Earning your MHA/healthcare management degree online is becoming more common as online educational opportunities continue to grow. The application process for an online MHA program is similar to that of a brick-and-mortar school; you must have already obtained a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have a GPA concurrent with a given school’s requirements. Most online MHA programs are geared to be completed within one to two years, though taking classes over the internet often allows you more flexibility in how many credits you take at one time. Tuition rates vary from school to school and program to program.
A major advantage to online learning is the scheduling flexibility you are awarded. While some MHA online programs require a hybrid online and on-campus format, others allow you to take classes completely asynchronously and on your own time. Even schools with a hybrid-style course plan allow for at least some level of scheduling customization. Some schools require students to be on campus at least one day/night per week for a group meeting or a laboratory course, while others only require in-person meetings as infrequently as once per month. Online MHA programs, like brick-and-mortar MHA programs, generally do have requirements for at least nominal hands-on experience. In the case of fully online MHA degree options, this requirement is often satisfied with concurrent employment in a relevant position.
Top Online Master of Health Administration (MHA) and Healthcare Management Degree Programs
George Washington UniversityWashington, DC
Assessment: U.S. News and World Report ranked GW’s Milken Institute School of Public Health no. 14 on its list of best graduate schools in public health! As the only school of public health in Washington, DC, GW's Milken Institute School of Public Health is training the next generation of national and global public health leaders.
Program: GW’s MHA programs offer accelerated 2 year options or 4 paced programs. GW's innovative web-based Executive Master of Health Administration program focuses on preparing health services professionals to become successful leaders in the ever-changing field of health care. Students are required to have at least three years of professional experience in the healthcare industry, though they will not have to take a GRE or GMAT to be accepted.
Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) and the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
Capella UniversityMinneapolis, Minnesota
Assessment: An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor's, master's/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers both foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so that what you're learning in your courses is immediately applicable to your career goals.
Program: Capella University's online MHA General Health Administration program strengthens your ability to successfully administer health care delivery in your organization. Designed to be completed within 18 months, this program prepares you to pursue director-level and leadership positions in a wide range of health care settings.
Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission.
Grand Canyon UniversityPhoenix, Arizona
Assessment: At GCU, we think about the future every day. Ours is an atmosphere of constant innovation - with more than 160 academic programs across nine colleges and next-generation online learning platforms. Our visionaries collaborate with industry leaders to develop programs in high-demand fields such as STEM, business, education and health care.
Program: The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions offers the Master of Science in Health Care Administration to aspiring healthcare managers or for professional health care providers to learn competencies related to the business of healthcare.This online master's in health administration program emphasizes the conceptual, analytical and application skills required to manage contemporary healthcare organizations. As a healthcare administration student, you participate in a master's degree program that provides a comprehensive view of today's healthcare institutions, including models of operation from multiple perspectives.
Accreditation: Council for Higher Education Accreditation
Northcentral UniversitySan Diego, California
Assessment: Northcentral University was founded to provide accessible, high-quality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. As a regionally accredited, online university, NCU serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degree programs in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology and Marriage and Family Sciences.
Program: The focus of the MBA degree with a specialization in Health Care Administration is to help you develop essential managerial knowledge and skills in financial management, legal and ethical issues of health care, and to examine and develop health care policies.
Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
Saint Leo UniversitySaint Leo, Florida
Assessment: Saint Leo University Online is a leading provider of accredited online education to working adults and is a major global provider of education to the military. The online programs are designed to meet the growing needs of adult students and offer the best attributes of traditional classroom education in conjunction with today's most innovative computer technology.
Program: Gain the professional skills and experiences to become a successful manager in today's fast-changing health care business environment.
The School of Business' online M.B.A. with a concentration in health care management combines a rich mix of traditional coursework with the most current information and best practices in the rapidly changing field.
Accreditation: Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Job Outlook for MHA/Healthcare Management Graduates
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth of jobs in healthcare is expected to continue. The healthcare management field specifically is expected to grow by 17% between 2014-2024; this growth is markedly faster than job projections in other fields. Most careers in healthcare management require that candidates earn, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree. Obtaining an MHA online increases your marketability to potential employers. Obtaining a master’s in healthcare management greatly increases your likelihood of earning more money throughout your lifetime; for example, physician’s assistants with a master’s degree earn approximately 44% more than PAs with a bachelor’s degree.
MHA/Healthcare Management Salaries
The core responsibilities for people with an MHA/healthcare management degree focus on ensuring that a given healthcare facility runs smoothly. Roles in healthcare management are available primarily in administrative capacities and can be found at all levels of healthcare facility. As a general rule, the larger the facility, the higher your salary (it also can be said that those with higher degree levels are more likely to be hired to work in larger facilities). For example, healthcare administration professionals working in a general medical/surgical hospital can expect to earn a mean salary of $117,000 a year, while the same position at a physician’s office will net you an average of $105,140 per year.
Salaries also vary based on the type of degree obtained. According to 2015 findings by the BLS, the estimates of earning by individuals in the healthcare management field break down as follows:
- Associate degree in healthcare management: $30,000 – $42,000/year
- Bachelor’s degree in healthcare management: $59,000 – $100,000/year
- Master’s degree in healthcare management: $82,000 – $117,000/year
Even if you elect to sign up for one of the many online MHA programs out there, you will not necessarily be occupationally limited to working in a hospital or physician’s office. Rather, an online MHA program would open doors to positions in a number of industries, including human resource management, administrative services, health insurance administration, and more. Examples of positions expected to grow the most over the next decade are as follows:
- Health insurance specialist: 22% growth rate, $37,710 current mean salary
- Social and community service manager: 21% growth rate, $65,750 current mean salary
- Practice manager: 23% growth rate, $87,862 current mean salary
It also should be noted that job prevalence and salaries vary from state to state and city to city. Some of the highest paying states are New York, Connecticut, California, and Alaska. States with the highest rate of expected growth in the field of healthcare management include California, New York, Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. As you enter the job market, it is important to remember that starting salaries are often lower than the mean average, but are likely to rise throughout your time in a given career.
How We Rank Online Master of Health Administration (MHA) and Healthcare Management Degree Programs
Online colleges and Master of Health Administration (MHA) and Healthcare Management degree programs vary widely in terms of quality, name recognition, and value. To assist those looking for quality, accredited online health administration and health management degree programs, we’ve put together this ranking of what we consider to be the very best online schools offering Master of Healthcare Administration and Health Management degree programs for 2017. Our rankings of the top online schools offering healthcare management and health care administration degrees are based on publicly available data evaluated according to several different criteria, including market reputation, accreditation, student satisfaction, ratio of students to instructors, and tuition. All schools in our rankings are regionally accredited, the highest form of accreditation a school can achieve. You can read more about our rankings philosophy and find a list of our other top college and degree rankings on our rankings page.
Types of MHA/Healthcare Management Degrees
Larger hospitals and corporate offices where business-people outnumber clinical clientele occasionally seek out those with more training in business while smaller hospitals or hospitals with more specialized jobs are more likely to fill positions with individuals who have obtained an MHA. To boost your resume still further, it is important to look into school and program reputation, for example, completing the best online MHA program possible.
MHA/Healthcare Management Concentrations
To an extent, there is a measure of overlap between earning an MHA/healthcare management degree and seeking an MBA; to choose between the two, you must decide the level of specialization you are hoping to achieve. If you earn an MHA online, you will be prepared for more industry-tailored positions in the following areas:
- Medical ethics
- Health informatics
- Clinical research
- Health communications/marketing
To determine the best online MHA and Healthcare Management degrees, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 5 best online MHA and Healthcare Management programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.