One of these affordable online MHA programs can help healthcare management professionals move up in their careers without a lot of debt. As a rule, those seeking positions in healthcare administration have an interest in the healthcare field. Entry-level jobs in healthcare administration require 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, 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, healthcare leadership experience and an affordable online MHA are your prerequisites.
An online MHA program is often the best choice for working professionals who are already in the field. For students with family obligations or other responsibilities in addition to a busy job, the cost is often the most important factor. That’s why Best Health Degrees has ranked the most affordable online MHA program.
Our Method: Ranking the Most Affordable Online Healthcare Master’s Degrees
Price isn’t everything. Students also need to know that affordable healthcare administration online programs are worthwhile. BHD features only accredited, reputable institutions that also have a history of offering solid, quality education at low tuition costs. With that basic criteria, we then rank schools by their tuition rate as reported to IPEDS.
1. Texas Woman’s University
The Texas Woman’s University MHA with an emphasis on Business Analytics focuses on giving students the skills they need to work in healthcare organizations. Skills explored include technology interface, healthcare data analytics, and also security to communicate with others all over the organization.
Completion of this business intelligence emphasis qualifies the student to sit for the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Furthermore, individuals with a master’s degree and three years of experience qualify to sit for the CPHIMS certification. Also, it is one of the most affordable MHA programs in texas. So, contact a counselor today to find out more about the online healthcare master’s degrees.
TWU 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 with a focus on women’s entrepreneurship and ownership. Completely invested in their students, their career center works to provide tailored career planning for both students and alumni. TWU is the most affordable public university in the DFW Metroplex. U.S. News and World Report rank it 6th in diversity among U.S. universities.
Degree: MHA with an emphasis on Business Analytics or MHA with an emphasis on Global Health
2. Montana State University
Students can complete this program in 20 to 24 months at Montana State University Billings. MSU’s Master of Health Administration (MHA) program develops leaders in health service administration and management with a focus on rural-frontier healthcare delivery.
Working professionals, mid-level managers, and also those looking to make a career change in the field are ideal for this program. Online students complete concentrated courses in addition to a two-day on-campus Professional Seminar, a Capstone Project, and also an Internship. So, contact the Interim Program Director for more on this healthcare administration degree program. It is one of the most affordable online master’s programs in Montana.
Established in 1927, Montana State University Billings (MSBU) is the 3rd largest university in the Montana University System. Additionally, MSUB has accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Assistantships, scholarships, and extensive internship opportunities are also available for students.
3. Texas Tech University Health Sciences
The Master of Science in Healthcare Administration at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center accommodates working healthcare professionals. The Texas Tech MHA program teaches skills and also knowledge needed to advance in the field. Furthermore, graduates can 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 master’s degrees.
This fully online program requires students to complete 36 credits. And, this master’s in healthcare administration degree has adjunct faculty that offers real-world experience. Furthermore, it prepares students to be more successful in their current job and career path.
Degree: MS in Healthcare Administration
4. Texas State University
The Texas State University Executive Master of Healthcare 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 delivery; healthcare administration research methods; financial management; financial theory and healthcare law. This online master of healthcare administration is one of the most affordable programs in Texas and the US. So, 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). Furthermore, Texas State is one of the top producing universities for Fulbright Scholars.
Degree: Executive Master of Healthcare Administration (EMHA)
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, health policy, and also healthcare informatics.
One of the unique qualities of the program is its cohort of no more than 30 students for personalized instruction. Listed as one of the most affordable online MHA programs, students should have at least three years of experience in healthcare management to qualify for these online healthcare master’s degree programs. So, call a counselor for more information today.
Additionally, the college has accreditation from 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. Furthermore, U.S. News & World Report called it one of the most innovative programs.
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 discover and implement creative solutions in a student-centered learning experience with experts in the field of health services.
For a fully online format, healthcare professionals should have at least two years of experience in the field of healthcare. So, contact the school today for more information on one of the top online healthcare master’s degree programs and affordable online master’s in healthcare programs.
The Princeton Review dubbed this program “Best in the West”. Furthermore, the program has accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It also ranks among the top online Master of Health Care Administration Degree programs in the country.
Degree: MS in Health Care Administration
7. Austin Peay State University
Austin Peay’s 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 legal and ethical issues.
Students have the option of a one- or two-year program to accommodate professionals who need the flexibility. Among the affordable master’s degrees online this MHA program is one of the few online master’s degree programs in the country.
The school opened in 1927 and was the faster-growing university in 2012. Additionally, it has accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. 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 offers students fundamentals of leadership and practical application. Students have opportunities to work in a variety of settings in the healthcare industry. Coursework includes healthcare law, healthcare quality assurance, health care finance, organizational management, health systems management, and also leadership.
Students also learn professionalism, communication, and relationship management with assistance from professors who have backgrounds in all sectors of healthcare. Furthermore, students must complete a final capstone project with a healthcare organization to showcase prior knowledge and experience. This program is also one of the most affordable online master’s in healthcare programs. So, contact a staff member for more information on this program today.
Concordia also hosts in-person workshops twice a year to enhance 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. Students gain a foundation in expertise and understanding of marketing, health economics, quality improvement, strategic management, and also leadership. Designed to offer flexibility for working professionals, prospective students 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. Students can also opt for a Master of Science in Healthcare Quality and Safety (MSHQS) or a graduate certificate in the same area. However, they must complete an immersive 4-day experience as part of their Capstone designation during the second year. But, the cost of lodging, meals, and materials is part of tuition. This top online healthcare master’s degree program is also one of the most affordable MHA programs. For more information, contact the School of Health Professions.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s faculty offer students real-life expertise and also experience. As professionals in the industry, they provide insight and foundational knowledge to enhance the quality of education. UAB’s Healthcare Quality & Safety program has CAHEM certification.
Additionally, the MSHA program ranks #1 in the nation by U.S. News and 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: Executive (hybrid) Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA)
10. Weber State University
Weber State University’s Executive Master of Health Administration program is for working professionals. With a comprehensive curriculum, this program enhances current knowledge and also provides a strong foundation for leadership positions and career advancement.
Students can complete the online program in four semesters with no summer classes. So, it fits the schedules of busy professionals. 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 degrees in the nation among online healthcare master’s degree programs.
Weber University was originally Weber State Academy. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints started the school in 1889. Then, it became a university in 1991. The university is fully accredited through CAHME and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Furthermore, Weber State University is a pioneer in the development of online education for the Utah System of Higher Education.
Degree: Master of Healthcare Administration – Executive Program (Hybrid, Accelerated Program); Master of Healthcare Administration-Residential (Hybrid)
Is an Affordable Online MHA Degree Worth It?
The first thing you should look into is whether or not any healthcare administration jobs are available near you. Also, check the turnover rates for administration at local healthcare organizations. Second, you should also 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. Are you ok to move away from direct patient care? Additionally, if you are willing to relocate, a nationwide job search can improve your chances of quickly finding a role. 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.
What are the Benefits of a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)?
So, 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
- Designed for working professionals
- 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
- Many programs are highly affordable
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.
Your MHA should come from a school with regional accreditation by an organization like the colleges and schools commission.
What Types of Degrees Programs are there for a Masters in Healthcare Administration?
Graduate degrees in this field combine both business education and healthcare policy. So, schools of public health and also business schools offer these graduate degrees for healthcare managers. The best program for you depends on your career aspirations.
- Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)
- MS (Master of Science) in Healthcare Administration (MSHA)
- MBA (Master of Business Administration) with a concentration in Healthcare Administration
- Dual or joint MHA/MBA Program
How Long Does it Take to Earn an Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration?
Students need between 30 to 45 credit hours to graduate from an MHA program. Furthermore, most students complete an MHA program in two years. However, a health administration online program offers more flexibility than a traditional one.
For example, there are some executive programs or accelerated programs that students finish in one year to sixteen months of online courses. However, some part-time learners opt for a more extended schedule, and it can take 3 to 4 years to complete the program. Also, having multiple online program start dates allows students to complete a program in their own time frame.
The length of time it takes to complete an MHA program depends on the specific program. Additionally, it may depend on personal factors. These include whether you attend on a full time basis or part time basis and if you complete any prerequisites before you enter. A full time program usually takes 15 months to two years. While part time takes two to three years to complete. Additionally, your family, personal, and also work obligations factor into the equation.
How Do You Get Admitted to a Graduate Healthcare Administration Program?
What do you need to get accepted to an MHA program? Most healthcare leaders start with a background in healthcare or also related fields. However, many schools, like Louisiana State University Shreveport, now accept candidates with undergraduate degrees from business schools or many other areas. The general admission requirements include the list below.
- bachelor’s degree/undergraduate degree
- a minimum undergraduate GPA requirement (most programs require a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher)
- standardized test scores, if required
- resume or CV with professional experience and work experience
- letters of recommendation
- entrance essay or personal essay
What Do You Learn in an MHA Program?
What are the classes, courses, and subjects in healthcare administration programs? Most Healthcare Administration graduate degree programs consist of core and focus classes. And, they include classes and courses on the topics listed below.
- Healthcare Financial Management and Healthcare Economics
- Human Resource Management
- Clinical Care Management
- Quantitative Analysis
- Legal and Regulatory Issues and Health Law
- Health Services Administration
- Legal and Ethical Principles
- Quantitative Methods
- Population Health Management
- Health Informatics and Health Information Management Systems
- Healthcare Delivery Systems
- Project Management
- Health Services Management
- Strategic Planning and Healthcare Marketing
- Healthcare Operations Management
- Intercultural Communication
- Health Information Systems
- Public Health Administration
- Healthcare Quality Management
- Management and Leadership in Healthcare
- Health Care Marketing
- Environmental Health Management
- Healthcare Organizational Management
- Ethics for Health Professionals
- Healthcare Finance
- Professional and Organizational Ethics
- leadership skills
What are Some Common MHA Specializations?
Online MS healthcare administration programs have a general track. But, they also have areas for students to gain more specific knowledge. Listed below are some common areas of focus, concentrations, or specialization options within an MHA.
- Organizational Leadership and Change Management
- Strategic Innovation and Change Management
- Human Resources Management
- Project Management
- Organizational Learning and Performance
- Disaster Emergency Management
- Global Business
- Management Accounting
- Management Information Systems
- Quality and Innovation Management
- Leadership or Health Leadership
- Healthcare Information Systems
How is an Online MHA Different from a Traditional Program?
While the content of the traditional and online MHA is the same, the delivery is different. Also, an online program consists of local placements for internships and other requirements. So, students complete these in their home communities. Some hybrid programs have campus visits instead of local placements.
In a traditional program, students attend 4 or 5 classes at a college or university campus for an entire 15-week semester. Many online programs now offer classes in a chunked format. So, students take one or two classes that last from 4 to 10 weeks. They take fewer classes at a time, but the length of time is shorter.
Class Format and Delivery
Online classes can be synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous classes, or “live classes” are given a specific day and time. Students log in and interact in real-time in a live meeting. Asynchronous classes are often prerecorded lectures that students take at their own pace. They can access the course materials anytime, so these classes are highly flexible.
Degree programs delivered online are often more affordable than traditional campus programs. Furthermore many schools offer the same per credit rate to in-state students and out-of-state students. So, some of the cheapest MHA programs are online.
Do You Have to Take the GRE for an Affordable Online 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. But, the good news is that some affordable online master programs do allow substitution for the GRE test. However, this is a relatively recent trend. Most schools still require a GRE. The most common substitution is submitting a GMAT instead of a GRE.
GRE vs GMAT
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. Prepping for the GRE is much easier than the GMAT. Additionally, it is much more common to substitute the GRE for the GMAT, and not the other way around.
Is an Online MHA Program with No GRE Important to You?
If so, you should vet the school and its health care administration program thoroughly. Then, after you ensure the school has accreditation and is reputable, you can apply for a GRE waiver. 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. But, in most cases, prepping for the GRE and taking it is the easiest route.
Recently, some schools have waived the GRE requirement for their healthcare administration degree program. For example, Weber University does not require a GRE. Other non-GRE online MHA programs include Ohio University, Queens University, and the University of Cincinnati.
Where Do MHA Graduates Work?
MHA graduates work in many different healthcare settings and healthcare facilities. Some of these locations are listed below.
- health insurance companies
- nursing homes
- long-term care facilities
- medical group practices
- government health agencies
- homeland security
- health care organizations
- national center for health
What Jobs are there for MHA Graduates?
Healthcare administrators and healthcare leaders with online master’s degrees can find roles in a variety of healthcare systems and settings. A future career may be in one of these areas or roles listed below.
- Human Resources
- Health Services Research
- Healthcare Organizational Behavior
- International Management
- Health Care Leadership
- Medical Practice Management
- Health Service Managers
- Urban Hospital Management
- Physician’s Practice Management
- Hospital Administrators
- Managerial Epidemiology
How Much Can You Make with an MHA?
One of the primary reasons individuals choose a degree in healthcare administration is salary. Health administration employs professionals in nursing, radiology, and also other specialized medical vocations. These folks have usually been in the industry for some time, and have families, so many need to obtain a master’s in healthcare administration salary. Additionally, finding affordable online master’s in healthcare administration can reduce the money graduates owe when they start working.
Furthermore, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) information from May 2021 reports the salary range from $60,000 to $205,000. Additionally, the median annual salary is $101,340. Salaries for the top industries that employ MHA grads are listed below.
|MHA Top Industries for Employment||Average Salary|
|Outpatient Care Centers||$99,540|
|Offices of Physicians||$98,230|
|Nursing Homes and Residential Care Facilities||$83,550|
Healthcare 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. So, obtaining your MHA for a master’s in healthcare administration salary is well worth your time. Furthermore, finding one of the cheapest online MHA programs can reduce your student debt!
In most cases, healthcare professionals who are looking to move into administration positions are at a place in their careers where a healthcare management degree salary has become a matter of necessity.
What are the Highest Paying Healthcare Administration Jobs?
Traditionally those with experience, wisdom, and also a fair amount of industry knowledge hold administrative positions. They earn their comparatively higher healthcare administration starting salary by virtue of their hard-won experience and expertise. These individuals have broad healthcare knowledge, understand healthcare technology, and have extensive healthcare ethics training.
Salaries for healthcare administration jobs depend on factors such as location and experience. However, healthcare executives typically earn the highest salaries.
- Chief Medical Officer: $298,225
- Chief Nursing Officer: $134,296
- Healthcare consultant: $79,593
- Hospital CEO: $153,893
- Hospital Administrator: $88,174
- Nursing Home Administrator: $93,433
Of course, these positions may not be readily available in every healthcare system. Moreover, administration personnel tend to hold their positions in a healthcare environment 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.
Our list does not have all the programs. Some other notable schools recognized by the healthcare leadership alliance include Colorado Technical University, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Oklahoma State University Center, Tennessee Technological University, Park University, Saint Joseph’s University, Bellevue University, Colorado State University Global, Saint Leo University, and Seton Hall University.
Programs Related to Health Administration
Maybe the MHA is not a good fit for you. If not, there are many other affordable online programs related to Health Administration. You may want to check out related rankings in a field like a Master of Psychology degree program or Master of Occupational Health program.
For an information management education, a nursing master’s in informatics is a popular degree. Students who aspire to work in public health management may find a Master of Public Health (MPH) a great choice!