An online master’s in health administration is an ideal degree for individuals –including health professionals –eyeing future management positions in the healthcare industry.
Without any doubt, holders of MHA degrees can work in various capacities involving the management or supervision of the day-to-day operations of different healthcare structures.
If you’ve ever dreamt of a top career level as a leader in health services management, pursuing an online master’s in health administration might just be the stepping stone to the realization of your dream.
Helpfully, this article will equip you with a lot of information about an online master’s in health administration as well as the top 15 online MHA programs that you can enroll in.
An Overview of Health Administration
Healthcare administration –or health administration –is a branch of healthcare which entails the administration, management and leadership of healthcare structures. Broadly, health administration is applicable at all of primary, secondary and tertiary sectors where it may involve managing hospitals, healthcare systems, hospital networks and public health systems.
Duration for Completing a Master’s Program in Health Administration
Averagely, it takes up to a two-year period to complete a full-time online MHA program. Within this period, the student enrolled in the program will have completed between 32 and 60 credits.
Notably, there are master’s specializations as well as joint-degree online MHA programs that span more than two years. If you’re enrolled in any of such MHA programs, you can expect to complete the program in three or four years’ time.
Admission Requirements for an Online Master’s in Health Administration
Each school offering an online master’s in health administration tends to have set criteria (requirements) for admitting applicants for the program. While these admission requirements vary across schools, we’d provide you with a general list of the admission requirements for an online MHA.
Healthcare experience is usually required for majority of the master’s programs in healthcare administration. Depending on the specified MHA program you’re applying for, you may be expected to have up to three-year work experience. For some MHA programs, the required work experience may indicate between two and five years of work experience in the position of a manager or other top-level professional in the healthcare system.
Just like many other graduate programs, an online master’s in health administration prioritizes recommendation letters as parts of its admission requirements. For your MHA admission processing, some of the authorities you may need to get recommendation letters from include your present work supervisor and a professor at your former school. Where recommendation letters are highly required for your online MHA program in health administration, you may have to submit about three recommendation letters.
Before applying for an online MHA program, you really have to bear in mind that most MHA programs favor applicants with evidence of considerable academic achievement. This evidence manifests as the applicants’ undergrad GPAs and for most MHA programs, the undergrad GPA cutoff is set as a minimum standard of 2.5-3.0. While some schools consider granting admission to applicants with GPAs lower than the minimum mark, such applicants will likely be required to present supplemental materials.
It is essential to find out the specific requirements by your preferred school. This way, you’ll know if you stand a chance (of gaining an MHA admission) with an undergrad GPA lower than the stipulated cutoff. This is because some schools do not give admission to applicants with lower GPAs.
Standardized test scores
GMAT and GRE scores are the standardized test scores most commonly required for online MHA programs. Where standardized test scores make up the admission requirements, you may be able to substitute your MAT score for GMAT/GRE score depending on the school you’re applying to.
This may seem like a less common admission requirement for an MHA program but of course, there are MHA programs targeted at practicing nurses. If you’re applying for any of such distinctive MHA programs, you definitely need to keep a valid nursing license with you.
Basically, these distinctive MHA programs (for which a nursing license is required) usually seek to admit practicing nurses such as RNs in order to mold them for careers at the management level.
Insight into Your Salary and What You Can Do with an MHA Degree
We do not have an exact salary figure for what the average healthcare professional with an MHA degree earns yearly. But according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the annual salary of the average medical and health services manager hovers around $99,730.
Besides, it’s very possible that your MHA degree (coupled with certain certifications and licenses) qualifies you for a higher salary figure than what we stated earlier.
As regards career prospects, an MHA degree gives you the opportunity to work in various capacities relevant to healthcare management. Armed with a master’s in healthcare administration, you can tread career paths in the following areas: administrative services management, health information technology, healthcare social work and health services management.
Top 15 Online Master’s Programs in Health Administration
Saint Joseph’s University (Online Master’s in Health Administration)
Through the online master’s in health administration offered by this school, students are given exhaustive education in healthcare law, informatics and ethics. At Saint Joseph’s University, the online master’s in health administration comes with two areas of concentration. Although there’s a general curriculum comprising 36 credits, students enrolled in this master’s program are mandated to take eight extra credits.
Saint Joseph’s University maintains a flat tuition fee for its students. What this implies is that learners will bear the same per-credit tuition charges irrespective of whether they are in-state or out-of-state students. However, the school does offer tuition discounts to select individuals who are notably active duty service members, and veterans. The school charges the per-credit tuition of $887 for this online master’s in health administration.
As part of its admission considerations for an online master’s in health administration, Saint Joseph’s University favors applicants who already have experience working in the healthcare industry.
Here’s the link to visit this school.
University of Southern California (Executive Master of Health Administration)
Students enrolled in the online master’s in health administration at this university (USC) face a relevant curriculum with topics in quality care concepts and strategic management.
At University of Southern California, students enrolled in this program “Executive Master of Health Administration” are charged the same tuition as other degree seekers. The students pay per-credit tuition fee to the tune of $1,928.
USC’s online program combines an experience of on-campus residency with online learning. Individuals who apply to the school’s online master’s program in health administration are, on the one hand, expected to have had five-year professional experience. On the other hand, they are required to apply along with essential credentials including a statement of purpose, a resume and three letters of recommendation.
It is worthy of note that full-time students at University of South California aren’t entitled to tuition discounts.
Click this link to visit University of Southern California
American University (Online Master’s in Healthcare Management)
The curriculum of this online master’s in healthcare management at American University (AU) entails coursework with topics in professional ethics and project cost-benefit analysis.
While this program can be completed in less than a two-year period, it is a program that allows for flexible course selection in which the students may choose only one elective (course) from a total of nine.
There also seem to be flexible admission requirements for this online master’s at AU since prospective students aren’t mandated to meet any minimum GPA and test score requirements. The per-credit tuition fee for this program at American University is $1,345.
To visit this school, click the link here.
Trinity University (Executive Master of Health Administration)
The executive MHA program at Trinity University can span almost a two-year period in which students receive education both on campus and off campus. While students enrolled in the program are required to complete 42 credit hours, their intensive on-campus study combines with teleconferencing classes. These classes are notably regular sessions that the students partake in every three weeks.
Admission for Trinity University’s executive MHA program comes up once yearly and in the fall season while the per-credit tuition for the program hovers around $1,624.
Click this link to visit Trinity University for more information about the program.
George Mason University (Master of Healthcare Administration)
George Mason University maintains tuition disparity on the basis of students’ residency. While out-of-state students enrolled in its online master’s in healthcare administration pay up to $27,720, their in-state counterparts bear lower tuition to the tune of $11,736.
George Mason University’s online master’s program in health administration entails courses that equip students with the necessary skills or competencies for careers at the management level. Meanwhile, the program’s curriculum features two phases which educate students about problem resolution and leadership in the delivery of healthcare. Also, there’s a capstone project which requires students to engage in a field practicum.
An individual applying to George Mason University for this online master’s in health administration is expected to submit credentials including a supplemental application, a resume and three letters of recommendation.
Visit George Mason University through this link
Western Governors University (Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management)
This university charges a flat per-term tuition fee to the tune of $4,180 with each term spanning a 6-month period. As an administration-focused program, the MHA program at Western Governors University adopts a curriculum that inculcates the best healthcare administration practices and market-relevant business skills in students. By virtue of the curriculum, students will also gain exposure to a sort of accounting coursework that teaches them ethical leadership and decision making.
While pursuing your MHA degree at Western Governors University (WGU), you can complete your desired number of courses (though depending on what you’re capable of taking) in just one term. Professional experience is required for admission into this program as WGU stipulates a minimum of three-year professional experience in any relevant field.
Visit this university through the link here
Appalachian State University (Master of Health Administration)
This is an online master’s in health administration program which extensively educates students about how to promote healthcare outcomes across rural communities.
The admission requirements for the program encompass a minimum undergrad GPA of 3.0 combined with healthcare experience. Provided that they have standardized test scores, intending applicants with healthcare experience but with GPAs less than the stated 3.0 may still be considered for admission.
While Appalachian State University’s online MHA program incorporates two areas of concentration, it’s noteworthy that each of these areas (concentrations) provides students with core courses in executive skills development, and healthcare informatics. For students enrolled in this program, there are also on-campus sessions which occur once monthly.
Appalachian State University maintains tuition disparity as out-of-state students are required to pay the per-credit tuition of $1,072 while in-state students pay $414 per credit.
Visit Appalachian State University via the link here.
University of Minnesota –Twin Cities (Master of Healthcare Administration)
University of Minnesota’s admission requirements for this online master’s in healthcare administration necessitate meeting the school’s undergraduate GPA cutoff as well as possessing a minimum of three-year experience as a clinical manager.
Toward the completion of the program, students handle capstone projects which require that they develop plans for the management of healthcare organizations. Coupled with a cohort-based curriculum, this master’s program entails coursework with topics pertaining to legal considerations in health services. Students of this program also have to face five on-campus intensives.
University of Minnesota may require some of those applying for this online master’s degree to come with their GMAT or GRE scores. In terms of tuition, the university charges a per-credit fee to the tune of $1,632.
Click the link here to visit this school.
University of Saint Francis (Master of Science in Health Administration)
At University of Saint Francis (USF), the online MHA program features a moderate curriculum with the core courses being human resource management, healthcare ethics, and medical sociology.
While there are five concentration options available to students enrolled in this program, the tuition cost is relatively fair at a rate of $748 per credit. Also, USF maintains that students who are employees of a partner organization will be entitled to tuition discounts in the course of this program.
The admission requirements for this MHA program at USF include the minimum undergrad GPA of 2.75 and two-year healthcare experience. In their final semester, students enrolled in this MHA program will be required to take a comprehensive exam.
You can find out more about this school through the link here.
Pennsylvania State University –World Campus (Master of Health Administration in Health Policy and Administration)
This online master’s program at Penn State University features a 49-credit curriculum with classroom teachings that expose students to key areas including change leadership, population health, and financing healthcare. With an overall focus on health management, the program’s curriculum devotes special attention to accountability and professional efficiency.
Courtesy of its management-focused curriculum, Penn State University’s online master’s in health administration essentially equips students with the technique for leveraging tech-oriented tools and management skills toward the provision of affordable health care.
Toward the completion of their program, each student enrolled in this university’s online master’s in health administration needs to handle a capstone project which entails building a strategic plan for a given health services organization.
Although GRE or GMAT scores are not considered parts of the admission requirements for this online master’s at Penn State University, applicants must come with two response essays along with their personal statements. It’s also expected of these applicants to have GPAs not less than 3.0.
The per-credit tuition for the online master of health administration (program) in health policy and administration at Penn State University is $930.
Click the link here to visit Pennsylvania State University for more info about this program.
Clarkson College (Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration)
While admission into this MHA program at Clarkson College occurs in the spring, summer and fall semesters, the school seems to maintain lenient admission requirements. For this master’s program, applicants are neither mandated to possess professional experience nor required to show any standardized test scores.
Clarkson College charges the per-credit tuition of $621 for this MHA program which maintains a flexible curriculum allowing students to have extra credits. Courtesy of these extra (seven) credits, students can take electives such as an independent course study and an internship. This school, Clarkson College, also offers scholarships and institutional grants that students pursuing degrees in the school can apply for.
Click the link here to visit Clarkson College.
University of Denver
While its admission opens four times yearly, University of Denver charges an affordable tuition fee to the tune of $34,224 in total. For students enrolled in University of Denver’s online MHA program, there are eight concentrations from which they can choose. Whichever concentration an MHA student at the university chooses, the student’s coursework will incorporate a capstone project, research practices and applications, and healthcare finance.
To apply to University of Denver’s online MHA program, you need to put together a personal statement as well as two recommendation letters. If cheap tuition is one of your major considerations in deciding the ideal school for your MHA, you may want to give University of Denver a try. Meanwhile, the university’s MHA program comes with a good number of concentrations –a total of eight concentrations inclusive of a track that combines healthcare and law.
Click this link to visit this university.
University of Mary (MSN/MBA Dual Degree in Healthcare Administration)
This master’s in healthcare administration at University of Mary features essential coursework with topics concerning nursing leadership and population healthcare. By and large, the program is a great avenue for RNs to augment their growth potential in terms of remuneration and career.
At University of Mary, there’s a per-credit tuition fee of $540 for this MSN/MBA dual degree in healthcare administration. In the course of this master’s program, students will also have to undergo a 500-hour practicum experience. The admission requirements for the program include a minimum undergrad GPA of 2.75 along with a valid nursing license.
To learn more about University of Mary, click the link here.
Seton Hall University (Master of Health Administration)
At Seton Hall University, the online MHA program follows an all-online curriculum with courses in healthcare management and health finance. The per-credit tuition for this program hovers around $1,310.
Due to its rather lenient admission requirements, this MHA program is open to different kinds of applicants –including new college graduates and health professionals. Quite surprisingly, there’s a likelihood of conditional admission for applicants with GPAs less than the standard GPA cutoff set by the University of Seton Hall.
Click the link here to visit this school.
University of Central Florida (Master of Health Administration)
University of Central Florida (UCF)’s MHA program adopts a cohort-based model whereby 30 is the highest number of students a cohort can contain. In the course of this program, students are required to complete as many as 44 credit hours. While there’s an added four-credit-hour capstone project in strategic management for the students to complete, there’ll be four credit hours for each of the courses in this 44-credit-hour program at UCF.
If you’re really excited about how the cohort model encourages students to adequately connect with peers, you may want to consider University of Central Florida for your MHA program. While the university’s tuition for this program hovers around $1,152 per credit hour, the admission requirements include a recommendation letter (issued by the applicant’s present employer) and at least three-year experience in healthcare management.
Here is the link to visit University of Central Florida for more information about the program.
An Overview of the Employment Prospects for MHA Holders
Before you apply for a master’s program in healthcare administration, you may want to weigh the employment chances associated with an MHA degree. Fortunately, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicted that between 2014 and 2024, there would be 19% growth in healthcare occupations. In other words, this prediction meant there would be about 2.3 million new healthcare jobs over the given decade.
Relatively, jobs pertaining to healthcare management would also grow significantly as it was projected that between 2014 and 2024, there’d be new 56,300 positions for medical and health services managers, indicating 17% growth. What can be deduced from the latter is that there’s a promising employment outlook for MHA holders and other relevant degree holders seeking positions in healthcare management.
Top Four FAQs about Online Master’s in Health Administration
What is the average duration for earning a master’s in healthcare administration?
Depending on several factors, the duration for your online MHA program can vary slightly. However, two academic years is the average duration for the program especially if you’re a full-time student. Within that period, you’re expected to complete 32 to 60 credits.
How promising is the job outlook for MHA holders?
The 19% growth (between 2014 and 2024) projected for the healthcare industry by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) is enough to authenticate that there’s a promising job outlook for MHA holders. While it’s deducible from BLS’ projection that the healthcare industry would generate about 2.3 million new jobs within the given decade, this situation is expected to give leeway to thousands of jobs pertaining to healthcare management.
How much can I earn with my MHA degree?
Although your earnings will vary depending on your actual healthcare job, you can expect to earn reasonably as an MHA degree holder. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the annual salary of the average medical and health services manager hovers around $99,730. Besides, it’s very possible that your MHA degree (coupled with certain certifications and licenses) will qualify you for a higher salary figure than the stated one.
Is there anything worthy about an online MHA degree?
An online MHA degree could just be the ideal study route for individuals looking to combine their occupations with master’s education in health administration. Whether your occupation is full time or part time, chances are that you can conveniently combine it with an online MHA program. Needless to say, an online MHA program is really worth trying especially for individuals who crave the flexibility or freedom associated with studying from home.
We may not have to overemphasize the essence of an online master’s degree for individuals willing to reach top positions in healthcare management. If you prefer the online route and would like to become a health services manager in the future, you shouldn’t shy away from pursuing an online master’s in health administration.