As a rule, those seeking positions in healthcare administration have an interest in the healthcare field. That being established, those who obtain entry-level jobs in healthcare administration will tend to be those with at least a few years of experience in the healthcare field. Starting a career in healthcare administration usually requires experience in a leadership position in some area of the medical field. Lead paramedics, LVNs and nursing supervisors, and similar positions are the most likely candidates besides physicians. Of course, no healthcare professional can obtain entry-level jobs in healthcare administration without administrative training. So, leadership experience in medicine and an MHA are your prerequisites.
An online MHA program is often the best choice for working professionals who are already in the field. For these kinds of students – who may have family obligations or other responsibilities in addition to a busy job – cost if often the most important factor. That’s why Best Health Degrees has ranked the most affordable online MHA programs.
Our Method: Ranking the Most Affordable Online Healthcare Master’s Degrees
Price isn’t everything; students need to know that their affordable online MHA programs are also worthwhile. BHD features only accredited, reputable institutions that have a history of offering solid, quality education at low tuition costs. With that basic criteria, schools are ranked by their tuition rate as reported to IPEDS.
1. Texas Woman’s University
The Texas Woman’s University MHA with emphasis in Business Analytics focuses on giving students the skills they need to work in healthcare organizations. Skills explored include technology, interface and security to communicate with others all over the organization. Completion of the emphasis qualifies the student to sit for the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), and individuals with the master’s degree and three years of experience will qualitify them to sit for the CPHIMS certification. Contact a counselor today to find out more about the online healthcare masters degrees with one of the most affordable online MHA programs today.
Texas Woman’s University focuses on shaping women’s success, with more than 70% of the faculty and staff being women. Additionally, the TWU Center for Women in Business is the state’s only university center dedicated to women’s entrepreneurship and ownership. Completely invested in their students, their career center works to provide tailored career planning for students and alumni. TWU is the most affordable public university in the DFW Metroplex. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it 6th in diversity among U.S. universities.
2. Montana State University
Designed to be completed in 20 to 24 months, Montana State University’s Master of Health Administration program helps develop leaders in health service administration and management with a focus on rural-frontier healthcare delivery. Designed for working professionals, mid-level managers and those looking to make a career change into the field, students complete concentrated courses in addition to a two-day on-campus Professional Seminar, a Capstone Project and an Internship. For more information, contact the Interim Program Director for more on their online healthcare masters degrees at one of the most affordable online MHA programs in Montana.
Established in 1927, Montana State University is the 3rd largest university in the Montana University System. MSUB is fully accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Assistantships, scholarships and extensive internship opportunities are available for students.
3. Texas Tech University Health Sciences
The Master of Science in Healthcare Administration at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is designed to accommodate working healthcare professionals by teaching them the skills and knowledge needed to advance in the field and successfully oversee the provision of healthcare services with a management-based approach to practical knowledge. As one of the affordable MHA programs, it is very popular among online healthcare masters degrees.
This fully online, 36-hour graduate healthcare administration degree has adjunct faculty that offer real-world experience to assist students become more successful in their current job.
Degree: MS in Health Administration
4. Texas State University
The Texas State University Executive Master of Health Administration program has specific requirements for admission. Designed for professionals already in the healthcare industry, applicants must have five years of experience as a manager or provider in healthcare. Students have coursework dealing with topics in health administration; healthcare organization and deliver; healthcare administration research methods; financial management; financial theory and healthcare law. This is one of the few online healthcare master’s degrees programs and is one of the affordable online MHA programs. Contact the school today for more information.
Texas State University started out as Southwest Texas State University in 1974. It is classified as a doctoral university with high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Faculty has the distinction of being granting Fulbright Scholarships, making Texas State one of the top producing universities of Fulbright Scholars.
Degree: Master of Health Administration
5. University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida’s online Executive Master of Health Administration program helps deepen the understanding of successfully managing the healthcare industry and facilities. Students learn quality and risk management, policy, healthcare informatics and more. One of the unique qualities of the program is their cohort of no more than 30 students for personalized instruction. Listed as one of the affordable online MHA programs, students should have at least three years of experience in healthcare management to qualify for these online healthcare masters degree programs. Call a counselor for more information today.
The college is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). The program also has CAHME Mentorship Circle status, which recognizes the opportunities students have to advance their experiences and skills for the good of the healthcare industry. It was also designated by U.S. News & World Report as one of the most innovative of 2020.
Degree: Executive MHA
6. California State University, East Bay
The California State University, East Bay online Master of Science in Health Care Administration provides students with the resources and foundation to successfully navigate the healthcare industry. Designed for working healthcare professionals, students will discover and implement creative solutions in a student-centered learning experience with experts in the field of health services. A fully online format, healthcare professionals should have at least two years of experience in the field of healthcare. Contact the school today for more information on one of the top online healthcare masters degrees programs and affordable online MHA programs.
Dubbed “Best in the West” by Princeton Review, the program has also been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, as well as being ranked among the top 25 Best Online Master of Healthcare Administration Degree programs by The Best Schools.
Degree: MS in Health Care Administration
7. Austin Peay State University
The Austin Peay State University Master of Healthcare Administration helps students plan, direct and coordinate medical services in the areas of management and administration. Students will learn how to navigate regulations, technology and healthcare laws. Students have the option of a one- or two-year program to accommodate professionals who need the flexibility. Among the affordable online MHA programs, it sits as one of the only online healthcare masters degrees programs in the country.
Started in 1927, the university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and was deemed the fastest growing university in 2012. Faculty at the college are all professionals in the industry, with in-depth knowledge to impart to the students.
8. Concordia University Irvine
The Master of Healthcare Administration program at Concordia University Irvine offers students fundamentals of leadership, professional development and practical application. Students are given opportunities to work in a variety of settings in the healthcare industry. Coursework includes healthcare law; quality assurance; financial and organizational management; and leadership. Students also learn professionalism, communication and relationship management with assistance from professors who have backgrounds in all sectors of healthcare. Students must complete a capstone project with a healthcare organization to showcase prior knowledge and experience. Deemed one of the most affordable online MHA programs, ontact a staff member for more information on this program today.
The program hosts in-person workshops twice a year to enhance their professional development. Named by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the non-profit master’s institutions experiencing fast growth, it is also a U.S. News & World Report Top Tier Regional University.
9. University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Executive Master of Science in Health Administration is a hybrid program focusing on healthcare management to gain a foundation in expertise and understanding in marketing; economics; quality improvement; strategic management and leadership. Designed to offer flexibility for working professionals, applicants must have at least five years of healthcare experience. One of the unique offerings of this program is the opportunity to complete a dual degree with a Master of Science in Healthcare Quality and Safety (MSHQS) or a graduate certificate in the same area. Students are required to complete an immersive 4-day experience as part of their Capstone designation. The cost of lodging meals and materials are covered and occurs during the second year. One of the top online healthcare masters degrees programs, it is also known as a top affordable online MHA program. For more information, contact the School of Health Professions.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s faculty offer students real-life expertise and experience. As professionals in the industry, they provide insight and foundational knowledge to enhance the quality of education. The UAB’s Healthcare Quality & Safety program is among the first to earn CAHEM certification, along with the MSHA program being ranked #1 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The MSHA program is also the recipient of the 2019 CAHME/Baylor Scott and White Health Award for Excellence in Quality Improvement Education by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.
Degree: Master of Science in Health Administration – Executive (hybrid)
10. Weber State University
Weber State University’s Executive Master of Health Administration program is designed for working professionals to enhance current knowledge and provide a strong foundation to advance their career into a leadership position. This online program is designed to fit the busy schedules of working professionals with completion attainable in four semesters with no summer classes. Unique in its development, the program is a flat rate that includes tuition, fees, books and meals during the one-day on-campus orientation. This makes it one of the most affordable online MHA programs in the nation among online healthcare masters degree programs.
Weber University was originally Weber Stake Academy. It was founded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1889. It became a university in 1991. Fully accredited through CAHME and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Weber State University has been a pioneer in the development of online education for the Utah System of Higher Education.
Degree: Master of Healthcare Administration-Executive (Hybrid, Accelerated); Master of Healthcare Administration-Residential (Hybrid)
Is an MHA Degree Worth It?
The first thing you should look into is whether or not any healthcare administration jobs are available near you, and what are turnover rates for administration at local healthcare organizations. Second, you should be willing to search for jobs nationally and be willing to relocate.
Beyond that, it is a question of the disposition of the person seeking an administrative role. You should know whether you would be happy not working with patients directly. Being prepared to engage in a nationwide job search and being willing to relocate is also important. Seeking your MHA online is a great place to start since it’s likely that your medical career is probably already taking up much of your time.
Now, to more fully answer the question, is a masters in healthcare administration worth it, let’s go over the clear benefits.
- Healthcare professionals cannot advance without an MHA
- The pay is well above average at $82,000 to $117,00 per year (much more than a Bachelor’s in Health Management)
- Those with a heart for helping others will eventually need it
- A wide range of medical disciplines exist
- Demand is high, and that will not change
In the end, the healthcare field is for people with a strong desire to help others. Anyone who has such a conviction should pursue an MHA, knowing high-level jobs may be hard to find- but they will always be around.
Do I Have to Take the GRE for an MHA Program?
While most schools do require grad students to take a GRE for their MHA, it is not a hard and fast rule, if you’re willing to shop around for online MHA programs with no GRE.
The good news is that some MHA programs do allow substitution for the GRE test. This is a relatively recent trend. Most schools still require a GRE. The most common substitution is submitting a GMAT instead of a GRE.
Those seeking a healthcare management degree should know that many schools offer plenty of test prep help. Many people intent on avoiding the GRE don’t realize that the GMAT is actually significantly more difficult. In most cases, prepping for the GRE is much easier- and it is much more common to substitute the GRE for the GMAT, and not the other way around.
However, if you feel finding an online MHA program with no GRE is very important to you, you should vet the school thoroughly and then apply for a GRE waiver after ensuring the school is properly accredited and reputable. As stated, you can apply for a GMAT or GRE waiver, but it will be unusual that you will be able to do away with both.
In most cases, prepping for the GRE and taking it is the easiest route.
How Much Can I Make with an MHA?
One of the primary draws to healthcare administration is improved health administration salary for people in nursing, radiology, and other specialized medical vocations. These folks have usually been in the industry for some time, have families and need to obtain a masters in healthcare administration salary.
Health Administration Salary
With an average salary range of $82,000 to $117,00, healthcare administration vs healthcare management salaries averages approximately $10,000 more each year. This means obtaining your MHA for masters in healthcare administration salary is well worth your time. In most cases, healthcare professionals who are looking to move into administration positions are at a place in their careers where healthcare management degree salary has become a matter of necessity.
To put it simply, administration positions, traditionally, are best held by those with experience, wisdom and a fair amount of insider knowledge of the industry. They earn their comparatively higher health administration starting salary by virtue of their hard-won experience and expertise.
Of course, these positions may not be readily available. Administration personnel tend to hold their positions for many years. For this reason, persons seeking a healthcare administration position should be willing to relocate to obtain a position that meets their salary needs.