The healthcare system is complicated – that’s something everyone can agree on. In any medical facility, there are a million moving parts that need to run smoothly to make sure patients receive the care they need. Doctors and nurses, techs and staff, equipment and medications, and endless paperwork are just the most visible parts of the system. Efficient, effective administrators are crucial to the success of a hospital, nursing home, or any other healthcare organization, from the people at the front desk to the people in the executive suite.
A career in healthcare administration and management can begin in the lowest entry-level position, and professionals who shine can really see their careers take off. But if you’re starting with a bachelor’s degree, you will eventually hit a ceiling when it comes to promotion. For professionals working in healthcare who want to move up the ranks into positions of higher authority and higher pay, a Master’s in Healthcare Administration provides the credentials, experience, and connections that can help you move up, move farther, and make the most of your career in a demanding, competitive market.
How We Ranked the Best Online MHA Programs
To rank the best Master’s in Healthcare Administration online programs, Best Master’s Programs began by seeking out trusted, accredited colleges and universities. Programs were also selected based on accreditation by the Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). From there, we ranked programs based on four factors:
- U.S. News & World Report ranking
- Niche Student Reviews
- Tuition Rate
- Average Alumni Salary
With these factors, BDP is covering the gamut – student satisfaction and published rankings, cost and the potential return on investment. These criteria help prospective students feel confident that the degree they get will make a real, positive impact on their current career and their career opportunities.
1. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
UNC-Chapel Hill offers an online Executive MHA program. This program is highly challenging. However, this program’s toughness gets results. It primes students for success. First of all, it focuses on contemporary healthcare realities. As a result, a graduate’s knowledge is up-to-date and ready to go by the time he or she leaves the program. Second, this MHA program emphasizes decision-making skills and leadership skills. That’s why students graduate with the confidence that they’ll need to move forward with their careers. Though certainly one of the tougher online MHA programs, UNC-Chapel Hill provides lifelong rewards and benefits.
UNC is the nations first public research university. That’s why it leads the way in excellence and creativity. UNC helps students deliver their best work. Students here discover that they’re capable of far more than they’d thought. By the time they graduate, they’ve sharpened their skills and used those skills to benefit their communities. UNC doesn’t promote education for education’s sake. Instead, it fosters deep learning so that students can take what they’ve learned and use it to serve others. UNC’s MHA program consistently ranks in the top 3 by Modern Healthcare and US News and World Report.
Degree: Master of Health Care Administration- Health Policy and Management – Executive (Online with on-campus intensive sessions)
2. University of Michigan
University of Michigan’s MHSA program allows students to balance their full-time careers with their educations. Described as “challenging but manageable,” this MHSA program comes in a hybrid format. The program covers everything from the history of the US healthcare system to contemporary issues that surround healthcare. By combining background and practicality, the program equips students to make well-informed decisions with confidence. After graduation from this program, participants move on to become administrators and analysts in the field. Overall, if you want to combine your Masters in Healthcare Administration online with some in-person classes, this program provides value.
University of Michigan’s School of Public Health consistently performs well in ratings. In fact, it’s the #5 school of public health in the nation. As a well-respected research institution, UM has excellent online programs. Those who take online classes get high quality, challenging classes. Online students can still talk with their professors and get answers to their questions. Since this school is widely recognized, an advanced degree from UM can make a big impact on a person’s career. Furthermore, a degree from here has great ROI potential. On the whole, UM provides a challenging and diverse environment, blending research and creativity.
Degree: Executive Masters of Health Management and Policy
3. University of Minnesota
Designed for working professionals, University of Minnesota’s online EMHA program is both efficient and flexible. The program only lasts for 25 months, so students should be prepared for a challenge. However, the mostly online format means that students can fit their classes into their busy lives. The quick pathway to graduation means that students can advance their skills, earn their degrees, and move forward in their careers as quickly as possible. This program only accepts 30 to 35 students per cohort, which means that professors can provide one-on-one attention. If you ever have questions, you’ll get answers. For an accelerated Master of Health Administration program, the University of Minnesota offers a great option.
The University of Minnesota teaches students how to become problem-solvers. Students learn how to notice problems in their own communities and across the world. This school has many award-winners among its faculty, and students get the benefit of their expertise. Even better, the faculty and staff have years of real-world experience, so they provide hands-on, contemporary knowledge. Students here get a challenging and valuable education that serves them in their careers. If you want a top-ranked program, this school should be on your list. It has the #2 ranked MHA program in the United States.
Degree: Master of Health Care Administration- Executive (Accelerated, On Campus, Online)
4. The University of Alabama at Birmingham
UA Birmingham has a great MSHA program. It’s a hybrid program, which means that students will have to spend some time in the classroom. Still, this program does provide an overall sense of flexibility. After all, it was designed for working adults who want to take their jobs to the next level. The program provides a broad overview of the whole US healthcare system. However, it also zooms in on specific subjects like leadership, administration, economics, and much more. By the time they graduate, students are fully prepared for promotions and other career benefits. If you’re looking for online MHA programs that combine the general and the specific, look into UA Birmingham.
UA Birmingham has gained some attention in recent years. In fact, it’s ranked #1 among grad school programs in the US. UAB exists to help students move forward. Instead of reacting to the present, UAB focuses on building the future. They build a foundation for smart work, innovation, and discovery. As a result, UAB has a culture of curiosity. Students move on to become lifelong learners, and the strong science and health programs mean that career-seeking students get a jumpstart.
Degree: Master of Science in Health Administration – Executive (hybrid)
George Washington University’s MHA program is available in on-campus, online, and hybrid formats to make the process more convenient for working professionals in healthcare management. Students get the most thorough education possible, including in-person immersive experiential learning with organizations throughout the Washington DC area and access to influential and well-connected faculty. Students can also choose to study part-time or full-time to maintain their current careers.
The GWU MHA is offered by the Milken Institute School of Public Health, one of the world’s foremost public health schools. One of the best schools in the world for networking, students at George Washington have access to mentorship, internships, and connections that can set their career in motion or move it to another level. As a deeply integrated part of DC life, GWU MHA graduates work at some of the nation’s foremost private companies and for the federal government.
Degree: Master of Health Administration (On Campus, Online, Hybrid)
6. Georgetown University
Georgetown University’s EMHSA program offers both an online and an on-campus option. The on-campus option is full-time, while the online option provides more flexibility. That said, the online program does include several on-campus intensives. Either way, the program has strong education standards. The program is rigorous. Students participate in discussions and view lectures on current healthcare policy. During this time, they train to take on high-level management positions. For online MHA programs that provide both challenge and flexibility, Georgetown University provides.
Georgetown University comes from a Jesuit tradition. As a result, it provides education for the whole person, not just the brain. In other words, Georgetown engages the mental, spiritual, and cultural aspects of every student. Classes come from a faith-based background, and the school emphasizes a spirit of service. Healthcare students may find this emphasis especially helpful as they learn new ways to serve their communities. Georgetown University is also in Washington DC, right at the heart of healthcare policy change. Students who want an inside look at health-related policy should consider Georgetown.
Degree: Master of Science in Health Systems Administration – Executive (Online)
7. George Mason University
George Mason University has a fully-online Health Systems Management program. This program prepares students for leadership positions. Combining healthcare and business knowledge, this program focuses on professionalism and problem-solving. After gaining core skills in leadership and analytics, students take a week-long trip to Washington DC. There, they participate in the annual Health and Policy Institute and get to meet elected representatives who make healthcare decisions. The program culminates in a capstone project that can help students launch their next career phase. Though this is a Masters in Healthcare Administration online, it provides lots of hands-on experience too.
GMU prides itself on progressive education. These programs routinely set standards for future educational programs. Faculty and staff support forward-thinking ideas and research. They know that the world changes constantly, and they want to prepare students to thrive among these changes. Furthermore, students learn how to use their skills and expertise to support others. All the while, GMU provides a challenging education. Since GMU is Virginia’s largest public research university, it has plenty of resources to help students succeed.
Degree: Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management (On Campus, Online)
8. Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University has a strong MSHA program. Like many other Administration programs, this program was designed for those who already work in the healthcare industry. It builds on knowledge that students already have and helps them move toward promotions and other benefits. This hybrid program can be completed either full time or part time. It works well for administrative students no matter their current career path. For instance, a student who wants to serve in the private sector will get just as much from this education as a person who wants to affect public healthcare policy. VCU stands out among Executive Master of Health Administration programs because it provides both breadth and depth.
VCU has been around since 1838. Located in a large city, this school gives students access to city resources and networking opportunities. Less than two hours from Washington DC, VCU provides relatively easy access to the most important place for health policy change. Faculty and staff at this public research university seek to serve their communities. In fact, much of the research at this school has improved human health and safety. VCU has an 18:1 student to faculty ratio, which gives students fairly small classes and access to their professors if they should have any questions. Overall, this school combines creativity and discovery with clear pathways for career advancement.
Degree: Master of Science in Health Administration (Hybrid)
9. University of Southern California
The University of Southern California offers an Executive MHA program that prepares students to become high-level managers in the healthcare field. While this program takes place mostly online, it also includes 2 on-campus sessions that take place over 5 days. The program gears these sessions toward working professionals. Students learn how to make policy changes, serve medical settings in the private sector, and more. If you’re looking for Executive MHA programs with just enough meaningful on-campus time, then USC should be on your list.
The University of Southern California is a top-level private research university. Students enjoy lots of resources and a challenging educational environment. Online students receive just as much academic rigor as students who take classes on campus. The school has existed since 1880, and since the day it was founded, USC has explored innovation and advanced research. This school is well-known and prestigious, so its name on a degree carries an advantage.
Degree: Executive MHA
10. University of Missouri
The University of Missouri’s Executive MHA program comes in a hybrid format. Though it is mostly online, it does require some on-campus study. The on-campus studies take place during select weekends. This way, working students can still have some flexibility. This program combines clinical and managerial knowledge, preparing students for promotions through greater administration skill. Recent graduates hold top-tier management positions, including CEO, CFO, and Program Director. For an Executive Master of Health Administration that will springboard your career into new places, look at the University of Missouri.
The University of Missouri excels in math and the sciences, so healthcare students get a lot from their educations here. This school has highly accomplished faculty and staff members who strive to help students succeed. MU combines high-quality research with equally high-quality teaching and learning. As Missouri’s largest university, this school has all sorts of academic resources for students who want to make the most of their educations.
Degree: Master of Health Administration- Executive (Hybrid)
Colorado State University Global has an online MHA program for current professionals who want to become leaders. It prepares students for work in public or private hospitals. However, some former students move on to other forms of medical administration. This program shows students how to stay up-to-date on the most current healthcare matters. It also emphasizes leadership qualities, record organization, and decision-making skills. When looking for an online healthcare Master’s degree, consider CSU Global for its broad and varied approach to leadership.
CSU Global focuses exclusively on online learning. This university is designed and built for working adults who have busy lives and offers flexibility for students to balance coursework, family life, and current employment obligations. CSU Global is determined to make education affordable. Their tuition guarantee means that your tuition rate will never go up. However, it’s not just about saving and convenience, they also provide academic excellence. Programs are highly career-focused and designed to help students build more fulfilling lives. In fact, 93% of CSU Global’s MHA Alumni have reported securing employment within the healthcare field directly after completing this program.
12. University of Scranton
The University of Scranton’s MHA program is one of the best in the nation. Students may pursue online, on-campus, and accelerated options. The program focuses on training students for leadership positions so that those students can have an impact in the healthcare field. Faculty members use some of the latest innovations in their teaching methods. This program recognizes that students have a wide range of career possibilities, and it prepares students for those possibilities. Overall, this program offers a broad and challenging Masters in Healthcare Administration Online.
The University of Scranton is a Jesuit university, so it follows the Jesuit principles of wholeheartedness and social responsibility. This school’s faith tradition is infused into all of its classes. For those who come from a faith-based background, this emphasis can help them grow both spiritually and academically. This school has high rankings, devoted faculty and staff, and challenging academics. The University of Scranton was among the first universities to receive accreditation from CAHME.
Degree: Master of Health Administration (Online, On Campus, Accelerated)
13. University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida has an in-depth EMHA program. Healthcare evolves all the time, and as new changes arise, leaders will need to know how to address those changes. That’s where the University of Central Florida comes in. This program helps students make an impact after they graduate. Students become knowledgeable, confident, and ready to lead. All cohorts contain 30 or fewer students, so every student gets a personalized educational approach. Among online MHA programs, this one also offers plenty of innovation and resources.
UCF values diversity, inclusion, and exploring new ideas. Through these ideals, students can reach their full potential. UCF combines research innovation with creative thinking. As a result, students can approach problems from unique angles. Students then take these skills into their careers, using critical thinking to make confident decisions. UCF was ranked as one of the most innovative colleges in 2019.
Degree: Executive MHA
14. Trinity University
When you are looking for executive MHA programs that help you advance in your carer, the Executive MHA from Trinity University offers the education you need to reach your goals. The degree program focuses on helping healthcare managers and professionals gain the experience and skills they need to take on a leadership role in their field. It concentrates the on-campus courses at the beginning of the program to allow greater flexibility with a hybrid online degree.
Trinity University offers a hybrid degree program that allows students to obtain their master’s in healthcare administration when it fits their schedule The hybrid program allows working professionals to focus on obtaining a higher level of education while they are maintaining their schedule at work. It focuses on combining experience with conceptual learning for a well-rounded view of the healthcare administration industry.
Degree: Executive MHA
15. University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina offers a Masters in Healthcare Administration online that gives students the flexibility to maintain a full-time job while working on a higher level of education. The MHA Professional Format degree program is a hybrid program that combines weekend classes on time a month with online classes to give students the hands-on training they need while still working around their situation. It also focuses on teaching students the leadership and management skills to take on a higher level position in their work.
The way the University of South Carolina stands apart from other programs is its focus on leadership and management training. It focuses on strategy, decision-making, and critical thinking skills. The school focuses on leadership and ensures that students are able to handle the challenges of working in a leadership role.
Degree: MHA Professional Format (hybrid)
16. CSU Long Beach
When you’re looking for online MHA programs that give you a flexible schedule, the MS in Health Care Administration from CSU Long Beach offers the training and education you need to reach your goals. The degree program focuses on professional growth and leadership within the healthcare industry. It also teaches students effective management skills to prepare them for the leadership roles they plan to take in their career.
CSU Long Beach stands out by providing an accelerated hybrid program. The degree program combines weekend classes with online classes to give students a flexible schedule that works around their full-time career. It recognizes that professionals in the healthcare industry may have complicated schedules that change over time. By setting up a hybrid program, the school provides an opportunity to work and obtain a higher level of education.
Degree: Master of Science in Health Care Administration- Accelerated (Hybrid)
17. Texas State University
When you are looking for online healthcare masters degrees, Texas State University has an option to fit your situation. The Master of Health Administration through the school focuses on professionalism, leadership, and relationship management as it applies to communication within a hospital setting. That focus on professionalism and communication allows students to develop the skills they need to handle the challenges of their career goals.
Texas State University stands apart by setting a strong foundation in professionalism as part of their degree program. It also offers different options for students through on-campus, hybrid, and online courses. By teaching students to handle leadership roles with a professional manner and using communication skills to ensure a smooth work environment, the degree prepares students for the rigors of working in the healthcare industry as a leader.
Degree: Master of Health Administration (On Campus, Online, Hybrid)
18. Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
When you are looking for an executive master of health administration program, the MS in Health Care Administration offered from the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences gives you the training you need for your goals. The degree program trains professionals in hospital and health care leadership. The focus of the program is proper communication and management as it applies to the medical industry. It does not require students to have experience in healthcare.
OSU Center for Health Sciences stands apart by offering a program that has a high standard for students. It is nationally ranked for their online degree program and students are able to focus on their degree when it fits their schedule. The flexibility and high standards ensure that students are prepared for their role in a medical facility.
Degree: MS in Health Care Administration
19. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center offers an MS in Healthcare Administration that focuses on the executive side of medical services. The degree program recognizes that students will take on a challenging role as a leader and it provides the training they need to handle the difficulties of their work environment. It also provides students with the ability to coordinate and organize information to maintain a smooth transition between medical staff in the facility.
The way Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center stands out from other programs is its accelerated online degree. The program allows students to complete their degree in a short amount of time and allows them to continue working in their current career while obtaining a higher level of education. That flexibility allows students to focus on their career while maintaining their obligations.
Degree: MS in Health Administration
20. Seton Hall University
When you’re looking for a masters in healthcare administration online, Seton Hall University offers a program to help with your goals. The online degree program allows you to focus on building the skills you need to handle the complex challenges of the modern healthcare facility and hospital. Students learn in a diverse environment that encourages discussion and the exchange of ideas to enhance leadership skills.
Seton Hall University is the only school in New Jersey that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education for their MHA program. The school offers an on-campus and online degree program to fit the needs and goals of students. That flexible scheduling opportunity allows students to work on their career goals while they are maintaining obligations.
Degree: Master of Healthcare Administration (On Campus, Online)
21. Penn State University
The online healthcare masters degrees at Pennsylvania State University offer students the skills and training to make a difference through leadership. The school focuses on the leadership aspects of its Master of Health Administration program to ensure that students are able to handle the challenges of working in management at a hospital or medical facility. Pennsylvania State University was awarded the seven-year reaccreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. That is the highest achievement available for a degree program from the commission.
Pennsylvania State University stands out for its focus on combining business management skills with healthcare skills to ensure that students are able to handle difficulties in a medical facility. The program expands a student’s skills in management through an online or on-campus program to include the specific situations that may arise in a hospital.
Degree: Master of Health Administration (On Campus, Online)
22. Saint Louis University
When you are looking for executive MHA programs, the Master of Health Administration from Saint Louis University is a good option for your goals. The degree program combines business skills with medical management skills to ensure that students are able to keep up with the unique challenges associated with healthcare administration. Students learn the finance, leadership, organizational, and human resources skills they need to keep up with their career goals.
Saint Louis University stands out by offering an executive hybrid program that helps students accomplish their goals. The degree program is ranked 13th in the nation by U.S. News for Health Care Administration and the school is accredited by CAHME. It was also given the Program of the Year award by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration.
Degree: Master of Health Administration- Executive (Hybrid)
23. Louisiana State University – Shreveport
Louisiana State University in Shreveport offers a fully online MHA program that allows students to work at their own pace. The degree program focuses on a wide array of administration topics and prepares students for a management role within a medical facility. The training focuses on middle and upper management to help students address challenges within a medical facility. Louisiana State University at Shreveport offers a fully online program that is accredited by AACSB International due to its focus on integrating administrative skills with healthcare management.
The way Louisiana State University stands apart is through their fully online program. The degree program allows students to work at a pace that fits their situation. They can work on their degree part-time or full-time. That flexibility allows students to handle the challenges of their current work obligations while working on their long-term career goals.
24. Saint Joseph’s University
When you want to work in the healthcare industry as a supportive professional, the MHA program at Saint Joseph’s University offers the skills you need to handle the challenges of your career. The degree program ensures that students have the technical skills to keep up with the growing rate of computer and digital devices within the healthcare industry. It also ensures that students are able to take on leadership roles by learning the management skills required for their long-term plans.
Saint Joseph’s University is an online degree program that takes a well-balanced approach to healthcare administration. It ensures that students have the legal knowledge and the technical skills to handle their career and take on the role of a leader within their industry. It also prepares students for the challenges of working in the fast-paced medical field.
25. Ohio University
Ohio University offers an online Masters of Health Administration degree program that teaches students the skills they need to ensure a medical facility remains financially viable and capable of providing care to patients. It provides the administrative and organizational skills to keep up with the modern medical environment and allows students to take on a leadership role within a hospital or facility.
Ohio University stands out by offering students a program that is fully online and focused on modern leadership skills. The curriculum provides a cutting-edge experience that allows students to gain the hands-on skills they need for their career. It provides a well-balanced degree with a focus on business skills for long-term success.
Should I Get an MHA or an MBA?
MHA stands for Master of Healthcare Administration, and MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. Deciding between MHA vs MBA programs can be tricky because they are similar in many ways. The MHA program hones into specific material about the healthcare field, whereas MBA is more broadly applicable to various business fields.
MHA vs MBA salary options vary depending on where you end up working geographically and in terms of the setting – for an insurance company, hospital, nursing home, or somewhere else. When comparing an MHA vs MBA salary, people find that there are many variables to consider. According to Payscale, the average salary for a professional with an MHA is $75,000, while the average MBA holder makes $86,000, but the distinction depends on where they’re employed, and in what capacity.
It’s possible to enroll in a program that allows students to earn both degrees – it’s called an MBA MHA dual degree program. Many people have found that while earning an MBA/MHA dual degree is intense, it provides tremendous career benefits.
What Will I Learn in an MHA Program?
It depends on which MHA program you choose. Many schools offer online general Master of Health Administration degrees as well as various concentration areas such as data management, healthcare strategies, population management, and senior services.
In a Masters in Healthcare Administration requirements for starting the program vary. Some Masters in Healthcare Administration programs require a few years of experience in the health administration field, and some don’t require any. Some Masters in Healthcare Administration requirements include taking a GRE test and some don’t. Many programs are designed with working professionals in mind, so they can complete the program successfully whenever they have free time.
Can I Get a Job with an Online MHA?
Those with MHA degrees from programs with CAHME accreditation (Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education) are able to find jobs more readily. Search for CAHME accredited online MHA programs to further your career in the healthcare industry today. An excellent list of many top healthcare administration graduate programs, including CAHME accredited online MHA programs, is here. Prospective students find that there are plenty of top schools for masters in healthcare administration to choose from according to their location, financial parameters, networking interests, and many other factors. Top healthcare administration graduate programs are within reach of today’s movers and shakers in the healthcare industry.
While pursuing an MHA degree, students are often interested in completing health administration internships to enhance their skills and build their networks. Availability of health administration internships varies from school to school – be sure to ask about that before beginning the program. Ask about scholarships as well.
So is MHA degree worth it? These are burning questions most prospective students have. Many thousands of students who have earned MHA degrees have found that having this degree dramatically enhances their careers and earning potential. Stop staying up late worrying, “Is a Masters in Healthcare Administration worth it?” Start working towards to the next step in your career and you’ll soon find that yes, it’s worth it.
Can I Get an Online MHA for Free?
Many people are surprised to find out that there are many affordable ways to secure an MHA degree. While there aren’t currently any free MHA programs, there are many ways students can save their precious dollars. There are some online courses for MHA degrees that are available for free. There are some programs that don’t require students to take a GRE exam (Graduate Record Examination), which helps people save money, too. Start searching for hospital administration courses online, as well as masters healthcare administration online courses, and you may be surprised to find plenty of options.
Affordable hospital administration courses online and masters healthcare administration online classes are very popular, especially among the frugal-minded. There are online MHA programs no GRE required as well among the most affordable online MHA programs. Many prospective students take advantage of online MHA programs no GRE requirement to further their career in the booming healthcare industry. Further your career without breaking the bank with online MHA programs no GRE required as well as the most affordable online MHA programs list. You’ll be on your way to ultimate success soon after earning your MHA degree.