Recent college graduates and experienced healthcare professionals can explore online master’s in healthcare management degrees. Degree-holders may work as healthcare department managers or healthcare finance managers. Master’s in healthcare management programs include classes like principles of health information technology and data-driven decision-making.
Applicants typically submit a resume, official undergraduate transcripts, and recommendation letters. Some programs limit applicants to those with relevant experience.
This article lists some of the best online master’s in healthcare management degrees. Read on to learn about costs, common classes, and potential careers for graduates.
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Questions About Healthcare Management
Q. How long does it take to get a healthcare management degree?
Most master’s in healthcare management programs take 1-3 years. Some programs waive specific academic requirements for learners with healthcare experience. Students earning an MBA with a concentration in healthcare management may need longer to graduate.
Q. What do healthcare managers do?
Healthcare managers administer a hospital or clinic’s business operations. They schedule workers and create budgets. These managers collaborate with healthcare administrators who oversee specific departments.
Q. Is healthcare management in demand?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for medical and health services managers to grow 32% from 2020-2030. The BLS also projects high growth for related positions.
Why Get a Degree in Healthcare Management?
Online master’s in healthcare management degrees help professionals advance their careers. Graduates may work in hospitals, clinics, or nursing homes. They can positively impact the healthcare field, ensuring patients receive quality care in a timely manner.
Many students earning a master’s in healthcare management online continue working while in school. They complete asynchronous coursework when convenient. This benefit also lets them apply what they learn on the job. Online degree-seekers can attend a top out-of-state program without relocating.
How Much Does a Healthcare Management Degree Cost?
Master’s degrees cost an average of $66,340, according to EducationData.org. However, cost varies by school, learners’ residency status, and program length.
Master’s in healthcare management degrees from top universities can cost nearly $90,000. Some programs may cost much less. Students should compare their prospective programs’ costs and graduate outcomes before applying.
Degree-seekers can limit their expenses by researching private and institutional scholarships. These awards may require a separate application. Students with financial need should submit the FAFSA annually to qualify for federal grants and loans. Many university grants also require FAFSA results.
Additional Online Student Fees
Online degree-seekers may pay higher fees than on-campus learners. Universities charge these fees to cover online learning delivery. Students in a hybrid program should also budget for commuting costs. Many schools charge a one-time graduation fee.
Recent graduates can advance their career by earning professional certifications. The Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) awards a certification to experienced information technology healthcare managers with at least two years of experience. Other requirements include passing an exam. As of Feb. 2022, PAHCOM members pay $385 in certification fees.
How Much Do Healthcare Management Majors Make?
Professionals with a master’s in healthcare management earn an average annual salary of $87,000, according to Jan. 2022 Payscale data. However, many factors influence salary, including employer and geographic location.
Medical and health services managers working for government agencies earn a median $116,380 annually, according to the BLS. Top executives working in the healthcare field earn over $160,000.
Earning a master’s in healthcare management or an MBA with a healthcare focus can help candidates stand out in the job market.
Courses in Healthcare Management
Online master’s in healthcare management degrees typically take two years to complete. Some programs offer a dual-degree option that let learners earn a master of science and a master of business administration.
Typical core classes include navigating managed care, healthcare financial management, and healthcare informatics. Programs may offer electives like gerontology or population health. Most programs end with a final-semester capstone.
The following core classes emphasize healthcare management fundamentals. Keep in mind that classes vary by program. Students should check with their prospective schools for details.
Navigating Managed CareThe private insurance industry and federal insurance programs impact healthcare delivery. This class requires students to analyze how different insurance programs operate. Enrollees research the last 50 years of U.S. healthcare delivery trends. Students develop analytical reasoning skills and learn how to create balanced budgets.
Healthcare Financial ManagementHealthcare managers must know how to keep their employer profitable. They must understand funding models, different mathematical formulas, and budgeting best practices. Degree-seekers develop their financial skills by analyzing how healthcare providers create and manage budgets. Assignments include reviewing case studies and the latest news.
Healthcare InformaticsHealthcare managers base their decisions on financial data and patient outcome statistics. This class trains students in this skill through coursework in data analysis. Assignments include critiquing care-management programs. Graduates apply their skills to create affordable programs offering excellent patient care.
Career and Salary Outlook for Healthcare Management
Online master’s in healthcare management degrees can lead to many careers. Degree-seekers can work with a career advisor to explore potential jobs. Students can also take career interest inventories and use their school’s career center resources to prepare for job interviews.
Graduates with a master’s in healthcare management may pursue the jobs below. Please note that this section highlights only primary job responsibilities. Day-to-day tasks vary by employer.
Medical and Health Services ManagerThese professionals recruit and train staff, create budgets, and coordinate other managers’ work. They work at hospitals, nursing homes, and other clinical settings. Workers need some professional experience and a degree to qualify for this position.
Healthcare ExecutiveTop executives in the healthcare field need at least an undergraduate degree and five years of relevant experience. They lead a company or organization by setting goals, managing employees, and negotiating contracts. They also hire new managers and reduce costs. These professionals may work as executive officers or general managers.
Health Facility AdministratorHealth facility managers and other management analysts determine their employer’s improvement areas. They interview staff and review financial information. This data helps them make recommendations to senior managers. Administrators also create improvement plans. Many positions require at least a bachelor’s degree and some experience.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Management Degrees
Penn State World Campus
University Park, PA
Based in University Park, Penn State World Campus offers an online master of business administration with a concentration in healthcare business. Students learn foundational skills in the business realm, with the option to specialize in healthcare institutions' needs.
The 48-credit curriculum begins with business foundation courses in team performance, leadership communications and change management, data analysis for decision-making, and economics for business strategy. Healthcare track students complete a nine-course sequence, including an introduction to healthcare services organizations and delivery, introduction to health economics, and financial management in health organizations.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree in any field with a competitive GPA and strong GMAT scores to qualify for admission. The school may waive GMAT requirements for students who already possess graduate degrees in any field.
Penn State World Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Florida International University
A public university located in Miami, FIU offers an online MBA in healthcare. Students can complete the 42-credit program in as little as 18 months. The program requires three residencies.
In addition to courses necessary for Lean Six Sigma certification, students take business courses such as accounting for managers, corporate finance, managerial decision-making in health economics, and healthcare fraud and abuse law and regulation. Residencies happen on campus or online, but students who live more than 30 miles away may attend on-campus residencies with free lodging. The program also offers the opportunity to travel abroad.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA to qualify for admission. Students must also possess two years of relevant work experience. The school encourages, but does not require, GMAT or GRE scores.
FIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The program also boasts subject-specific accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.
The University of North Carolina Wilmington
A public research university in Wilmington, UNCW offers an online master of business administration with a specialization in healthcare management. Full-time students can complete the program in about 12 months.
The 36-credit program includes courses in business, such as business law, business analytics, information analysis and management, and strategic management. Students then complete a series of electives in healthcare management, such as healthcare analytics and introduction to healthcare systems.
Applicants must complete at least two years of relevant professional experience to qualify for admission. Students also need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a minimum 500 GMAT score. Those with more than five years of work experience may waive the standardized test requirement.
UNCW is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also holds programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
A private research university located in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins offers a flexible online master of business administration with a concentration in healthcare management. Students complete all coursework online and participate in three on-campus residencies.
Students begin with two required courses: frameworks for analyzing healthcare markets and healthcare law and regulation. From there, students complete four elective courses from choices such as accounting for decision-making in healthcare, pharmaceutical strategy, fundamentals of healthcare systems, and health marketing and access. Learners also complete foundational business courses, including economics for decision-making and business leadership and human values.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree and GMAT or GRE scores to qualify for admission. Learners with a minimum 3.0 GPA and three years of professional work experience may waive the GMAT or GRE requirement.
Johns Hopkins is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Florida Atlantic University
Located in Boca Raton, FAU offers an online master of business administration with a concentration in healthcare administration. Students can complete the program in as little as 16 months.
The program begins with required business courses, including financial accounting concepts, communication strategies for business professionals, and advanced marketing management.
From there, learners choose healthcare-specific courses for their concentration, including an introduction to healthcare systems, planning and marketing in healthcare, global issues in healthcare delivery, and health policy. The program enforces no residency requirements, allowing students to continue working while studying.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree in any field with a minimum 3.0 GPA to qualify for admission. Students also need at least four years of relevant work experience for eligibility. The school requires students to submit GMAT or GRE scores (waived through 2022).
FAU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The program also boasts subject-specific accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
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