Best Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degrees 2021

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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.

Top 5 Best Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degrees

Rank School Location
1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
2 Ohio State University Columbus, OH
3 University of Washington Seattle, WA
4 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
5 California State University-Long Beach Long Beach, CA

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.

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.

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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



2021 Best Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degrees

  1. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public research university located in Gainesville, UF offers a master of health administration. Students can pursue the program on either a full-time or part-time track.

    The 57-credit program includes courses covering vital healthcare topics like the U.S. healthcare system, medical terminology, and an introduction to public health. Other course topics cover finance, ethics, and management issues — including healthcare finance, legal and ethical issues in healthcare, and healthcare data analytics. Students must also complete a paid internship during the summer between their first and second year with a local organization in UF's network.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA to qualify for admission. Students must also submit GRE scores (waived through 2021). Students do not need to possess prior work experience for program eligibility.

    UF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.

  2. Ohio State University
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Columbus, Ohio State offers a master of health administration. Students learn through experiential components and can take part in OSU's extensive mentorship network.

    The 60-credit program begins with public health foundation courses such as biostatistics, epidemiology, and social and behavioral sciences. From there, students take core courses like the economic analysis of health services, healthcare law for managers, and strategic management and program development. Students must also complete a course in clinical rotations, allowing students to shadow clinical health professionals to learn about patient care. An administrative residency requirement between the first and second year also provides students with full-time, hands-on experience.

    Applicants must submit GRE scores and possess a minimum bachelor's GPA of 3.0 to qualify for admission. Students must also complete an introductory financial accounting course before enrollment.

    Ohio State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.

  3. University of Washington
    Location

    Seattle, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Seattle, UW offers a full-time master of health administration (MHA). The school also offers a part-time executive master of health administration for mid-career professionals on its Bellevue campus.

    The 76-credit standard track includes courses such as an introduction to health services, managing healthcare organizations, and health economics. Students receive training in technical systems as well, including courses like systems modeling frameworks for healthcare. A summer internship between the first and second year provides students with hands-on learning. The executive MHA offers many of the same courses with 69 total credits but does not require an internship.

    The school does not require the GRE for admission. MHA applicants must possess a minimum 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work to apply. Executive MHA applicants must possess a minimum 3.0 GPA and as well as some prior work experience.

    UW is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.

  4. Harvard University
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    An Ivy League institution based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard offers a master of healthcare management. The program targets mid-career professionals, specifically physicians and dentists, taking on an administrative role.

    The curriculum includes foundation courses such as organizational behavior, transitioning to physician leadership, and operations management in service-based organizations. Students also take marketing and finance courses to help ensure the stability of their future organization. Students must also take practicum courses to allow them hands-on experience and to demonstrate skills mastery.

    Applicants must possess an MD, DO, DMD, or DDS degree for program eligibility. Students must also submit standardized tests such as the MCAT or GRE to apply, and the school does accept scores greater than five years old.

    Harvard is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.

  5. California State University-Long Beach
    Location

    Long Beach, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Long Beach, CSULB offers a master of science in healthcare administration. Students may choose from a standard track or an accelerated track. Students can complete the 45-credit program in about two years.

    Course topics include healthcare economics, human resources management in healthcare, research methods in healthcare management, and continuous quality improvements in healthcare management. Electives such as management challenges in long-term care allow students to gain knowledge in focused areas. Students must also complete an internship to demonstrate skills mastery and gain real-world experience.

    The school prefers applicants to possess an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and GMAT or GRE scores in the 50th percentile. The school encourages students with slightly lower scores to still apply. CSULB waives test requirements for students with five years of work experience.

    CSULB is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.

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