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A master's in healthcare administration prepares degree-seekers to enter a fast-growing field where they can have a positive impact on patient outcomes. On this page, you can learn about the top online master's in healthcare administration programs, typical graduation requirements, and common concentration options. This page also contains valuable information concerning typical application steps and career paths. As you read, keep in mind that details may vary slightly depending on the program you select.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health services managers — a common position for master's in healthcare administration degree-holders — earn a lucrative salary. Also, the BLS projects 18% growth in this field between 2018 and 2028. If this projection remains accurate, students who earn an online master's in healthcare administration within the next few years should have little trouble finding a fulfilling job.

What Are the Best Master's of Healthcare Administration (MHA) Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:

Rank School Location
1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
2 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
3 George Washington University Washington, DC
4 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
5 Colorado State University - Global Greenwood Village, CO
6 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
7 University of Denver Denver, CO
8 Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ
9 University of St Francis Joliet, IL
10 Florida International University Miami, FL
How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students. Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read more about our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2020 Best Accredited Online Master's in Healthcare Administration Programs

School Location Description Toggle

Amridge University

The Amridge University Laptop Program allows every student to purchase a laptop computer at a discounted rate. During the 2018-19 year, each student paid a flat fee of $375 per device. Though the university does not service the laptops directly, a three-year extended warranty covers all parts and services. Amridge University students may choose from multiple models: for example, the 2018-2019 lineup included Lenovo, HP, and Microsoft laptops.

All devices are preloaded with software, including the Canvas learning management system and Microsoft Office 365. Students who pay for their laptop using financial aid must enroll full time. The university ships all laptops to the student's home address prior to the start of the academic year.

Bethel University

Bethel issues Chromebooks to incoming freshmen prior to their first day of class. Each laptop comes preloaded with antivirus software and the Google Chrome operating system, which stores all documents and applications in a cloud-based platform for easy retrieval. Each student receives their Chromebook in the mail or at their new student orientation.

Those who do not claim their Chromebook during their first semester will be ineligible to do so later. Because Bethel technically owns the laptops, students may not share movies, music, or games through the campus network. Bethel recommends each student insure their device for no less than $600 to protect against repairs, replacements, and theft.

Chatham University

As part of Chatham's MacBook laptop program, all new freshman receive a MacBook Air during their first-year orientation. All online courses at Chatham incorporate the laptop into the curriculum, and students can access the university's network at WiFi hotspots located across campus. In addition, freshman receive a complimentary carrying case and four years of warranty coverage, damage protection, and theft protection.

Technology fees cover the costs of the laptop and on-campus IT services while students are still enrolled. Chatham transfers ownership of the laptop to each successful graduate. Graduate students at Chatham do not receive laptops, but the university offers financial aid options for purchasing and maintaining a device if needed for graduate-level coursework.

Coppin State University

Launched in 2001, the Student Laptop Initiative at Coppin State enables any current undergraduate to lease a laptop computer during the semester (fees vary by available model and may change annually). After four consecutive semesters, students may purchase the device by paying a charge. Coppin State offers grants for students who cannot afford to lease the laptop for four semesters, and loaner computers are available in the event of a malfunction. Any student with a valid ID can rent a loaner at no extra charge.

Full Sail University

As part of Full Sail University's Project Launchbox Initiative, most incoming freshman may purchase a current-generation MacBook Pro laptop at an institutional discount. Those pursuing degrees in game development, software development, or simulation and visualization receive a Hewlett-Packard laptop instead.

Additionally, students qualify for supplemental hardware and software components based on their major field. For example, laptops for sports management majors are equipped with a microphone and audio mixer for producing sports media and journalism, while music production majors receive a computer with Pro Tools, Logic, and other mixing software. Full Sail offers a merit-based scholarship that covers laptop costs. Students can keep the laptop after graduation if they choose.

Illinois Institute of Technology

Since 2010, IIT has provided iPad tablets to all first-year, incoming freshmen as part of the IIT Mobile Computing Initiative. Each device is compatible with e-books, Blackboard, and iTunes University software. Other built-in features include a university app with news, events, and course listings as well as an emergency alert function that connects students with campus police and medical services.

The university also hosts on-campus iPad workshops where students and faculty members can learn how to use the device and integrate it into coursework. Also available for students is an iPad lab where they can take a tablet out on loan in case their own needs repairs.

Indiana State University

ISU's Sycamore Technology Award covers the cost of a new laptop chosen by the university and is open to incoming students also eligible to receive need-based Pell Grants. Most recently, the school distributed the HP ProBook 640 to award recipients. In- and out-of-state students may apply, but solely online, international, and returning students do not qualify. Recipients may keep their laptop as long as they attend the university for at least two consecutive semesters. Those who leave before the end of the second semester must return their laptop either in person or via mail.

Maryville University

Maryville's Digital World Program awards a new iPad tablet to each traditional, full-time undergraduate at no extra charge. The cost of the iPad is not built into tuition rates, and students can keep the device if they graduate from Maryville. The devices come preloaded with software and apps that allow students to load e-books, notes, and other course materials. Each student must bring their iPad to class every day, as most faculty members incorporate tablet learning into their courses. According to a Maryville faculty survey, students use the iPad primarily for group projects and course presentations.

Northwest Missouri State University

Northwest offers a laptop computer to all incoming undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of enrollment status or whether they take courses online or on campus. Northwest owns the devices and leases them to students on a temporary basis. All students pick up their laptop at the Northwest Technology Service Center and may return their computer in person or through the mail.

The school does not provide laptop insurance beyond the device's standard manufacturing warranty, and it encourages students to purchase insurance to protect against damages and theft. Students should also back up their files on a weekly basis in case of software or hardware failures.

Ohio State University

OSU offers technology kits to incoming freshmen and transfer students as well as returning students enrolled at the university. Each kit includes a 10.5" iPad, protective case, smart keyboard, Apple Pencil, and a one-year warranty. The warranty only covers the tablet, and there is a damage replacement fee. All students attending courses at OSU campuses receive the technology kit either at orientation or through the mail, depending on which campus they attend. Those who wish to opt out of the program may receive a financial credit for the device depending on when they return the iPad.

Princeton University

Princeton provides laptops to students at a discounted rate as part of the school's Student Computer Initiative (SCI). Students can pick up their device from the on-campus SCI store at any point during the academic year. Princeton offers a rotating selection of laptops for students. For example, during the 2018-2019 year, available models included the MacBook Air 13", MacBook Pro 13", MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display, Dell XPS 13, and Dell Latitude 3490.

Prices and specifications vary by model, and rates generally change each year. Upgrades, accessories, and changes to SCI laptops are not allowed. Each SCI laptop comes preconfigured with software programs and includes three years of warranty coverage. Students must return the laptop when they graduate or leave school.

Rochester College

Rochester provides free laptops to incoming freshmen who enroll full time and who possess fewer than 30 institutional or transfer credits. Students may use the laptop for coursework and keep it after graduation per their contract agreement with the college. However, the school places a laptop hold on students who have not completed at least six consecutive fall and spring semesters.

Those who leave Rochester before reaching this benchmark or downgrade to part-time enrollment must pay for the laptop in full. Additionally, students with laptop holds who request transcripts must pay for the laptop in full before they may receive their transcripts.

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo offers a laptop rental program for traditional full- or part-time students earning an undergraduate degree. Students pay a deposit fee for computers that come preloaded with Microsoft Office 365 and other software programs in order to meet the university's technology compliance standards. Laptop rentals are available on a first-come basis, but Saint Leo students can also borrow laptops from the university's library, provided the device does not leave the building.

Seton Hill University

Since 2010, Seton Hill has provided laptops and tablets to students as part of the Mobile Learning at The Hill program. All traditional, full-time undergraduate students, as well as those earning a master's with a physician assistant focus, receive both a 13" MacBook Air and the current generation iPad. Master's in art therapy students receive the MacBook only, while master's in orthodontics or master's in marriage and family therapy students receive the iPad only.

Seton Hill replaces all devices after students have attended school for two consecutive years, and graduates may keep the replacement device after leaving school. Seton Hill also offers on-campus tech support where students can pick up loaner devices if their laptop or tablet needs repairs.

St. John's University

St. John's offers different laptops to students based on their field of study. Those earning degrees in mass communications, fine arts, or liberal arts are advised to select the Apple MacBook Pro, which carries a usage fee of $190 per semester. Students earning degrees in business are advised to choose a Windows Lenovo ThinkPad laptop with a usage fee of $115 per semester or a Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 2-in-1 laptop and tablet that costs $145 per semester. Costs and devices may vary year to year.

All issued laptops qualify for four years of warranty coverage including accidental damage protection. Students who graduate or leave the school for other reasons must return the laptops to one of the university's on-campus IT support centers. Those who keep their laptop must pay a flat charge of $800.

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Students enrolled in online graduate programs at Saint Mary's qualify for a free iPad when they begin their coursework. The cost of the iPad is built into tuition rates, and each tablet comes preloaded with helpful software programs such as VoiceThread for file and media sharing, FaceTime and Skype for live video chatting, and Dilgo for note taking. Students earning degrees in project management, human resources, and organizational leadership can complete all of their coursework using their iPad, while those in other programs can use the iPad for the bulk of their studies.

University of Minnesota Crookston

UMC has provided students with laptop computers since 1993, making it one of the first institutions to do so. This offer extends to all full-time students attending the university. Students must pay two technology fees — one per semester during their first academic year. This fee covers the laptop cost along with on-campus tech support and services. Those who successfully graduate from UMC may keep their laptop. The school refreshes the inventory every two years to ensure high-quality laptops are issued. The current model is the HP EliteBook 1040 G3 Notebook PC.

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

UNCP provides laptops to high-achieving students as part of the school's Honors Scholar Laptop Initiative. New and returning honors students may apply for devices on an annual basis, and the program contract requires students to return all laptops and associated hardware to the university at the end of each academic year.

UNCP retains ownership of the laptop after a recipient graduates or withdraws from courses, and students are responsible for costs associated with laptop damages or theft. The university issues laptops on a first-come basis, which may limit availability, so students should submit their annual applications as soon as possible. Laptop rentals for summer sessions require a separate contract.

Valley City State University

VCSU issues laptops to full- and part-time students as part of the school's laptop initiative. Online and traditional undergraduate and graduate students may apply. Full-time students can choose between a 13" MacBook Air or a 14" HP EliteBook 840 G4, while part-time students may select one of these laptops or a previously issued model, such as the 13.3" MacBook Pro or 12.5" Lenovo ThinkPad Twist.

VCSU recommends the MacBook option for students in art, education, and music programs; it recommends the HP device for business, STEM, and social science majors. The cost of the laptop is built into each student's tuition rates, and all students must pay a damage deductible along with a fee if they lose the device. Graduates can purchase their laptop after leaving school.

Wake Forest University

Wake Forest requires all students to own a laptop that meets minimum requirements for the school's academic software programs. To help undergraduate and graduate students reduce associated costs, the university launched the WakeWare program, which allows students to purchase an Apple or Dell laptop at an institutional discount and includes extended insurance and warranty coverage for liquid damage, theft, and other incidentals.

Wake Forest also provides the Technology Grant to students who receive scholarship aid; this grant covers the costs of the laptop and insurance along with local taxes. Incoming Wake Forest students can have the laptop shipped to their home address or pick up the device when they arrive on campus.

Wentworth Institute of Technology

Wentworth offers a new laptop computer to every student enrolled full time. Laptop models vary by the student's academic major, as certain programs offer multiple model and specification options. If options are available, students must complete and submit a laptop survey form prior to their next fall enrollment. Otherwise, they incur a laptop change fee.

The cost of the laptop is built into the student's tuition rates, and no additional charges apply unless the laptop is damaged, lost, or stolen. The school transfers ownership of the laptop to students after graduation, but some software programs must be uninstalled due to certain licensing agreements.

Online Master's in Healthcare Administration Program Overview

Each master's in healthcare administration program has different graduation requirements. However, all programs aim to instill a similar knowledge base and skill set. Learning outcomes at top programs include enhanced communication skills and the ability to apply ethical decision-making in the workplace. Programs may also emphasize technical skills and knowledge related to the latest challenges facing healthcare administration. Put together, these skills prepare learners to work as effective managers and leaders in various healthcare settings.

Career-oriented master's in healthcare administration programs typically focus on preparing students for promotions or new careers. Students seeking promotions may also need 2-5 years of professional experience. Earning a master's degree also provides graduates with the academic skills necessary to succeed in a doctoral program. Prospective students should contact an enrollment counselor to learn more about how a school's master's program prepares learners for doctoral study.

Common Master's in Healthcare Administration Degree Courses

Medical Informatics and Decision Management

This course trains degree-seekers to analyze medical data and make decisions that affect patient care. In class, students learn how informatics plays an essential role in ensuring positive patient outcomes while also reducing costs. Additionally, learners analyze how decision management fundamentals can improve patient and employee satisfaction.

Healthcare Financial Management

In this course, degree-seekers analyze how healthcare organizations operate financially. Topics include revenue sources, cost management, and roles of a chief financial officer in healthcare. In some online master's in healthcare administration programs, this course also includes an introduction to medical billing and coding.

Law and Policy

Most master's in healthcare management programs include one or more courses that cover law and policy. Hundreds of laws regulate the healthcare profession, and administrators must understand how they affect patients and employees. Topics include relevant state and federal laws, as well as the latest trends that impact the healthcare administration profession.

Global Issues in Healthcare Delivery

As the world's population continues to grow, healthcare administrators face extra challenges at home and abroad. This course highlights the most pressing global health needs in developed and developing countries. Typical course topics include endemic disease and the roles of healthcare administrators in preventing a pandemic.

Capstone

Most programs included in this ranking feature a capstone experience. In a capstone, students synthesize the knowledge and skills they learned throughout their program. Common capstone activities include performing original research and writing an extended report or essay. Many students use what they developed during their capstone as part of their job application portfolio.

Related Master's in Healthcare Administration Degree Concentrations

International Management

A concentration in international management prepares students to work for multinational healthcare providers and nonprofit organizations — especially those looking to expand into new markets. Programs that offer this concentration require coursework in international trade and international business. Course topics include global business fundamentals, regulatory compliance requirements, and technology best practices.

Organizational Leadership and Change Management

Experienced managers choose this concentration so they can provide an employer with expert advice on how to make successful decisions in a rapidly evolving business world. In class, students analyze modern leadership strategies, decision theory, and the management of dynamic environments. Other course topics may include how leaders can positively and negatively influence an organization.

Population Health

Population health concerns making healthcare decisions that impact not only individuals but entire communities. Coursework includes population health policy and health informatics. Students also gain the skills necessary to create, implement, and analyze the results of a population health initiative. Many learners who choose this concentration go on to work for a government health department at the local or state level.

Legal Issues in Healthcare

This concentration trains students to become experts in how the law and healthcare interact. Degree-seekers gain a foundational understanding of the healthcare industry's legal framework before analyzing healthcare law milestones throughout U.S. history. One possible career outcome associated with this concentration involves lobbying elected officials with regards to healthcare issues.

Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management concerns how healthcare-related goods end up in professionals' hands. In class, students analyze the six pillars of supply chain management and how technology can make supply chains more efficient. Degree-seekers who select this concentration can work as a supply chain buyers or procurement and logistics specialists.

Online Master's in Healthcare Administration Admission Requirements

  • Standardized Test Scores

    Most online master's in healthcare administration programs that require standardized test scores ask for the GRE or GMAT. However, some universities may also accept the MAT. When preparing an application portfolio, only submit scores that are less than five years old; otherwise, a university may not regard them as valid.

  • Professional Experience

    Most master's in healthcare administration programs look for applicants with relevant work experience. Specifics vary by program, but applicants may need 2-5 years of experience working in a healthcare setting — preferably as a manager or other form of supervisor — before applying to graduate school.

  • Undergraduate GPA

    Healthcare administration programs target students with a proven track record of academic success. Many programs use a 2.5-3.0 minimum undergraduate GPA cutoff. In some cases, universities do not consider applicants with a lower GPA. For those that do, the school often requires supplemental materials.

  • Recommendation Letters

    Recommendation letters usually play a vital role in the graduate school admissions process. Online master's in healthcare administration programs typically require 2-3 letters, and prospective students should consider asking both a former professor and a current work supervisor for a recommendation. Applicants should give their letter writers ample time to submit their recommendations.

  • Nursing License

    Some programs use a unique curriculum that prepares practicing nurses for a management-level career. As a result, these programs require that applicants possess an active nursing license. Additionally, programs that have this requirement also stipulate that students remain employed as nurses throughout the program so they may apply new knowledge and skills on the job.


Online Master's in Healthcare Administration Career Paths

Online master's in healthcare administration graduates can choose from many career paths. As most programs cater to experienced healthcare professionals, the curriculum prepares students for mid-to-senior-level management positions. In most cases, degree-seekers need not enter a doctoral program unless they intend to work as a professor. Additionally, some careers may require a state-issued license.

Professionals with a master's in healthcare administration work in a variety of healthcare settings. Locations that need healthcare administrators' expertise include local hospitals; managed care organizations, such as retirement communities; and government health agencies at the local, state, and federal levels.


Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with a master's degree in healthcare administration?

Professionals with a master's in healthcare administration can work as managers in the ambulatory care, home care, and health law fields, among others. With so many career paths from which to choose, you should research potential programs' graduate outcomes before applying. Also, enrollment counselors can answer questions related to which careers best align with the school's healthcare management program.

What is the salary of an MHA degree-holder?

The BLS reports that medical and health services managers earn a median salary of $100,980. Your salary after earning a master's may differ due to your prior experience and any licenses or certifications you may possess. Additionally, this figure does not include the value of benefits, such as health insurance.

How long is a master's in healthcare administration program?

Most full-time programs on this ranking take two years to complete, while part-time students can usually earn a degree in three years. However, some programs offer an accelerated option that may appeal to learners who can dedicate more time to studying. Additionally, a university may provide a financial incentive to degree-seekers who can study at a faster pace.

Is an MHA worth it?

The answer largely depends on your career aspirations. If you aspire to work as a manager in the healthcare field — someone who makes vital decisions that impact patient care — then you will need an advanced degree. Before selecting a program, ensure that the education it provides aligns with your career goals.

What can you expect to learn in a master's in healthcare administration program?

Although course names and concentration options vary by program, most online master's in healthcare administration degrees have a similar core curriculum. Common foundational topics include health law, policy, and finance. Other courses may involve researching global healthcare delivery trends and business leadership fundamentals. Additionally, students in some programs apply new knowledge and skills during a practicum experience.

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Additional Reading and Resources

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