The healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing areas of employment in the United States thanks to its constant evolving technologies and significant changes in healthcare policies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows an expected growth of 17% by 2024. Growing industries need strong leadership if they are going to remain effective, and healthcare management is paramount to keep people safe and healthy.
It’s why you should consider getting your online master’s in healthcare management, especially if you are already working in the field. At the highest levels and with the right credentials, healthcare managers can make up to $160,000 annually. online healthcare management masters degrees
What Can You Do With an Online Healthcare Management Master’s Degree?
You can do nearly anything that involves the medical industry. The most obvious is hospital administration, everything from mid-level management all the way up to CEO. Beyond that, you can work as a consultant to various healthcare systems or go to work in the pharmaceutical industry. Government healthcare agencies are also always on the lookout for talent in maintaining the nation’s complicated system of care. Others find work managing care facilities like nursing homes, rehab centers, and other in-patient systems. Many of these positions can be entered into with a bachelor’s degree, but employers usually show a preference for someone with the drive to achieve the next level of their education.
What Makes a Good Master’s Program in Healthcare Management?
An online master’s in healthcare management will balance business with the specificity of healthcare. Most of them will expect a bachelor’s degree that includes some basic statistics and finance courses. Some, but not all, also require work experience in the field, organizational strategy, analyzing and responding to ethical issues, and understanding the economics of healthcare and practicing advanced finance and accounting within health systems.
The latter is why an online course is so beneficial. They let people expand their careers without putting work or families on the back burner. Many people who earn their master’s degree in healthcare management online are now entirely online and a synchronous, which lets you make your own schedule without having to skip a meeting or a soccer game. Some even offer virtual residencies, or will allow you to apply your coursework to your current employer. The best of them will have you preparing for or earning for certifications in the industry as your education progresses.
Here, we break down your best bets when searching for the top online master’s in healthcare management:
George Washington University has already started racking up places on best-of lists for 2017, continuing its reputation for excellence. Should you get your master’s in healthcare management online from them, you can count on a very good program. In addition, more structured pathways are available through optional graduate certificates offered by the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (e.g. Graduate certificate in Health Care Quality, Health Sciences, Regulatory Affairs, or Clinical Research Administration).
Nebraska Methodist College actually offers two online healthcare management master’s degrees. One is your typical Business Administration in Healthcare, but the other is a Master of Science in Wellness and Health Promotion Management. That one includes courses on the science of exercise, and applying healthcare management to entire populations. This is the path to take if you’d like to try working in organizing healthcare on a community or regional scale.
Clarkson College recently moved its master’s in healthcare management online program to the more robust and user-friendly Canvas system, making getting your degree through them even easier. It’s a program designed for fast completion, with courses starting every six weeks to allow students to focus on one course at a time. Graduation requires a capstone project in the form of either a business plan or a research project. Some courses may require you to submit an off-site proctor request form or tests if you live more than 30 miles from the campus.
One of the distinctive features of the university’s MBA program is the students’ ability to start immediately in a concentration of their choosing. If so desired, a degree can be completed in as little as a year. It offers a rare course on medical sociology that is definitely worth taking. Two years of professional experience is required for admission.
The executive online program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is consistently ranked as one of the top 3 programs in America. Classes take place in real time on weekday evenings, usually lasting around two hours. There are 14 days out of the two-year program that students are required to be on campus for workshops. No thesis is required for graduation, but you will have to submit a business plan or technical paper.
The Catholic Church has a long and remarkable history in providing healing to the sick through the hospital system. If serving that tradition is your dream, then St. Joseph’s College of Maine offers a special master’s degree specifically in Catholic leadership for healthcare management alongside their more secular program. The Catholic leadership track involves courses on ministry for the sick and dying, moral theology, and Catholic social teaching. A certification program in Catholic healthcare leadership is also available in 18 semester hours.
A great deal of working in healthcare management is being able to adapt to an industry that changes at a lightning pace, and the online master’s in healthcare management offered by Chamberlain College is focused very much on the latest theories regarding how best to use your mind. Their program includes instruction in business analytics, data visualization, and design thinking — a more solutions-oriented and patient-centric approach to industry challenges. There is no fee to apply for the program, and it’s structured so that students will earn a Health Care Administration graduate certificate even before graduating. Somewhat innovative to Champlain is their cohort system of teaching, where students are paired in small groups for the length of their program as helpmates, study partners, and sounding boards.
In addition to their online-only program, Concordia offers a blended program that allows students to participate in some classes on campus in order to foster face-to-face interactions in learning. The program is two years long and consists of 12 eight-week courses in leadership, quality assurance, and administration of long-term care. Graduation will require a team capstone project where students will act in a consultant role to a local healthcare provider who has submitted a proposal.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s online master’s in healthcare management program consists of two years and 36 semester hours, and offers courses in managing home care and long-term care systems. Enrollment in their online program comes with an iPad to enable students to take their education anywhere that has wi-fi. A capstone project is required for graduation.
This program is a fairly standard one. It lasts 36 weeks, includes mostly core classes with a few interesting wrinkles like facilities planning, and at $545 per semester hour is one of the more affordable tuitions for a degree that usually nets such high incomes. They also tend to be a little more lenient than many other programs regarding transfer credits, so make sure you look into anything you can skip thanks to having already taken it at another accredited institution.
The Wisconsin branch of the Concordia University system offers the same blended course options for your online master’s in healthcare management as the Irving counterpart. It’s a good bet for students in the state who want to take advantage of the occasional in-person class, as well as students who desire a Christian approach to their education. The program requires 39 semester hours, and start times on courses are not date-specific, leaving participants with more options in their schedule.
12. MCPHS University
The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences online master’s programs in healthcare management is slightly shorter than most other programs at just 36 semester hours. Still, it offers a good education online, with courses in research methods, ethics, and managerial strategy. A strategic healthcare management capstone project will be required for graduation.
A plus to this program is that even taking just one course at a time, you can graduate in two years, making it a handy one for the busy healthcare professional. Their program offers a course on epidemiology, which tends to be one of the rarer educational opportunities. Two years professional experience is required for admission, and students are expected to have college–level statistics and accounting skills, though these are not technically needed to be accepted into the program and can be acquired later.
Belhaven’s online masters programs in healthcare management brings a Christian business perspective to the discipline. Students will study the legal and ethical aspects of management, financial analysis, and the incorporation of innovation into human resources. Applicants must have a bachelor’s and two years of relevant work experience to be considered (military service made be substituted for the work requirement). The program is two years long, segmented out in terms of eight weeks, and will prepare graduates for rewarding careers in hospital management, nursing facility leadership roles, pharmaceuticals, or government health agencies.
Seton Hall University has a basic 42-semester hour program, but they also have another track specifically for nurses. The Master of Science in Nursing in Health Systems Administration With Case Management is only 30 semester hours to earn, and focuses on the organization of nursing in various health settings. Specialized courses include nursing research, case management, and theoretical basis of nursing. Two clinical courses are also required.
This is another program specializing in helping nurses move up the administrative ladder. Some of the courses include nursing leadership, critique and design of nursing research, and professional roles in advanced nursing. Admission requires an RN license and a critical background check, but no work experience. An accelerated program is available.
This program has been ranked #1 in the country in 2017. It’s a 36-semester hour course, and includes both a supervised field experience at a healthcare provider and an international in-person study opportunity in Canada, England, Austria, Germany, or another destination. A health services administration certificate for post-graduate continuing education is also available.
There are two programs here. The first is a basic health administration degree, and the second is in healthcare informatics. The latter focuses on healthcare information systems and how best to manage them, including maintaining IT standards. You can also pursue your Health Information Technology certification, as well courses that will prepare you to be a certified Nursing Home Administrator in New York. This is one of the shorter programs, with administration and informatics being 18 and 17 months long, respectively.
One of the top programs in Kansas, Friends University focuses on training leaders and CEOs in their management track. It includes an internship at the end of the program to give you hands-on experience working with the top levels of the healthcare industry. There are courses focused on the macro problems of healthcare management, including the often confusing world of American healthcare politics. This is where you want to go if rising to the absolute top is your goal.
This is another program that offers a wide variety of tracks for your master’s degree. In this case, they are leadership, health informatics, gerontology, and forensic health. The last one is a unique opportunity to specialize in a niche branch of medicine that is growing quickly.
Southern New Hampshire University was one of the first colleges to offer an online master’s program in healthcare management, so they’ve had a long time to get it right. Their 12-course core curriculum features some classes you won’t find in many other places, such as biostatistics and one specifically on managing non-profit health systems. The program can be completed in as little as 15 months. The university offers a significant discount for active military service members and their spouses.
This is the program if your main goal is to be leadership material in a healthcare setting. It’s a three-year commitment, with the final year being a paid residency in a professional environment. An on-campus interview is required for admission, even for online students.
23. Park University
Park University program is available entirely online, or through a blend of classroom attendance and internet coursework. They also have a 4+1 MHA Program that allows undergraduates at the university to take classes that will simultaneously count for both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree.
24. Utica College
This program offers three specializations covering the specific administrative needs of various types of healthcare organizations: acute care, service organizations, and long term care. Unlike some other programs, Utica College also offers virtual residencies that keep the program completely online. During the 36-semester hour course you’ll have the opportunity to take electives on fraud and loss prevention, as well as grant writing if you follow the service organization track.
The online master’s in healthcare management program at Independence University is a nice mid-length one taking only 15 months to complete. Courses focus on planning, finance, marketing, and personnel in healthcare systems. It’s a program focused on the core tenets of the career without electives, meaning you’ll be getting a solid, if one-size-fits-all, education.
Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get to work with this program. It requires 46 semester hours, a capstone project, and a residency to graduate. There are some deep courses required, such as comprehensive classes on the economic impact of healthcare policy, making this one of the more challenging — but rewarding — online master’s programs in healthcare management.
This online master’s in healthcare management combines five core business school courses with healthcare specific ones to form their curriculum. The healthcare portion of the curriculum includes courses on financial management, health services management, legal aspects, health care human resources, quality management, and strategic leadership.
This program is 49 semester hours over two years, with some focus on the intricacies of managing Catholic healthcare facilities, specifically applying Franciscan values. No work experience is required; only a bachelor’s with a 2.75 GPA, and even a lower score can be waived by submitting at high enough GMAT score. Some of the more interesting classes offered include industrial hygiene and emergency response and homeland security. Capstone projects may include guided internships, applied research, and/or focused literature review that examines and elucidates a current issue in leadership.
The program at Minnesota State University Moorhead is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, something only five percent of business schools can claim. They’re fairly strict with their admission requirements, asking for a 3.0 GPA and a GMAT score of 500, though not any professional experience. The program is 37 semester hours long, more than half of which is not healthcare industry-specific. The courses that are focus on delivery systems, healthcare law and ethics, and economics.
Pennsylvania State University has one of the longer programs, designed to be completed in 49 semester hours over 28 months. In addition, two face-to-face managerial intensives are required so that students may receive real-world experience under teacher supervision. Room and board are provided for these, but students must arrange their own travel. There is also an independent research project required, but not a thesis.
This program can be completed in as little as one calendar year if you choose the accelerated degree option. Their online master’s programs in healthcare management is action-based, allowing students to apply things they are currently learning in courses to real-world problems currently in their healthcare system work environment, enriching their education and immediately benefitting their employer at the same time. A systemic approach to problems is a main priority of the program, which focuses on teaching collaboration and critical analysis.
The Midwestern State University online master’s in healthcare management program is 45 semester hours long, but you can also get a Graduate Certificate in Health Services Administration in just 18 semester hours. They also offer a degree path focused on both urban and rural hospital administration, which you don’t see much of.
The School of Business at Southern Adventist has a strong local relationship with healthcare organizations, making it a hub of opportunity for Chattanooga residents. Their program is 36 semester hours, with 12 of them being healthcare specific. One of the more interesting core courses is on integrating faith. It is possible to complete the program in one year, though the university says two or three years is more typical. An online education in Chattanooga is especially helpful as the city boasts one of the fastest internet networks in the world.
An online master’s in healthcare management from here is perfect for the working healthcare professional looking to rise in their organization, be it for-profit, nonprofit or volunteer. The university has built its model on five main pillars: communication, leadership, professionalism, knowledge of the healthcare environment, and business skills. The program’s terms are offered all year round, and can be completed quickly in six quarters.
Point Park University is fairly flexible with their admissions, requiring ether only one year of professional employment in the field, or GMAT scores for evaluation. The degree takes up to three years to complete. Some of the more unique course offerings include Healthcare Quality and Evidence-Based Medicine and a capstone on global health management.
If you need access to an online master’s in healthcare management program without any medical industry professional experience, Jefferson College of Health Sciences is for you. They accept students without relevant experience in their 39-semester hour program, though they will have to pass the MHA 670, a healthcare practicum, prior to graduation. Students can expect a significant focus on cultural sensitivity and diversity education.
The admissions standards for this program are somewhat steep. In addition to a 3.0 GPA, applicants need two years of professional experience, completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), an essay, and an English proficiency test if applying from a non-English speaking country. Once you are in, it’s a 39-semester hour program with options for biostatistics, epidemiology, and healthcare economics in addition to standard courses.
38. King’s College
King’s College’s program comes in both traditional and accelerated variety during spring and fall semesters, as well as classes in the summer. There are a wide variety of electives you can choose from to complete your degree path, including executive leadership, public health, and global system comparison courses. International applicants must submit an English language proficiency test, though this can be waived by having met certain education milestones within the United States.
Louisiana State University-Shreveport’s online master’s program in healthcare management is a ten-course. They have a fairly liberal admissions policy as long as you have a bachelor’s, as they will accept other graduate degrees, three years of professional experience or a score of 450 on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Students can expect a fairly typical course load, though some foundation courses such as Fundamentals of Accounting and Finance and Fundamentals of Economics and Statistics are also required.
Our Lady of the Lake University employees a half-business school, half-specialized course approach to their program. There is a dedicated course for healthcare management in Medicare and Medicaid that has become all the more relevant as those patient populations have grown since health care reform as well as more global systemic classes. Applicants to the program lacking some of the business foundational courses required can attend an MBA Boot Camp to qualify.
The program for an online master’s in healthcare management at Adventist University of Health Sciences partners with 350 healthcare facilities to teach students the best way to manage healthcare systems. You can apply with both a bachelor’s and an associate’s degree, though the latter typically takes 36 months to complete whereas entering the program with a bachelor’s takes 24. The core objectives for students to learn include leveraging new technology in health systems and embedding innovation in relation to violent crimes, such as intra-familial violence, sexual violence, workplace violence, and homicide. All specialties are 36-semester hour programs.
The online education system at Tiffin University is focused on personal support of the student. Admission requirements are easier than many other programs. For instance, they don’t require previous work experience, though they do give admission preference to those who have it. The capstone project involves examining changes in the healthcare system of the United States under evolving government policies and laws.
Brandman University is not only a great to earn online healthcare management master’s degrees; you can get graduate certifications in the field there as well that increase your value in the industry. While students will study the basic tenets of a healthcare management program, Bandman also offers more alternative paths in areas like entrepreneurship if you’re looking for something outside the box. Students must have computers with webcam capabilities at least running Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.11 to participate in the online program.
Hodges University’s completely online promises you won’t be sacrificing quality for convenience. Their 30-semester hour program includes some great electives to tailor your focus, including long term care management and Directed Study in Health Care. There’s also a focus in keeping up with the ever-evolving world of electronic health records.
Your online master’s in healthcare management from Colorado State University can prepare you for a rising career in everything from nutrition services to medical records to a more traditional hospital management career path. Even better, the program does not charge out-of-state students more for their education, making it one of the most affordable,national set of courses. They also offer discounted rates for military and their corporate affiliates. Their scheduling is also very flexible, with all courses being offered every term.
The curriculum covers a very wide range of subjects. Students will learn relief development in global health, advance healthcare finance, and informatics as part of the 32 semester hours required. Students are also expected to complete a thesis to graduate.
This program is compatible with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, meaning that residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are eligible for reduced tuition rates on graduate programs. Students typically complete the program in 20 – 24 months, must complete a capstone project, and are expected to attend seminars every semester. If students do not have previous experience in healthcare management or administration, an internship is also required.
This is another program offering blended courses, with a long weekend on campus being included as part of your education if that is your preferred method. The program takes two years and 54 semester hours. There are some amazing courses to be had, such as ones on reimbursements, delivery systems, risk management, and organizational theory.
Even if you don’t choose to get your online master’s degree in healthcare management from Franklin University, you should at least check out their exquisite blog on online education. One of the more interesting subjects on top of a basic core education in the discipline is a course on managerial psychology that is sure to be a big help in the workplace.
To determine the best online Master’s in Healthcare Management programs, 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 49 best online Master’s in 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.