The U.S. health care system is experiencing a rapid transformation so there is a great need for well-rounded individuals who understand the full scope of health administration and are trained to navigate the ever-changing healthcare landscape. When evaluating the main challenges related to the management of health care services, everyone agrees that cost, access and quality are the main areas of focus. More than ever before, the demand for superior health care services is expected from patients. Concerns of patient satisfaction, retention, and physician satisfaction are part of organizational marketing goals. A specialization in health care administration will prepare you to deliver effective business solutions to this generally challenging industry and can position you to pursue a variety of leadership roles in healthcare organizations. These roles include help lead private or public sector entities, create strategies and organize health care resources, demonstrate a professional and ethical conduct, and basically respond to the demands of addressing organizational and population needs within the healthcare marketplace. A Master in Healthcare Administration program focuses on the business skills today’s industry employers desire while preparing you to be an effective practitioner. Coursework focuses on developing key leadership skills such as strategic, technical, operational, and ethical principles to solve organizational challenges and meet the organization’s goals and objectives. Getting an Online Master program in Healthcare Administration can put you at the forefront of the field and help to enhance and improve patients’ quality of life as well as health care provider’s experience.
Individuals who choose a general online healthcare administration degree often pursue supervisor, manager, or executive positions in healthcare settings, including clinics, hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, and other healthcare organizations. Some job titles in the professional healthcare administration field include: Healthcare Accounting Supervisor, Budget Analyst, Management Analyst, Financial Planning Analyst, Nursing Home Administrator, Clinical Manager, Clinical Director, and more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare occupations are projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024*, which is faster than the national average for all occupations. This growth can be explained due to not only the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act but also to an aging population, health insurance access, and emerging new technologies. Moreover, according to the BLS, average salaries for health administrators can range from $50,000 to $144,000, depending on education, experience, geographic area, job title and occupational setting. The median annual wage in May 2015 was $94,500 while the average salary for Medical and Health Services Managers was $90,000 according to the source Onetonline.org. Employment opportunities in the field are endless, and with a Master in Healthcare Administration, you will learn how to influence organizational change within healthcare, and be ready to take on the challenges presented by the global business environment. For your convenience, we narrowed your search by selecting the best online Master’s programs according to the following three metrics:
- Affordability: the estimated out-of-state tuition rate per credit hour and the percentage of students receiving financial aid
- Prestige: a set of core measurements including faculty with terminal degrees, selectivity, and class sizes.
- Flexibility: a range of factors including if the program can be taken asynchronously, if it grants life-experience or competency credits, if it can be accelerated, and if there are different specializations.
1. Colorado State University – Global Campus
Colorado State University-Global Campus is “the first and only 100% online, independent, regionally accredited state university in the nation”. Created by the Colorado State University System Board of Governors in 2007 and based in the state of Colorado, the university specializes in non-traditional, adult professional students and serving students who can’t take part in a traditional campus setting. The university is particularly known for degree completion programs, master’s degrees and industry-specific certificates. CSU–Global Campus offers 11 master’s degree programs and 20 specializations for its master’s programs. From its first class of nearly 200 students in 2008, CSU-Global has now grown to have a student body of over 12000 students with more than 5,300 graduates.
Colorado State University = Global Campus’ accredited Online Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration will prepare graduates for leadership positions within both private and public sector of the healthcare industry. As a professional in the field, you will be in charge of the delivery of healthcare services, new healthcare laws and regulations, finance and record management, work schedules, and communication facilitation between the medical team and department heads. Students of this program will understand the policies, laws, politics, problems, and issues associated with the healthcare industry through a special concentration in the areas of quality assurance, risk management, managed care, insurance, healthcare laws and regulations, and ethics. The 36-credit-hour curriculum requires 8 rigorous core courses in Research, Organizational Behavior, Human Resource management, Legal & Ethical Challenges, Quality In Policy, Process & Outcome Management, and Healthcare Finance; finally, students complete a capstone in Organizational Management Strategy and Execution, as well as an internship in Healthcare Management. Students complete their internships over a period of eight weeks. The program promises affordability thanks to a $500 credit-hour cost. Finally, the program provides flexibility because of there are several program specializations to fit personal career goals, and CSU-Global offers monthly term starts and accelerated 8-week courses so that you can fit your schedule around your other commitments.
- Affordability: $500
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Specializations, Monthly Start Dates, Accelerated Option
2. Trident University International
Trident University International (TUI), started in 1998, is an online, private, proprietary, research-based institution and the university of choice for adult learners and, particularly, military–Trident has been officially recognized by Military Times as “Best for Vets”. Over 80% of faculty have a doctoral degree or the highest available degree in their field. The school operates administrative offices in Cypress, CA but there never be a need to visit–everything is handled online. Accredited by the Western Association Of Schools And Colleges (WASC) Senior College And University Commission–the gold standard–TUI was the first fully-online university in the world so they have invaluable experience in distance learning. Trident University International registers approximately 6,197 students total, and guarantees a student-faculty ratio of 17:1.
Trident University International’s Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA) is a 100% online Master’s in Health Administration program designed for individuals who want to be leaders in the field of healthcare and further develop their decision-making abilities and ethical practices. Participants will be prepared to understand how health administration functions, including management, delivery systems, finance, ethics, regulation, and human resources. The 40-credit-hour offers a curriculum that focuses on Marketing in Health Care, Health Care Finance, and Health Information Systems. Notably, there are several concentrations to choose from: Conflict Resolution Management, Health Care Quality Assurance, Health Informatics, and Human Resource Management. The program provides prestige as Trident was chosen by Forbes as one of their “10 Great Colleges for Adults Returning to School in 2016”– also on the list were Harvard University and MIT– and one of their “2015 Best Value Online Healthcare Degrees”. Finally, the program provides affordability thanks to a $510 credit-hour cost.
- Affordability: $510
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Specializations
3. Capella University
Capella University, founded in 1993, is a publicly-traded, for-profit university of higher learning delivered mainly online; indeed, Capella offers over 1,600 online courses. Make no mistake, the online format does not sacrifice quality. Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission–among the 6 regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education–and also by NCATE–the standard of excellence in teacher preparation–86% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees. Capella University matriculates approximately approximately 36,000 total undergraduate students, offers a student-faculty ratio of N/A:1, and N/A% of classes cater to less than than 20 students.
Capella University’s Master of Health Administration with a Health Administration Specialization is entirely online and prepares graduates to become ethical leaders and strategic thinkers in the constantly changing field of health care. As such, a special emphasis is on health care policy, finance, planning, and leadership. Students will gain relevant and practical experience for optimal organizational performance, and the competency-based education allows you to have a more flexible schedule and cut down cost. The 48-credit-hour curriculum requires 8 core and 4 elective courses based around the National Center for Health Care Leadership Competency Model™. Core coursework includes: Finance & Reimbursement; Communication, Collaboration, & Case Analysis; Strategic Healthcare Planning; Organizational Leadership & Governance; Health Care Law and Policy; Project Management & Team Leadership; a capstone; and more. Additionally, the program offers optional classes in global health systems, health care consumerism, and more. Specialization courses include Health Care Quality, Risk & Regulatory Compliance, and Health Information Systems where students may choose 2 more specialization courses. The program guarantees affordability thanks to a $526 credit-hour cost. Finally, the program guarantees flexibility because of an accelerated option and an up to 12-credit-hour transfer policy (¼ of the program requirements).
- Affordability: $526
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Specializations, Accelerated Option, Transfer Credits
4. Liberty University
Liberty University (LU), established in 1971, is a private, non-profit, Southern Baptist affiliated institution and the largest evangelical Christian university in the world that is classified as a doctoral research university by the Carnegie Classification. The establishment occupies an urban 7000-acre campus in beautiful campus in Lynchburg, VA–its central location within the state puts it near Charlotte, NC and Washington, D.C. Also accredited by the Southern Association Of Colleges And Schools Commission On Colleges, LU currently ranks #Tier 2 National Universities and ranks #147 in Engineering Programs by U.S. News & World Report. Liberty University enrolls about 49,800 undergraduate students, and 32.1% of classes cater to fewer than 20 students.
Liberty University’s Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (MSHA) is offered online and introduces students to informatics, public health, and nursing disciplines. Participants will learn to create a strategic plan and focus on topics such as operational management, problem-solving & decision-making, as well as financial models and principles within healthcare organizations. Graduates will develop effective leadership competencies and the skills necessary for the management of health care services, all with an approximate completion time of 1 year over 5 semesters. The 48-credit-hour program requires core coursework and allows students to choose 4 elective courses to customize their degree. Core coursework includes: Healthcare Informatics & Administration, Legal & Ethical Issues, Financial Analysis & Decision Making, Biostatistics, and more. Aside from a general track option, students may customize their degree by choosing a specialization from Leadership, Marketing, Finance, Supply Chain Management & Logistics, Management, Public Relations, and more. The program guarantees prestige thanks to a #92 ranking for Best Online Graduate Business Program (Excluding MBA) by U.S. News & World Report.
. Furthermore, the program guarantees affordability due to a $565 credit-hour cost. Finally, the program guarantees flexibility due to an as much as 50% of the program is transferrable.
- Affordability: $565
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Specializations
5. St. Joseph’s College
St. Joseph’s College, started in 1912, is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college with a community-oriented and environmentally-sustainable mission–the school operates its own farm tended by students and faculty, and the crops are used in the campus cafe. The school sits on a 430-acre campus on the shore of Sebago Lake in Standish, ME, just 18 miles from Portland. Accredited by the New England Association Of Schools And Colleges, St. Joseph’s was ranked #136 Regional Universities North by U.S. News & World Report in 2018. St. Joseph’s College enrolls about 2,775 undergraduate students, guarantees a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, and 17% of classes cater to less than than 20 students.
St. Joseph’s College’s Master of Health Administration (MHA) is an online degree designed for working professionals seeking leadership and top management positions in health care organizations. The program emphasizes the key areas of organizational and financial management, human resources, ethical behavior, and leadership skills that are critical to being effective administrators of health care systems. In as little as 2 years (two courses per term), graduates will be equipped to perform effectively as senior-level managers in the field of health administration. The 42-credit-hour program requires 10 core courses and 3 electives that students choose from the following: Long-Term Care Operations & Administration, Healthcare Marketing, Gerontology, Administrative Practicum, Health Policy & Politics, and Health Administration Mission Integration. In addition to core and elective coursework, students may customize a capstone course and choose between a research paper, project, or an applied management project. Managers and supervisors in Catholic healthcare organizations may even choose a specialization in Catholic Health Leadership. The program offers prestige due to an accreditation from the National Association of Boards of Examiners of Long-Term Care Administrators (NAB)–St. Joseph’s is the only NAB-accredited program available online. Moreover, the program guarantees affordability thanks to a $508 credit-hour cost. Finally, the program provides flexibility due to a two specialization tracks and an accelerated version available.
- Affordability: $508
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Specializations, Acceleration Option
6. University of South Dakota
The University of South Dakota (USD), founded in 1862, is South Dakota’s oldest collegiate institute and only public liberal arts university. Although the surrounding region is extremely rural, the city of Vermillion hosts the beautiful campus amongst its historic and modern buildings. This mixture of history and modernity parallels USD’s ability to remain a foundation of the Dakotas’ higher education system while maintaining an edge in technological innovation. With institutional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, USD ranked 110th best overall in U.S. News National Best College List 2017. Considering it also received the “Best Value” accolade from Forbes in 2013, USD ranks on our list for its combination of academics and affordability. The university enrolls approximately 7,500 undergraduate and 2,500 graduate students.
The University of South Dakota’s Master of Science in Administration (MSA) offers courses that can be completed entirely online and are geared towards working professionals. The program equips students with the knowledge and skills needed for the effective management of public services-oriented organizations, all with an emphasis on leadership, management, and ethics. Students will understand organizational leadership and management, problem-solving, decision-making, communication, and coordination among key health care workers in health care services. The 36-credit-hour program requires 8 core and 3 elective courses across 8-week terms with core coursework including: Budgetary & Fiscal Management, Administrative Law & Government, Ethics, Managerial Communications, and a capstone project. Students can also tailor their degrees with 4 electives including: Specialization in Organizational Leadership, Health Services Administration, Criminal Justice Studies, Addiction Studies, Human Resources, a Health Care Practicum, and more. The program provides affordability due to a $444 credit-hour cost.
- Affordability: $444
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Elective Customization
7. Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University (CTU) was founded in 1965 in Colorado Springs in a building originally used as a roller rink. CTU is a private for-profit institution with campuses in Colorado Springs and Denver. Since its beginning in 1965, Colorado Technical University has been serving career-focused adults by promoting industry-relevant higher education and fostering the development of their professional goals. CTU received a WCET Outstanding Work (WOW) award for its intellipath adaptive learning technology and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. CTU’s Virtual Campus was recognized as the “Best of the Best” in the Education and Academia category of the Computerworld Honors Program in June 2009. Students can save up to 30% on tuition and time by using a free assessment module called Fast Track. Furthermore, with what they call Experiential Learning Portfolio, CTU recognizes that relevant learning experiences may also be used toward credit. With a total enrollment of 26,330 students, the school provides real world, industry-current programs in a variety of subjects. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report, recently named six Colorado Technical University online degree programs to its prestigious list of Best Online Programs.
Colorado Technical University’s Master of Science in Management (MSM) with a concentration in Healthcare Management emphasizes leadership, management, and ethical aspects as they apply to the field of healthcare across disciplines and in diverse global environments including finance, marketing, organizational behavior, human resources, and ethical decision-making. The 48-credit-hour program requires 10 core courses in Finance, Leadership & Ethics, IT Management, Organizational Behavior, Strategic Management, and other career-focused courses related to managerial issues found in healthcare organizations. Additionally, students take 6 courses of concentration coursework including: Managing the Healthcare Organization, Systems in Healthcare, Management of Human Resources in Healthcare, Quality Improvement in Healthcare, and a capstone. The program provides prestige thanks to CTU’s online non-MBA graduate business degree programs being ranked among the Best Online Programs by U.S. News and World Report. Moreover, the program offers flexibility due to a many start dates. Finally, the program guarantees affordability because of a $585 credit-hour cost.
- Affordability: $585
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Several Term Start Dates
8. Northcentral University
Northcentral University (NCU), founded in 1996, is a proprietary, coed, doctoral Research institution and a regionally-accredited online university that specializes in adult education and professional degrees. The school campus is entirely virtual, but NCU operates administrative and service center offices in San Diego, CA and Scottsdale, AZ respectively. Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, NCU was ranked #7 Online College Rankings by Guide to Online Schools in 2012. Northcentral University registers about 10,093 total students.
Northcentral University’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Health Care Administration specialization is a rigorous online program that focuses on creating strategies so that organizations run more efficiently and gain a competitive edge in the healthcare industry. Students acquire a systematic body of knowledge in strategic planning, research, comparative health care systems analysis, and total quality management. Delivered using a unique one-to-one learning model that pairs one student with one doctoral professor for each course, the program has an estimated completion time of 41 months. The 30-credit-hour curriculum requires 6 foundational courses that will develop and strengthen fundamental business skills, 3 specialization courses, and a capstone course. The program provides prestige with an ACBSP accreditation and a 100% doctoral faculty who are experts in the healthcare industry. Moreover, the program offers affordability because of a $450 credit-hour cost. Finally, the program offers flexibility with an up to 12 credit-hour transfer policy and due to the fact that students are really earning an MBA with a health care administration specialization.
- Affordability: $450
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Specializations, Transfer Credits
9. Walden University
Walden University (WU), established in 1970, is a proprietary, coed, public benefit corporation. Walden offers 140 degree programs with more than 300 specializations and concentrations, and cutting-edge technology is used to promote the support that students need to succeed. Student services include a fully-digital library, a career center with practical online tools, and student support available 24 hours/day. The school headquarters are in Minneapolis, MN but Walden has access to a global network of over 100 universities distributed around the world. Also accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, Walden ranked #19 Best Colleges for Adult Learners by Washington Monthly in 2016. Walden University matriculates about 50,000 undergraduate students.
Walden University’s Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) is a fully-online Master’s program for students seeking leadership roles and will develop the professional skills that top employers in the healthcare industry need. Core program competencies include: critical and creative thinking and problem-solving; strategic planning; effective communication; adaptability and collaboration; and organizational change management. The 53 quarter-credit-hour curriculum requires 50 quarter-credit-hours of core courses and 3 quarter-credit-hours of foundation courses to help you meet your specific goals. Basically, students can choose a general track or 1 of 3 specializations: Leadership & Organizational Development, Systems & Policy, or Population Health. The general track is mainly concerned with the constant change in the healthcare landscape, so the curriculum focuses on the regulations, laws, court decisions, and health policies that impact health service organizations. The program provides prestige due to an experienced doctoral-level faculty. Additionally, the program offers affordability because of a $480 credit-hour cost. Finally, the program provides flexibility thanks to an up to 25 quarter-credit-hour transfer policy.
- Affordability: $480
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Specializations, Transfer Credits
10. University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati (UC), established in 1819, is a public, doctoral, research institution–UC has earned a prestigious classification from the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. The establishment sits on urban 202-acre campus in Cincinnati, OH–the campus has even been named “one of the world’s most beautiful campuses”. Also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, UC is ranked #133 National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. University of Cincinnati matriculates roughly 25,860 undergraduate students, guarantees a student-faculty ratio of 17:1, and 38.9% of classes cater to less than than 20 students.
University of Cincinnati’s Master of Health Administration (MHA) is an online degree designed for aspiring executives and focuses on leadership within the healthcare administration system. The rigorous and innovative online program can be completed in 2 years and blends hands-on experience with competency-based coursework in health finance, quality improvement, health law, health economics, and health policy. The comprehensive curriculum requires 10 core courses, concentration courses in Global Health Systems and Emerging Issues in Health Systems Management, and a Health Systems Management capstone. The program provides prestige due to a highly reputable faculty. Additionally, the program guarantees affordability with a $747 credit-hour cost. Finally, the program provides flexibility because there are 4 graduate certificates to choose from.
- Affordability: $747
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Graduate Certificates Options