The field of healthcare is not just made up of doctors and researchers. It also needs management experts.
What is Healthcare Administration?
Advances in the medical field have led to the growth of hospitals throughout the country. This growth eventually resulted in the emergence of the healthcare administration field. The responsibilities of healthcare administrators vary. And they depend on the size and type of medical facility they oversee.
These professionals often manage financial and human resources. They also coordinate patient services and oversee marketing efforts.
These professionals typically need a master’s in healthcare administration. The aging American population fuels the need for medical services. In turn, this drives demand for healthcare administrators. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the field to grow 18% from 2018 to 2028. This is a much faster rate than the national average for all occupations. As such, healthcare professionals with an MHA degree often have ample job options.
Quick Look: Best Master’s in Healthcare Administration
|Rank||School||Average Net Price|
|1||University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus||$14,688|
|2||Texas Woman’s University||$8,587|
|3||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||$12,449|
|4||George Washington University||$30,834|
|5||University of Florida||$19,053|
What Are the Top Healthcare Administration Degrees?
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversee regional and national accreditation. Regional accrediting organizations typically evaluate nonprofit and degree-granting private and public institutions. National accrediting bodies generally focus on for-profit, trade, and sectarian schools.
The ED and CHEA also oversee specialized accrediting agencies. These evaluate individual programs in certain fields. The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education accredits master’s programs in the healthcare administration field.
Accreditation demonstrates an institution’s quality to students, employers, and other schools. Many types of financial aid are only available to learners at accredited institutions. Employers often only recognize degrees from accredited schools. Learners pursuing a degree should choose an accredited school. This ensures that their degree holds value.
Best Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degree Programs for 2020
School rankings can help you identify high-quality master’s in health administration programs. The list below ranks schools according to affordability and graduation rates. Other factors include accreditation, program requirements, and transfer credit policies. Review the following list of healthcare administration schools to begin narrowing down options.
See our rankings methodology page.
Why Are More Students Choosing to Attend College Online?
For many students flexibility is one of the main benefits of online learning. Many online programs allow students to complete coursework from anywhere. This flexibility allows learners to fulfill personal and professional obligations.
Many online programs feature several start dates throughout the year. This allows learners to begin studying more quickly. Additionally, online options are often more affordable than on-campus programs. Distance learning can reduce or eliminate costs associated with transportation and housing. This often results in significant savings over two to four years.
Schools require online programs to meet the same academic standards as campus programs. The same professors typically teach both online and on-campus courses. Many also follow the same syllabi. Online students can take courses through out-of-state schools without relocating. This expands their degree options.
Online students can pursue their academic goals with minimal disruption. This contributes to the high satisfaction of online learners. Online learners reported a higher satisfaction rate than any other student population. This is according to the 2019 National Student Satisfaction Report.
What Are the Requirements for a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration?
Applicants to master’s in healthcare administration programs often need a bachelor’s degree in healthcare. Schools also accept degrees in related fields. Learners must come from accredited schools and typically need a 3.0 GPA minimum. Most schools also require applicants to have minimum GRE or GMAT scores.
Other requirements include letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement. International applicants must generally prove English proficiency.
Graduation requirements vary by school. Some colleges require master’s students to complete a thesis project. Other institutions offer a non-thesis MHA degree. Learners at some schools may need to complete a capstone project or pass an exam. Prospective students should consider which culminating experience bet fits their professional goals.
What Can I Do With a Healthcare Administration Degree?
A master’s in healthcare administration degree qualifies graduates for many roles. These include in human resources, finance, and hospital management. Those with a master’s in health administration can also work in many settings . These include community and teaching hospitals and private clinics. Other workplace options include healthcare insurance providers and international health organizations.
Graduates can also pursue a teaching career. A master’s in healthcare administration degree qualifies holders to apply to doctoral programs. In turn, these allow graduates to teach at the college level.
Earning a master’s in health administration requires a significant commitment of time and money. Yet, graduates enjoy a variety of professional opportunities.
How Much Money Will I Make With a Degree in Healthcare Administration?
General and surgical hospitals hire the greatest number of healthcare administrators. These facilities also pay professionals in the field the highest salary, at $122,460 per year. Healthcare administrators working in private clinics earn an annual median salary of $107,530. Those employed by outpatient care facilities earn a median salary of $106,590 per year. These statistics come from the BLS.
California, Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania hire the most healthcare administrators. Healthcare administration professionals in New York earn $143,030 per year. District of Columbia workers earn the highest annual salary: $145,760.
University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus
CU Denver offers a master’s in healthcare administration. It is accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. CU Denver joins other top-ranked institutions in its membership to the business school. These include Harvard and Northwestern.
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 and operations management. Other topics include finance, accounting, and healthcare leadership. In addition to coursework, students complete a field study to gain hands-on experience.
The CU Denver is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Texas Woman's University
Texas Woman’s University offers a 45-credit healthcare administration master’s degree. The program features flexible, in-person, and hybrid learning options. It also offers small classes and experienced faculty. Students can optionally specialize in business analytics or global health.
The 45-credit degree includes six elective credits. These allow students to tailor their education to their interests. Courses include strategic planning in healthcare and human resources management in healthcare administration. Students must also complete a portfolio that they present to faculty.
Texas Woman’s University is regionally accredited by SASCOC. The healthcare administration master’s degree holds programmatic accreditation.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Department of Health Policy and Management offers a master’s in healthcare administration. The program prepares students for managerial roles. They typically work in hospitals and health systems. Other places they work include managed care organizations and medical group practices.
The competency-based curriculum explores many topics. These include leadership and professionalism, finance and analytics, and management. 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 school is regionally accredited by SASCOC. The master’s in healthcare administration holds programmatic accreditation.
University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center
The University of Oklahoma offers a healthcare administration degree. The degree prepares graduates for senior administrative roles in health service organizations. The 52-credit program emphasizes executive leadership and patient outcome improvement. Other emphases include 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 and health economics. Students can also take a course entitled financial management of health service organizations.
Admission requirements include GRE or GMAT scores and a bachelor’s degree. Other requirements include a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and an interview. The school is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
George Washington University
George Washington University offers a healthcare administration master’s degree. The degree prepares students to lead healthcare organizations. It 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 and health services financial applications. Still another subject is health services marketing and planning. Students can choose between a nine-credit residency or three-credit internship. 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. The school is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
University of Florida
The University of Florida offers a cohort-based healthcare administration master’s degree. The degree emphasizes experiential learning, diversity and inclusion, and team-based projects. The 57-credit program takes two years of full-time study to complete.
Students must complete a three-month, full-time internship at a local health services organization. They must do this in addition to healthcare administration coursework. Possible internship sites include managed care organizations and consulting firms. Other options include health delivery organizations and governmental agencies.
Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last two years of undergraduate study. They also need acceptable GRE or GMAT scores. The University of Florida is regionally accredited by SASCOC.
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
The University of Arkansas offers certificate, master’s, and doctoral programs. Specifically, it offers a master’s in healthcare administration. The program holds accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.
The curriculum emphasizes leadership, management, and analysis. Students learn through 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.
The University of Arkansas is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a healthcare administration master’s degree. It features a cohort model that facilitates collaboration among peers. The 33-month program includes 21 months of full-time coursework. Students also complete a 9- to 12-month paid administrative residency.
The 71-credit curriculum includes classes like financial accounting and finance basics. Other classes includes essentials of health and human disease. Students can earn a dual master’s degree. Options include business administration, public health, and 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 SASCOC. The master’s degree in health administration holds programmatic accreditation.
University of Southern California
USC offers a master’s in healthcare administration that includes an administrative residency. The degree prepares students for leadership roles in healthcare management and policy.
The two-year program includes many great classes. These include issues in the health field 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. They must also submit 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 WASC. The master of health administration holds programmatic accreditation.
National Louis University
National Louis University in Chicago offers a healthcare administration master’s degree. The program caters to working clinical and administrative professionals. Students complete the program in classes they take bi-weekly or monthly. 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 and leadership styles. Required classes include ethical and legal issues in healthcare administration and healthcare information systems. Students can also take the course entitled human resources in healthcare organizations.
Students can transfer up to nine credits toward the degree. Admission requirements include online writing assessment scores and three letters of reference. Other requirements include 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.
University of South Florida
Students can earn a healthcare administration master’s degree from the University of South Florida. The program prepares graduates for leadership roles in public and private healthcare sectors.
The 54-credit degree requires courses like history and systems of public health. Other courses include managing quality in healthcare and strategic planning and healthcare marketing. Students also complete a health administration internship. They also complete an advanced seminar in healthcare management. The program requires a “C” grade or better in all required courses to graduate.
Admission criteria includes a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Other requirements include transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and a resume.
The program prefers applicants with an undergraduate degree. Fields of study include the health professions, life sciences, business, or social sciences. Prerequisite undergraduate courses include microeconomics and accounting. The University of South Florida is regionally accredited by SASCOC.
Georgia State University
Georgia State University offers an MS in health administration. The degree focuses on topics like health management and data analytics. Other topics include finance and health informatics. Faculty boast industry experience in health services and managed care.
The curriculum involves experiential learning projects. These include community projects with local healthcare organizations. Other projects include site visits with industry leaders and a national case competition.
Students can also participate in Georgia State’s Future Healthcare Executives. This is a student organization that offers educational, service, and social opportunities. Additionally, learners enjoy the option to pursue a dual MBA degree.
The program accepts applications year round. The admission process includes a video interview. Georgia State University is regionally accredited by SASCOC.
Webster University offers a healthcare administration master’s degree designed for mid-career professionals. The curriculum explores topics like healthcare leadership styles, strategic thinking, and management skills. Faculty typically work full time in hospitals, healthcare consulting firms, and insurance companies.
The 42-credit curriculum includes many great class. Courses include organization and management in healthcare administration and financial analysis in healthcare administration. Still another course focuses on integrated studies in healthcare administration. Students can pursue a dual MBA degree, which requires 60 credits to graduate.
Admission criteria includes a bachelor’s degree in business or a business-related field. Other requirements include a minimum 3.0 GPA and professional experience. The program may accept applicants who do not meet these criteria if they complete required prerequisite courses. Webster University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Georgetown University offers a healthcare administration master’s degree. It explores the social, economic, technical, and policy issues that impact healthcare organizations.
The program offers competency-based, practice-centered curriculum. It includes accessible faculty members, small class sizes, and internship opportunities. Full-time students can earn the degree in one year. Required courses include organizational leadership, human capital management, and managerial ethics and law.
Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in any field. Applicants must submit a statement of purpose and college transcripts. Other requirements include three letters of recommendation and GRE or GMAT scores. Georgetown University is regionally accredited by SASCOC. The health systems administration master’s degree holds programmatic accreditation.
Medical University of South Carolina
Medical University of South Carolina offers a career-focused master’s in healthcare administration. Graduates can work in hospitals and health systems and long-term care facilities. Other workplaces include community health agencies and ambulatory care facilities.
The health administration program offers residential and executive tracks. Residential students have little or no healthcare experience and must complete 64 credits. These include an inter-professional course and internship.
The executive track features online instruction. It takes two or three years to complete and requires 54 credits and no internship. Students take courses in healthcare accounting and statistical analysis in health. Another class is available in health law and risk management.
Medical University of South Carolina is regionally accredited by SASCOC. The master in health administration holds programmatic accreditation.
Barry University offers a healthcare administration master’s degree. The degree explores topics like multicultural health and applied ethics. Another topic of study is conscious quality improvement of healthcare organizations. Most students graduate in two years of full-time study.
The 51-credit degree includes 14 core courses, one elective, and one capstone course. Required classes include principles of health services administration and delivery of healthcare services.
Students complete an internship in a specialty area of their choice. Barry partners with local healthcare facilities, such as the Miami Children’s Hospital. Other partners include the Delray Medical Center and Memorial Healthcare System. Barry University is regionally accredited by SASCOC.
University of Missouri-Columbia
Mizzou is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. The school offers a master’s in healthcare administration program. This degree prepares students to solve complex problems in the healthcare industry. Many healthcare administration students apply for one- or two-year external fellowships after graduation.
The curriculum offers great classes. These include fundamentals of bioinformatics and introduction to the U.S. healthcare system. Another great class is health database management and public health data systems. Graduates work as hospital CEOs, partners in consulting firms, and managed care executives.
Students can transfer up to nine credits toward the degree. Applicants need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also submit GRE or GMAT scores and a personal essay. The University of Missouri – Columbia is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor offers a healthcare administration master’s degree. The program focuses on healthcare financing, organization, management, and marketing. The degree takes 60 credits and is competency based. Graduates work in hospitals, consulting, emergency services, and clinics.
Topics include the foundations and history of healthcare and the organization of health services systems. Other courses include the analysis of healthcare expenditures and costs. The curriculum examines professional self-regulation, system reform, and control of quality and costs. The degree requires a 10-12-week internship.
Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in any field. Other recommended requirements include undergraduate courses in statistics, American government, and microeconomics. The school is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
National University in La Jolla, California, offers a healthcare administration master’s degree. The program emphasizes the social side of healthcare administration. It focuses on the analytical skills necessary for management positions in healthcare organizations.
Students also gain skills in teamwork, project management, and leadership strategies.
The 72-credit program includes classes like the U.S. healthcare system and healthcare law and ethics. There is also another course entitled health administration human resources management. Learners study topics like process and performance improvement and quality management. The program includes a healthcare administration internship that gives students hands-on experience.
Students can transfer up to 13.5 quarter credits toward the degree. National University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
University of Washington
The University of Washington in Seattle offers a master’s in healthcare administration. Full-time students finish the degree in two years. The program caters to early-career professionals. The cohort program places students on teams for the duration of their studies.
The leadership-focused, competency-based curriculum includes many great classes. Topics include health policy development and population health management strategy. Students complete health administration internships at different organizations. These include Washington State Hospital Association, UW Medicine, and Seattle Children’s Hospital. The 76-credit master’s degree also requires a capstone project.
UW’s healthcare administration program allows students to pursue a dual MBA, MPA, MD, or JD degree. The University of Washington is regionally accredited.