Many people considering a career in healthcare, and those who have been in the industry are asking, “is an MHA degree worth it?” For anyone who has been in the healthcare field for some time, and wishes to go into administration, an executive MHA degree could be a very valuable asset. No healthcare administration career options are available without having a degree. Many professionals in healthcare administration begin with a bachelor’s degree, but for advancements, working adults can improve their healthcare administration career options by earning a master’s degree.
Of course, for many professionals looking for a career boost, the primary priority is speed – get the degree they need quickly. For that reason, an accelerated online MHA program can make a world of difference. However they make it happen – short, intensive courses, credits for work experience, waivers for prerequisite courses – accelerated programs can help experienced healthcare administrators and managers get their MHA in a year or even less.
Our Method: Ranking the Fastest Online MHA Programs
While speed is the key to an accelerated MHA program, BHD editors know that getting a degree fast is only worth it if the degree is also valuable. That’s why the fastest online MHA programs are also ranked according to 5 value-focused metrics: Cost, Graduation, Placement, Reputation, and Salary, using data from Niche, IPEDS, and College Scorecard.
1. University of California, San Francisco
The University of California, San Francisco offers a 12-month Master’s in Healthcare Administration and Interprofessional Leadership online. It educates individuals about the interworking of healthcare facilities, ranging from healthcare policies to economics to system management. A student learns how to manage the business end of a healthcare facility and gains an understanding of the laws that facilities must adhere to. The program can increase a pupil’s understanding of the healthcare business practices and prepare a student for management and leadership positions at medical establishments, including nursing homes, hospitals, and doctor’s offices. This degree offers students the benefit of a high ROI as well as a proven job market reputation, considering UCSF is known for its healthcare programs.
UCSF is a public research college with highly revered health programs. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranked the school’s health programs in the top for both its medical school and nursing programs. Total, the school has won 11 awards for its health programs, including for its executive master of health administration degree. The National Institutes of Health Research Funding noted UC San Francisco as the second most funded school in the nation, and it has a strong history of health science research and offers many internships for students.
Degree: Masters of Healthcare Administration and Interprofessional Leadership – 12 months
2. Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University offers an online master’s of healthcare administration degree that lasts 10 months. Students may complete the entire executive MHA program online without needing to visit the campus at all. The program provides distance learners with education regarding marketing practices, laws, healthcare systems, and finance, all vital components necessary for managing a medical facility. In 2001, Louisiana State University ranked as number one for its high ROI, and it has a proven history for producing highly competent individuals due to its comprehensive curriculum and serious approach to education.
This institution has a solid reputation for providing a comprehensive education, especially to students interested in health. The staff is known for not taking any slack from students, so they expect quality in terms of student’s work. Generally, tuition, even for on-campus pupils, is relatively affordable, especially in comparison to other schools. Plus, it offers a high acceptance rate.
Degree: MHA – 10 months
3. Saint Joseph’s University
Saint Joseph’s University offers an online program for a master’s health administration degree. The program takes 12 months to complete and focuses on the laws regarding health facilities as well as industry practices. As one of the executive MHA programs, it centers on providing students with the knowledge required to manage a health establishment and keep up with changes in the health field. A student may opt for a generalized health administration degree or one that focuses on leadership or informatics. Pupils benefit from a high 30-year ROI when they complete a program from this school.
This private university received the highest level of accreditation a college may receive. It ranked as number 12 for the Best Regional University in the North and number four for the Best Colleges for Veterans. The school embraces the importance of spirit, intellect, and purpose as noted by its state motto. The school offers internships in addition to its CO-OP program.
Degree: MHA – 12 moths
4. Liberty University
Liberty University’s master’s degree program in healthcare administration takes 18 months to complete. The program is customizable based on the student’s goals, so it’s possible to earn a healthcare administration degree that focuses on finance, marketing, leadership, or human resources, among other options. However, the main focus of this executive MHA degree program revolves around managing personnel and operations while ensuring the quality of care. Students in this program benefit from a high ROI and a Christian-based education.
This educational institute offers individualized attention to students. The New York Times stated that this school was known for providing financial aid. In fact, it ranked as number six in the nation in terms of its financial aid. The school believes strongly in the power of education, which is why its motto is “Knowledge aflame.”
Degree: MHA – 18 months
5. Weber State University
Weber State University offers a master of healthcare administration degree that takes less than two years to complete. However, students may benefit from taking the accelerated degree program to decrease the time it takes. This executive MHA program strengthens students’ business and health skills simultaneously. Pupils learn about finance, ethics, law, and other vital skills to work as a healthcare manager. Weber State University has a proven job reputation as indicated by 90 percent of the students having a job at graduation.
Weber State University provides students with low tuition costs, especially after financial aid. The school was founded in 1889 and has been going strong ever since. It’s known for having a high acceptance rate. The college has both regional and program accreditation. The professors work diligently to help students work toward academic success.
Degree: Master of Healthcare Administration-Executive (Hybrid, Accelerated); Master of Healthcare Administration-Residential (Hybrid) – 15 months
6. Western Governors University
Western Governors University’s master’s program for healthcare administration focuses on leadership. It gives students the ability to take on management roles within hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities. This is one of the executive MHA programs that center around professionalism and technology. Students may learn at their own place completely. They may breeze through material that they know and understand well while taking their time on new information. Therefore, the degree program may take anywhere from six months to two years to complete. The ROI of this degree is high while tuition costs are low.
This particular institution is nonprofit and private. U.S. News ranked it as number 12 in regards to innovation. The school awarded over $12 million in scholarships in 2018, which went toward helping more than 6,000 students. Plus, Western Governors University already offers a low-tuition rate that’s based on a six-month period and is the same for all students, no matter how many courses they take and even if they earn a master of healthcare administration in leadership online.
Degree: Master of Healthcare Administration Leadership – 6-18 months
7. Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University has a master of science in healthcare administration degree program that a student may earn online in 18 months. Pupils hone their leadership and technology skills in this degree program. Students learn about human resources in addition to the organizational structure of a healthcare facility. Additionally, the executive MHA coursework focuses on ethics. Those who attend Grand Canyon University for a master of science in healthcare administration benefit from a high ROI and moderate tuition expenses.
Grand Canyon University is a Christian-based school. The Phoenix campus received recognition from Forbes as one of the top 10 best colleges across America.
Degree: MS in Health Care Administration – 18 months
8. Briar Cliff University
Briar Cliff University has an online Master of Healthcare Administration program for students to earn their degree in 12 months. It classifies as an accelerated executive MHA program, and students take courses related to health systems throughout the world as well as the financial and legal issues surrounding the healthcare industry. Upon graduation, distance learners have the ability to take on positions in public services, counseling, and healthcare facilities. Students enrolled in Briar Cliff University enjoy the benefit of a low-tuition price.
This college is a private, Catholic, liberal arts school with a history dating back to 1930. U.S. News denoted this education institution as the fourth-best school for veterans in the entire country. Fortunately for students, the facility is known for having a teacher-to-student ratio that allows pupils to receive a great deal of individualized attention. The school strongly focuses on instilling values in students, as shown by its motto which means, “Mother of Grace, Love.”
Degree: MHA – 12 months
9. Union Institute and University
Union Institute and University provides students with an option to earn a master of science in health care leadership. It’s a 12-month executive MHA program that encourages innovative and ethical leadership. Pupils complete courses related to ethics, finances, electronic health records, and marketing. The classes prepare students for the real-world of managing a health facility by providing students with resources to help them lead effectively. Union Institute and University offer students who complete their master of science in health care administration with high ROI.
This educational institute is a private research college that was established back in 1964. The school touts about a graduation rate that’s over 70 percent for their master’s degree programs.
Degree: MS in Health Care Leadership – 12 months
10. University of Saint Francis
The University of Saint Francis provides a master’s degree in healthcare administration. The executive MHA program takes 12 months and educates students about the future of the healthcare system. Pupils learn to create innovative and effective solutions for issues plaguing healthcare facilities. It encourages adaptability while also centering on the importance of patient care. Study.com revered this program as the number one online master’s degree program in the country. The University of Saint Francis’ master’s in healthcare administration has a high ROI and low tuition costs.
St. Francis University has regional accreditation and affiliation with the Catholic church. It’s a private, liberal arts school that branded itself as the “cougars.” U.S. News and World Reports declared it’s one of the top 20 regional universities. It’s highly renowned for its other health-related programs. Plus, 99 percent of students receive employment within the first nine months after graduation, or they are furthering their education.
Degree: MHA – 12 months
How Do I Become a Healthcare Administrator?
Before a person can consider any health administration career, it’s important to find information about possible careers in this field. A person should also evaluate a healthcare administration career path based on its ability to help people and the salary it may generate. Generally, health administration careers earn a close to, if not more, than $100,000 per year. It’s also important to research a healthcare administration career path based on where a person will work, such as in a hospital.
No matter what career goals in healthcare administration a person has, it’s important to earn a degree from a reputable facility. So, make sure the program is affordable and has regional and CAHME accreditation. During the course of a degree program in this area of interest, people learn about finances, laws, ethics, and other vital components necessary when achieving career goals in healthcare administration.
Do I Need an MHA to Be a Hospital Administrator?
The first step to becoming a hospital administrator is to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration. This is preferred over a bachelor’s degree health management or in business management. Most employers prefer that a prospective employee has a master’s degree in healthcare administration. Fortunately, a person may take hospital administration courses online to earn a bachelor’s degree. In fact, an individual may take hospital administration courses online to earn a complete bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Having some type of experience working in a medical setting, such as an aid in a hospital or nursing home, will help a person work toward their career goals. This gives a person some insight on home a medical facility runs. Additionally, an individual may obtain some medical knowledge and even discover if a career in the medical field could be a potential career path that suits him or her.
What Does a Healthcare Administrator Do?
Health administration jobs are usually in hospitals, as noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These jobs may be in state, private, or local hospitals. Physicians’ offices hire health administrators and so do government and nursing facilities. A person may hold the title of office manager or administrator. In a doctor’s or dentist’s office, a person may become the office manager. It’s possible for an individual to be a clinic administrator or a nursing administrator. Hospital administrator jobs are usually in specific departments of hospitals. The duties of hospital administrator jobs are usually similar to other positions health administrators have in other facilities.
A person who holds a position as a healthcare administrator usually works full-time hours. Sometimes, the individual must work over 40 hours per week. Since many healthcare facilities are open 24/7, a person who holds a position in this field may need to work weekends or holidays. An administrator may need to address emergencies, so hours aren’t based on a completely set schedule.
The healthcare management job description remains the same no matter where a person gains employment at. For instance, a healthcare management job description may include managing the staff at the facility. Health administration jobs, in particular, hospital administrator jobs may entail managing how care is executed. It’s often the responsibility of the administrator to hire and train the staff. Sometimes, the job description entails managing the finances at a facility as well. Budgeting falls under this responsibility, too. Someone in this position has the important job of improving the efficiency and quality of the services provided at the facility. Organization skills are essential since part of the duties of a healthcare administrator may include maintaining records.
Do I Need an Internship to Get an Executive MHA?
It does help to have some experience in a healthcare facility before going to school for healthcare administration. It assists a person in gaining an understanding of how a healthcare facility operates. Once in an MHA degree program, an internship could be beneficial. However, it’s not always necessary. Some programs only require a person to have a long history of experience working in the healthcare field as a healthcare administrator with a bachelor’s degree or another similar role.
Sometimes, health administration internships are necessary for a person to earn an MHA, no matter their level of experience. All healthcare administration internships must be in a reputable facility to ensure a person gains the necessary skills to manage a facility on his or her own. During MHA internships, a person analyzes and studies people working in management positions in the healthcare facility. Health administration internships require a person to complete some of the tasks a health administrator does or at least someone in the healthcare field.