Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degree Programs

By 2020, one in five jobs in the U.S. will be in the healthcare industry. Of the total job growth predicted for 2012-2022, the healthcare sector accounts for nearly one-third of job increases. For those pursuing graduate studies in this field, career prospects are good. As healthcare continues to expand, organizations need greater leadership in administrative roles. These positions will increasingly require higher levels of education as the trend continues upwards. An online master’s in healthcare administration is a great investment to launch a career in this growing industry.

As busy professionals already pursuing careers in healthcare, students will benefit from an online format for their studies. Flexible distance programs allow working students to complete studies on their own schedule while maintaining their employment status. Accelerated formats typically allow students to earn their degree in less time than traditional classes, allowing professionals to quickly get ahead in their career and often spend less income doing so.

Equipped with these advanced studies and highly developed skills, healthcare administrators are eligible for employment in a broad range of settings. Typical employment includes hospitals, medical group practices, clinics, home healthcare agencies, skilled nursing facilities, insurance companies, governmental health agencies, and more. Educational programs to further these careers are as varied as the job opportunities they open. To help narrow the search for the perfect master’s studies, we’ve assembled a ranked list of the top online master’s in healthcare administration programs.

Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1

George Washington University

Washington
  • annually: $47,343
2121 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052
(202) 994-1000

The Executive Master of Health Administration program prepares graduates to deliver health services efficiently and effectively. Emphasis is placed on leadership skills, business skills and knowledge, communication and professionalism. The curriculum consists of eight online modules, four on-campus immersion classes, a research project and a leadership portfolio. Online coursework is completed through the GWU SkillPort learning management system.

Coursework for the online master's in healthcare administration covers topics like personal management, business knowledge, financial management, economic analysis, information technology, healthcare policies and trends and ethics and professionalism. Completion of the program requires 50 credits. For admission, students must have undergraduate courses in accounting and statistics, three years of professional experience in the healthcare field and current employment with a healthcare-related organization.

2

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh
  • annually: $47,642
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
(412) 268-2000

Graduates of the Master of Science in Health Care Policy and Management (MSHCPM) program leave Carnegie Mellon with extensive real-world experience that will ensure they are prepared to enter the healthcare sector. Students choose from concentrations in Health Care Policy, Health Care IT & Analytics and Health Care Management for their studies. The curriculum emphasizes leadership, team-based learning and problem solving.

Students complete 198 units of coursework, including an internship and a capstone project. The internship takes place during the summer term. For the capstone project, students complete a project based on either electronic commerce, business intelligence, information security management, medical informatics or service management. Classes consist of common courses, which incorporate an internship and a systems synthesis project; health courses, which cover healthcare policy, public health and healthcare delivery systems; and elective courses, which cover the chosen concentration. All classes are accessed online through a Blackboard learning management system.

3

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill
  • in-state tuition: $8,340
  • out-of-state tuition: $30,122
103 South Bldg Cb 9100
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
(919) 962-2211

UNC offers a Health Policy and Management Executive MHA for those seeking to advance their careers in the healthcare field. Completion of the program requires 49 credits. This coursework includes a capstone class for which students write and submit a business plan or technical paper. The program can be completed in two years, with three on-campus sessions per year totaling 14 days. For admission, students must be currently employed in health or human services and have three years of experience in this field.

The curriculum for the online master's in healthcare administration focuses on the development of decision-making and leadership skills. Formats include intense BaseCamp workshops held on campus at the beginning of each semester, leadership simulations at the end of each term and online classes delivered synchronously Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Classes are accessed through UNC’s Learning Made Simple portal.

4

Simmons College

Boston
  • annually: $35,380
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115-5898
(617) 521-2000

For those seeking a master's in healthcare administration online, Simmons offers an accelerated Master of Health Administration (MHA) to Health Care MBA (HCMBA) program. To complete the program, students may transfer up to 30 MHA credits and then complete 24 additional credits. These consist of an orientation course, four core courses from the general MBA program and four healthcare-specific classes.

Students receive instruction covering leadership, decision-making, accounting and negotiations through MBA coursework. Core healthcare classes focus on information technology, marketing, the health system and financial strategy. All classes are accessed online through a Moodle learning management system.

5

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

North Chicago
  • annually: $29,953
3333 Green Bay Road
North Chicago, IL 60064-3095
(847) 578-3000

RFU offers an online Master of Science in Health Administration degree. This program can be completed in four quarters full time or two years part-time. Completion requires 45 quarter hours consisting of 36 quarters of core courses, six quarters of electives and three quarters of a final portfolio. Up to nine quarters may be transferred into the online MHA program. All online courses are accessed through a Desire2Learn platform.

Core coursework for the online master's in healthcare administration covers topics such as marketing, informatics, strategic planning, ethics and financial management. Electives available include insurance dimensions, global health and cultural diversity. The focus of the curriculum is to develop skills for the oversight of finances, compliance, human resources, facilities and technology.

6

Saint Joseph's University

Philadelphia
  • annually: $39,040
5600 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131-1395
(610) 660-1000

Saint Joseph’s online master’s degree in health administration offers two concentration options.

  • The general concentration focuses on topics covered by classes including policy formulation, economic and financial analysis, market assessment, ethical issues and quality assessment. This concentration requires 36 credit hours consisting of 12 courses.
  • Informatics – Courses cover IT infrastructure and applications related to healthcare technologies. Completion requires 42 credits made up of 14 courses.

Coursework emphasizes knowledge and skills for management, patient care and population health. Topics covered by classes include policy formulation, economic and financial analysis, market assessment, ethical issues and quality assessment. Classes are accessed online through a Blackboard learning management system.

7

Seton Hall University

South Orange
  • annually: $35,820
400 S Orange Ave
South Orange, NJ 07079-2697
(973) 761-9000

Seton Hall University’s master's in healthcare administration online (MHA) degree program combines online courses and in-person intensives. Graduates complete 42 credits in six semesters including three in-person five-day residency requirements. Students may also choose an area of interest for a concentration, consisting of a three-credit course and a final paper, which is presented at the last residency.

Coursework focuses on six key areas: managing change, decision making, strategic leadership, understanding the healthcare environment, analysis and financial competencies. Online courses are delivered via a Blackboard learning management system. Intensives involve completion of a course, presentations from faculty and networking opportunities.

8

Pfeiffer University

Misenheimer
  • annually: $24,150
48380 US Hwy 52N
Misenheimer, NC 28109
(704) 463-1360

Pfeiffer University’s online Master of Health Administration (MHA) program focuses on the managerial, financial, legal and ethical aspects of healthcare leadership. Emphasis is placed on responsible and ethical decision-making. Core courses cover ethics, economics, financial management, marketing and communications. All classes are offered online through a Blackboard platform.

The completion of the degree requires 36 credits consisting of 12 courses. Students may also choose a Leadership Concentration consisting of four courses plus ten core courses. This concentration combines health services and business leadership curriculum for instruction in healthcare leadership. As part of their studies, students may also elect an international experience. This course takes place between semesters and offers a seven to ten day field experience in another country.

9

California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach
  • in-state tuition: $6,240
  • out-of-state tuition: $17,400
1250 Bellflower Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90840-0115
(562) 985-4111

CSU’s Master of Science in Healthcare Administration program is delivered through a combination of online and face-to-face weekend instruction. The program can be completed in two years, with graduates earning 45 total credits including 13 core courses. The curriculum includes ethical concepts, legal theory, finance systems, strategic planning, leadership and general functions of the healthcare industry. All online courses are accessed via Beachboard, a Desire2Learn supported portal.

Graduates with an MSHA from Long Beach are prepared for administrative careers in settings such as hospitals, managed care, long-term care, mental health and governmental health agencies. For admission to the online MHA program, prospective students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their bachelor’s work as well as at least three years of professional experience in the healthcare field.

10

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond
  • in-state tuition: $12,002
  • out-of-state tuition: $29,473
910 W Franklin St
Richmond, VA 23284-2512
(804) 828-0100

VCU’s Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (MSHA) online program offers students the opportunity to develop leadership and strategic and operational management skills to advance their career in the healthcare industry. The program emphasizes five core areas of development: communication and relationship management, leadership, professionalism, knowledge of the healthcare environment and business and analytic skills. A sampling of core coursework includes managerial epidemiology, health economics, healthcare marketing and financial management.

Completion of the degree requires 14 courses for a total of 41 credits. Courses are delivered in online format through a Blackboard learning management system. Students are also required to complete six one-week campus sessions and a capstone class. Admission to the program requires a minimum GPA of 2.75, five years of healthcare experience and current employment in the healthcare field.

11

Indiana Wesleyan University

Marion
  • annually: $23,628
4201 S Washington St
Marion, IN 46953-4974
(765) 674-6901

The Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Administration (MBA-HCA) program at Indiana Wesleyan can be completed in 18-20 months. Coursework is completed in cohort groups, with classes delivered online through a Blackboard learning management system. Students complete 13 courses and a final three-credit capstone course, for a total of 42 credits for graduation. Courses are taken sequentially, one at a time.

Curriculum and instruction focus on ethical standards, decision-making, strategy development, communication and the integration of a biblical framework. Courses include economics, healthcare issues, statistics for business decision-making and management theory. Upon graduation, students are prepared to design and implement strategic solutions to healthcare administration.

12

Texas Tech University

Lubbock
  • in-state tuition: $5,580
  • out-of-state tuition: $16,802
Broadway and University Avenue
Lubbock, TX 79409-5005
(806) 742-2011

Texas Tech offers a unique Master of Science in Clinical Practice Management. This program focuses on ambulatory care, business case analysis, database management, coding and billing, practice management and small practice strategy. The degree can be earned 100% online in as little as 15 months. Courses are completed online via a Blackboard learning management system.

Students complete 36 credits consisting of 30 core class credits and six credits of electives. Elective choices include medical sociology, health & public policy and healthcare ethics. Core coursework covers such topics as coding and healthcare law, marketing and research methods. The curriculum prepares graduates for careers as leaders, supervisors and managers.

13

Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus

University Park
  • in-state tuition: $16,992
  • out-of-state tuition: $29,566
201 Old Main
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-4700

The online Master of Health Administration in Health Policy and Administration (MHA) program at Penn State is designed for completion in seven semesters. Coursework includes 13 online classes, two on-campus intensives and an online independent study, for a total of 49 credits. The intensives make up six credits of coursework over two sessions. These take place over one week in July during students’ third semester and one week in December during the final semester. The independent study is taken during the fourth semester and is typically completed at the student’s current place of employment.

The program's curriculum focuses on critical thinking skills, communication, ethical leadership and a firm understanding of the healthcare system. Courses cover financing, clinical issues, health law, marketing and economics. All online classes are delivered through a Blackboard collaborate.

14

Ohio University

Athens
  • in-state tuition: $10,446
  • out-of-state tuition: $19,410
020 Chubb Hall
Athens, OH 45701-2979
(740) 593-1000

Ohio University offers a master's in healthcare administration online. Course format is 100% online with no residency requirements. The degree can be completed in as little as two years and can be started in fall, spring or summer. Students take a total of 13 courses covering topics such as healthcare finance, health law, ethical issues and leadership. The final class, Strategic Planning, gives students the opportunity to apply previous learning to the case of a healthcare organization.

The curriculum focuses on the role of stakeholders and management of stakeholder interests. Students learn to balance financial, ethical and human resources while handling issues of policy and law. Courses emphasize critical thinking, data-driven solutions, leadership and communication. Students access all coursework through a Blackboard learning management system.

15

National Louis University

Chicago
  • annually: $15,915
122 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603
(800) 443-5522

Students seeking to earn a master’s in health services administration can do so entirely online at National Louis. The degree can be completed in about 22 months, through coursework accessed on a Blackboard platform. Students take 13 courses for a total of 37 credit hours. The curriculum emphasizes the development of administrative skills and practical applications to the healthcare field.

Courses cover topics including healthcare economics, finance, information systems, leadership and marketing. Graduates of the online MHA program are equipped with knowledge and skills in organizational design strategies, communication, public policy, problem solving and leadership, readying them to advance their career into the key areas of healthcare administration.

16

Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Harrisburg

Middletown
  • in-state tuition: $14,240
  • out-of-state tuition: $21,302
777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA 17057
(717) 948-6250

The Penn State online Master of Health Administration in Health Policy and Administration is a combination of online coursework and on-campus intensives. All online classes are delivered through a Blackboard learning management system. Intensives make up six credits of coursework over two sessions. These take place over one week in July during students’ third semester and one week in December during the final semester. An independent study is taken during the fourth semester and is typically completed at the student’s current place of employment.

Students complete a total of 49 credits consisting of the two on-campus sessions, the independent study and 13 online classes. The degree can typically be completed in seven semesters. The program curriculum focuses on critical thinking skills, communication, ethical leadership and understanding of the healthcare system. Course topics include financing, clinical issues, health law, marketing and economics.

17

California State University - East Bay

Hayward
  • in-state tuition: $6,550
  • out-of-state tuition: $17,710
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd
Hayward, CA 94542
(510) 885-3000

Professionals desiring leadership or management positions in the healthcare industry can earn a Master of Science in Health Care Administration online through CSU East Bay. For admission to the program, students must have at least two years of work experience in the healthcare industry. Completion of the degree requires 48 quarter units. Students may choose an optional concentration in Management and Change in Health Care, which includes 16 focused credits. The final class is a capstone course for which students complete a project with a strong practical application and a written paper.

The curriculum focuses on the development of five competencies: communication and relationship management, leadership, professionalism, knowledge of the healthcare environment and business skills. Students complete coursework online through a Blackboard learning management system.

18

Salve Regina University

Newport
  • annually: $34,950
100 Ochre Point Avenue
Newport, RI 02840-4192
(401) 847-6650

With the completion of 36 credits, students can earn an M.S. in Healthcare Administration and Management online at SRU. Coursework credits consist of 11 core courses, including an internship and one elective. Students complete all coursework online via a Canvas platform.

The program is designed for professionals with a business or clinical background. Core curriculum covers topics such as research, marketing, healthcare finance, policy, law and ethics. Emphasis is placed on an integration of management theory and practical experience. Graduates are prepared with leadership skills to advance careers in high-level healthcare administrative roles.

19

Rivier University

Nashua
  • annually: $28,055
420 South Main St
Nashua, NH 03060
(603) 888-1311

Offering a fully online format, Rivier University provides students the opportunity to earn an online MBA Healthcare Administration degree. Completion of the program typically takes two years. Courses are offered in seven-week format, delivered through the TutorTrac online portal, with multiple start dates each year. Graduates are prepared to enhance operations at the administrative level of healthcare.

A total of 36 credits must be completed, covering topics including healthcare law and ethics, market planning, healthcare information systems, organizational dynamics and facilities planning. For admission to the program, students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate studies.

20

California State University - Northridge

Northridge
  • in-state tuition: $6,525
  • out-of-state tuition: $17,685
18111 Nordhoff St
Northridge, CA 91330
(818) 677-1200

CSU Northridge offers a two-year online Master of Public Administration - Health Administration program. Students complete 12 classes for a total of 36 credits, including a comprehensive exam. All classes are accessed online through a Moodle learning management system.

Classes include Intergovernmental Relations, Public Policy, Public Budgeting, Health Services Administration Theory and Practice and Leadership in Health Administration Practice. Students receive a strong core curriculum emphasizing the development of skills to address issues across all facets of the healthcare industry. Graduates are prepared for management roles in a variety of settings, including hospitals, long-term care, governmental public agencies, home health and more.

21

Concordia University - Saint Paul

Saint Paul
  • annually: $19,700
1282 Concordia Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55104-5494
(651) 641-8278

Designed for working professionals requiring a flexible format, Concordia University’s Master of Business Administration with a Health Care Management concentration is offered fully online. Completion of the degree requires 42 credits. These include 12 core classes and a professional portfolio completion. Courses are delivered in a seven-week format and are accessed online through a Blackboard learning management system.

Core coursework includes studies in leadership, marketing, research methods, global economics, human resource management, finance and accounting and legal environments for managers. Each student is assigned a faculty mentor who supports and guides them through coursework. Graduates are prepared to apply business principles to current trends in the healthcare field.

22

Friends University

Wichita
  • annually: $23,430
2100 W. University Ave.
Wichita, KS 67213
(316) 295-5000

For those seeking to get ahead in the field of healthcare, Friends University offers a Master of Healthcare - Leadership program. Studies prepare students for professional leadership positions in healthcare settings such as long-term care, hospitals and hospice agencies. Courses cover topics including personnel, medical practice operations, management information systems, leadership, law and ethics and marketing. The curriculum focuses on the development of skills in communication, critical thinking, leadership and business theory and application.

Completion of the program requires 36 credits. Courses are delivered in eight-week format. Students access all coursework online through a Moodle learning management system.

23

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences

Kirksville
  • annually: $28,616
800 W Jefferson
Kirksville, MO 63501
(660) 626-2121

The Master of Health Administration degree program at A.T. Still University prepares leaders to take on the challenges of healthcare roles. Offered entirely online, the program is completed without any residential requirements. Students take 10 core courses and two elective courses for a total of 48 credit hours. A capstone project allows students to integrate studies and apply coursework knowledge to create a real-world solution to a problem faced by healthcare systems.

Core coursework covers health services, human resources, managing teams and individuals, marketing and ethics. Electives available include death and dying, cultural change in geriatrics, data management and design, managing teams and community based healthcare. All classes are accessed online through a Blackboard platform.

24

Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Mount Vernon
  • annually: $23,690
800 Martinsburg Rd
Mount Vernon, OH 43050-9500
(740) 392-6868

Mount Vernon Nazarene University offers an online Master of Business Administration with a Healthcare Administration concentration. This program prepares students to take on leadership roles in healthcare facilities in the public or private sector. Coursework covers the business topics of accounting, economics, finance, management and marketing, focusing on ethics, legal issues, global business and strategy. Beyond these basic business courses, students study healthcare human resources, strategic leadership, health services management and healthcare law.

Completion of the program requires a total of 12 classes, consisting of nine core courses and three additional in-depth healthcare courses. All classes are delivered in online format, accessed through a Blackboard learning management system.

25

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

Lowell
  • in-state tuition: $12,097
  • out-of-state tuition: $26,146
1 University Ave
Lowell, MA 01854-5104
(978) 934-4000

The University of Massachusetts Lowell offers two options for their Master of Science in Health Administration degree.

  • Health Informatics Concentration – This track emphasizes information management and the integration of health and computer sciences for data management and analysis. Completion requires 36 credits consisting of 12 classes.
  • Health Management Concentration – This track focuses on management and policy principles and the development of techniques to improve quality of patient care and employee experiences. Students complete 35 credits consisting of nine core courses and three electives.

Graduates are prepared to deliver cost-effective health services by applying critical skills of analysis and evaluation of systems.

Online courses are accessed through a Blackboard learning management system. Approximately half of the courses are completed online and half on-campus. Due to this hybrid format, it is recommended students not live further than 60 miles from the Lowell campus.

Career Outlook

A master’s degree in healthcare administration demonstrates to employers a high-level of skill, knowledge and ability. At this level, professionals are well-trained in leadership, problem-solving and knowledge of healthcare issues. They possess an in-depth understanding of the demands and trends of the industry. The result of this training is greater demand for job placement, more opportunities and higher salaries. From hospitals to health insurance, jobs for healthcare administrators offer diverse opportunities and rewarding experiences.

The following is a sampling of potential employment opportunities. Graduates of healthcare administration programs take on roles in management, executive and administrative positions in a variety of healthcare related organizations. Shown for each position are median salaries and BLS-projected job growth for 2012-2022.

  • Medical and Health Service Manager – $88,580 – 23%
  • Top Executive – $101,650 – 12%
  • Healthcare Administrative Service Manager – $76,870 – 12%

Keys to Online Success

Don’t waste your field experience. Most online master’s in healthcare administration programs require an internship of some kind or a capstone experience that integrates coursework with field application. This is a great opportunity to prove yourself in the field. This degree is designed to advance your career in leadership roles in the healthcare industry. This is your chance to shine. Put forth your best in order to excel during your internship and similar courses. Your colleagues and potential employers will look at this experience for a reference for future positions and promotions.

Incorporate technology in learning. Your online studies will expose you to a variety of technologies. Use this as an opportunity to increase your technological skills. Learn all you can about the systems used and any methods implemented to deliver coursework as well as learning the material itself. In the dynamic world of healthcare with quickly advancing technology, any skills you can sharpen in this arena will prove useful in your career.

Next Steps

Narrow your search. A master’s in healthcare administration opens a lot of doors. A broad search field can be overwhelming. Typically, opportunities exist in four areas: healthcare providers (hospitals, rehab facilities, clinics, etc); healthcare suppliers (supplying financial services, equipment, management or technology for providers); insurance organizations; and policy organizations (Centers for Disease control, government agencies, nonprofits.) It can help to narrow your field of interest to one of these quadrants. Focusing your master’s studies to emphasize one of these areas can also be a great help as you prepare for the job hunt.

Check licensure requirements. If you are interested in healthcare administration in geriatric services, you may need licensing in addition to your degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that all states require nursing care facility administrators to pass a licensing exam. Additionally, some states require licenses for administrators in assisted-living facilities. If elderly care is your intended specialty, look into requirements for your state.

Know industry issues. Healthcare administrators are often faced with tough choices. To make the most informed decisions, they must be current in their knowledge of healthcare concerns, policies and developments. It is essential to remain well read on current events and trends in the field. This may involve attending conferences and workshops, or subscribing to the most appropriate medical journals for your area of influence.

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