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
1University of St. FrancisJoliet$$$$$500 N Wilcox St
Joliet, IL 60435-6188
(815) 740-3360

A Catholic college rooted in the liberal arts, the University of St. Francis offers many online programs. The 36-credit MBA in health administration gives learners the skills needed to administer various functions within healthcare organizations, including finance and information management.

Students complete an MBA core that examines managerial economics, finance, and accounting. The 12-credit concentration develops competencies in health information and analytics, healthcare finance, healthcare law and compliance, and healthcare ethics and decision-making.

Students receive hands-on training through an experiential learning project supervised by faculty. Qualified students can join Delta Mu Delta, an international honor society for business students. Learners may transfer up to nine credits into this master's in healthcare administration online. Admission requires a minimum 2.75 GPA and two years of managerial experience or a competitive Peregrine Inbound Exam score.

The content of online courses -- and all assignments and requirements -- are the same as on-campus courses. Online students interact with program faculty on a regular basis, all of whom have specialized training to offer meaningful and challenging online course experiences.

2University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill$$$$$103 South Bldg Cb 9100
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
(919) 962-2211

Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill prepare for roles as innovators and leaders in diverse industries. UNC offers an online master of healthcare administration that empowers students with the decision-making and leadership skills necessary to optimize healthcare delivery. The 60-credit curriculum examines topics such as quality of care, health law, and health economics for policy and administration.

The core covers subjects such as healthcare strategy and marketing, healthcare finance, and management of human resources in health organizations. A 12-week, 480-hour practicum refines students' operational skills as they acquire relevant experience under the supervision of an approved field preceptor.

Students develop a business plan, make an oral presentation, and write a thesis to culminate the MHA. Students must visit campus for limited residencies in the fall, spring, and summer. Admission requires school transcripts and the GRE or GMAT.

3Clarkson CollegeOmaha$$$$$101 S 42nd St
Omaha, NE 68131-2739
(402) 552-3100

Clarkson College began in 1888 as Nebraska's first nursing school, later expanding into a comprehensive college specializing in various realms of healthcare. The fully online, 39- to 45-credit MS in healthcare administration advances learners' business and leadership skills in 4-7 semesters.

The core begins with a course that acquaints learners with the fundamentals of scholarly writing in APA. Students then explore healthcare-related subjects such as leadership, informatics, strategic planning and marketing, and healthcare quality and regulatory issues.

Students synthesize learning by completing a business plan that demonstrates proficiency in areas such as financial analysis, industry analysis and trends, and fundraising. The program offers accelerated courses that start every six weeks to give students maximum flexibility.

Students can expedite graduation by transferring up to nine credits from regionally accredited graduate programs. Admission to one of the nation's best online MHA programs requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and official transcripts.

4George Washington UniversityWashington$$$$$2121 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052
(202) 994-1000

George Washington University hosts students on a main campus four blocks from the White House and online. GW's online master of health administration equips students to assume leadership positions in healthcare-related organizations. Students can complete the curriculum on a part-time or full-time basis.

The core of the 50-credit curriculum covers topics such as healthcare management and strategy, quality and performance improvement, and medical informatics and decision-making. For an organizational research project, students develop a business plan, evaluate an organization, or complete a literature review that addresses a specific operational challenge.

Students must complete four in-person immersions at prominent organizations in Washington, D.C. and around the globe. The immersions focus on three areas: leadership and ethics, health systems analysis, and presentation of students' organizational research projects. Admission to the online MHA requires current employment in the healthcare sector.

5Colorado State University GlobalGreenwood Village$$$$$7800 East Orchard Road Ste 200
Greenwood Village, CO 80111-0000
(800) 920-6723

Colorado State University-Global Campus offers learners flexible online programs that align with the needs of fast-changing industries. The online master of healthcare administration emphasizes in-demand leadership skills and management tools. The 36-credit curriculum covers areas such as healthcare finance, healthcare information systems, health law and ethics, and quality and performance improvement.

Students in the master's in healthcare administration online may opt for an internship to acquire practical management experience. Students leave the program with expertise in systems analysis, financial management, operations, and problem-solving. CSU Global offers accelerated courses, asynchronous learning, and monthly start dates.

All students pay the same tuition regardless of residency, and CSU Global locks in tuition so that students need not worry about tuition increases for the duration of the program. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA, school transcripts, and a resume.

6University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles$$$$$University Park
Los Angeles, CA 90089
(213) 740-2311

The University of Southern California offers a bastion of scholarship and research in Los Angeles. USC's 36-credit online executive master of health administration best suits professionals already working as advanced clinicians, healthcare managers, or in other related roles.

Students learn key skills, such as how to manage risk, financial health, and health information systems. Students learn the Six Sigma and Lean methodologies used to improve healthcare organizations. They also develop proficiency in the use of economic analysis to determine the factors that influence healthcare delivery.

Students supplement learning with two on-campus residencies where they work alongside healthcare trendsetters, industry executives, and policymakers. Admission to the online MHA requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and at least five years of relevant experience.

7Mississippi CollegeClinton$$$$$200 South Capitol Street
Clinton, MS 39058
(601) 925-3000

7. Mississippi College
Mississippi College, the oldest college in the state, offers programs in the liberal arts and sciences. The school's master of health services administration provides healthcare professionals with an affordable, fully online curriculum. The 30-credit curriculum advances competencies in core areas such as healthcare and financial management, healthcare marketing, and research methodology and procedures.

A course focused on organizational behavior examines how interpersonal relationships and behavior development can impact a healthcare organization's morale, efficiency, and practices. Students may use elective credits to acquire expertise in areas such as negotiations and public relations.

A capstone health services seminar rotates topics each year, and students must complete a paper to culminate this course. MC offers affordable tuition and scholarship opportunities for students in this master's in healthcare administration online. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA and the GRE.

8University of the SouthwestHobbs$$$$$6610 North Lovington Hwy
Hobbs, NM 88240
(575) 392-6561

Founded in 1962, the University of the Southwest is a Christian college located in Hobbs, New Mexico. The school offers an MBA in healthcare administration that students may earn in one year. The 36-credit degree advances learners' operational, policy analysis, and strategic planning skills to create competent leaders for the changing healthcare sector.

Core courses examine issues such as financial management, controllership, information technology for managers, and human resource management. The specialization delves into subjects such as healthcare organization leadership, policy analysis, and decision-making.

The capstone course in the master's in healthcare administration online focuses on organizational design and strategy. The school awards credit for professional and military training. Students pay the same affordable tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and school transcripts.

9Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied HealthOmaha$$$$$720 N. 87th Street
Omaha, NE 68114
(402) 354-7000

Nebraska Methodist College ranks among the nation's top schools for allied health and nursing. NMC Online provides learners with specialized training through programs such as the 42-credit MBA in healthcare. Students develop core business administration competencies and learn how to take a compassionate approach to their roles as healthcare administrators.

The core focuses on operational areas such as accounting, strategic management, and business law and ethics in healthcare. Students choose one of three specializations: informatics, healthcare administration, or quality improvement and outcomes management. Each specialization requires a capstone project in which students apply their theoretical knowledge in the workplace.

Students can complete the online MHA in 18-30 months. All students pay the same affordable tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA.

10William Woods UniversityFulton$$$$$One University Avenue
Fulton, MO 65251-1098
(573) 642-22512251

Established in 1870, William Woods University hosts students in Fulton, Missouri, and online. The master of healthcare administration provides learners with in-demand administration skills and hands-on training. The 36-credit curriculum explores diverse topics such as finance, administration, ethics, and organizational and change management in healthcare.

Each course in the online master's in healthcare administration degree includes a weekly forum discussion, allowing learners to communicate and share experiences with peers. Students use electives to examine areas of interest and culminate the degree with a capstone project.

The school offers affordable tuition and scholarship opportunities. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA and at least one year of professional healthcare experience. WWU offers multiple start days throughout the year.

11City University of SeattleSeattle$$$$$521 Wall Street, Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98121
(800) 426-5596

City University of Seattle makes learning accessible to nontraditional learners with 20 locations in the Northwest and worldwide. CityU also offers many programs online, including the 45-credit MS in healthcare administration. The program provides healthcare professionals with advanced proficiencies in business management, strategic planning, and change management.

The MS core addresses topical issues that impact U.S. healthcare delivery, including financial management, healthcare leadership, policy and economics, and healthcare informatics and technology. Students can take electives to tailor their degree to career objectives. Students complete a project or an externship as the capstone experience. Graduates qualify for careers as hospital administrators, clinic managers, and nursing directors.

Students in one of the nation's best healthcare administration master's programs online pay the same tuition regardless of residency.

12Louisiana State University - ShreveportShreveport$$$$$One University Place
Shreveport, LA 71115-2399
(318) 797-5000

Louisiana State University-Shreveport educates 7,000 learners who benefit from the school's reputation for academic rigor and affordability. The fully online master of health administration prepares learners for middle- and upper-management roles within healthcare organizations. Learners can complete the 30-credit degree on a part-time or full-time basis in as few as 10 months.

The core of the master's in healthcare administration online examines topics such as finance, economics, healthcare policy, and informatics. A notable course explores human resource management issues, including compensation, employee development, and employee/labor relations. Students without a business background may complete courses in finance, economics, and accounting, but these foundational courses do not count toward the degree.

Online MHA students pay the same affordable tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires a minimum 2.75 GPA in the last 60 semester hours of the bachelor's degree and the GMAT.

13California State University - Long BeachLong Beach$$$$$1250 Bellflower Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90840-0115
(562) 985-4111

California State University-Long Beach offers learners 151 degree options on a 322-acre campus in Southern California and online. The 45-credit online MS in healthcare administration features a cohort learning model, and students graduate in two years. The program's 15 core courses cover areas such as healthcare economics, managed care, strategic planning/marketing, and human resource management.

The MHA online focuses on building competencies in five areas: healthcare environment, professionalism, leadership, business, and communication and relationship management. Seniors must complete a 120-hour internship, gaining hands-on experience at a local healthcare organization.

Admission requires prerequisite courses in statistics, financial accounting, and microeconomics; a minimum 3.0 GPA; and at least five years of work experience in the healthcare industry or the GRE or GMAT.

14Pennsylvania State University - Main CampusUniversity Park$$$$$201 Old Main
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-4700

Pennsylvania State University ranks in the top 1% of colleges in the world. Through Penn State's World Campus, learners receive access to 150 online degree and certificate programs. The 49-credit master of health administration in health policy and administration enrolls mid-level career professionals seeking career advancement.

Faculty use a cohort model to train learners in areas such as healthcare finance, economics, quality improvement, and clinical issues in health services management. Students complete two intensives. During the six-credit intensives, students acquire expertise in areas such as strategic management and performance improvement. Site visits to local healthcare facilities provide learners with additional opportunities to learn from other professionals in the field.

Students in the MHA online pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and an extensive healthcare background.

15Belhaven UniversityJackson$$$$$1500 Peachtree St
Jackson, MS 39202
(601) 968-5940

Belhaven University is a Christian college located in a historic neighborhood in Jackson, Mississippi. Belhaven's 70 degrees include online options such as the 42-credit MBA with a concentration in health administration. The curriculum delivers advanced administrative proficiencies steeped in Christian values.

Core courses examine subjects such as organizational behavior, financial analysis, managerial economics, and quantitative decision-making. Students can use electives to acquire training in healthcare quality management and healthcare laws and regulations. Each course brings students together for team projects that enhance the learning experience and hone problem-solving and teamwork skills.

Students may expedite graduation by transferring up to six credits into this master's in healthcare administration online. Students pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Admission to the MHA online requires a minimum 2.8 GPA and prerequisite coursework in algebra or another higher mathematics course.

16Bellevue UniversityBellevue$$$$$1000 Galvin Rd S
Bellevue, NE 68005-3098
(402) 291-8100

Bellevue University hosts 9,000 students on campuses in four states and online. In BU's 36-credit master of healthcare administration, students acquire expertise in areas such as healthcare finance, operations management, and leadership and team development.

During a course focused on strategic management within healthcare organizations, students conduct an analysis to determine how their healthcare organization can improve performance and competitiveness. Another course trains professionals to address emerging HR technologies and employment laws and regulations that affect the healthcare arena.

Students interested in the MHA online must already work at least 20 hours a week within a healthcare organization or submit a letter from a healthcare organization that outlines support for the student during the program. This requirement ensures that students have access to the staff and facilities necessary to complete courses. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA.

17Wilmington UniversityNew Castle$$$$$320 Dupont Hwy
New Castle, DE 19720
(877) 967-5464

Wilmington University enrolls 20,000 students on campuses in Delaware and New Jersey and through a robust virtual college. The school's 36-credit MS in management offers a concentration in healthcare administration.

The master's in healthcare administration online's core curriculum empowers learners with general business management expertise in areas such as organization theory and design, analysis of decision-making, and leadership development and change management. The 12-credit concentration develops healthcare proficiencies in areas such as health policy and economics, health insurance and reimbursement, and the legal aspects of healthcare.

WilmU awards up to six credits for professional certifications, such as certified public accountant, senior professional HR manager, or certified production and inventory manager. All students pay low in-state tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires school transcripts.

18Central Michigan UniversityMount Pleasant$$$$$106 Warriner Hall
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
(989) 774-4000

Central Michigan University has more than 120 years of experience cultivating leaders in various disciplines. CMU's 51-credit master of health administration offers a fully online curriculum that prepares learners for senior roles in hospital administration. The curriculum covers topics such as financial analysis, strategic planning, health economics, and healthcare administration and ethical compliance.

A notable course advances students' competencies in quantitative decision-making by showing them how to apply parametric and non-parametric statistical techniques to address healthcare administration cases. Students leave the program with fine-tuned critical-thinking and strategic operations skills.

Online learners may choose a hybrid format, blending online studies with in-person courses at one of CMU's locations. All students in the online MHA pay the same affordable tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA.

19University of Central FloridaOrlando$$$$$4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, FL 32816
(407) 823-2000

The University of Central Florida's 13 colleges administer more than 200 degrees on campus and online. The master of health administration offers two online tracks: health services administration and executive health services administration.

The 51-credit health services administration track examines business and administrative functions within health services organizations. Areas of study include accounting, human resources, information systems, and facility management. A required 240-hour internship provides learners with hands-on experience within a healthcare organization over the course of a semester.

The 44-credit executive health services administration track best suits working professionals with more than three years of healthcare management experience. This track emphasizes leadership, financial planning, and trends in healthcare. Though students may complete either track online, faculty may not teach all electives and prerequisites virtually.

Applicants pursuing the health services administration track need certain prerequisite courses, and applicants pursuing the executive health services administration track need at least three years of experience in healthcare management. All applicants to the master's in healthcare administration online need a minimum 3.0 GPA.

20Florida Atlantic UniversityBoca Raton$$$$$777 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33431-0991
(561) 297-3000

Florida Atlantic University offers about 170 degrees to the most diverse community of learners within the state university system. The 30-credit executive master of health administration features a fully online curriculum that students can complete in 15 months. The cohort program covers healthcare law, policy, finance, and organizational behavior.

A notable course acquaints learners with the research methods used in healthcare management and how to apply them to current issues in healthcare. Unlike many similar master's in healthcare administration online programs, this program leads to Lean Six-Sigma green belt certification.

All students pay the same affordable tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA, at least four years of relevant work experience, and the GRE or GMAT in some cases.

21University of DenverDenver$$$$$2199 S. University Blvd
Denver, CO 80208
(303) 871-2000

Located near the Rocky Mountains, the University of Denver is a private college that offers a suite of nationally recognized programs, including a 48-credit online MS in healthcare management. The program offers several concentrations, such as global health program management and healthcare policy and regulatory leadership. Students can complete the degree in as few as 18 months.

All students complete core courses examining healthcare finance, communication and leadership, research practices and applications, and healthcare systems and regulatory environments. Students then complete courses in a concentration or design a plan that addresses their area of interest in healthcare. Students must complete a capstone research project on a particular theme, which highlights their critical thinking, problem-solving, research design, and methodology.

Students pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Admission to the online master's in healthcare administration degree requires a minimum 2.5 GPA.

22The Sage CollegesTroy$$$$$65 1st Street
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 244-2000

Founded in 1916 and located in Albany, New York, The Sage Colleges enrolls about 2,600 students in 50 programs. The college offers a fully online MS in health services administration through Russel Sage Online. Students learn from healthcare administration practitioners, studying areas such as healthcare strategy, finance, and quality management.

Students gain expertise in healthcare delivery from a global perspective during a course that reviews issues such as coverage, reimbursement, pricing, and payment methods. Learners receive hands-on experience during an internship or externship within a healthcare facility in their community. Graduates are equipped with the managerial and analytical skills necessary to improve programs within healthcare organizations. Admission to this master's in healthcare administration online requires official transcripts.

23Jefferson College of Health SciencesRoanoke$$$$$101 Elm Avenue SE
Roanoke, VA 24013
(888) 985-8483

Students at Jefferson College of Health Sciences receive specialized training from a college with a longstanding tradition of teaching sought-after healthcare professionals. The master of healthcare administration offers a fully online curriculum to meet the needs of nontraditional learners. The 45-credit curriculum covers areas such as healthcare accounting, healthcare information systems, research methods and analysis, and operations and performance management.

The 18- to 24-month program develops leadership, critical-thinking, and interdisciplinary skills. During a 120-hour practicum at a host organization, students gain hands-on experience to fine-tune professional competencies. This field experience component requires completion of a related project under the guidance of a preceptor and faculty advisor. Students synthesize knowledge and skills during a project that culminates the MHA online. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and prerequisite coursework in statistics.

24National UniversityLa Jolla$$$$$11255 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037-1011
(800) 628-8648

With 100 on-campus and online degrees, National University gives nontraditional learners many ways to customize their education. The San Diego-based college offers a fully online master of healthcare administration that prepares learners to solve complex problems in the healthcare environment, align organizational priorities with community needs, and incorporate quality management to improve healthcare outcomes. Students must complete 72 quarter units to earn the master's in healthcare administration online.

Learners study topics including biostatistics, health organization management, healthcare leadership, and human resources management. An internship provides learners with practical experience within a healthcare organization. A related capstone project gives learners the opportunity to explore a theoretical or practical challenge in healthcare administration.

Students learn from faculty with expertise in diverse fields, such as management, medicine, and law. Faculty deliver the program using four-week classes for accelerated degree completion. The school offers affordable tuition and tuition discounts to military personnel and their dependents. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA.

25Simmons CollegeBoston$$$$$300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115-5898
(617) 521-2000

Located in Boston, Simmons College offers an online MBA in healthcare to propel working professionals into leadership positions in healthcare. Faculty use 60% of the curriculum to explore management principles and practices from a healthcare perspective.

The 48-credit curriculum covers topics such as financial reporting and analysis, quantitative analysis, marketing management, and negotiation and conflict management. During a strategic management capstone, students apply management proficiencies and strategic decision-making skills to address specific healthcare challenges. All MBA students must participate in two immersions. Immersions cover topics such as solving financial management problems in the healthcare industry.

Applicants to the online master's in healthcare administration degree must demonstrate exceptional accomplishments and leadership potential.

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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