As the U.S. healthcare system increasingly relies on competitive market-based models, organizations need skilled administrators to ensure the delivery of health services meets regulations and financial goals, while also satisfying patient needs. You can also levy your graduate credentials abroad, working for international health and human rights organizations. As an online graduate student, you benefit from diverse academic options, including conventional master of healthcare administration programs and clinical master of science tracks. Additionally, you can find programs centered on public health, business administration, or even data analytics. Regardless of your choice, graduate credentials pave the way to more job opportunities and better pay. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that healthcare careers will grow dramatically through 2026. Health education positions stand to increase 16%, while medical and health services management careers enjoy even greater growth, at 20%.
What can you do with an Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration?
Some healthcare administrators may work closely with care providers in hospitals, 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
- Communicate with members of the medical staff and department heads
How much do you make with an Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration?
Healthcare administration is the marriage of two big moneymakers: healthcare and business. So it should be no surprise that this career will bring in a healthy annual salary. The latest numbers show that the average income for folks in this field is around $98,350 per year.
What are the requirements for an Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration?
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.
What are the best online Master of Health Administration programs?
We’ve ranked the top 20 online MHA programs that can help you become a leading candidate for management positions in the healthcare industry. Our rankings take into account factors including reputation, graduation rates, selectivity, and faculty resources. Some, but not all, of the ranked programs are targeted towards professionals already working in the field and require previous work experience for admission. So check those requirements carefully so that you can find the program that best fits your needs.
College Choice Score: 100
Tuition per credit hour: $1,624
San Antonio’s Trinity University is a private institution with historic roots in the Presbyterian church, but it has grown over its more than 150 year history to become one of the most prestigious schools in the region. In fact, it has been awarded a rare score of 100 by U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of regional universities. In addition to its well-regarded on-campus programs in healthcare administration, it also offers an online executive MHA program that aspires to be the best in the country at integrating academic theory with experiential learning.
Courses begin each fall, spring and summer semester with three days of intensive on-campus study. Once students leave the Trinity University campus, they are required to participate in regular class teleconferencing sessions every three weeks. The executive MHA program usually takes 23 months to complete, including summer courses, and consists of a total of 42 credit hours. The core curriculum includes classes in the following areas:
- Statistical Analysis
- Operations Management
- Health Services Organization & Policy
- Healthcare Organization Theory and Management
Because of the compact structure of the program, students are admitted once a year in the fall and, typically advance as a cohort through the program. Trinity’s Health Care Administration Department has been continuously accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) since 1969, giving graduates an extensive alumni network and a degree that is recognized as rigorous and comprehensive.
University of Scranton
College Choice Score: 86.7
Tuition per credit hour: $837
Scranton offers seven distance education programs for graduate students, including the online master of health administration. This comprehensive 47-credit program trains students in advanced motivational leadership and responsive decision making skills. Coursework includes healthcare ethics, human resources management, and long term care administration. The curriculum also contains a 150-hour internship. Students earn their master’s entirely online through asynchronous classes powered by Canvas. Scranton facilitates six start dates each year. To apply, candidates must possess a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective students do not need to submit standardized test scores and there are no entrance exams or prerequisite requirements. The Scranton online master’s degree in healthcare administration holds programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
University of Southern California
College Choice Score: 85.6
Tuition 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 with a curriculum geared for the active working professional. 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. Students are exposed to rigorous education in areas such as:
- Management and Leadership
- Health Care Economics
- Health Information Technology
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
College Choice Score: 84.4
Tuition per credit hour: $1,493
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, founded in 1795, is one of oldest and most highly-regarded public universities in the country. As part of its mission of public service, it offers an Executive MHA program for healthcare administrators, available through the Gillings School of Global Public Health.
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 residencies in the fall (6 days), spring (4 days), and summer (4 days). Developed through and based on the core competency model, the UNC MHA is designed to build your knowledge and skills in four core areas:
- Leadership Ability
- Health Policy
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 executive MHA program at UNC is CAHME accredited, ensuring that it meets the highest academic standards.
Saint Joseph's University
College Choice Score: 78.9
Tuition per credit hour: $853
The SJU online master’s in health administration program provides students with competency-based management and technical training. Degree candidates learn to improve organizational efficiency and patient care with considerations to shifting government regulations and financial bottom lines. The 36-credit program includes classes like health policy, computer-based patient records, and health services research. In lieu of a generalist track, students can pursue a concentration in either informatics or organizational development and leadership. Distance learners take asynchronous classes through Canvas, earning their master’s in two-three years. SJU graduates move onto lucrative careers in health services, operations management, health informatics, and clinical analysis. Admission criteria include minimum 3.0 GPA, two recommendation letters, and a work experience summary.
Pennsylvania State University - World Campus
College Choice Score: 68.9
Tuition per credit hour: $930
Penn State offers an online master of health administration in health policy and administration that emphasizes professional efficiency and accountability. Students learn to apply management skills and technological tools to provide affordable health services. Totaling 49 credits, the degree plan consists of classes like financing healthcare, change leadership, and population health. The curriculum also includes two face-to-face management intensives on the University Park campus. Students round out their graduate training with a capstone project. This culminating requirement tasks students with developing a strategic plan for a health services organization. To apply, candidates need a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must submit a personal statement and two response essays. Penn State does not require GRE or GMAT scores.
George Washington University
College Choice Score: 66.7
Tuition per credit hour: $1,655
GWU operates three distance education programs for graduate students, including the online master of health administration. Degree candidates take 50 credits of such courses as healthcare financial management, medical informatics, and quality and performance improvement. Students also complete an integrative research project, in which they either develop a business plan, complete a literature review, or evaluate an organization. Furthermore, the curriculum contains four immersion experiences, held on the D.C. campus and partnering health facilities. GWU facilitates start dates in January and April. Unlike other healthcare administration master’s programs, online students need at least two years of full-time administrative or clinical experience to pursue the GWU degree. They must also currently work at a healthcare related organization.
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
College Choice Score: 55.6
Tuition per credit hour: $615
Whether you are a new or seasoned professional, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota can help you build the skills and perspectives to lead organizations successfully, and deliver quality care amid fast-changing regulations. You can choose a non-specialized degree or a specialty track in Human Services or Healthcare Administration. What’s more, you can use your studies to prepare for licensure as a Long Term Care Administrator in Minnesota and select other states.
This online graduate program in healthcare administration blends practical and theoretical coursework, where you will learn from practicing professionals and tailor your studies to your preferred career path. Students will learn leadership skills and the intricacies of the health services operations in this 36-credit, 24-month online degree program. You’ll be prepared to lead in a variety of healthcare and human service settings, including:
- Home health agencies
- Behavioral health institutions
- Hospitals, clinics, and long-term care centers
- Nursing homes and assisted living facilities
- Governmental health and human service agencies
If you intend to obtain a Long Term Care Administrator’s license in the state of Minnesota, this option requires a practicum that can be completed at your current health and human services-related workplace or at an approved agency. The practicum can add about six months to the program’s length, but you will be prepared to take the licensure exam and earn the Long Term Care Administrator’s license at graduation.
College Choice Score: 54.4
Tuition per credit hour: $514
Founded in 1826, Mississippi College is the oldest college in Mississippi and one of the oldest Baptist schools in the nation. In 1831, it also became the first school in the US to grant a degree to a woman. As part of its legacy of excellence, Mississippi College has now developed selected online programs to complement the on-campus experience. One of these, the online Master of Health Services Administration degree, is designed for students who are already employed in the healthcare field, and who wish to pursue a program of graduate study in middle-level health care administration.
These courses focus on the conceptual basis and mechanics of financial analysis in the healthcare sector; financial organizations and the community; special problems of hospitals with respect to governing boards and medical staff; professional liability of physicians, medical personnel and hospitals; and governmental regulations of the healthcare field. To complete the degree, students take a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate work. The required coursework for the health administration degree program includes classes in management, finance, and legal issues including:
- Research Methods and Procedures
- Healthcare Financial Management
- Contemporary Issues in Healthcare
- Legal Aspects of Healthcare Administration
The admissions requirements for the program at Mississippi College are more extensive than some schools we ranked. Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree in one of the Health Care Sciences from an accredited college or university, or hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field with a minimum of one year of experience in the healthcare field. The GRE is required for admission.
University of South Carolina
College Choice Score: 51.1
Tuition per credit hour: $1,246
The University of South Carolina’s Health Services Policy and Management (HSPM) department’s mission is to advance the provision of effective, efficient and equitable health services by preparing individuals for positions in health services management, policy, public health programs, research and education. The department offers two master’s degrees – Master of Public Health and Master of Health Administration.
The 58 credit hour MHA program at the University of South Carolina is designed to equip graduates with in-demand competencies needed to lead organizations involved in the management and delivery of health and health care services. In addition to coursework, M.H.A. candidates must complete and submit a written report on a hands-on healthcare administration residency. Requirements for the degree include coursework in several areas:
- Accounting and Finance
- Biostatistics and Quantitative Methods
- Public Health
Graduates of South Carolina’s HSPM programs have gone on to become executives and administrators in health insurance companies, health care businesses, hospitals and governmental/non-governmental organizations around the world. The Department of Health Services Policy and Management and the School of Nursing, College of Social Work, and School of Law also offer coordinated programs that lead to a dual degree.
University of Missouri
College Choice Score: 50
Tuition 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. This degree is offered through Missouri’s large and well-regarded department of health management and informatics, which also provides residential graduate degrees at the master’s and doctoral level in health administration and medical information management.
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. You can 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
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.
University of Saint Francis
College Choice Score: 48.9
Tuition per credit hour: $475
The Master of Healthcare Administration from Indiana’s University of Saint Francis is an affordable online program that can help you keep up with an industry is forever expanding and evolving. Offered through the Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, it offers professionals a way to keep up with the shifting healthcare landscape. In the program, you’ll be trained in business best practices in a Catholic setting that emphasizes ethical leadership, along with the specific Franciscan emphasis on care for the poor and marginalized in our society.
The degree was designed to address the rapidly changing healthcare environment and to enhance the student-centered focus of the Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership. Requiring a total of 45 credit hours to complete, it is intended to support the professional development of healthcare professionals. In addition to the 45 credit MHA, the degree is also available in an accelerated track to students who have already earned an MBA. You’ll take classes like:
- Franciscan Values and Ethics in Business
- Healthcare Strategic Management
- Principles of Managed Care
- Healthcare Leadership
As a Franciscan college, the University of Saint Francis has tailored its MHA program to respond to the particular needs and issues of Catholic healthcare systems. As part of the program, students learn how to implement the Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs) set forth by the U.S. bishops for Catholic healthcare facilities. Students will also learn how to apply Franciscan values and ethics in business.
Seton Hall University
College Choice Score: 48.3
Tuition per credit hour: $1,171
Seton Hall University is a private, Roman Catholic institution in New Jersey founded in 1856 by Bishop James Bayley and named after his aunt, St. Elizabeth Seton. Offered both online and on-campus, the Master of Healthcare Administration program at Seton Hall prepares students for leadership and management positions in today’s complex, dynamic healthcare industry.
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. Classes include the following:
- Research Methods and Statistical Analysis
- Healthcare Management
- Financial and Managerial Accounting and Costing in Healthcare
- Healthcare Financial Management
After designating an area of interest and building on 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. This 42-credit hour program is the only MHA program in New Jersey accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
Colorado State University - Global Campus
College Choice Score: 46.7
Tuition per credit hour: $500
The Master of Healthcare Administration program offered through Colorado State University-Global Campus is intended to prepare students for a wide variety of leadership roles within the healthcare industry. This 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.
This 36-hour program is delivered 100 percent online with no required residencies, so it may be right for students who need a more flexible degree or who are unable to travel. With eight required core courses for the degree, you can also select a minor area of specialization from a number of options including:
- Human Resources
- Accounting and Finance
- Criminal Justice Leadership
- Project Management
- Information Technology
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.
University of Cincinnati
College Choice Score: 44.4
Tuition per credit hour: $1,311
The online Master of Health Administration degree from the University of Cincinnati is designed to help professionals who aspire to leadership in healthcare organizations. Students gain new skills and essential knowledge through coursework as well as advanced independent research. Offered through the College of Applied Health Sciences, the program focuses on addressing the three most pressing issues in today’s health care system: cost, access and quality.
The degree consists of 39 credit hours, beginning with a 10 course core curriculum. You can choose concentration electives in either global health systems or health systems management. The choice of a concentration depends on whether your interests lie in government policymaking or in the management of local hospitals and other healthcare provider organizations. 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
The program concludes with a capstone research project. 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.
College Choice Score: 42.2
Tuition 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. 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.
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. 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 some of the following:
- Information Systems for Health Services
- Leadership of Health Organizations
- Research and Quantitative Methods for Health Services
- Health Policy
If you are accepted into the program, your transcript will be evaluated for previous coursework in statistics and financial accounting. If you need one or both, fulfilling them may or may not not add to your program length. Because the courses in the program itself are closely and intentionally linked with each other, transfer credit is not accepted for other classes.
Oklahoma State University
College Choice Score: 41.1
Tuition per credit hour: $825
The School of Health Care Administration at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Health Sciences trains leaders for the hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other health organizations of Oklahoma and beyond. The Health Care Administration program at Oklahoma State offers a master’s degree in health care administration with the option to specialize in either health care leadership and entrepreneurship or administration.
This degree is ideal for those individuals working in healthcare 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 degree consists of 32 total hours. Core requirements include coursework in some of the following areas:
- Healthcare Leadership
- Research and Evaluation Methods
- Legal Issues
Oklahoma State takes student networking and relationships seriously for both on-campus and online students. You’ll have the opportunity to join the Health Care Administration Students Association, a student body designed to promote unity among in-class and online students, and to provide a medium for professional development, networking, community service, and friendship.
University of Illinois at Chicago
College Choice Score: 40.6
Tuition per credit hour: $730
The Executive Master of Healthcare Administration (EMHA) program at the University of Illinois at Chicago is an online program for physicians and other clinicians who intend to seek upper-level management positions in healthcare organizations. This program is designed for individuals who already have extensive experience as practicing clinicians and some leadership experience – 5 years post-residency/fellowship at a minimum.
Coursework in this program is focused on traditional management concepts, with specific applications in the healthcare industry. Throughout the program, learning goals emphasize the challenges faced in healthcare delivery in the relationships between clinicians and administrators. In total, the degree requires 48 credit hours to complete, including a significant capstone project.EMHA students take classes that examine important aspects of healthcare management, including – but not limited to – the following topics:
- Strategic Management
- Financial Management
- Organizational Leadership
- Health Policy
The program features a cohort system that allows students to progress through their coursework with a single group of colleagues. This allows them to take full advantage of the prior experience of and contacts with their peers, both during the program and after graduation. Students work on individual and team-based capstone projects throughout the two-year program, under the guidance of executive mentors and also, when possible, an administrator from their healthcare organization.
University of Central Florida
College Choice Score: 35.6
Tuition per credit hour: $1,152
The Department of Health Management and Informatics at the University of Central Florida offers an online executive master’s degree in health administration for professionals with experience in the field. Designed for working healthcare professionals, its 100 percent online format allows students to earn their degree from any location without the disruption of travel or required residency periods.
In total, the program consists of 44 credit hours, with each course granting four semester hours of credit. In addition, you’ll complete a four credit hour capstone course in strategic management. In the capstone, students integrate what they have learned and apply it to real world problems in the healthcare industry. There are 10 core courses required to complete the degree, including the following:
- Health Care Statistics and Research
- Leadership for Health Care Executives
- Financial Accounting for Health Care Managers
- Health Care Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
To gain admission to the program, you must have a minimum of three years of documented health care management experience and be recommended by your current employer. Throughout your studies, you’ll interact with a cohort with a maximum of 30 students. The cohort model gives faculty the opportunity to discuss issues in greater detail, and allows students the ability to network with their peers.
Saint Joseph's College of Maine
College Choice Score: 33.3
Tuition per credit hour: $1,030
If you’re interested in a career managing nursing homes or similar facilities, the MHS program at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine may be a great fit for you. This online program prepares aspiring or current managers for leadership roles in organizations that deliver, regulate or provide healthcare services. It’s 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.
The 42-credit program consists of a core curriculum of ten courses, two elective courses, and a capstone course. For the capstone, students may choose an applied research paper, project, or an applied management project. In addition to the course structure and delivery, case studies are incorporated through most of the core courses. Here’s a rundown of a few courses:
- Healthcare Financial Management
- Ethical and Legal Perspectives
- Leadership in Healthcare Administration
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. Students are also required to become student members of ACHE, ACHCA, CCHCL, or another healthcare management association to being the process of professional networking.