Every day, healthcare managers help their organizations navigate the complex medical, financial, legal, and social aspects of nearly 18 percent of America’s economy. They help ensure that care reaches the people who need it, both now and in the future, in a rapidly changing industry subject to political and budgetary pressures.
Some healthcare managers may work closely with care providers as hospital administrators, while others interact with patients and insurance providers. They can be found behind the scenes in hospitals, managed care organizations, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, and consulting firms. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they typically focus on tasks including:
- Work to improve efficiency and quality in delivering healthcare services
- Develop departmental goals and objectives
- Ensure that the facility in which they work is up to date on and compliant with new laws and regulations
- Recruit, train, and supervise staff
- Manage the finances of the facility, such as patient fees and billing
- Create work schedules
- Prepare and monitor budgets and spending to ensure departments operate within allocated funds
- Represent the facility at investor meetings or on governing boards
- Keep and organize records of the facility’s services, such as the number of inpatient beds used
- Communicate with members of the medical staff and department heads
While this is an exciting and rapidly evolving field, competition for highly-paid management positions can be intense. As the American College of Healthcare Executives notes, many healthcare management jobs that previously required a bachelor’s degree now require a master’s degree. And with better and better online education options out there, busy people and working professionals have great opportunity.
What are the Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Management Degrees for 2017?
We’ve ranked the top 25 online master’s programs in healthcare management that can help you become a leading candidate for those jobs. Some, but not all, are targeted towards professionals already working in the field and require previous work experience for admission. Check those requirements carefully so you can find the program that best fits your needs.
Johns Hopkins University
College Choice Score: 100.0
Cost per credit hour: $1,330
As one of America’s leading research universities, Johns Hopkins is known for academic excellence as well as its highly-regarded hospital and medical school. As part of its commitment to excellence in healthcare, Johns Hopkins offers a master of science degree in healthcare management that can be completed online as well as on campus. The 36-credit MS in Health Care Management part-time program option is intended for working professionals with at least two years of experience. You can complete the degree online, or by attending classes held on evenings and Saturdays at the Carey Business School’s Baltimore and Washington, D.C., campuses. The part-time format allows students to pursue a graduate degree without interrupting their career.
The Johns Hopkins MS in Healthcare Management will prepare you to lead in healthcare organizations of all sizes. You’ll be prepared to:
- Apply the most relevant business skills to assess and act on opportunities to innovate and improve productivity in the healthcare environment
- Learn data driven, analytical approaches for measuring the quality and access to the healthcare ecosystem
- Deepen knowledge of key players within the healthcare ecosystem with special emphasis on the strategic, political, cultural and ethical dimensions of the industry
- Put classroom skills and knowledge into practice with emphasis on interactive interdisciplinary learning from faculty at the Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health
- Develop the knowledge, confidence, and judgment to anticipate the issues that will face this dynamic industry now and in the future.
Coursework includes 18 credits in foundational business topics, a 6 credit core that includes financial and legal aspects of healthcare, and 12 credits of electives depending on your interests and career goals. Johns Hopkins University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
University of Scranton
College Choice Score: 97.0
Cost per credit hour: $837
The University of Scranton’s online Master of Health Administration (MHA) curriculum is designed to help you meet the challenges of a changing healthcare industry with exceptional leadership, responsive decision-making, and sound knowledge. As a Jesuit institution, the University of Scranton is also dedicated to the highest principles in preparing students for a life of ethical service for the common good. In addition, this program is now one of the first fully online MHA programs to receive additional accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). This additional accreditation certifies that the University of Scranton’s online program meets the highest standards for academic rigor and professional preparation.
The program is designed around the American College of Healthcare Executives’ competency model. As the program website states, graduates are expected to demonstrate 24 core competencies grouped in five critical areas:
- Communication and Relationship Management: Fine tune analysis, interpretation and communication skills to translate factual data, process, direction and research to decision makers.
- Leadership: Develop leadership skills to support the organization and its individuals with a deep understanding of decision making and outcomes at the level of strategic policy as well as day-to-day details.
- Professionalism: Engage in continued professional development including reflection and self-directed learning, and understand the impact of professional standards and codes of ethical behavior on the organization.
- Knowledge of the Healthcare Environment: Assess the interrelationships among access, quality, cost, resource allocation, accountability, and community while navigating administrative, functional and developmental responsibilities of the health care organization.
- Business Acumen: Demonstrate critical thinking, analysis, problem solving, and financial management skills necessary to operate, project manage, and run a healthcare organization in today’s economy.
In total, the program requires a total 44 coursework credits and a three-credit internship that involves 150 hours of fieldwork experience. The University of Scranton is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
College Choice Score: 96.7
Cost per credit hour: $630
A private institution with Lutheran affiliations, Valparaiso University is consistently ranked as one of the leading colleges in the Midwest. In fact, U.S. News & World Report has named it as one of the top five regional universities in the Midwest every year since 1990. IN addition to their on-campus programs, Valparaiso also offers an online 36-credit master of science degree in healthcare administration with four options for specialization. You can choose one of the following options for the degree:
- MSHCA – Leadership
- MSHCA – Health Informatics
- MSHCA – Forensic Health
- MSHCA – Gerontology
Regardless of which major you choose, you’ll take 27 credit hours of core classes that cover topics like management, finance, legal issues, ethics, and healthcare policy.
In addition to the core classes, each major requires 9 credit hours of coursework in your area of specialization. The Leadership option will teach you how to manage healthcare institutions and health policy with a focus on finance, delivery or evaluation of healthcare services. Health Informatics majors focus on the management of patient records and data analysis at the intersection of information technology, computer science, and health care. The Forensic Health specialty prepares students to manage a crime laboratory or to work in correctional health settings. Finally, the Gerontology option focuses on the needs of elderly adults in nursing homes and other long-term care settings. Valparaiso University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
College Choice Score: 91.2
Cost per credit hour: $780
While the MHA is probably the most common master’s degree in healthcare management, a number of schools offer similar training as part of an MBA degree. Marist College is an outstanding example of the latter, offering an MBA with a concentration in healthcare administration. This is a 36 credit hour degree, consisting of nine core business and management courses plus electives and specialized classes for the concentration. Full time students may complete the degree in as little as two years, but you may take longer if you’re studying part time. Graduates of this program are distinguished by the combination of extensive knowledge of business operations and specialized understanding of healthcare administration that they bring to their work.
Coursework within the concentration prepares students to serve as effective and ethical leaders in the healthcare environment. You’ll learn how to manage change within healthcare organizations and grapple with some of the most critical issues facing the industry today, including the measurement of the quality of care, the effect of regulation and competition, the impact of the for-profit market, and the rationing of health care. In addition, you will learn how to address the legal, ethical, and policy aspects of the health care system in the United States. Marist College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the MBA program is also accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the premier accrediting body for business programs.
Saint Joseph's University
College Choice Score: 89.0
Cost per credit hour: $853
The online Master of Science in Health Administration from Saint Joseph’s University is a practice-based program designed to give you the skills and experience necessary to immediately improve the performance of your organization and advance your own career. Alumni from the Saint Joseph’s University’s online Master of Science in Health Administration program include Fortune 500 executives from the private sector and administrators of some of America’s top hospitals, including Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. From courses in health care law taught by working health care attorneys, to health care ethics classes led by key executives in the non-profit industry, the online Health Administration curriculum is developed for the modern health care marketplace and delivered by experts in the field.
Saint Joseph’s University’s online Master of Science in Health Administration gives students a choice between an informatics concentration or general track. The general track explores the complex moral and ethical health care considerations that often dominate executive-level decision making. By examining issues from genetic testing before birth to end-of-life care and euthanasia, students gain new perspective on proper health care administration at an individual and policy-making level. Meanwhile, the informatics track focuses on effective management, development and evaluation of electronic medical records and other emerging healthcare technologies. Built for today’s rapidly changing digital healthcare environment, the informatics concentration covers issues related to IT infrastructure and applications with emphasis on improving the quality of care through enhanced data management. Saint Joseph’s University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
University of Southern California
College Choice Score: 84.6
Cost per credit hour: $1,733
Developed for both mid-career clinical and management professionals, the Executive Master of Health Administration program from the USC Price School of Public Policy delivers a transformative graduate-level educational experience designed to prepare the nation’s leading health care professionals. Coursework is delivered primarily online, supplemented with two, five-day in-residence sessions held at the USC main campus, with a curriculum geared for the active working professional. Students are exposed to rigorous education in areas such as management and leadership, health care economics, financing, health information technology, quality of care, and systems improvement and operations management.
USC’s EMHA degree differs from other executive programs because the hybrid model concentrates time in-residence at USC to two four-day working sessions, while also requiring weekly online, real-time contact. During the residency periods, students work together to integrate course materials into the analysis of contemporary case studies that address the latest developments in the healthcare field. The executive degree differs from a regular MHA degree only insofar as it is focused on cohorts of experienced health professionals, with an average of 13 years of healthcare experience. The University of Southern California is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
College Choice Score: 78.0
Cost per credit hour: $1,493
Another top-ranked Executive MHA program is available through the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Developed through and based on the core competency model, the MHA is designed to build your knowledge and skills in four core areas: leadership ability, health policy, management, and professionalism. The online executive MHA program particularly focuses on the realities of today’s healthcare marketplace and the unique skill sets necessary to navigate and succeed in that marketplace. It is designed to be completed by individuals currently working in healthcare related jobs.
The 24-month program consists of 49 credit hours of coursework, including a leadership practicum and capstone project. Most of the coursework is completed online, with classes that meet over the Internet at fixed times twice a week. In addition, students must come to campus for in-person residency periods during the fall (6 days), spring(4 days), and summer (4 days). The executive MHA program is CAHME accredited, ensuring that it meets the highest academic standards. However, with the required residency periods and fixed meeting times, it may not be right for everyone. The University of North Carolina is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Pennsylvania State University
College Choice Score: 68.1
Cost per credit hour: $930
Since 1892, students have been able to complete a Penn State education without traveling to a physical campus. As a pioneer in distance education – and now, in online learning – Penn State has significant experience in teaching and understanding the needs of students learning at a distance. Among the many online options available from Penn State is a master of health administration degree with a focus on health policy and administration. The MHA curriculum can provide you with a fundamental understanding of management and health services, and the courses have been designed to prepare you for the requirements of increased accountability, organization, and management.
- Financing healthcare
- Clinical issues for health services management
- Quality improvement in healthcare
- Healthcare marketing
- Health economics
- Health law
- Information systems in health services administration
Graduates of the program are qualified for a variety of administrative, management, or executive positions in nonprofit, corporate, and government health care-related organizations. Pennsylvania State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
George Washington University
College Choice Score: 65.9
Cost per credit hour: $1,655
The Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University offers professionals working in health care and health services the opportunity to earn an online Executive Master of Health Administration, and gain the skills and knowledge they need to assume a leadership role in their organization. With courses taught by GW faculty, the MHA program at GWU uses technology to foster learning relationships and deliver a dynamic and flexible learning experience.
University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth
College Choice Score: 59.3
Cost per credit hour: $1,611
Offered through the Dartmouth campus of the University of Massachusetts, this online master of science degree in healthcare management gives students the knowledge and skills to become leaders in effective healthcare delivery and creating positive change in the industry. The 30 credit-hour curriculum can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis, and focuses on the topics needed for healthcare managers looking to save time and money, improve quality of care, redesign organizational processes and reduce implementation errors. Throughout the program, you’ll enhance your managerial skills and learn how to formulate and implement administrative policies and plans that support organizational goals. You’ll be well prepared to lead your organization and advance your career.
The program consists of eight required courses in addition to two electives or a thesis project. Courses include the following:
- Strategic Cost Management
- Management of Organizational Change
- Organizational Behavior and Leadership in Healthcare Organizations
- Management of Health Care Operations
- Information Technology Management
- Advanced Project Management
- Lean Health Care Operations
- Accounting for Decision Making
Applicants with at least a 3.0 in their undergraduate program and five years of professional work experience may be exempted from the GMAT requirement for admission. The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Saint Leo University
College Choice Score: 55.0
Cost per credit hour: $695
If you’re interested in studying healthcare management in the context of a business degree, Saint Leo University’s School of Business offers an online M.B.A. with a concentration in healthcare management. The program combines traditional coursework with the most current information and best practices in the rapidly changing field. Within the healthcare management concentration, courses explore topics such as:
- U.S. health insurance programs
- Healthcare and taxation
- Legal and ethical issues facing providers and patients
- Consumer healthcare
- Federal and state health policy processes
- Community health evaluation and epidemiology
In addition, you will also achieve a broad background in business through general M.B.A. courses, ensuring that your management education is based in theoretical and practical learning.
The MBA program at Saint Leo addresses a number of management and leadership skills, and focuses on developing ethical as well as effective leaders for the future. Business courses are structured to emphasize the following goals:
- Core business management functions
- Oral and written business communication
- Effective team membership and leadership in work partnerships and cross-functional collaborative efforts
- Ethical, economically responsible business decisions in the context of a diverse set of stakeholders
- Business implications of the new economy and applying widely used technologies to management issues
In addition to the analytical tools and technologies necessary to solve complex management problems, the MBA program emphasizes leadership skills within Saint Leo University’s core values and traditions. Saint Leo University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Loyola University Chicago
College Choice Score: 52.7
Cost per credit hour: $1,033
Another one of our top programs is especially targeted towards managers in Roman Catholic and other faith-based healthcare systems. The MA in Health Care Mission Leadership and Loyola University in Chicago offers professional preparation for those senior healthcare leaders who are charged with developing, enhancing, cultivating, and protecting the identity and mission of their organizations. The program incorporates teachings from ministry, health care, and bioethics to offer a degree that is both well rounded and pertinent to the work being done in Catholic hospitals throughout the world.
Full-time students can complete the thirty-six credit hour program in two years. During your required coursework, you’ll develop the following skills:
- Be articulate on the foundations of Catholic and Christian traditions and how they can shape healthcare.
- Develop a stronger understanding of Catholic ministries and be better able to collaborate with church authorities to further Catholic healthcare ministry.
- Become conversant in the ethical challenges that can arise in the healthcare milieu and be prepared to address those circumstances using insight from Catholic ethics and bioethics.
- Cultivate and maintain an organizational culture that works in concert with a Catholic vision of health care.
- Understand the complexities of Catholic health care as well as the financial environment in which it functions.
The Health Care Mission Leadership program offers a highly accessible option for students outside of Chicago, working professionals, or individuals looking for greater flexibility. While the program can be completed fully online, students are also required to complete an education practicum in their home state. Loyola University Chicago is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of Missouri at Columbia
College Choice Score: 49.5
Cost per credit hour: $813
If you have at least three to five years of clinical or administrative experience in healthcare, and you want to prepare for an executive leadership position in a healthcare setting, the online MHA program at the University of Missouri may be the degree for you. In total, the program requires 42 credit hours to complete: 36 credit hours of core coursework and 6 credit hours of an individual research project. Over the course of the two years needed to complete the degree, four on-campus visits are required – one each semester students are enrolled. This may not be the best program for someone looking to complete a degree on a flexible time scale, but if you’re looking for a rigorous, CAHME-accredited degree in health administration, it may be the right prescription for your career future.
To begin the program, students must meet foundation prerequisites in statistical analysis, microeconomics, managerial finance and accounting. You may complete this course work online or on campus through MU or other institutions. Admitted students may also take free online modules in accounting, managerial finance and microeconomic offered by the department. You’ll then take courses with your cohort in the following areas:
- Financial management
- Health care law
- Health informatics
- Human resources
- Strategic planning
The University of Missouri is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and the MHA program is additionally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.
Seton Hall University
College Choice Score: 48.4
Cost per credit hour: $1,171
Offered both online and on-campus, the Master of Healthcare Administration program at Seton Hall University prepares students for leadership and management positions in today’s complex, dynamic healthcare industry. This 42-credit program is the only MHA program in New Jersey accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). The online version of the program is delivered sequentially over six semesters. It also requires three in-person, five-day intensive/residency visits at the beginning, middle and end of the 24-month program, which afford students the opportunity to meet face-to-face with professors and peers in the program. During each intensive, students complete an MHA course, hear presentations from faculty and healthcare executives, work in groups and network with fellow students and alumni.
After completing the in-person intensive course, students complete two online classes during each 7-week term. Classes include the following:
- Research Methods and Statistical Analysis
- Healthcare Management
- Financial and Managerial Accounting and Costing in Healthcare
- Healthcare Financial Management
- Managing Community and Population Health Systems
- Healthcare Economics
- Quality and Information Management Systems
- Emergency Management and Health Security
- Legal Aspects of Healthcare Organizations
- Strategic Planning and Marketing
Finally, after designating an area of interest and building upon that interest through specialized study, students complete a 3-credit “Capstone Project” course. The completed project affords students an opportunity to make a substantial contribution to their organization and their profession. Seton Hall University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the MHA program is accredited by CAHME.
College Choice Score: 47.3
Cost per credit hour: $773
The online master of science in healthcare administration program at Utica College is designed to give graduates the skills, competencies, and confidence to pursue management and leadership positions in the healthcare industry. Some of the specific skills you’ll learn while completing your MS in Health Care Administration include:
- How to design, develop, implement, and evaluate administrative strategies
- How to analyze and apply different health care accounting processes
- How to recruit, retain, and develop health care staff
- How to apply theories of organizational development within the health sector
- How to identify and discern stakeholder interests
In total, the program requires 21 credit hours in core classes, 12 credit hours of electives in your chosen field of specialization, and a 3 credit hour capstone project.
Three specializations are available that cover the specific administrative needs of various types of healthcare organizations. These include:
- Acute Care: Students explore financial management, the development and implementation of IT systems, and leadership practices for administrators of hospitals and other acute care facilities.
- Service Organizations: Coursework covers tools, concepts, and methods of organizational development and organizational leadership for students interested in working for government, corporate, insurance, or research companies and agencies in the healthcare field.
- Long Term Care: This emphasis focuses on effective management practices related to planning, staffing, quality improvement, and other administrative areas, as well as tools and principles of financial management.
In some states, including New York, the curriculum of Utica College’s online MS in Health Care Administration meets the course requirements for Nursing Home Administrator licensure. Potential applicants should check with their states and with the program for more information. Utica College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Colorado State University
College Choice Score: 46.2
Cost per credit hour: $500
The Master of Healthcare Administration program at Colorado State University is intended to prepare students for a wide variety of leadership roles within the healthcare industry. The 36 credit-hour program incorporates the leadership skills, knowledge, analytical abilities, global perspective, and management tools that graduates need to effectively and efficiently lead and manage in both private and public healthcare organizations. Students gain an increased understanding and awareness of the policies, laws, politics, problems, and issues facing the healthcare industry with an emphasis on the areas of quality assurance, risk management, managed care, insurance, healthcare laws and regulations, ethics, and other practices important to managing within a healthcare environment.
As the program website explains, graduates of the program will have successfully achieved the following learning outcomes:
- Acquire the knowledge and skills needed to identify and solve healthcare organizational problems using a systematic decision making approach.
- Demonstrate the skills needed to manage, develop, and motivate organizations to meet changing organizational needs in a healthcare environment.
- Conduct a critical analysis of problems, research, solution alternatives, and the environment in the development and execution of a strategy as it relates to the healthcare enterprise.
- Develop awareness of the policies, procedures, laws, and ethics of the diverse array of healthcare alternatives.
- Apply business administration and management knowledge to the healthcare industry within the domains of management, organizational leadership, quantitative reasoning for business, accounting, applied business research, operations management, finance, marketing, and strategic planning and implementation.
- Synthesize the value of personal and professional development, community service, and life-long learning.
This program is delivered 100% online with no required residencies, so it may be right for students who need a more flexible degree or who are unable to travel. Colorado State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of Cincinnati
College Choice Score: 45.2
Cost per credit hour: $1,311
The online Master of Health Administration degree from the University of Cincinnati is designed so that professionals aspiring to leadership in health administration can develop new skills and gain essential knowledge through rigorous and innovative coursework. The degree consists of 39 semester hours, beginning with a 10 course core curriculum. In your core classes, you’ll learn about topics including the following:
- Health Systems Organization and Delivery
- Health Systems Leadership
- Financial Analysis
- FInancial Decision Making
- Health Economics
- Strategic Success in the Healthcare Marketplace
- Health Policy and Regulation
- Legal and Ethical Issues
- Evidence-Based Decision Making
- Total Quality Management
Then, you can choose concentration electives in either global health systems or health systems management, depending on whether your interests lie in national policy or local management issues.
The program concludes with a capstone research project. Here, students will be guided through the understanding, development and conclusion of a project that allows them to integrate their increased knowledge, skills and competencies in health care management – as well as to demonstrate their analytical and interpretive skills. Students develop their research topic based on a management problem in their own health care professional organization or in a similar health care setting, and will begin and complete the project in that setting. The project must be presented before the MHA degree is granted. The University of Cincinnati is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Saint Joseph's College of Maine
College Choice Score: 43.9
Cost per credit hour: $1,030
The online graduate health administration degree at St. Joseph’s College of Maine prepares aspiring or current managers for leadership roles in organizations that deliver, regulate or provide healthcare services. This master’s degree program is one of the few in the country accredited by the National Association of Boards of Examiners of Long-Term Care Administrators (NAB), and the only NAB-accredited program available online. So, it’s ideal for students who hope to manage nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. The program website also notes that accreditation of the program by the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) will be sought over the next few years.
- Acquire a systematic body of knowledge related to the management of health care services
- Apply acquired knowledge and skills to the effective management of health services
- Identify and internalize appropriate standards of professional and ethical conduct
- Develop effective leadership competencies
- Develop effective skills for independent scholarship and goal-directed continuing education
In addition to the course structure and delivery, case studies are incorporated through most of the core courses. Students are also required to become student members of ACHE, ACHCA, CCHCL, or another healthcare management association. The course material is designed to address current problems in the field, and instructors are currently working in healthcare, providing students with a solid foundation for future career growth. The University of Cincinnati is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
College Choice Score: 41.8
Cost per credit hour: $673
The online MHA program at historic Ohio University is designed to train professionals who possess an advanced understanding of the business side of healthcare as well as the leadership expertise needed to make effective decisions. You’ll learn how to balance the altruistic mission of health care with the business obligation to keep an organization financially viable. The Ohio University Master of Health Administration online program is designed to foster your confidence and insight so that you can make a positive and lasting impact on the organization in which you work, both now and in the future.
Over the course of the program, students take 12 courses that are each 7 weeks long and comprise 3 credit hours of classwork. One benefit of the compressed class schedule is that students can take one course at a time and still graduate in as few as 2 years. Required courses include the following:
- Introduction to the U.S. Health Care Delivery System
- Information Systems for Health Services
- Leadership of Health Organizations
- Research and Quantitative Methods for Health Services
- Health Policy
- Evaluation and Quality Improvement in Health Care
- Health Care Finance
- Health Law
- Epidemiology in Health Administration
- Human Resource Management in Health Care
- Strategic Planning and Marketing in Health Services
- Ethical Issues in Health Care
By combining academic theory with practical learning, the online MHA at Ohio University can enhance your decision-making skills, and help you broaden your impact as a leader in virtually any health industry setting. Ohio University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Oklahoma State University
College Choice Score: 40.7
Cost per credit hour: $825
The School of Health Care Administration at Oklahoma State University Center’s for Health Sciences trains leaders for the hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other health organizations of Oklahoma and beyond. The Health Care Administration (HCA) program at Oklahoma State offers a master of science degree in health care administration with the option to specialize in either health care leadership and entrepreneurship or administration. The Leadership and Entrepreneurship option is geared toward high-level executive leadership, while the Administration concentration is for students who intend to work directly in health care institutions. The curriculum introduces students to management concepts, processes and techniques associated with administration and entrepreneurship functions in a variety of health care organizations.
This degree is ideal for those individuals working in health care who wish to move into management or executive positions, but unlike many programs in the field, previous healthcare experience is not required. On-site courses in Tulsa are offered as well as distance learning opportunities, so that the degree can be completed in class or fully online with no difference in curriculum. In total, the M.S. in Health Care Administration consists of 32 total hours with a creative component or thesis including six hours of general graduate level electives. Core requirements include coursework in leadership, research and evaluation methods, and legal issues. You can then select the electives that best meet your needs. Oklahoma State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
East Carolina University
College Choice Score: 28.6
Cost per credit hour: $876
East Carolina University has offered a flexible, accessible AACSB-accredited MBA degree since 1967. Now, students can pursue the MBA program on campus, completely online, or as a combination of two delivery methods. The requirements and structure of the program are the same, regardless of whether students choose face-to-face or online delivery. You can set your own pace throughout the program, taking between one to five classes each semester, and courses may be taken in any order if prerequisites are met.
The core MBA program provides students with an engaging and flexible education in the theory and practice of business management, exposing them to a range of subjects including economics, marketing, accounting, finance, strategy, operations management, information systems, and supply chain management. Students can then choose a specialized certificate in healthcare management that includes the following courses:
- Healthcare systems and problems
- Management of healthcare operations
- Financial management in healthcare organizations
- Healthcare strategic planning
- Health law
Graduates of the certificate program will understand the financial, legal, and operational issues in healthcare and how these differ from the challenges of other industries, and they will be prepared for careers as managers in a variety of health care situations. The knowledge gained from the MBA and certificate can be applied to hospitals, ambulatory care centers, long term care facilities, health research and clinical trials firms, home health care agencies, and health insurance companies. East Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
College Choice Score: 26.4
Cost per credit hour: $650
Benedictine University offers an online MBA in Health Administration that teaches graduates how financial, operations, and marketing activities are applied to health organizations such as hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, home health care providers, and other health care settings. As a graduate of the Benedictine MBA Healthcare Administration concentration, you will be prepared to assume a leadership role in health care administration and make an important contribution to better patient care. With this advanced degree, you will have the capabilities to work either as a specialist in charge of a specific clinical department or as a generalist who manages an entire facility or system.
The Health Care Administration concentration requires three concentration-specific courses in addition to your foundation and managerial coursework, for a total of 17 courses. Concentration coursework includes:
- Public Health Systems
- Environmental Health
- Marketing of Public Health
- The Business of Health Care
The Health Care Administration program’s curriculum addresses the business of healthcare with courses developed and taught by faculty in the Master of Public Health program. Content is built to align with the strict standards set by the national public health accrediting agency to ensure top quality instruction, research and public service. Each course also includes a mini capstone experience that allows you to apply your learnings to real-world healthcare scenarios in a controlled environment under the direct supervision of your instructor. Benedictine University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of Maryland - University College
College Choice Score: 25.0
Cost per credit hour: $499
The distance education provider for the University of Maryland system, UMUC offers a number of online graduate degrees to students across the US, including an online master of science degree in health care administration. This is a 36 credit hour degree that includes a significant capstone project focused on a systems approach to health care administration. You’ll learn about public and private health care delivery systems, alliances with internal and external environments, and strategic decision making and implementation in the rapidly evolving global arena of health care administration.
Coursework can be completed entirely online or in a hybrid format, and focuses on a number of learning outcomes. Graduates of this program will be able to:
- Apply strong financial management skills, including techniques for responding to uncompensated care, cost increases, increased competition, and increased regulation
- Use statistical tools to analyze health data and make effective business decisions
- Demonstrate knowledge of different models in healthcare administration, including contemporary theories, critical perspectives, and best practices for performance excellence in a highly competitive healthcare environment
- Use decision-making skills for institutional management, organizational development, and intercultural work environments
- Strategically plan, implement, and evaluate information systems
- Understand regulatory constraints, provider liability, patient rights, employment law and labor relations, and administrative law for healthcare organizations
- Analyze public health issues and their impact on healthcare organizations
- Solve ongoing problems in healthcare financing and delivery
Applicants to the program are required to have professional work experience or an educational background in the healthcare industry. If you do not have an undergraduate degree in healthcare administration or a related field, or do not have professional healthcare industry work experience, you should choose the Master of Science in management with a specialization in healthcare administration, also available from UMUC. The University of Maryland University College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Concordia University - Portland
College Choice Score: 24.5
Cost per credit hour: $915
The MBA program with concentration in healthcare administration at Concordia University-Portland is designed to prepare students for today’s complex, competitive, and fast-paced healthcare industry. You’ll gain the tools to succeed in tomorrow’s global and technology-driven business environment, including the knowledge and ability to adapt to changing market forces. Team building and ability to work together are emphasized. As a result, Concordia’s MBA not only equips you to be comfortable with change, it helps you anticipate and embrace it.
Concordia’s MBA program will prepare you for a fulfilling management career in the private, government, and non-profit sectors. An healthcare administration MBA from Concordia will teach you how to:
- Identify the role of the financial manager in strategic planning for healthcare facilities
- Learn and master theories of various healthcare financing and reimbursement mechanisms
- Demonstrate an understanding of ways of financing working capital such as collections and receivables management, inventory management, productivity management, and short-term financing
- Analyze and evaluate ways of financing capital expenditures, including the certificate of need process
- Identify and discuss the questions of basic values and their ethical implications in providing healthcare, and explore how these questions interface with Christian as well as other religious and philosophic traditions
With this degree, you’ll be prepared for leadership in healthcare organizations and beyond. Concordia University – Portland is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
California State University - East Bay
College Choice Score: 23.2
Cost per credit hour: $339
California State University’s East Bay campus provides its graduates the opportunity to learn how to manage non-profit, for-profit, and voluntary health care organizations in effective and innovative ways. The Cal State East Bay Online MS in Health Care Administration was designed to attain the list of professional competencies developed by the Health Care Leadership Alliance (HLA), a consortium of major professional health care associations. By successfully completing the program, you’ll be able to demonstrate competency in these five domains as described in the program literature:
- Communication and Relationship Management: Communicate clearly and concisely with internal and external customers to establish and maintain relationships, and to facilitate constructive interactions with individuals and groups.
- Leadership: Inspire individual and organizational excellence, utilize the tools at your disposal to create and attain a shared vision, and successfully manage change to achieve your organization’s strategic ends.
- Professionalism: Align personal and organizational conduct with ethical and professional standards that include a responsibility to the patient and community, a service orientation, and a commitment to lifelong learning and improvement.
- Knowledge: Understand the health care system and the environment in which health care managers and providers function.
- Business Acumen: Apply business principles to the health care environment. Basic business principles include financial management, human resource management, organizational dynamics and governance, strategic planning and marketing, information management, risk management, and quality improvement.
In total, the online MS in Health Care Administration Program requires the completion of 12 4-unit courses, for a total of 48 units. Classes are taught on the quarter system, however, so you’ll have the chance to complete your degree in less than two years.
- US Health Care Systems
- Leadership and Change in Health Care Organizations
- Organization Theory and Behavior in Health Care
- Information Technology in Health Care
- Health Care Financing and Budgeting
- Strategic Management of Health Care Organizations
- Health Care Policy Analysis
- Health Care Management
- Evolution of Managed Health Care
- Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Care
- Health Care Quality Assessment and Improvement
Having completed the program, you’ll have the analytical skills and knowledge needed to explore new models of health care delivery and organizational design, as well as the leadership skills to discover and implement creative solutions to problems in the health care system. California State University East Bay is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.