Best Online Master’s in Health Services Programs of 2021

Learn what the future could look like with an online master's in health services — and what it takes to get there.

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Published on December 15, 2021 · Updated on April 25, 2022

Reviewed by Randy Schwartz, MSPH

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An online master's program in health services can provide students with the knowledge necessary to begin a lucrative career in healthcare. In these programs, learners develop the skills needed to adapt business models as the field progresses with the introduction of new technologies. A career in health services offers the opportunity to manage both individual physicians' offices and large healthcare facilities.

The field is growing faster than average, providing students the prospect of a stable career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the addition of nearly 140,000 health services manager positions between 2020 and 2030. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $104,280 as of May 2020.

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

The cost of earning an online master's in health services is dependent on various factors, including whether you attend school online or in person. The average cost of a master's degree is $66,340, according to EducationData.org, but many online students pay less.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Health Services Program?

Health services professionals must be resilient and adaptable. The landscape of healthcare is ever-changing due to an aging population, new diseases, and innovations in the field. If they can manage these challenges, prospective health services managers can look forward to a lucrative and rewarding career.

Some health services manager positions require a bachelor's degree. However, most employers require a master of science degree. Obtaining an online master's in health services requires the completion of up to 64 credits in 24-30 months.

Students can choose to specialize in key focus areas through elective coursework. Electives can include courses in gerontology, health information, and data analytics. In addition to traditional coursework, students may need to complete an internship, capstone project, residency, and/or research project.

While many online master's in health services programs focus on managing a healthcare business, some programs have begun to introduce a health science-based approach that provides industry-specific training for a more well-rounded degree. Curricula may also prepare students to earn relevant professional certifications.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.

Popular Online Master's in Health Services Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Health Services Program?

Health Delivery Systems

In this course, learners study how health services are delivered in the United States. Classwork focuses on the differences between private and government delivery, as well as on prominent factors currently impacting the healthcare system.

Ethical and Legal Issues

This course delves into the legal history that influences modern healthcare. Students in this class will also learn about the legal and ethical boundaries to keep in mind when providing healthcare services.

Information Systems

This course reviews health information systems and how they are regulated to ensure data privacy, integration, analysis, and reporting.

Strategic Marketing

This course covers healthcare marketing. Students will learn about the regulatory considerations of marketing healthcare services and cover market research and customer analysis and motivation.

Financial Management

In this course, students analyze healthcare management practices. They learn about budgets, cost estimation, purchase analysis, and data monitoring.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Health Services Program?

Learners can study for a master's in health services online, on campus, or via a hybrid model. Admission requirements for online and on-campus programs are often the same. Schools often require applicants to possess a bachelor of science degree and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in students' final 60 credits of undergraduate coursework.

Some programs also require demonstrated business acumen through professional experience or specific coursework. Most master's programs require prospective students to submit a personal statement.

Application

Most programs require applicants to fill out a standard application form. Some programs participate in the Healthcare Administration, Management, and Policy Centralized Application System, which allows prospective students to apply to multiple schools at once. Most programs require prospective students to pay a fee to apply.

Test Scores

While some master's programs require applicants to submit GMAT or GRE scores, they usually aren't required to to apply to a master's in health services program. Universities often prefer healthcare industry experience and rely on letters of recommendation, essays, and GPA.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are often required to submit 1-3 letters of recommendation as part of their application. Recent graduates can submit letters from professors, while applicants with professional experience should can send in letters from past or current supervisors. Be sure to give your letter writers plenty of time to meet deadlines.

Resume and Work Experience

Admission into a master's in health services program does not always require work experience, but it is usually preferred. Many programs require prospective students to submit a resume or curriculum vitae. Resumes can help admissions officers understand applicants' professional history and long-term career goals.

Essays

Many programs require a writing sample, essay, or personal statement for admission. In these written components, applicants can share their personal and professional experience, goals, and reasons for applying to the specific program. These documents help admissions departments evaluate each student's potential to succeed academically.

Official Transcripts

Applicants must send official transcripts from every postsecondary institution they have attended. Some programs allow applicants to submit unofficial transcripts to begin the review process. However, for final approval, prospective students must send in official transcripts directly from their past schools.

What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Health Services Degree?

Career Outlook

A career in health services can be rewarding, lucrative, and stable. The BLS projects 32% job growth for medical and health services managers between 2020 and 2030, a much faster growth rate than the average across all occupations during the same period.

Health services professionals can work at governmental agencies, health insurance companies, hospitals, care homes, and other medical facilities. In May 2020, managers working for the government earned the highest median annual salary at $116,380. The top 10% of earners in the field make more than $195,630 annually.

See where an online master's in health services can take you. Learn more about health services careers.

Career Paths

Social and Community Service Manager

Social and community service managers often work for nonprofit organizations that focus on the most prominent health issues impacting their communities. These professionals benefit from strong management and fundraising skills.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $69,600

Healthcare Consultant

Healthcare consultants ensure healthcare facilities remain compliant with the legal and policy requirements set forth by regulatory agencies. These professionals also analyze organizations' operations to improve efficiency. They often work with staff administrators and leadership to identify room for improvement. Healthcare consultants may also work for health services research consulting companies and assist clients like pharmaceutical agencies.

Average Annual Salary (November 2021): $79,210

Health Information Manager

Health information managers oversee the management of collected data and ensure that it is utilized and secured under the regulatory policy. A background in information technology is almost always required, and employers increasingly require additional certification. These professionals can earn certification through the American Health Information Management Association.

Average Annual Salary (November 2021): $59,650

Healthcare Financial Manager

Healthcare financial managers oversee all financial aspects of their organization. Certified public accountant status is often required, as is healthcare-specific certification. Managers can earn certifications through the American Association of Healthcare Financial Administrative Management and the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Average Annual Salary (November 2021): $94,740

Hospital Chief Executive Officer

A hospital chief executive officer (CEO) manages the day-to-day operations of the facility, its policies, and its strategic function. In addition to a master's in health services, hospital CEOs must often have a minimum of 10 years of healthcare experience.

Average Annual Salary (November 2021): $153,800

Health Services Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

After completing a master's degree in the field, graduates can pursue a doctorate in health services to further their career or focus on research. Graduates may also seek a variety of certifications provided by related professional associations, including the following options:

How Do I Choose an Online Master's in Health Services Program?

Cost

According to EducationData.org, the average cost of a master's degree is $66,340, but many students save money by enrolling online. Master's programs in health services are offered online, on-campus, or via hybrid methods. To understand the true cost of a program, consider the price of books, room and board, and other fees in addition to tuition.

Program Format

Online master's in health services programs vary in their delivery method, offering prospective students options to fit their life and learning style. Programs may provide both synchronous and asynchronous learning, as well as part-time, full-time, and accelerated pathways. Synchronous programs require students to attend live, online sessions, while asynchronous programs allow students to complete coursework on their own schedule.

Location

Even prospective students only interested in online programs should consider location. Some online master's in health services programs have limited in-person requirements for orientation, labs, or internships. Consider choosing a program at a nearby school if you plan to visit campus regularly.

Accreditation

Accreditation is the process by which colleges and universities certify the quality of their programs and institutions. Regional accreditation is the most important seal of approval. You cannot receive federal financial aid from schools that do not hold regional accreditation.

Employers seek candidates with master's degrees from reputable programs. The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education and the Association of University Programs in Health Administration oversee the accreditation of master's in health services programs.

Student Support

When applying to master's in health services programs, be sure to explore the student services each school provides. Some institutions possess career services departments, which connect students with mentors, maintain alumni networks, and advertise internship opportunities. If you plan to study online, investigate each schools' services for distance learners.

2021 Best Accredited Online Master's in Health Services Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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Best Online Master's in Health Services Programs

  1. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $13016

    Orlando's University of Central Florida offers a cohort-based online executive master's in health administration. This master's in health services program covers 44 credits of coursework and includes classes such as leadership for healthcare executives, financial accounting for healthcare managers, and healthcare quality and risk management. This online master's is a full-time program and learners enroll in at least two classes per semester.

    Prospective students must complete an online application and supply letters of recommendation, academic transcripts, and a resume documenting professional healthcare experience.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $773
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 44 credits
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • Program Accreditation: Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  2. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $9180

    Florida International University offers an online master's in health services that students can complete in two years. Designed to expand career opportunities for healthcare professionals in administrative roles, this program emphasizes problem-solving skills, professional development training, and organizational leadership. Before graduation, degree-seekers complete either an administrative residency or master's research project.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective students also submit a one-page personal statement that highlights personal qualities and career goals.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $750 per credit
    • Program Length: 24 months
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 48 credits
    • Instruction Style: N/A
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Private
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  3. University of North Texas
    Location

    Denton, TX

    Tuition

    $12600

    The master's in health services program at the University of North Texas offers a flexible and affordable pathway for students to expand career options and earning potential. Highlighting the skills associated with effective healthcare leadership, the online curriculum covers topics such as management strategies, information systems, and ethical and legal issues.

    UNT reviews applications holistically and considers past academic achievement, professional experience, and personal attributes. This program does not require GRE scores when making admission decisions.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $458 per credit
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 45 credits
    • Format: Online
    • Instruction Style: N/A
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  4. University of Detroit Mercy
    Location

    Detroit, MI

    Established in 1877, the University of Detroit Mercy is a private Catholic institution that offers an online master's in health services. Throughout five semesters, students complete core requirements including accounting principles in the healthcare profession, information systems for health services, and healthcare delivery and policy issues.

    Applicants for this online master's must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Additionally, prospective students must submit three letters of recommendation, including one from a direct supervisor, and an essay outlining their interest in this program.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $878 per credit
    • Program Length: 16 months
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 42 credits
    • Instruction Style: N/A
    • Format: Online, Hybrid
    • School Status: Private
    • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Health Services Programs

Is a master's in health services worth it?

A master's in health services is worth it for students and professionals who want to accelerate their career and open the door to leadership opportunities. This degree can help workers increase their earning potential and access managerial roles.

Students can also specialize in a specific area, allowing them to focus their career on a specific aspect of healthcare management, such as compliance, community, information, or finance.

What can I do with a master's in health services?

Master's in health services degree-holders can pursue a variety of different opportunities. One of the most popular positions for program graduates is medical and health services manager. However, degree-holders can also pursue careers as hospital executives, financial directors, and compliance managers.

Are health services majors in high demand?

Yes. The BLS projects 32% job growth for medical and health services managers between 2020 and 2030. This is much greater than the average growth rate across all occupations during the same period.

How much money can I make with a master's in health services?

According to the BLS, medical and health services managers made a median annual salary of $104,280 in May 2020. However, factors like industry, employer, location, and title can all greatly impact salary. As of May 2020, the top 10% of earners in this field made more than $195,630 annually, while the bottom 10% of earners made less than $59,980.

Health services managers working in government earned the highest median annual wages, while those working in nursing and residential care facilities earned the lowest.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a master's in health services?

Some of the highest-paying jobs for graduates with a master's in health services are governmental positions, according to the BLS. As of May 2020, medical and health services managers working for the government made a median annual salary of $116,380. However, private sector businesses like consulting firms and insurance companies may offer even higher salaries.

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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