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Healthcare administration is a professional field dedicated to overseeing hospitals and other medical facilities, as well as healthcare systems and service providers. As a healthcare administration professional, you work to ensure that your employer is adequately staffed, sanitary, outfitted with up-to-date equipment, and compliant with various medical laws and regulations.

While a bachelor’s degree — and, in some cases, an associate degree or diploma — will be sufficient for most entry-level roles in this field, you can advance in your career even more quickly with an online master’s degree in healthcare administration (MHA). With a master’s degree, you will also be eligible for managerial positions and other top-level roles that bachelor’s-holders are not qualified for.

Interested in advancing your career in healthcare and boosting your salary with an MHA? Explore our comprehensive guide to learn more about online master’s healthcare administration programs and the career opportunities that await you.

WHAT IS AN MHA?

A master of healthcare administration degree program is designed to build on undergraduate studies and prepare students for managerial roles. MHA students often times choose a degree specialization. Many master’s-level healthcare administration programs culminate in a capstone research project; some also require a practicum course where students receive supervised hands-on training from established professionals.

WILL AN ONLINE MASTER’S IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

Online MHA programs combine traditional coursework with on-site skill-building, and graduates leave school with the experience and in-depth knowledge needed to meet the demands of this evolving field. Coursework will cover topics like health law and ethics, leadership, finance and marketing, healthcare statistics, and medical information technology. Many programs also include up to one year of supervised practicum training. Students who choose to earn a specialization or concentration with their online MHA will further boost their chances of landing a good job in their preferred field.

WILL AN ONLINE MHA WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

Online MHA programs are designed to be a flexible alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar education. You are able to access course materials, submit written assignments, take exams, and contact your professors at any time of day from your home computer. Current technology also enables you to study while you are on the move using laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other Wi-Fi-compatible devices. For added convenience, you can usually work with school officials to arrange a practicum course site that’s close to your home.

WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY MHA?

Since most healthcare administration jobs are attainable with a bachelor’s degree or less, MHA graduates are often seen as top candidates. You will also be well-positioned for degrees with stricter prerequisites. These positions include administrative service managers, medical and health services managers, and other leadership roles at medical facilities. The best online MHA programs also prepare you in certain niche fields — such as nursing home administration — to sit for required licensure exams.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MHA PROGRAMS?

Choosing a program is an incredibly personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school’s strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online MHA programs across the country. Our ranking is based on the courses schools offer, available specializations, student outcomes, career support services, and other criteria used to determine academic excellence. If you are considering an online master’s in education, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific MHA requirements and offerings.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

 4/5N/ANorth Chicago, IL

campus_rosalind_franklin_university_of_medicine_and_science

The Program

Rosalind Franklin’s online master's in healthcare administration prepares students for careers in management-oriented healthcare settings. Coursework explores finances, regulatory and legal compliance, human resources and technology, culminating in a capstone experience and portfolio presentation. Prior academic or professional experience in health or science is welcome but not required.

Online courses in Rosalind Franklin’s healthcare administration program are delivered by instructors with expertise in healthcare as well as online learning. Students may complete coursework in their own time; no campus visits are required. The program may be completed in two years through part-time study or four quarters as part of a full-time schedule.

Quick Facts

  • Programs provided through five schools centered on healthcare, science and medicine
  • Rosalind Franklin awarded $6.2 million in scholarships to students in the 2013-2014 academic year
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2

New York Medical College

 4/5N/AValhalla, NY

campus_new_york_medical_college

The Program

NYMC’s online master's in health policy and management focuses on building broad skills in administration, public policy and the technology-based competencies required of healthcare administrators in today’s economy. Coursework consists of core, concentration and elective courses in topics like law and health, biostatistics and organizational theory, as well as a practicum requirement. Students must complete a capstone or thesis, with departmental approval, to close out the degree.

Online coursework at New York Medical College is facilitated through the comprehensive MSDS system, which helps maintain environmental health and safety standards in education. Courses are taught online solely by world-renowned faculty; no teaching assistants are used in online education. Students are expected to complete online assignments aided by email communication, group video conferences and Web-based discussion boards.

Quick Facts

  • Part of the Touro College and University System, among the largest biomedical higher education consortiums in the U.S.
  • Serves as principal academic public health resource for numerous healthcare facilities in the New York/Tri-State Area
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3

Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

 1/5N/ATulsa, OK

campus_oklahoma_state_university_center_for_health_sciences

The Program

The online master's in healthcare administration at Oklahoma State prepares graduates for careers in leadership and management in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. To complete the MHA, a combination of core credits, electives and courses in a particular concentration or track must be satisfied, concluded with a creative component project or thesis. Students choose between two tracks: healthcare leadership and entrepreneurship or administration.

OSU’s healthcare administration degree may be completed entirely online, consistently named among the top distance education programs in this discipline, thanks, in part, to its innovative curriculum and modern delivery. Coursework is delivered through Desire2Learn and offers asynchronous learning, with the additional support of the same resources that on-campus students enjoy, such as library and archives access, student tutoring and career service options.

Quick Facts

  • The HCA degree comprises 32 total hours with a creative component or thesis
  • Ideal for experienced healthcare workers aspiring to senior or executive positions
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4

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences

 5/5N/AKirksville, MO

campus_at_still_university_of_health_sciences2

The Program

ATSU’s degree in healthcare administration combines comprehensive, traditional curriculum and Web-based practices to produce leaders in the industry for future generations. Coursework covers healthcare law, quantitative methods and management science, among other topics. The program comprises 48 total credit hours, including core credits, electives and a capstone requirement, providing an interdisciplinary learning experience through both medicine- and business-related courses.

The online master’s in healthcare administration requires no campus visits; the program is dedicated to providing not only high-quality academic instruction but also the development of web- and tech-based competencies. The healthcare administration degree highlights chat room communication and active participation in its online courses. Distance learners complete all assignments through Blackboard, and may pursue a full demo-style course in learning the Blackboard system.

Quick Facts

  • Founded in 1892, A T Still is the oldest osteopathic institution in the world
  • A T Still's online degree programs boast high graduation rates
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5

The George Washington University

 4/579.38%Washington, DC

campus_George_Washington_University

The Program

The online master’s in health administration at George Washington is designed to prepare graduates to address the changing needs of the healthcare industry in a variety of professional applications. Coursework emphasizes such as finance, economics and quality improvement in a non-traditional online environment. Information technology courses are also included. The online degree program encompasses 50 total credits, including core classes, field experiences and a capstone project.

GWU’s online master’s in health administration comprises coursework that can be completed entirely online, however, four on-campus immersion experiences are required in addition to distance courses. Though the majority of coursework is delivered online via weekly live video conferencing, both virtual and in-person courses are centered on the concept of interaction. The program comprises ten eight-week modules and offers enrollment for this track four times per year.

Quick Facts

  • The School of Public Health has been producing nationally renowned graduates for more than fifty years
  • MHA online and on-campus students complete the same curriculum
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6

Mercy College

 3/528.8%Dobbs Ferry, NY

The Program

The online master's in health services management at Mercy College prepares experienced healthcare workers for advanced competencies in management. The program comprises 36 credits, including specialized electives that can be customized according to individual student needs. Upon completion of required courses in subjects like action research and data analysis, health care in the U.S. and health care financing, students must complete either an internship experience or a capstone project.

Mercy’s accelerated online program is aimed at acclimating students to the needs of 21st-century healthcare management practice. Course content is typically delivered asynchronously, though occasional synchronous sessions may be required. Mercy offers a wide range of IT and student support tools, including Blackboard tutorials, online learning evaluations, tips for online testing and academic assistance through Graduate Student Services.

Quick Facts

  • Mercy offers 40 online degree programs
  • Most professors hold terminal degrees in their respective fields; instructors include Fulbright Scholars and national, best-selling authors
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7

Belhaven University

 3/550.21%Jackson, MS

The Program

Belhaven’s online Master of Health Administration is designed to address the evolving needs of the healthcare industry. The program combines Christ-centered curriculum with current, relevant skills needed in the workforce today. Through courses exploring management of healthcare records, nonprofit organization management and quality control, among other concepts, students master core competencies within Belhaven’s Christian value system.

The online MHA at Belhaven comprises 36 course credits, delivered in eight-week terms. Online team activities are designed to encourage teamwork and problem-solving skills in addition to providing leading-edge coursework in the discipline. Students are required to complete a variety of core topics as well as a capstone course; while completion times may vary, the degree can be completed in two years.

Quick Facts

  • Belhaven is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU)
  • Consistently named a Christian College of Distinction among national organizations
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8

Central Michigan University

 3/555.54%Mount Pleasant, MI

The Program

The online master's in administration at CMU offers a concentration in health services administration. Coursework in this specialty explores the intersection of healthcare, healthcare costs and healthcare funding in the U.S. CMU students in this program are required to complete a combination of core, elective and cognate courses. Internship and administrative practicum courses are not included in CMU’s fully online MA degree.

Online courses in the MA degree at Central Michigan are asynchronous. Students are encouraged to follow the comprehensive guide book for distance learners, designed by the Online Learning Resource Center. Each student is assigned an online student ally to help guide their learning experience. Additionally, access is available to a variety of supplemental materials and tools, including online student orientation, proctor tutorials and IT support.

Quick Facts

  • CMU offers over 70 graduate-level programs
  • It is one of the nation’s largest public universities
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9

Clarkson College

 2/559.09%Omaha, NE

The Program

The online master's in healthcare administration at Clarkson incorporates business-oriented competencies into primary curriculum, aimed at maximizing opportunities in the field after graduation. The online master’s comprises 39-45 graduate semester hours, including a combination of core requirements, optional electives and the completion of a capstone experience. Topics include health care leadership, regulatory issues and law and ethics.

Most online courses in Clarkson’s MHA program are six weeks in duration, with the exception of electives and the capstone, which may be between 12- and 15-weeks-long. Distance learners may enroll in fall, spring or summer terms; typical lesson plans are based around traditional curriculum starting in the fall, however accelerated programs are also available. Clarkson maintains the same comprehensive student support for both on-campus and online students, including academic advising and IT help.

Quick Facts

  • Clarkson boasts an 80% retention rate
  • 91% of students graduated from Clarkson are employed in their chosen field
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10

Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health

 3/566.07%Omaha, NE

The Program

NMC’s online master's in healthcare operations management is designed to accommodate job growth and longevity in what the college foresees as an ever-evolving industry. The degree comprises 32 course credits in application-oriented curriculum, taught by instructors with professional expertise in the field. Students choose courses from nine major concepts, including leadership and management and healthcare analytics, and complete a capstone to round out the degree.

The online master’s in healthcare administration is especially unique for its delivery, offering each single-credit course in a four-week session. Students may choose how many courses they want to take per term and complete the degree in their own time. Eleven four-week modules are offered per academic year. To prepare students for a practical career, the online program stresses cutting-edge technology skills as part of the required curriculum.

Testimonial

"The online learning environment is very convenient and very supportive. The faculty understand that you may need extra support when learning online material. The resources are great." – Caroline J., BSN, 2016

Quick Facts

  • NMC is affiliated with the Nebraska Methodist Health System, among the largest in Nebraska
  • The school offers 22 degree and certificate programs
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11

Seton Hall University

 3/566.45%South Orange, NJ

The Program

Seton Hall’s online master's in healthcare administration is designed to provide even the most seasoned healthcare practitioners with specialized field experience. The 42-course-credit cohort program is intended for "learning teams," encouraging development of team-building and collaborative skills in addition to core curriculum. Though almost entirely online, students must complete three five-day intensives on-campus to complete the degree.

Assignments in the online master’s program are available via learning teams only. Coursework is delivered in six semesters, sequentially. Students complete assignments via Blackboard, using virtual delivery of the same supportive resources as on-campus students, including full library archives. Students may complete the majority of the required courses online, save for three in-person residencies and a capstone project. The degree may be completed in 24 months.

Quick Facts

  • Virtual classrooms are accessible 24/7
  • All incoming, full-time freshmen receive a new laptop
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12

Colorado State University – Global Campus

 2/5N/AGreenwood Village, CO

The Program

CSU’s online master's in healthcare administration and management prepares students to identify challenges and work towards improving the healthcare system via comprehensive management and leadership training. This program offers numerous optional specialties in combination with healthcare administration curriculum, including accounting, finance and project management, among others. Graduates are prepared for jobs in private hospitals, clinics and nursing homes.

The online master’s in healthcare administration and management is offered in an accelerated format. Enrollment is year-round, with the full selection of courses repeated each semester. Courses are eight-weeks-long, and students may begin the term in any month they choose. Online coursework is delivered asynchronously, offering maximum flexibility for working students.

Testimonial

"The program I am in is rigorous and requires a lot of critical thinking. Since beginning my master's program, I feel I have become more articulate and intellectually curious." – Alisa Kates, Healthcare Administration and Management

Quick Facts

  • CSU offers exclusive accredited 100% online degree programs
  • Full-time 2nd-year graduate students had an 84% retention rate as of 2012
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13

California State University – East Bay

 2/538.13%Hayward, CA

The Program

The online master's in healthcare administration at CSUEB is designed specifically for working professionals. To meet the needs of the rapidly expanding healthcare industry, CSUEB’s online program encourages adaptability and flexibility in both field experience and technological skills. The program requires completion of 48 quarter units, including a capstone course; while some courses are offered completely online, others may require in-person attendance or have residency requirements.

CSUEB’s master’s degree combines a variety of fully online and hybrid coursework. Designed with working adults in mind, courses generally meet once per week; students are required to cap their course load at two courses per quarter. The program is in step with the university’s philosophy that the majority of career opportunities will be available to students who embrace new knowledge and constantly sharpen professional skills in the industry.

Quick Facts

  • CSUEB offers 35 master’s degrees
  • Health Sciences are among the university’s most popular majors
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14

Mississippi College

 2/553.52%Clinton, MS

The Program

Mississippi College’s online master's in health services administration promotes an education in diverse, emerging subfields of healthcare administration. The program includes participation in an annual seminar, highlighting rotating topics relevant to students and professionals in the field. Core concepts explore research methods, healthcare marketing and contemporary issues in healthcare administration, among others.

Online coursework is delivered via Moodle, incorporating a variety of virtual tools including chat rooms, discussion boards and self-test assessments. The online MSA is available in accelerated format, featuring additional discounts for distance learners enrolled in accelerated courses. Online students are encouraged to take advantage of full-time curriculum designed specifically for working professionals with busy schedules.

Quick Facts

  • MC is the oldest college in Mississippi
  • The school offers over 50 areas of graduate study
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15

University of Maryland – University College

 2/58.33%Adelphi, MD

The Program

The online master's in healthcare administration at UMUC is designed for mid-career professionals looking to sharpen skills in a particular concentration or specialty. The degree comprises 36 course credits, including core competencies and a capstone project. Though numerous options are available for specialty study and sequence of courses, students are required to take an orientation course within the first term to familiarize themselves with graduate studies at UMUC. A dual degree is available in healthcare administration and business administration.

Coursework in UMUC online programs is delivered through the university’s exclusive online classroom, Learning Experience Online (LEO). In addition to comprehensive academic support tools offered to distance learners at UMUC, the school offers unique technological resources, including mobile access for smartphone/tablet users and audio-messaging to enhance student-instructor communication. LEO also supports a wide variety of orientation features to guide students through the virtual classroom, including video tours, demos and tutorials.

Quick Facts

  • UMUC offers more than 95 degrees and certificates
  • UMUC is the largest public university in the U.S.; more than 95,000 have been educated here
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16

The College of Saint Scholastica

 3/561.39%Duluth, MN

The Program

The online master's in health information management at St. Scholastica available in two tracks: the credential track and the advanced track. The credential track is intended for students pursuing their Registered Health Information Administration (RHIA) certification, recommended for high-level jobs in health information management, while the advanced track is intended for those already holding RHIA certification. The three-year credential and two-year advanced tracks comprise 70 and 40 course credits, respectively, and both require completion of foundation core competencies as well as a capstone course.

The 100% online HIM program at St. Scholastica is designed to utilize hands-on methods of learning to prepare students for practical application of skills. Through Web-based applications, students are able to view and explore patient data and simulated scenarios to gain real-life experience of industry standards. As the field continues to move toward fully digitized data systems and record-keeping, coursework incorporates training in the skills needed in this transitionary period of health information management.

Quick Facts

  • Small class sizes emphasize personal student-instructor communication
  • Founded in 1912 in the Catholic, Benedictine tradition
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17

Regis University

 3/559.05%Denver, CO

The Program

Regis University’s online master's in health services administration is primarily designed for those with professional experience in the healthcare industry looking for the opportunity to develop skills in a specialty of choice. It is recommended that applicants also hold a bachelor’s, but it's not required. A bridge course in healthcare delivery systems is available for students with no experience in the industry; the course fulfills two elective credits in the degree.

Coursework in the online HSA program is typically delivered asynchronously. Students are encouraged to celebrate individuality through self-guidance during the online program; no on-campus visits are required, however students may attend commencement exercises with traditional students on-campus. Each eight-week class allows for the option of accelerated learning and curriculum may be completed in 18 to 24 months. Enrollment is open during spring, summer and fall terms.

Quick Facts

  • Nearly 2,400 students are enrolled in health profession programs at Regis
  • For four consecutive years, the school employs faculty who have received Fulbright professorship
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18

University of Scranton

 3/580.44%Scranton, PA

The Program

Scranton’s online master's in health administration combines Jesuit principles, health administration concepts and competency training based in leadership, critical-thinking, communication and ethics skills. Coursework explores health care law, administrative issues and financial planning, among other topics. Health administration and business administration are often studied jointly at this university; many concepts studied in this track are relevant in general administrative and business-oriented fields.

The online health administration program comprises a total of 47 course credits. As one of America’s few CAHME-accredited programs, the majority of coursework may be completed online, save for the three-credit internship requirement to gain field experience. Distance learners at University of Scranton are afforded the opportunity to fulfill basic requirements in dynamic online courses as well as the chance to put real-world skills to task in the practicum experience.

Quick Facts

  • Online and on-campus programs involve the same professors, courses and degree designation
  • Students are assigned a personal mentor upon enrollment
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19

Champlain College

 3/557.12%Burlington, VT

The Program

Champlain’s online master's in healthcare administration promotes leading-edge, interdisciplinary concepts to develop skills in the field. Courses explore human resources, information systems, business analytics and creative thinking to address evolving challenges in the industry. Students in the MHA program are expected to complete 30 total course credit hours, which may be completed in as little as ten months via a full-time course schedule.

The online MHA at Champlain may be completed entirely online. Courses are delivered asynchronously in eight-week terms, and students may take up to two courses per semester to achieve an accelerated format. Distance learners have three opportunities during fall, spring and summer to enroll in courses throughout the academic year. Aside from delivery format, on-campus and online programs offer identical curriculum, training and expertise.

Quick Facts

  • Champlain offers over 80 subjects areas of study
  • Over 90% of alumni find a job in their chosen field within one year of graduation
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20

Pfeiffer University

 3/534.9%Misenheimer, NC

The Program

The online MHA at Pfeiffer is designed to incorporate business-minded competencies into its comprehensive healthcare administration curriculum. Core coursework in the 36-credit program covers organizational communications, health economics and health services marketing, among other concepts. Students may choose a concentration in leadership within the MHA degree or MHA/MBA or MHA/MSL dual-degree options.

Coursework in the online MHA degree is typically asynchronous. Students have round-the-clock access to assignments and support materials through Blackboard, as well as 24/7 virtual forums and instant messaging to communicate with peers and instructors. In both on-campus and online programs, Pfeiffer promotes the holistic development of the individual during their journey through higher education, incorporating skill-building in not only academics but also student participation and service and extracurricular activities.

Quick Facts

  • Pfeiffer offers more than 16 online degrees, certificates and professional programs
  • The school is affiliated with the Methodist Church and dedicated to promoting service-based learning
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21

The Sage Colleges

 3/558.51%Troy, NY

The Program

The online master's in health services administration at The Sage Colleges promotes broad, universal skills that can be applied in a wide variety of jobs. The program addresses competencies designed to help graduates adapt to and assume interdisciplinary roles in healthcare administration. Coursework combines core topics such as health systems and policy, health finances and analytic methods with a non-research study component. The program offers an optional specialization in dietetic internship.

Online courses in master’s program are self-paced. Students at Sage are offered the convenience of an accelerated program with the national credentials that match that of a traditional degree. Designed specifically for busy professionals, the online master’s program provides numerous academic support options, including online registration, virtual tutoring and 24/7 communication tools, as well as special financing for distance learners.

Quick Facts

  • 2016 marks the school’s centennial anniversary
  • The Sage Mission encourages students "To Be, To Know, and To Do"
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22

Ohio University

 2/567.2%Athens, OH

The Program

Ohio University’s online master’s in health administration prepares students to meet a wide range of industry needs. Through advanced concept courses in health policy and systems and strategic planning and marketing, students will develop both field training and leadership skills for today’s health administration workforce. A unique feature of the Ohio University program is its focus on the importance of stakeholders within health administration organizational systems.

Though the master’s in health administration is offered entirely online, curriculum in this program is still centered on student collaboration. Coursework may be completed in an accelerated format or at the student’s own pace; most full-time students are able to complete the degree within two years. The program boasts full transparency, requiring no "hidden" residency or on-campus requirements. Online courses are taught by leading industry experts and seasoned professionals.

Testimonial

"The key learning outcomes of the online MHA program were carefully developed to help you move to a higher level of leadership skill and knowledge to support your career goals." – Dr. RuthAnn Althaus, online MHA Program Coordinator

Quick Facts

  • Each student is assigned a student services advisor for personal guidance through the education process
  • OU is consistently ranked in the top 2% of public universities in the U.S.
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23

Pennsylvania State University

 3/586.11%University Park, PA

The Program

Penn State’s online master's in health administration comprises 49 course credits in topics designed to combine healthcare and business management learning concepts. Coursework covers topics like healthcare financing, quality improvement and health economics and emphasizes broad skills in ethics, leadership, communication and critical thinking. The program is suited for those with a previous education and experience in healthcare or who are currently working in the industry.

The online master’s at Penn State is built around a team cohort model. Select cohorts of students support each other in completing coursework at the same pace throughout the program. This program may require a brief residency on campus to supplement online academics. Courses are asynchronous but promote constant communication and collaboration via the exclusive Penn State online network, as well as chat rooms, video conferencing, digital bulletin boards and social media.

Quick Facts

  • PSU provides the MHA program to residential and online students for 25 years
  • All courses co-developed by faculty and technologists specifically for online learners
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24

University of Cincinnati

 3/559.56%Cincinnati, OH

The Program

Cincinnati’s online master's in health administration emphasizes both the leadership and business skills needed to excel in healthcare administration today. Coursework explores topics including health systems management, health policy, health finance and health quality. The program comprises 39 semester hours, including ten core courses and optional concentrations in global health systems and emerging issues in health systems management. The degree is completed with a capstone project.

The fully online master’s program in accelerated format may be completed in two years. Coursework is asynchronous and is designed to accommodate constant communication between students, instructors and peers. Distance learners access assignments through Blackboard, which also facilitates chat boards and discussion groups, as well as live and delayed messaging, to ensure others see your questions or comments whenever they log in.

Quick Facts

  • Class sizes capped at 20 students per instructor
  • Summer courses are included in three study terms throughout the year
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25

Utica College

 5/544.01%Utica, NY

The Program

Utica’s online master's in healthcare administration incorporates hands-on experience and interactive study to provide progressive curriculum in the field. Coursework explores current issues in healthcare administration including gerontology, operations, management and ethics. Students may select one of five specializations: acute care, service organizations, long-term care, healthcare advocacy and navigation or community health and wellness. Curriculum comprises core courses, electives, specialization courses and a capstone project; all students must participate in four online "residencies" comprised of synchronous study sessions designed to promote general organizational and leadership skills.

Aside from the online residency requirements, courses in the online master’s program at Utica are asynchronous. The 41-credit degree consists of six eight-week courses each year, and may be completed in as little as two years. All coursework is developed by Utica surrounding a multi-dimensional philosophy: to develop management and leadership skills, as well as promote a deeper understanding of continuum-of-care concerns.

Testimonial

"Personally, I was able to accomplish a major goal of mine to receive my master's. Professionally, I was able to take the knowledge I gained in my classes and apply it in my work environment." – Augustine Gendics, MS in Health Care Administration, June 2012 graduate

Quick Facts

  • The online program meets licensure requirements for nursing home administrators in New York
  • Small class sizes offer personalized attention from instructors
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How Long is an MHA?
2 to 3 years; may include up to one year of supervised practicum
Program Costs
$10,000 to $30,000
Concentrations
Population Health, Leadership, Health Information Technology, Gerontology, Hospital/Clinic Administration, Minority Health
Accreditation
Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)

Job Placement: MHA vs Bachelor of Nursing

Qualified healthcare administration professionals are in high demand across the country. President Obama’s Affordable Care Act has expanded health insurance coverage to millions of previously uninsured Americans, greatly increasing the need for managers and administrative personnel in all medical fields. An aging baby boomer population has also added to the influx. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes high projected growth rate for administrative healthcare jobs. Positions for medical and health services managers are expected to climb 17% between 2014 and 2024, a difference of more than 56,000 jobs. Positions for medical records and health information technicians — a quickly rising field — are also expected to grow 15%, or roughly 188,600 jobs.

Unemployment rates in the healthcare administration remain low due to this growing demand. Because a relatively low number of healthcare administration professionals hold an MHA or other master’s degree, they stand to enjoy more favorable employment rates than their bachelor’s-holding counterparts. According to BLS, less than a quarter of medical and health services managers — roughly 128,000 employees — have a master’s degree; by comparison, 32% of workers in this field — or roughly 171,000 — have a bachelor’s degree, and a large portion of the remaining 44% enter the workforce with an associate degree or professional diploma.

Earning a Living

In addition to better employment rates, an MHA will also greatly increase one’s earning potential in the healthcare administration industry. BLS reports that medical and health service managers with a master’s bring in a median annual salary of $90,000, around $20,000 more than bachelor’s-holding employees in the same field. This MHA salary trend extends to the entire healthcare sector, as well. According to a recent survey by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, the average student who holds a master’s degree in a healthcare-related field earns approximately $81,000 per year; comparatively, recent bachelor’s program graduates in healthcare earn $43,000 per year, and bachelor’s-holding graduates with healthcare work experience earn an annual salary of $63,000.

The 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report lists expected career earnings for all academic degree levels in different career fields. Using data from the survey, the table below includes estimated salaries at two different career stages for employees in healthcare administration with an associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree.

Degree Level Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (10-20 years)
Associate Degree in Healthcare Administration $29,100 $40,800
Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration $39,600 $60,600
Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration $57,700 $92,000

Source: 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report

As indicated in the table above, entry-level employees with an MHA outearn their bachelor’s-holding counterparts by 45%, and outearn associate degree-holders at the entry level by as much as 98%. Master’s in healthcare administration graduates also saw 59% salary growth between the entry-level and mid-career marks, compared to 53% growth for bachelor’s graduates and 40% for associate degree-holders.

Career Opportunities

MHA graduates will be leave school qualified for different managerial and/or administrative roles at hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. Depending on their specialization, candidates may pursue roles in niche administrative areas like information technology or clinical leadership. Some of the most common career pathways for MHA-holders include the following job titles:

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians: These professionals organize patient data and maintain thorough, up-to-date records for their employer. Employees in this field must become familiar with various technology systems and classification codes currently used to keep electronic health records. These technicians often work alongside physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel.
Medical and Health Services Managers: Also known as healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, these employees develop and oversee various health and medical services. Some manage entire facilities, while others direct specific branches at larger hospitals and clinics. They are responsible for ensuring their workplace meets all medical laws and regulations, and that patients are treated fairly throughout the duration of their visit.
Administrative Services Manager: These managers direct teams of administrative personnel, develop budget plans, and handle their employer’s logistical needs (such as recordkeeping and supply upkeep). According to the BLS, roughly 13% of administrative services managers work in healthcare and social assistance.

Job Title Median Annual Salary Projected Growth (2014-24)
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians $37,110 15%
Medical and Health Services Managers $94,500 17%
Administrative Services Managers $86,110 8%

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to healthcare administration is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you’ll find three of the country’s most prominent organizations established for healthcare administrative professionals. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates. Resources like these often prove invaluable as you complete your degree requirements and prepare to enter the job market.

  • Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals: AHCAP is a non-profit organization dedicated to healthcare management professionals. Members enjoy a slew of benefits, including six free webinars per year, reduced tuition for continuing education opportunities, and an invitation to the organization’s annual conference.
  • Health Care Administrators Association: First formed in 1980, the HCAA supports educational opportunities, professional networking, and advocacy for third-party administrators in health and medicine, including insurance providers and health consultants. The association offers a Certified Self Funding Specialist certification; the website also features an online job board.
  • American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management: Founded in 1968, AAHAM today oversees more than 30 regional chapters across the United States. The organization specializes in education and advocacy related to areas like medical reimbursement, patient registration, data management, and medical recordkeeping.

Despite the relative affordability of online MHA programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE COLLEGE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Commercial Links

MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH
The master of public health (or MPH) degree program focuses on the laws and policies guiding current medical and healthcare practices, both domestically and internationally. Learn about this exciting academic path with our comprehensive online degree guide.

MASTER OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
Similar to an MHA, the master of public administration (MPA) degree is geared toward students who wish to pursue managerial roles after graduation. MPA’s specifically focus on leadership for government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other public entities. Check out our online MPA guide for more information.

MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK
A master of social work (or MSW) degree is designed for students who plan to pursue leadership roles in social work. Learn about this degree pathway and read our list of the country’s top 20 online MSW programs.

Non-commercial Links

HEALTHCARE CAREERS
Our comprehensive guide covers a wide range of jobs in professional healthcare, from nurses and physicians to health information technicians and administrative personnel at hospitals and clinics. Learn more about the educational and professional requirements for different healthcare careers.

HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION RESOURCES
This comprehensive resource guide is designed for students who are earning a degree in health administration or currently seeking employment in this field. We’ve included links to professional organizations, open-access journals, books, magazines, and blogs.

Methodology

The methodology behind our rankings is grounded in statistical data and a few consistently applied guiding principles. Our 2017 rankings reflect the most recent data compiled from IPEDS and the College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. Our goal is to objectively assess relative quality based on academic outcomes, affordability, and the breadth and depth of online learning opportunities. The following criteria was used to make these assessments:

Minimum Requirements

  • Each school must be an accredited public or private, not-for-profit institution.
  • Must offer an online master’s in Healthcare Administration degree program
  • Must submit an annual report to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Ranking Factors

All eligible institutions are ranked on a 100 point scale. A perfect score of 100 is earned by ranking #1 for all ranking factors.

ACADEMIC QUALITY – 50% OF TOTAL SCORE

  • Admissions Rate – 25%
  • Enrollment Rates – 15%
  • Retention Rate – 15%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate – 25%
  • Number of Master’s Healthcare Administration Graduates – 20%

AFFORDABILITY – 25% OF TOTAL SCORE

  • Average Net Price – 40%
  • Percentage of Enrolled Students Taking Federal Loans – 20%
  • Loan Default Rate – 40%

ONLINE PROGRAMMING – 25% OF TOTAL SCORE

  • Percentage of Graduate Programs Offered Online – 40%
  • Graduate School Enrollment – 40%
  • Percentage of Programs Offered at the Graduate level – 20%