The Master of Business Administration, or MBA, tops the list among the most popular educational degree pathways for today's graduate students. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), nearly 190,000 MBAs earned MBAs in 2013-14; this number represents more than 25% of all master's degrees conferred during that academic year. MBA programs usually follow a comprehensive curriculum to prepare students for the various roles and responsibilities in corporate environments, but many allow students to earn a degree specialization in niche areas of business administration.
What are the best online MBA in healthcare management programs? Here are our Top 10:
|1||University of St. Francis||Joliet, IL|
|2||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|3||Concordia University Chicago||River Forest, IL|
|4||University of Delaware||Newark, DE|
|5||University of Mary||Bismarck, ND|
|6||University of South Dakota||Vermillion, SD|
|7||Widener University||Chester, PA|
|8||University of Massachusetts Amherst||Amherst, MA|
|9||Concordia University Wisconsin||Mequon, WI|
|10||Mercer University||Macon, GA|
The BLS projects that positions in medical and health services management will grow by 17% through 2024.
A popular specialization option among MBA students is healthcare management, or the study of administrative and operational needs of hospitals, clinics and other facilities that deliver medical treatment and healthcare services. Healthcare management MBA programs often require students to complete practicum courses or clinical residencies, which allow them to receive supervised onsite training from experienced professionals; a final capstone project may also be included, as well. Many of today's students are choosing to earn their MBA in healthcare management online. Web-based students follow the same rigorous curriculum as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, leading to the same number of job opportunities after graduation. The asynchronous (or self-paced) schedule and study-from-home format are also ideal for students with part-time jobs, childcare duties and other responsibilities that stand to interfere with campus-based learning.
Learn more about what you can do with an online MBA in healthcare management and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.
- WHY GET AN MBA IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT?
An MBA in healthcare management is a good fit for professionals with a bachelor's degree and a few years of experience who want to advance their career into a management-level role. Read more here..
- WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH AN MBA IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT?
Graduates with an MBA in health care management can pursue business roles like financial manager or business operations manager. They may also obtain health care-related roles like medical and health services manager. Read more here..
- IS AN MBA IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT WORTH IT?
Graduates with an MBA in health care management are prepared for specialized health care management roles and other business positions. Earning an MBA can also increase a professional's earning potential. Read more here..
- WHAT IS AN MBA IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT?
An MBA is a business degree that includes core business courses that are applicable to any industry. An MBA in healthcare management includes these same foundational business concepts and along with specialized study in health care-related topics. Read more here..
- HOW TO GET INTO A HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT MBA PROGRAM
Applicants to health care management MBA programs must usually have a bachelor's degree, one year or more of work experience, and must submit standardized test scores like the GMAT. Read more here..
Choosing a Program
WILL AN ONLINE MBA IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?
Healthcare management MBA programs integrate the fundamentals of business administration and leadership, as well as a comprehensive overview of U.S. healthcare systems, patient care strategies and medical law and ethics. Thanks to this multidisciplinary approach, students who graduate with an MBA in healthcare management are prepared for the various demands and challenges of their profession. Furthermore, practicum courses and/or clinical internships allow students to apply the skills and knowledge they have gained in real-world workplace settings.
WILL AN ONLINE MBA IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?
MBA online programs offer a flexible, easily accessible alternative to traditional college education. Students can download course lectures and readings, participate in virtual discussions with other students, submit written assignments, take exams and communicate with their professors on their own schedule. Current technology also enables them to study away from home using a laptop, tablet, smartphone and other portable devices with Wi-Fi capabilities. For added convenience, online healthcare management MBA students can usually coordinate practicum courses and internships at hospitals, clinics and other facilities that are reasonably close to their current residence.
WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY MBA IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT?
Students who leave grad school with an MBA in healthcare management will be qualified for a wide range of supervisory and administrative roles in the healthcare industry. Common job titles for these degree-holders include hospital or clinic directors, healthcare administrators and medical services managers. The majority of healthcare management MBA recipients are found in the public health and nonprofit sectors.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MBA IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT 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 MBA in healthcare management programs in the United States. If you are considering an online MBA in healthcare management, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific requirements and offerings.
The Best Online MBA in Healthcare Management Programs
University of St. Francis
|Joliet, IL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 62%||
The University of St. Francis serves nearly 4,000 on-campus and online students, offering rigorous academics in a Franciscan Catholic environment. One of USF's most popular degrees is its master of business administration. This program was recently redesigned to better prepare graduates to enter the competitive, technological, and global world of management.
To earn an MBA in healthcare management, online students complete a 12-credit business core, 12 credits of competency area courses, and a 12-credit health administration concentration. Required courses include medical sociology, healthcare finance, and healthcare law and compliance. Students can graduate in 12-18 months.
Prospective students should hold a bachelor's degree in business, accounting, economics, or a related field. Applicants must also have at least two years of full-time management experience or qualifying GMAT scores.
Florida International University
|Miami, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
Florida International University is Miami's first and only public research institution, offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. A dedication to accessible online learning has helped FIU become one of the largest universities in the country, enrolling more than 54,000 students each year.
FIU's online MBA in healthcare can be completed in 18 months. The 42-credit curriculum consists of courses in corporate finance, strategic management, and organizational behavior. Students attend three in-person residencies — totaling 120 hours — that provide opportunities for critical networking, interaction, and education.
For admission consideration, prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree, two years of professional work experience, and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 over their last 60 credits of upper-division coursework. GMAT or GRE scores may also be requested.
Concordia University Chicago
|River Forest, IL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 49%||
Founded in 1864 as a teacher's college, Concordia University Chicago now provides comprehensive education opportunities to approximately 4,300 graduate students each year. CUC is affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Online students enjoy flexible, asynchronous courses.
Students who earn CUC's online MBA in healthcare management are qualified to pursue leadership positions related to human resources, finance, information systems, and patient care. The 36-credit, 12-course curriculum covers areas like healthcare systems, healthcare analytics, and innovative best practices in management. Accelerated courses allow for degree completion in one year.
For full admission consideration, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.85 GPA. Official transcripts, two letters of recommendations, and an objective statement are required. However, CUC does not require GMAT testing.
University of Delaware
|Newark, DE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 81%||
The University of Delaware is a research-intensive public university with an annual enrollment exceeding 20,000 students. Along with a 94% graduate employment rate, UD's School of Business and Economics boasts 15 undergraduate programs and 10 master's programs, including an online MBA with an emphasis in healthcare management.
The asynchronous, 44-credit curriculum prepares students to find roles dealing with informatics, e-services, and patient experience in today's complex health system. Accelerated courses last seven weeks each, allowing for program completion in 16 months. Core study areas include analytics fundamentals, corporate strategy, and operations management.
Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree in any academic background, a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.8, and two years of work experience. Students must also submit GRE or GMAT scores, although waivers are available for qualified applicants.
University of Mary
|Bismarck, ND||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
The University of Mary is a Benedictine Catholic university with more than 3,800 students representing a variety of faith backgrounds. Headquartered in Bismarck, North Dakota, Mary also oversees several satellite campuses and a number of online programs, including an MBA with a healthcare specialization.
The 36-credit curriculum consists of nine business core courses and three concentration courses focused on healthcare law, policy, organization, and finance. Participants can earn their degree in 16 months. Program graduates are prepared for careers as hospital directors, healthcare or pharmaceutical executives, and practice managers.
Mary accepts applications on a rolling basis. To qualify for candidacy, prospective students must possess a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA. Official transcripts are also required.
University of South Dakota
|Vermillion, SD||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
Founded in 1862, the University of South Dakota is the oldest university in the state. Approximately 10,000 students attend each year, selecting from an extensive catalog of 202 undergraduate programs and 78 graduate programs. USD's online MBA offers a flexible health services administration specialization for individuals interested in improving the delivery of healthcare.
The degree strikes a balance between general management and health services education, offering courses in managerial economics, the U.S. health services system, and foundations of calculus and statistics for business. Depending on their academic background and whether they select a thesis or non-thesis track, students take 39-57 credits to graduate.
Admission consideration requires a completed bachelor's degree, a minimum 2.7 GPA, and three letters of recommendation. USD also requires GMAT scores, although waivers are available for qualified applicants.
|Chester, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 63%||
Widener University is a private, metropolitan institution located in Chester, Pennsylvania, just 20 minutes from downtown Philadelphia. Widener offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and upwards of 50 graduate programs, several of which can be completed online. Among these online opportunities is a 33-credit MBA with a healthcare management concentration.
This program consists of foundational and core business courses, general electives, and a two-course concentration covering healthcare policy and community health management. All students complete five professional development workshops to enhance their skills in negotiation, interviewing, leadership, career planning, and ethics. Widener's online classrooms can be accessed at any time.
To be eligible for admission, prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.7 GPA. Unless eligible for a waiver, applicants must earn a 450 or higher on the GMAT.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
|Amherst, MA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 80%||
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is a major public research university with an annual enrollment of around 30,000 students. More than 1,200 students are currently enrolled in the university's MBA program alone, which is available in a hybrid or entirely online, asynchronous format.
Earning an online MBA with a focus in healthcare administration requires completion of 45 credits. Students can customize their concentration by choosing from diverse elective options, including e-commerce logistics, health disparities, public health leadership, and globalization and health.
UMass Amherst does not require prior business experience, but MBA program applicants must have at least 3-5 years of work experience in their field. Required application materials include a personal essay, a resume, two letters of recommendation, and GMAT or GRE scores.
Concordia University Wisconsin
|Mequon, WI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Concordia University Wisconsin is a private institution affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Around 8,000 students enroll each year, pursuing degrees in diverse academic, profesional, and church-related fields. The school's online MBA in healthcare administration prepares graduates to oversee budgeting, risk management, human resources, and public policy in healthcare.
Consisting of 36 credits, this MBA program includes courses in managerial economics, insurance and risk management, and budgeting in public agencies. CUW also offers internship and study abroad opportunities for online graduate students. Courses are delivered asynchronously to provide increased flexibility.
Prospective students must possess a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants should submit official transcripts, an essay, a current resume, and two signed letters of recommendation.
|Macon, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 66%||
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the country. Nearly 9,000 students enroll each year, attending classes at multiple campuses across Georgia. Mercer also offers 40 programs in an entirely online format, including an MBA with a concentration in healthcare management.
Participants can earn their online MBA in 18 months, developing management and leadership skills. Students complete 36-45 credits, depending on their academic history; up to nine credits of foundation courses may be waived for students with a background in business. Learners also take 12 credits within their specialization and a three-credit capstone.
To apply, prospective students must submit official transcripts, a current resume, and official GRE or GMAT scores. Applicants with a graduate degree may waive the standardized testing requirement.
What Else Can I Expect From an Online MBA in Healthcare Management Program?
Healthcare management professionals who want to become leaders in their field often earn an online healthcare MBA. While every program includes similar courses and requirements, all MBA healthcare administration online programs are unique. Online MBA healthcare management degrees can vary in curriculum, completion time, admissions requirements, and accreditation. Prospective students should compare programs before enrolling.
CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE MBA DEGREE IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT
|Concentration||Description||Careers This Concentration Prepares For|
|Hospital Administration||A hospital administration concentration prepares students to help run a hospital, large physician group, or health system. Courses cover topics like organizational leadership, finance, informatics, and general administration.||Hospital administrator, insurance administrator, health system executive, pharmaceutical administrator|
|Global Health Management||Focusing on healthcare in countries around the world, a global health management specialization is perfect for students who want to study comparative healthcare or work outside of the U.S. Students take many of the same classes as other online healthcare management students but with a greater emphasis on global systems and issues.||International health system administrator, pharmaceutical administrator, foreign hospital administrator, NGO administrator|
|Healthcare Finance||Students with a background in finance or a love of accounting may want to focus more heavily on the monetary side of healthcare. Those with a healthcare finance specialization take courses on the complex healthcare and insurance system, as well as MBA courses on finance.||Billing specialist, hospital CFO, insurance administrator, financial executive for a large health system|
CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MBA DEGREE IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT
Every online healthcare MBA offers different classes, but most include courses on fundamental topics in the field. These shared topics form the core of healthcare management MBAs.
- Public Health Law: Courses on public health law, business law, and healthcare ethics are at the core of most MBA healthcare management online programs. These courses are important because MBAs graduates often pursue leadership positions where they are responsible for making legal and ethical decisions.
- Financial Management in Healthcare: Regardless of a student's concentration, healthcare financial management is at the forefront of any administrative position. From patient and insurance billing to operational costs and financial reporting, financial courses are found in all MBA programs.
- Health Administration: Healthcare administration classes help students learn more about the specific details of day-to-day life in their profession. From the realities of healthcare today to the ideal organizational structures, health administration courses cover some of the most important material in each program.
- Leadership and Organization: Leadership and organization classes are important for students who are preparing to become hospital CEOs or leaders in the insurance industry.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MBA IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT?
The biggest factor that determines completion time for MBA healthcare management online degrees is whether or not the program allows for accelerated learning. Like other MBA programs, many healthcare management MBAs can be completed in 12 to 18 months with multiple, short academic terms each year that offer individual pacing and an accelerated format. However, other programs stick to a more traditional academic calendar that emphasizes cohort learning or a part-time learning format. These programs are designed for working students and can typically be completed in two years or more.
Degree requirements, program cost, and capstone projects may also affect the length of an online healthcare management MBA program. Schools that award competency-based credits may also have a shorter completion time than others. Credit requirements for healthcare management MBAs varies widely, though the average includes roughly 45 credits.
CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES AN MBA IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT PREPARES FOR
- Certified Healthcare Administrative Professional: The Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals offers students a cHAP recognition if they can pass the certification exam. cHAP-holders are recognized as for their excellence in the healthcare management field.
- Certified Revenue Cycle Professional: The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) certifies healthcare billing experts in a variety of roles with the CRCP and other designations. AAHAM certifications denote in-depth billing knowledge in the field.
Accreditation for Online MBA in Healthcare Management Degrees
Programs and schools are accredited nationally or regionally by organizations that ensure the program meets a rigorous set of criteria. An accredited school or program meets the requirements set forth by peer institutions, professional organization, and the government to create a reliable educational experience for students.
Many colleges and universities are accredited by regional accreditation agencies recognized by the Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a nongovernmental industry group. Online and adult learning schools are often nationally accredited by CHEA-approved organizations. Some programs are also individually accredited by professional groups, such as a law school being accredited by the American Bar Association.
The Department of Education and the CHEA are the two most important accrediting bodies in the country. The Department of Education does not directly accredit school, but rather acts as an oversight body that ensures proper accreditation practices. The Department of Education exercises its power by recognizing certain bodies as accreditors, namely regional agencies. The CHEA is a nongovernmental organization made up of university and college leaders that recognizes regional accreditors and independently offers national accreditation to schools. Learn more about collegiate accreditation here.
Employment Outlook for MBA in Healthcare Management
Job Placement: MBA in Marketing vs Bachelor of Business Administration
The healthcare industry boasts a strong employment outlook due to the consistent need for qualified professionals in this field. In recent years, this demand has also been fueled by a growing number of people receiving medical and healthcare services in the U.S. More than 20 million previously uninsured adults and children now receive medical coverage under the Obama Administration's Affordable Care Act, and an aging baby boomer population has added to this demand as well.
How does healthcare management stack up against other management fields in terms of job security? The following table features the unemployment rates for 'medical and health services managers', as well as five other management-oriented occupations. All six professions listed on the table were included on the 'Best Business Jobs' list published by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
|Occupation||Unemployment Rate (2016)|
|Medical and Health Services Manager||1.7%|
|Market Research Analyst||2.4%|
|Market Research Analyst||2.4%|
|Human Resources Specialist||3.1%|
|Business Operations Manager||3.7%|
Source: U.S. News & World Report
Of all six jobs listed on the table, medical and health services managers boast the lowest unemployment rate. This figure is also considerably lower than the national unemployment rate for all industries, which currently sits at 4.6%
Earning a Living
In addition to more favorable job placement rates, graduates with an MBA in healthcare management also enjoy higher earning potential than their bachelor's degree-holding counterparts. The table below features entry-level earnings expectations for students with bachelor's and master's degrees in fields related to healthcare management.
|Bachelor's Degree Field||Median Entry-Level Salary for Bachelor's Graduates||Median Entry-Level Salary for Master's/ MBA Graduates|
As the table indicates, students with a master's in all three fields outearn those with a bachelor's in healthcare management by a considerable margin. Those with a master's in healthcare management enjoy the highest salary premium, with 57.9% higher earnings than bachelor's graduates. Healthcare administration master's recipients reported a 44.9% earnings premium, while those with a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree reported a premium of 36.8%.
Master's degree field of study can also have an impact on career earnings, although salary growth rates also depend on the graduate's specific professional title. The next table uses PayScale data to explore career salary projections for five of the most common healthcare management occupations.
|Occupation||Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years)||Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years)||Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 years)||Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)|
|Registered Health Information Administrator||$44,000||$45,000||$52,000||$65,000|
|Medical Health and Services Manager||$51,000||$69,000||$70,000||$77,000|
|Medical Records Administrator||$41,000||$41,000||$45,000||$58,000|
All five occupations on the table experienced at least 40% salary growth after 20 years in the workforce. Medical health and services managers saw the highest growth rate: a 51% increase between the entry-level and late-career benchmarks. Registered health information administrators ranked second with 47.7% salary growth, followed by healthcare administrators at 47.1%.
Students who graduate with an MBA in healthcare management will be qualified for dozens of top-level positions, although individual eligibility will depend on additional factors like company size and city/state of employment. Four of the most common career pathways in healthcare management are detailed below.
Medical and Health Services Managers: Also known as healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, medical and health services managers oversee different medical services offered at healthcare facilities. Those who work at physician offices and smaller clinics may manage the entire staff, while those at hospitals and other large facilities are typically dedicated to specific departments.
Administrative Services Managers: Administrative services managers are responsible for the hiring, logistics, technology support and other administrative services at their company or organization. In the healthcare industry, these professionals oversee medical recordkeeping, machine and equipment maintenance and logistical needs.
Social and Community Service Managers: Social and community service managers lead various programs, activities and initiatives aimed at children, the elderly, military veterans and other key community member demographics. They often work with community leaders and stakeholders to develop effective programs, and then oversee various administrative tasks to ensure these programs are successfully delivered.
Human Resources Managers: Human resources managers (also known as HR managers) are responsible for recruiting, interviewing, screening, hiring and training new employees. They also serve as intermediaries between organizational leaders and non-manager employees, and may mediate disputes between members of these two groups. In the healthcare industry, HR managers bridge the gap between physicians, nurses, technicians, custodians and other personnel divisions.
|Occupation||Median Annual Salary||Projected Growth (2014-24)|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$94,500||17% (+56,300 jobs)|
|Administrative Services Managers||$86,110||8% (+23,500 jobs)|
|Social and Community Service Managers||$63,530||10% (+13,200 jobs)|
|Human Resources Managers||$104,440||9% (+10,800 jobs)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to healthcare management 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 management 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 thirty 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.
Financing Your Online MBA in Healthcare Management
Despite the relative affordability of online 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.
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.
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 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.
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