The best online MHA programs help working health administration professionals get career boosts without taking time from their jobs. What is health care administration? It’s an area of study that fosters the skills necessary to manage a healthcare facility in terms of finances, staffing, and also operations.
The 5 best online MHA programs, according to Best Health Degrees analysts, are:
- University of California San Francisco
- CSU Global Campus
- University of Michigan
- University of Minnesota
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
Health care administration considers all areas of healthcare. These areas must all operate together toward one common goal of excellent patient care. For working professionals in the healthcare field, lower-level staff positions or early management careers can advance their careers with an online MHA (Master of Health Administration).
Our Method: Ranking the Best MHA Online Programs
To rank the healthcare administration online programs in America, Best Health Degrees editors began with only accredited, reputable institutions. With a solid pool of schools, students can be sure that any program ranked by BHD will be worth their investment. Programs are ranked according to data from IPEDS, College Scorecard, and Niche, focusing on practical signs of value
Our editors first ranked online MHA programs in July 2022. This ranking was updated November 2023.
1. University of California San Francisco
When you are looking for the best MHA online programs, you want to consider the Masters of Healthcare Administration and Interprofessional Leadership from UC San Francisco.
This online master’s in healthcare program focuses on collaborative efforts with peers to make a healthcare system sustainable and also affordable. Students learn how to work with others and develop skills to achieve long-term career objectives. The degree also teaches students the leadership skills to handle the needs of a medical facility.
A key way UC San Francisco stands apart is the focus on shaping and improving the healthcare system. Furthermore, the school encourages students to find creative solutions that address specific concerns or problems that may arise in a medical facility. It also helps students work with others for a common goal by teaching proper networking skills and developing opportunities to work with peers on projects and activities. It recognizes the importance of communication and engagement to leadership.
Favorite Facts: UC San Francisco offers accelerated courses that allow students to complete their master’s degree in 12 months.
Degree: Masters of Healthcare Administration and Interprofessional Leadership
2. CSU Global Campus
CSU Global Campus offers a top healthcare administration degree program for students who want to take on a leadership role in the healthcare industry. This online program in healthcare services develops the leadership skills students need to manage investor meetings.
It also trains them to understand quality standards for the medical facility. Additionally, the CSU program recognizes the importance of proper education in relation to regulations and laws. Therefore, it gives students a strong foundation in the current healthcare laws that may impact a facility.
CSU Global Campus differs from other programs by providing students with a strong foundation in healthcare administration. It provides a focused education that gives students the skills and training they need to take on the organization and management of a medical facility. It also recognizes that students will need to research information and stay up-to-date with current laws, so it teaches the research skills students need to avoid complications when standards change.
Favorite Facts: CSU Global Campus is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission for its MHA program.
3. University of Michigan
The University of Michigan offers one of the best MHA online programs for students who want to go further in healthcare management. The Executive Masters of Health Management and Policy works around the needs of adults who have active careers and also complex work schedules. It recognizes that you may have limitations on your time due to your work at a hospital or medical facility, so it provides a flexible option to help with your long-term goals.
The University of Michigan offers a hybrid online program that gives students the hands-on experience they need for their work, but also the flexible strategy that stems from online courses. It allows you to adjust your schedule to fit the needs of a medical facility. The program focuses on giving students a strong foundation in the healthcare industry and the history behind policies and regulations that impact the medical field.
Favorite Facts: The University of Michigan has been ranked among the top colleges by U.S. News and World Reports since 1993 for its Masters of Health Management and Policy program.
Degree: Executive Masters of Health Management and Policy
4. University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota offers a Master of Health Care Administration through an executive program that allows students to work at their own pace. The executive program recognizes that students may need to work around job responsibilities and a complex schedule, so it offers a variety of formats to fit the needs of the students.
It is possible to take the classes on campus, online, or through an accelerated program. The different formats allow students to make adjustments to fit their situation and goals. A key advantage at the University of Minnesota is the focus on small class sizes.
Students are able to work directly with peers and talk to professors about concerns due to the small size of a cohort. A cohort is only 30 to 35 students, so each student has the opportunity to keep up with his or her goals. The program is accredited by CAHME to give students peace of mind about the studies and standards set by the university.
Favorite Facts: The University of Minnesota is ranked as the second school for the MHA program.
Degree: Master of Health Care Administration- Executive
5. University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Master of Science in Health Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham is one of the best online MHA degrees. This health administration program is for students who plan to take on senior management roles in a medical facility. The school focuses on giving students a strong foundation in healthcare administration and leadership to ensure that they are able to handle the needs of a hospital. It gives students a comprehensive education in relation to the healthcare industry and the management of a medical facility.
A key way the University of Alabama at Birmingham stands out is the focus on flexibility. The executive program is a hybrid online option that works around the needs of working adults. It requires students to have at least five years of relevant work experience and ensures that students are able to continue their work while obtaining a higher level of education. It gives students a flexible schedule by providing most of the coursework and classes online.
Favorite Facts: The University of Alabama at Birmingham does not require any tests or exams for students to qualify for admissions due to the work experience standards.
Degree: Master of Science in Health Administration – Executive
6. Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State University offers an MS in Health Care Administration that allows students to gain the skills they need to take on management and leadership roles. The degree is available online or on-campus, so students can work on the degree based on their own situation and goals. It gives students a flexible solution when working in a career or balancing personal obligations. The program allows students to select between administration and entrepreneurship as a concentration.
The way Oklahoma State University differs from other MHA programs is the focus on developing a strong foundation in healthcare administration studies. The program recognizes that students may not have healthcare experience and may come from other industries when changing their careers. That is why it gives students a strong foundation in the skills they need for their new career.
Favorite Facts: Oklahoma State University is the fourth-ranked school in the nation for public health online programs.
Degree: MS in Health Care Administration
7. Texas Tech University Health Sciences
Texas Tech University Health Sciences offers an online MHA program that focuses on the goals of students. The MS in Health Administration recognizes the importance of a professional to coordinate and maintain a medical facility with proper staff, materials, and services. It also recognizes that a leader must take measures to address concerns that may arise in a large facility or organization. It strives to give students the skills they need to maintain proper organization and paperwork, as well as to take on leadership roles.
A key way Texas Tech University Health Sciences stands out is the focus on student excellence. The school offers certifications to help enhance specialized skills and work with the needs of students. It also provides a strong foundation in the skills students will need when taking on a role in healthcare administration and management.
Favorite Facts: Texas Tech University Health Sciences offers an accelerated online program that allows students to complete their degrees at a fast pace.
Degree: MS in Health Administration
8. George Washington University
George Washington University offers a flexible program for students looking into a master of health administration degree. GWU’s online MHA program allows students to take classes fully online or to engage in on-campus courses. Students can also focus on the hybrid program that offers both formats with some on-campus classes and some online classes. It works around your schedule and situation to allow you to focus on your career.
A key way George Washington University helps students with their goals is flexibility. Students can take classes full-time or part-time based on their needs and situation. The program also recognizes that students may need to work around a job in the healthcare industry, so it gives students the chance to work on classes online. The fully online program does not require students to spend time on the campus to gain the skills for a leadership position.
Favorite Facts: George Washington University is recognized as the 12 best graduate schools for health care management by U.S. News and World Report.
Degree: Master of Health Administration
9. Georgetown University
Georgetown University offers one of the best MHA online programs for students who want to study a Master of Science in Health Systems Administration. The degree program is designed around the needs of students who are healthcare professionals working in the healthcare industry full-time and have complicated work schedules due to the challenges of working in a medical facility. The online executive program ensures that students have the flexibility to keep up with their classes.
Georgetown University takes an interdisciplinary approach to healthcare administration studies. It recognizes that students will need to understand multiple areas of study to take on the leadership of a large organization or facility. It also focuses on experiential learning to give students the opportunity to develop specialized skills that work in their field.
Favorite Facts: Georgetown University requires students to go through a video interview to qualify for admission into the program.
Degree: Master of Science in Health Systems Administration – Executive
10. George Mason University
George Mason University offers a Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management program that works around the needs of professional students. The school allows students to take the classes online or on-campus, so it gives students a chance to focus on their own situations and goals. The online program ensures that working students who have personal and professional obligations are still able to handle their classes and course material by working at their own pace.
George Mason University focuses on developing decision-making skills to help students recognize their role as a leader in a medical facility. It helps students clarify the pros and cons of different decisions at a fast pace. It encourages students to think critically about situations that may arise and to act quickly to make a decision.
Favorite Facts: George Mason University is accredited by CAHME and follows the high standards set by the organization.
Degree: Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
11. Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University offers a Master of Science in Health Administration that provides an online solution for working adults. This hybrid online program allows students to take classes online as well as on-campus. The online classes give students greater flexibility when taking full-time or part-time courses to obtain a degree while working in the healthcare industry.
The way Virginia Commonwealth University stands apart from other programs is the focus on enhancing and building up student skills. It strives to teach students better strategies for healthcare administration and gives students the training they need to take on leadership roles. The program also focuses on the applied application of skills in studies like finances, organization, and the performance of the system used in a medical facility.
Favorite Facts: Students must complete a research project as part of the master’s program at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Degree: Master of Science in Health Administration (Hybrid)
12. Saint Louis University
The Master of Health Administration from Saint Louis University is a hybrid online program that works with the needs of adults who have obligations to an employer or family. The program focuses on a competency model that helps students gain success in their career and goals by developing a strong sense of confidence and skill. When students finish the program, they are competent and capable of handling the challenges of leadership in a medical facility.
Saint Louis University is ranked 13 for health care management by U.S. News and World Reports. The hybrid program focuses on giving students a strong foundation in leadership skills. It ensures that students are prepared for the rigors of their career and the online format allows working adults to continue their career while gaining a higher level of education.
Favorite Facts: Saint Louis University has a 100 percent graduation rate in its online MHA program and a 95 percent job placement rate.
Degree: Master of Health Administration- Executive (Hybrid)
13. University of Southern California
The University of Southern California offers an Executive MHA program that is designed around mid-career professionals in the clinical or management department of a medical facility. The program focuses on developing leadership skills and helping students with their long-term goals. Since it is designed around the needs of working adults, it offers a flexible schedule that allows professionals to continue with their current job and career.
The University of Southern California requires on-site residency as part of the hands-on training students need for their career goals. The online program recognizes that students may need a flexible schedule, but it still ensures that students get hands-on experience as part of the degree.
Favorite Facts: The program takes six semesters to complete at the University of Southern California, so students can complete the degree at a faster pace by taking classes in the summer semester.
Degree: Executive MHA
14. University of Missouri
The hybrid online Executive Master of Health Administration from the University of Missouri is one of the best online options for a master’s degree in healthcare administration. The program focuses on providing students with the technical skills and leadership skills that apply to their position as a manager or leader in a medical facility.
The University of Missouri stands out from other programs by offering a hybrid program. While students will spend a portion of their time studying on-campus for hands-on training and experience, the online classes give students greater flexibility for their studies. It allows students to work on their course material when they have time.
Favorite Facts: The University of Missouri offers a tuition reward for military veterans, active duty servicemen and women, and military reserves.
Degree: Master of Health Administration- Executive (Hybrid)
15. Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University offers a fully online MHA program that allows students to work at their own pace. Since it is fully online, it does not require students to spend any time on-campus and it offers an interactive system to give students the hands-on experience they need for their career and training.
A key way Louisiana State University stands out from other programs is the focus on quality education. The program is AACSB accredited and it meets the high standards of the accrediting organization. Students can feel confident that they are getting a quality education when working on their degrees.
Favorite Facts: Louisiana State University allows students to work at an accelerated pace, so it is possible to finish the MHA program in as little as 10 months.
Will Employers Trust an Online MHA?
An online MHA is ideal for those who have already been working in healthcare for a while and need a flexible, convenient way to increase their credentials. A majority of the time, individuals who complete an online master’s of health administration or master’s in healthcare management go on to take on leadership roles in hospitals. However, it’s possible to earn either a master’s in healthcare administration or a master’s in healthcare management and take on a role in a nursing home or other medical facility.
Online learning is becoming more and more acceptable as an increasing number of establishments begin offering this learning path. Therefore, employers see a student who worked hard and met the standards of the school. Typically, an online program incorporates the same standards and curriculum as a traditional school.
In fact, if a school offers an online degree and a brick-and-mortar program. However, the online master program is in a completely digital format. When students interact, they either do it through chat, email, forums, or a microphone as opposed to being in person.
Will my MHA Diploma Say Online School?
When a person submits their resume, they don’t need to state that they attended an online MHA degree program. This means that the only way an employer knows if someone attended an online school is if that person states it. Some schools are only known for online courses, so this could indicate to an employer that a student went to school over the computer.
How Do You Find the Best Online MHA Program?
It’s important when searching for an online degree program that an individual finds CAHME accredited online MHA programs. CAHME accredited online MHA program adheres to specific guidelines and receives approval from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME.) When approving schools, this organization evaluates schools and healthcare administration degrees based on the education they provide as well as the creativity and drive they encourage.
What Is CAHME Accreditation?
People interested in attending school online for healthcare administration may wonder, “Is CAHME accreditation important?” Simply put, the answer to “Is CAHME accreditation important,” is yes. This particular organization holds programs to certain standards to ensure they thoroughly prepare students for a career in healthcare administration and other similar positions.
This authority on healthcare administration programs and schools is stringent about a school’s ability to prepare students for a career in healthcare administration for the student’s benefit as well as the facility they work for. Their goal is to ensure students are able to take on leadership roles after graduating where they can add value. A prospective employer won’t care if a person attends an online school. However, they will want the educational institution to have accreditation from CAHME.
CAHME Accreditation Criteria
The CAHME accreditation requirements state that CAHME-approved online MHA degree programs must have regional accreditation by an organization like the colleges and schools commission already. Additionally, a school must have a defined set of academic standards. The school should implement them while still giving students a level of academic freedom.
It’s also important for a school to offer opportunities for research as well as scholarships and other services. A program that receives CAHME accreditation must have a curriculum that helps students develop skills needed for healthcare administration. The student must have the opportunity to think critically and problem solve, in particular, regarding problems in the health industry.
What are the MHA Admissions Requirements?
Applicants must have the following items for an MHA program. In addition, applicants need effective communication skills.
- a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- minimum GPA of 3.0 (cumulative GPA)
- official transcripts
- two years of professional work experience
What Do You Study in an MHA Program?
Well-rounded healthcare administration master’s programs will also help students develop analysis and communication skills. Furthermore, the curriculum in health administration programs must educate students about the health care industry and healthcare organizations and their structures. Think of it as a combination online master of health and business administration. Some of the health care administration courses MHA students take are listed below.
- Healthcare Finance and Management
- Health Care Law
- Human Resource Management
- Healthcare Policy
- Organizational Behavior
- Healthcare Law and Ethics
- Organizational Leadership
- Strategic Planning in the Healthcare Sector
- Healthcare Economics
- Legal and Ethical Issues
- Healthcare Leadership
- Project Management
- Healthcare Delivery Systems
- Operations Management
- Health Delivery Systems
- Healthcare Statistics
- Quality Management and Quality Improvement
- Population Health
- Healthcare Marketing
- Financial Analysis
- Risk Management
- Healthcare Informatics and Healthcare Information Systems
- healthcare quality and patient safety
How Long Does It Take to Earn an Online MHA?
Most master’s degree programs take students two academic years to complete. However, the amount of time it takes to complete an MHA program depends on a few factors. The type of program, prior education, and whether you attend full time or part time all affect how long it takes.
|Program Type of MHA Program||Full-Time||Part-Time|
|Standard||1.5 years to 2 years||2.5 years to 4 years|
|Executive||1.5 years to 2 years||2.5 years to 4 years|
|Dual Degree (MHA/MBA)||2.5 years – 3 years||4 years to 5 years|
How Much Does it Cost to Earn an Online Master’s Degrees in Healthcare Administration?
MHA programs vary in cost. Factors that contribute to the cost of a program include the type of school, residency status, and if you attend full time or part time. Financial aid is available to graduate students in the form of loans and scholarships. Prospective students should complete a FASFA in order to qualify.
What Can You Do with an Online MHA?
With an MHA nurses can work in the health care system in leadership positions and manage a healthcare facility. You may take on a role as an administrator in health policy, health law, and health economics. Graduates work in management positions in health organizations, health care facilities, and government agencies. The roles earn much more than you can earn with a bachelor’s in health management.
Other areas where graduates may find employment include health informatics, global health, healthcare financial management, human resources management, and also health services administration.
What Jobs Can You Do with an Online MHA?
With a Master’s in Healthcare Administration in one of these positions may earn you more than $100,000 per year? Leadership positions in healthcare operations also offer career advancement with a doctoral degree. Below is a list of MHA jobs that allow you to use the skills you earned in college.
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
- Clinic Manager
- Health Services Manager
- Healthcare Consultant
- Nurse Manager
- Nursing Director
- Nursing Home Administrators
Where Do Professionals with an MHA Work?
Most professionals with an MHA work in hospitals. However, there are also jobs in these health care organizations.
|Nursing Homes and Residential Care Facilities||10%|
|Government Healthcare Facilities||9%|
|Outpatient care centers||7%|
What is the MHA Job Outlook?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health services manager jobs will grow 32 percent from 2020 to 2030. This is much faster than the national average and indicates an excellent job outlook.
How Much Can You Make with an MHA?
The BLS Health Services Manager’s median annual wage is $101,340. So, an online master’s degree in health administration (MHA) provides offers a competitive salary. This is especially true in fields like clinical management, long-term care administration, and health information management. With a doctoral degree, Health Services Managers earn a median annual salary that is even higher.
How Do You Choose an Online MHA Program?
Before you get a job though, you must find a school that meets CAHME accreditation requirements. Colleges that don’t meet CAHME accreditation requirements might not prep you well enough. So, if you’re wondering, “is CAHME accreditation important,” – it is. When you research CAHME accreditation, you’ll discover that the organization holds schools to specific standards in terms of the education they provide.
Once you find a qualified program, the next step is to make sure it is affordable and determine if you can get in. Also, when you apply, be sure to choose more than one program. You always need a backup plan.
Your Master of Healthcare Administration
Healthcare administrators are experts in health care leadership, health care informatics, and health care services. With an MHA you can create solutions in your current employment or explore a new role. This occupation pays well and has an excellent job outlook. So, if you are ready to advance your career, apply to one of these healthcare administration degree programs today!
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