHA program should have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 in any discipline and at least 2 years of recent professional health care experience. Transfer credits are not allowed. Students should also have a foundation in statistics and financial accounting. If not, they can take those courses upon admission before beginning their other coursework.

  8. Mississippi College
    Location

    Clinton, MS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Mississippi College is a private, Christian college and the oldest college in the state of Mississippi. Designed for working professionals, Mississippi College's online programs serve students across 39 states and 20 countries. Its Master of Health Services Administration is available entirely online, although students can also choose to complete some of their studies on Mississippi College's campus. Students learn the same material online as they do in-person. Graduation requires completion of 30 semester hours of coursework, including 24 semester hours of required core work and 6 semester hours of electives. The coursework is meant to give students a strong all-around understanding of the field. Courses will cover financial management and marketing, research methods, legal issues, and ethics in an effort to give future health care administrators a solid foundation for leading successful organizations. Students should have an undergraduate degree in one of the health sciences or have at least one year of professional experience in the health care field. While most courses follow the traditional semester format, students can choose to accelerate their degree, breaking each section into 8-week terms. This allows students to complete their degree in less time, although it is more rigorous and is not recommended for students who have professional obligations outside the classroom. Tuition is the same for all online students, regardless of where they live. Tuition can be further reduced through scholarships, which many online students at MC earn every year. Applicants should submit undergraduate transcripts and standardized test scores along with their application.

  9. Park University
    Location

    Parkville, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Park University was established in 1875 and today has more than 16,000 students studying online and at 41 different campus centers. The university gives its Master of Health Care Administration students plenty of options to specialize their education. Students can choose a general MHA or they can pick from one of 9 different concentrations – including such diverse subjects as disaster management, homeland security, global business and information systems – based on their career interests. Regardless of which concentration students choose Park requires 36 credit hours to graduate. Generally core courses account for 12 credits, and the remaining 24 credits are electives in your chosen area of concentration. Because of the diverse range of concentrations at Park, graduates can go on to careers in international business, government agencies in charge of emergency response, or traditional health care organizations. Courses are offered in the traditional semester format, and Park assumes that students are often working professionals with limited time. Some courses are offered in a hybrid format, allowing students to combine online coursework with some in-person instruction at one of their participating campus centers where they get an opportunity to collaborate with fellow students and apply what they have learned. Because Park is a small, private school, they are able to offer low student-to-faculty ratios, giving students a more personalized education. Online students get access to many of the same resources as on-campus students, but pay a reduced tuition rate per credit.

  10. Midwestern State University
    Location

    Wichita Falls, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Midwestern State University, Texas offers a Master of Health Administration degree to working professionals interested in leadership positions in the health care industry. The program can be completed entirely online, or through a hybrid of online and on-campus learning. Students interested in the hybrid program can enroll in seminars on campus. To earn the degree, students will need to complete 45 semester hours spread over 15 courses with a grade of B or higher in each class, making it longer than many other MHA programs. Students must also pass a comprehensive exam prior to graduation. While earning their master's degree, students must pick from one of 4 concentrations: Health Information Management, Medical Practice Management, Public and Community Sector Health Care Management or Rural and Urban Hospital Management. Once they have chosen a concentration, students will work with a Graduate Coordinator to set up a degree plan. Students will need to complete 33 semester hours of core courses, along with 12 semester hours of elective courses for their specialization. MSU offers out-of-state online students a discounted tuition rate. Part-time students can complete this program in 2-3 years, and those studying full-time can complete the program in 5 semesters. To apply, students should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 from an accredited undergraduate program and must submit GRE test scores. If their undergraduate degree did not include clinical training, applicants should have some work experience (paid or voluntary) in a health care field. MSU encourages students to begin their studies in the fall, but allows some students to start in the spring or summer.

What Can I Learn in an Online Healthcare Management & Administration Master’s Program?

An online MHA degree program teaches students mandatory skills for managing private health organizations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. These organizations range from hospitals to nursing homes, health insurance companies and even pharmaceutical companies.

Students in an online MHA degree program explore topics such as leadership, human resource management, professional development, decision-making and health care law. They may also study information systems, accounting systems and economics. Students also develop their knowledge of the various ethical standards, laws and regulations that exist in the modern medical industry. Students will lean actionable skills they can use in their new position in the healthcare field, including:

  • Ethical rules and regulations guiding the protection and safety of patient data
  • Detailed systems for managing the accounting and insurance side of healthcare
  • Tools for managing people within healthcare jobs
  • Government rules and regulations regarding the healthcare field

What’s the difference between an MHA and an MBA in healthcare management & administration?

A master’s in healthcare administration and an MBA in healthcare management & administration both last about two years for students studying full-time. However, an MBA is designed for students who wish to master the business practices that apply to the healthcare field. Often, someone looking to start a health management career from the business side will choose the healthcare management & administration MBA, while a person who has been working in an active healthcare role for years will choose to earn their master’s in healthcare management and administration.

MBA degree programs cover information systems, technology, business strategy, management, marketing, economics, finance and accounting as related to healthcare. Meanwhile, an online master’s in healthcare administration degree program focuses specifically on how business relates to health care. Therefore, students cover topics such as scheduling in health care and health care laws. Completing this degree program is ideal for students who would like specialized roles as health care administrators, managed care analysts, health insurance administrators or healthcare consultants.

What common courses are offered in an MHA program?

Take a look at these five sample courses that are common in any an online MHA degree program.

Legal & Ethical Issues in Healthcare

This course introduces students to the legal issues that healthcare administrators face in the modern medical field. Students also learn about the recent legislation and regulations that impact the industry, health care management ethical issues, and both organizational and personal liability.

Healthcare Accounting

This course introduces students to accounting principles that are used in healthcare settings, ranging from for-profit to nonprofit healthcare organizations. Students learn about cash flow, budgeting and the development of financial statements, among other topics.

Managerial Finance

In this course, students explore how healthcare markets function as well as how economic incentives affect decision-making in the healthcare field. Other topics covered in the course include forecasting expenditures as well as how managed care and the uninsured populace affect the industry.

Heathcare Management

This course prepares students to effectively manage organizational resources, including work descriptions and policies. Students also learn about concepts such as leadership, diversity, teambuilding and employee development.

United States Healthcare System

Through this course, students develop an understanding of how U.S. healthcare works in terms of financing, its delivery and its organization. Students learn about how market competition and government regulation affect the nation’s healthcare system, as well as the key issues that face today’s physicians, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare organizations.

What exams or projects should I expect?

An online master’s in healthcare administration degree program typically ends with a capstone thesis or course that allows students to show off the skills and knowledge they have acquired through the course. In addition to completing a comprehensive project, students may be required to complete practicums, where they receive hands-on training under experienced healthcare-field professionals at clinics and hospitals.

What specializations are available in an MHA program?

An online MHA degree program may give students the chance to select an aspect of healthcare management in which to specialize. For example, some students may choose to focus on survey research or child and maternal health. Meanwhile, other students may decide to specialize in environmental health science, health policies, health informatics, medical ethics, long-term care or acute care.

Take a look at these other common online MHA degree program specializations below.

Operations

This specialization provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to help organizations in the healthcare field to run efficiently. Students take courses on subjects such as marketing, finance, patient records and employee management.

Service Organizations

With this specialization, students explore the methods, concepts and tools associated with the leadership and development of government agencies, private sector organizations and nonprofits in the healthcare industry. The specialization equips them to enhance these organizations’ daily operations and patient care as well as to streamline the systems used to deliver healthcare services.

Health Policy

Students who choose this specialization are typically those who already have a strong background in business and healthcare administration. This concentration is ideal for health field professionals who desire to become leaders in today’s medical organizations.

What Can I do with a Master’s in Healthcare Management & Administration?

An online master’s in healthcare administration degree program will give you the skills you need to succeed in various positions in the multifaceted health field. Take a look at some of them below.

Clinical Project Manager

These professionals supervise and conduct clinical trials. This involves managing clinical professionals during trial phases and developing progress reports that reflect the findings of the research team.

Healthcare Consultant

These health field professionals perform research to pinpoint clients’ problems and discover potential solutions. These individuals also draft reports and conduct client meetings to share their solutions. Their clients are typically the managers of a variety of healthcare organizations.

Nursing Home Administrator

Nursing home administrators are responsible for managing nursing home residents and supervising all departments’ operations. A nursing home administrator must understand relevant federal, state and local laws to ensure that his or her facility is in compliance with government quality-related requirements.

Compliance Officer

In the healthcare setting, compliance officers handle issues dealing with compliance with regulations or laws. In addition, these officers ensure that their organizations are current with their licenses. These individuals can work for the companies they service or for contracting companies.

In addition to completing an online master’s in healthcare administration degree program, students may benefit from joining professional organizations, which will give them the opportunity to network in the industry. Here are a few key industry organizations that might be worth joining.

Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals

This association, also known as AHCAP, is a nonprofit organization specifically for healthcare administration professionals. Members of this association enjoy a variety of benefits, such as six complimentary webinars each year and tuition discounts for continuing education. Members can also participate in the association’s yearly conference.

Health Care Administrators Association

This association, which has existed since 1980, exists for the benefit of today’s third-party administrators in medicine and health. Healthcare consultants, insurance providers and audit firms are all members of this association.

American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management

This association, established in 1968, oversees 30-plus chapters throughout the United States. It hosts an annual conference that nearly 600 exhibitors and members attend. The association also offers five certifications in areas such as compliance, revenue cycle and revenue integrity.

How Much Can I Make with a Career in Healthcare Management & Administration?

Since the healthcare management and administration field covers a wide range of industries, there are a variety of careers available to those with an MHA. The chart below shows the range of salaries currently earned in this field. Students should keep in mind, however, that different industries and positions may require additional training, certification, licensure or experience in addition to a master’s degree.

CAREERLOWEST 10% EARNED ANNUALLYMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARYHIGHEST 10% EARNED ANNUALLYJOB GROWTH 2016-2026
Medical and Health Services Manager, all industriesLess than $58,350$98,359More than $176,130+20%
Medical and Health Services Manager, Hospitalsn/a$107,230n/a+20%
*for all healthcare industries
Medical and Health Services Manager, Governmentn/a$106,230n/a+20%
*for all healthcare industries
Medical and Health Services Manager, Physician Officesn/a$89,760n/a+20%
*for all healthcare industries
Medical and Health Services Manager, Nursing & Residential Care Facilitiesn/a$82,950n/a+20%
*for all healthcare industries
Medical and Health Services Manager, Outpatient Care Centersn/a$89,910n/a+20%
*for all healthcare industries

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

As indicated in the above chart, the healthcare management and administration field will experience high demand for the next decade. This is partly due to the growing aging population, which will demand increasing healthcare and nursing care services over the next several years.

Note that there is a difference in salary depending on your degree. The median annual salary for a master’s degree in health/medical administrative services is $80,000, versus $55,000 with a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, earning an online master’s in healthcare administration degree could potentially lead to an additional $25,000 per year.

Online Master’s in Healthcare Management & Administration Program Accreditation

Students earning their master’s degree online should look for a school that is regionally or nationally accredited. Accreditation ensures that colleges and universities are offering quality education. In some situations, it also affects a student’s ability to transfer course credits from or to another institution, as well as his or her eligibility for federal financial aid. Students earning their online master’s in healthcare administration degree should look for colleges accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education or The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). CAHME is the sole accrediting body recognized for healthcare administration online degree programs. Note, though, that just a few online master’s degrees have earned this special accreditation.

How to Pay for a Master’s in Healthcare Management & Administration

Students pursuing an online master’s in healthcare administration degree may need a helping hand when it comes to paying for their programs. In addition to federal loans, scholarships are available for these students. Here are a few options available to master’s students in healthcare management & administration.

Federal Financial Aid
Many graduate students may be eligible for federal financial aid given through grants and other federal programs. Students should fill out a FASFA form to determine eligibility. Additionally, many employers may cover all or part of the cost of a graduate degree earned toward a relevant career path.

Scholarships
Students enrolled or enrolling in a master’s in healthcare management & administration program may be eligible for scholarships. Many colleges offer scholarships to students enrolled in healthcare sponsored by the school. However, there are other scholarships open to students nationally, such as:

Richard J. Stull Student Essay Scholarship
This scholarship is available for $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 each year to three students who can write winning essays on significant issues impacting the current healthcare industry. Graduate students studying healthcare administration can apply as long as their school is a part of the American College of Healthcare Executive Higher Education Network.

Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to minority students enrolled in their final year of a graduate healthcare management program. The scholarship awards up to 15 scholarships annually, and each scholarship is worth $5,000.

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