2021 Best Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degrees

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Healthcare administrators create and implement patient care improvement plans, oversee budgets for healthcare organizations, and develop goals for clinical and non-clinical staff. These professionals work in diverse healthcare settings, including hospitals, doctors’ offices, residential care facilities, and outpatient centers.

A master’s degree in healthcare administration (MHA) prepares graduates for roles such as healthcare administrator, clinical manager, and healthcare executive. Medical and health services managers earn a median pay of $100,980 per year, with much-faster-than-average projected job growth between 2019-2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

During an MHA program, learners study topics like healthcare financial management, managing human resources in a clinical setting, and strategic management for healthcare organizations. Our list ranks the best master’s in healthcare administration programs to help prospective students find the right fit to reach their career goals.

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Top 10 Best Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degrees

FAQ


  • What jobs can you get with a healthcare administration degree?


    A healthcare administration degree meets the educational requirements for positions such as nursing home administrator, healthcare executive, and health information manager. Graduates can also work as healthcare finance managers and clinical managers.

  • How long does it take to get a health administration degree?


    Earning a master’s degree in healthcare administration typically takes two years for full-time students. Some accelerated programs may take less time.

  • Is a degree in healthcare administration worth it?


    An MHA degree prepares graduates for leadership positions within healthcare organizations. These career paths offer above-average salaries, with a median pay of over $100,000 per year.

  • Is healthcare administration in demand?


    Yes, healthcare administrators benefit from strong demand in their field. The BLS projects healthcare administration jobs to grow 32% between 2019-2029.

2021 Best Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degrees

  1. University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus
    Location

    Denver, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus offers a master's in healthcare administration accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. CU Denver joins other top-ranked institutions, like Harvard and Northwestern, in its membership to the Business School Alliance for Health Management.

    The 30-credit master of science offers evening and online class options. Students can begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer and graduate in two years. The core curriculum explores topics like data analysis, operations management, finance, accounting, and healthcare leadership. In addition to coursework, students complete a field study to gain hands-on experience.

    The University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  2. Texas Woman's University
    Location

    Denton, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas, offers a 45-credit healthcare administration master's degree that features flexible, in-person and hybrid learning options, small classes, and experienced faculty. Students can optionally specialize in business analytics or global health.

    The 45-credit degree includes six elective credits that allow students to tailor their education to their interests. Required courses include strategic planning in healthcare, human resources management in healthcare administration, and health law and ethics. The program also requires a professional portfolio that students present to faculty in their final semester.

    Texas Woman's University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The healthcare administration master's degree is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.

  3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Location

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a master's in healthcare administration that prepares students for managerial roles in hospitals, health systems, managed care organizations, medical group practices, and government agencies.

    The competency-based curriculum explores topics like leadership and professionalism, finance and analytics, management, and knowledge of the healthcare environment. Students complete 60 credits of public health, department, core, and elective courses. The program also requires a 12-week internship.

    Students can transfer up to 15 credits toward the degree. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The master's in healthcare administration is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.

  4. University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center
    Location

    Oklahoma City, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Oklahoma - Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City offers a healthcare administration degree that prepares graduates for senior administrative roles in health service organizations. The 52-credit program emphasizes executive leadership, patient outcome improvement, critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and quantitative analysis.

    Full-time learners can graduate in two years. The program features small classes, affordable tuition, and scholarship opportunities. New cohorts begin every fall. The curriculum includes classes like quantitative methods in health administration, financial management of health service organizations, and health economics.

    Admission requirements include GRE or GMAT scores, a bachelor's degree from an accredited college, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and an interview with the admission committee. The University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  5. George Washington University
    Location

    Washington, DC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    George Washington University in Washington, D.C., offers a healthcare administration master's degree that prepares students to lead healthcare organizations and explores issues like management theory, business and medical informatics, and ethical decision-making.

    The 50-credit program includes core courses, a field experience, and electives. Classes cover topics like quality and performance improvement, health services financial applications, and health services marketing and planning. Students can choose between a nine-credit residency or three-credit internship to culminate the degree. Learners need a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate.

    Students can transfer up to 12 credits toward the degree. Prerequisites for admission include undergraduate courses in introductory statistics and introductory accounting with a "B" grade or better. George Washington University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  6. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Florida in Gainesville offers a cohort-based healthcare administration master's degree that emphasizes experiential learning, diversity and inclusion, and team-based projects. The 57-credit program takes two years of full-time study to complete.

    In addition to healthcare administration coursework, students must complete a three-month, full-time internship at a local health services organization in the summer after their first year in the program. Possible internship sites include managed care organizations, consulting firms, health delivery organizations, and governmental agencies.

    Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last two years of undergraduate study and acceptable GRE or GMAT scores. The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  7. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
    Location

    Little Rock, AR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences offers certificate, master's, and doctoral programs, including a master's in healthcare administration. The program is the only of its kind in the state to hold accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.

    The curriculum emphasizes leadership, management, and analysis. Students learn through a combination of experiential learning at healthcare organizations and traditional classroom work. The 51-credit degree takes less than two years of full-time study to complete. Many courses take place in the evenings, with some classes available online. The program sets up a paid summer residency for full-time students after they complete their first year.

    The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  8. University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Location

    Birmingham, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The healthcare administration master's degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham features a cohort model that facilitates collaboration among peers. The 33-month program includes 21 months of full-time coursework and a 9-12-month paid administrative residency.

    The 71-credit curriculum includes classes like financial accounting and finance basics, essentials of health and human disease, and human resources management in health services administration. Students enjoy the option to earn a dual master's degree in business administration, public health, or health informatics.

    Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credits of undergraduate coursework. The University of Alabama at Birmingham is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The master's degree in health administration is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.

  9. University of Southern California
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles offers a master's in healthcare administration that includes a 1,000-hour administrative residency. The degree prepares students for leadership roles in healthcare management and policy.

    The two-year program includes classes like problems and issues in the health field, concepts and practices in managing healthcare organizations, and financial accounting for healthcare organizations. Learners can earn certificates in long-term or ambulatory care. They can also earn a dual master's degree in gerontology.

    Applicants must submit GRE or GMAT scores, letters of recommendation, college transcripts, and a writing sample. Admitted students typically hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and above-average GMAT or GRE scores. The University of Southern California is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The master of health administration is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.

  10. National Louis University
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Designed for working clinical and administrative professionals, the healthcare administration master's degree from National Louis University in Chicago offers two on-campus class options: bi-weekly or one weekend a month. The program prepares students for healthcare management roles.

    The 12-course (36-credit) program takes 20 months to complete. The curriculum explores topics like healthcare laws and regulations, leadership styles, and organizational design strategies. Required classes include ethical and legal issues in healthcare administration, healthcare information systems, and human resources in healthcare organizations.

    Students can transfer up to nine credits toward the degree. Admission requirements include online writing assessment scores, three letters of reference, a written statement, and a completed work experience form. Applicants with a 3.0 GPA or higher receive a waiver for the writing assessment and letters of reference. National Louis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

What Are the Goals of a Healthcare Administration Degree?

A healthcare administration master’s degree gives students the training required for leadership roles in healthcare organizations. During an MHA program, graduate students complete coursework on topics like healthcare organization management, health service management, and clinical systems management.

In addition to classroom training, students strengthen their skills through experiential requirements and interdisciplinary projects. Many programs incorporate a capstone project, during which master’s students conduct research and develop proposals for healthcare organizations. After earning a graduate-level healthcare administration degree, professionals can work as healthcare administrators and executives.

Why Get a Healthcare Administration Degree?

A master’s in healthcare administration degree offers several personal and professional benefits. In addition to career advancement and high earning potential, the degree builds the knowledge and skills necessary for in-demand roles.

Management training
Master’s students gain management skills through their training in organizational behavior, healthcare leadership, and healthcare management. This management training prepares graduates for diverse leadership roles.
Career Advancement
A master’s degree in healthcare administration qualifies graduates for many supervisory roles, including healthcare executive, health information manager, and healthcare financial manager.
Specializations
During a master’s program, healthcare administration students can specialize their training through courses on topics like financial management, informatics, and human resources management. This training prepares graduates for specialized career opportunities.
Increased Earning Potential
For most professionals, moving into supervisory roles will increase their earning potential. For instance, healthcare executives earn above-average salaries, with a median pay of more than $100,000 per year.
Strong Projected Job Growth
The BLS projects much-faster-than-average job growth for healthcare administrators between 2019-2029.

What Are the Requirements for a Healthcare Administration Degree?

Before pursuing a master’s in healthcare administration, prospective applicants must meet the program’s admission requirements. Nearly all MHA programs require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Applicants generally do not need a bachelor’s in business or healthcare to enroll in a graduate-level healthcare administration program. However, some programs recommend or require courses in economics and/or accounting before enrolling. 

Applicants must often submit standardized test scores, typically GRE scores, though some schools waive this requirement for certain applicants. Many programs also require a resume, transcripts, recommendation letters, and a statement of purpose. Programs may also prefer candidates with professional experience in a healthcare setting. 

After gaining admission, master’s students take core courses on topics like health services, healthcare organizations, financial management, and project management. Many programs also require an internship and capstone project to earn a master’s in healthcare administration degree.

What is Accreditation and Why Does it Matter?

Professional Organizations for Healthcare Administration Students

Professional organizations help healthcare administration students and professionals build their skills and expand their network. The following organizations offer professional development resources, networking opportunities, and career information for healthcare administration students and professionals.

American College of Healthcare Executives


ACHE represents more than 48,000 healthcare executives. The professional association hosts local chapters, provides education and career development support, and awards board certification in healthcare management. ACHE also offers a career resource center to help students and professionals advance their careers.

American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management


AAHAM offers many resources for healthcare administration professionals. Members can access resources on data management, patient relations, and other core areas. AAHAM also provides professional development support through publications, professional certification, and networking opportunities.

American Health Information Management Association


AHIMA represents health information specialists, including managers. The association offers certifications and career resources, educational tools, and events with networking opportunities. Members also benefit from news and publications, advocacy support, and a digital community platform to connect with other health information professionals.

Healthcare Financial Management Association


HFMA focuses on financial management within healthcare organizations. Members gain access to professional development resources, educational opportunities, and networking opportunities. HFMA also offers certifications, career self-assessments, and a job bank.

Scholarships for Healthcare Administration Students

Healthcare administration students may qualify for multiple scholarship opportunities to help pay for their degree. Professional associations, private foundations, and other organizations support MHA degree-seekers with scholarships. In addition to the following scholarship opportunities, healthcare administration students can research opportunities strongased on factors like their career goals, state, or school.


  • Corris Boyd Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) administers the Corris Boyd Scholarship for graduate students attending an AUPHA graduate program. The scholarship supports students of color with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants must sustrongmit test scores, a resume, a personal statement, and three recommendation letters.

    Amount: $40,000



  • David A. Winston Health Policy Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Graduate learners studying health administration, health policy, and health management qualify for this scholarship. Applicants must attend an accredited university and sustrongmit a resume, a personal statement, transcripts, and two recommendation letters. Recipients attend a symposium in Washington, D.C. on health policy.

    Amount: $10,000



  • Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives offers this scholarship to healthcare management graduate students. Applicants must stronge entering their final year in a full-time program and demonstrate financial need. The scholarship gives preference to ACHE student memstrongers.

    Amount: $5,000



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