Top Accredited Online Master’s in Health Administration Programs for 2020
If you hope to further your health administration career, a master’s degree is a great way to start—and many programs are now online, so you can continue in your current job while studying.
Finding Quality Master’s Programs in Health Administration
To get the most out of your online master’s in healthcare administration, it’s important to find an accredited program. At the institutional level, regionally accredited colleges and universities hold the most clout with employers. Seven regional accrediting agencies currently exist in the United States, each of which is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. If you can’t find accreditation information on the school’s website, visit the Database of Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (DAPIP) to search for your institution.
Program-specific accreditation in health administration is granted by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). Departments that earn this certification demonstrate that they provide quality, cutting-edge education that adequately prepares graduates to find meaningful work. This accreditation also gives employers confidence in the standards of the curriculum an applicant completed and where an applicant’s skills and knowledge lie.
Online Master’s Programs with CAHME Accreditation
The following are online master’s programs that have obtained programmatic accreditation through CAHME as of December 2019. If you can’t find a CAHME-accredited program that meets your needs, many regionally accredited schools offer high-quality programs in health administration as well.
Though these programs can be completed online, some do require campus visits several times through the course of the program for completion.
Florida International University (Miami, Florida)
Online degree offered: Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare
Attending Florida International University’s Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Graduate School of Business gives you access to one of the top MBA in healthcare programs in the nation. If you already work in the healthcare industry and want to improve your skills and earning potential, this 18-month program could be a great fit. Provided online to meet the demands of busy professionals’ schedules, you can also choose from many different start dates throughout the year.
Once enrolled, plan to complete 42 credits to qualify for graduation. You must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all core classes, each of which is taught on an accelerated eight-week schedule and uses a cohort model. Topics covered include managerial decision-making in health economics, management of healthcare finance and reimbursement, and healthcare fraud, abuse law, and regulations.
While coursework exists online, FIU requires all distance learners to visit the Miami campus three times to participate in residency programs incorporating networking opportunities and face-to-face learning. While on campus, you will also earn your Lean Six Sigma designation. Though not required, you may participate in a global travel program to gain experience and contacts in international healthcare management.
Applicants must possess at least two years of professional work experience and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution that demonstrates a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all upper-level coursework. Some students may be asked to supply GRE or GMAT scores to strengthen their applications.
Tuition: $1,426 per credit
University of Central Florida (Orlando, Florida)
Online degree offered: Online Executive Master of Health Administration (EMHA)
The online executive Master of Health Administration at UCF is comprised of 44 credits and provides you with the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to lead in myriad healthcare settings. Taught in a cohort model to maximize synergy and networking amongst students, each new class consists of only 30 learners to ensure each has the chance to contribute and participate.
Given the executive nature of UCF’s program, applicants should possess a minimum of three years of healthcare management experience at the time of enrollment. They should also be able to clearly articulate how they plan to use the degree after graduating.
Topics explored include healthcare statistics and research, financial accounting for healthcare managers, and healthcare quality and risk management. To round out the program, all students participate in a four-hour healthcare capstone and strategic management course. At no point do learners need to visit the campus, although they are welcome to do so.
Graduates of the program have gone on to work for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force, the Washington, D.C.-based Children’s National Health System, and many Florida-based healthcare organizations. Common titles held by alumni include president/CEO, hospital administrator, director of operations, and nursing home administrator.
To apply, send official transcripts from any universities attended, a two-page essay outlining how this degree aids in your career goals, a resume, and three letters of recommendation. UCF accepts new students twice annually, with application deadlines falling on July 1 and December 1.
Tuition: $772.69 per credit
Des Moines University (Des Moines, Iowa)
Online degree offered: Master of Health Care Administration (MHA)
DMU’s Master of Healthcare Administration allows you to complete your degree through asynchronous learning, which happens on your own schedule, making it a great fit for busy professionals. Learners watch lectures, participate in discussions, turn in projects, and communicate with their peers and professors through the learning management system. The program requires approximately two years of full-time study, including five three-day learning intensives hosted at the Des Moines campus.
Alumni enjoy a 100% employment rate within six months of graduating and earn median starting salaries of $71,000. Current learners hail from 23 states, creating excellent networking opportunities. Data collected by the department demonstrates a graduation rate of 77.1%, a number that has risen steadily over the past five years.
Plan on completing 48 credits to qualify for graduation. Core topics include studies in U.S. healthcare and public health systems, population health and managerial epidemiology, and healthcare human relations management. The final three hours of this degree require learners to participate in a field-based learning program or undertake a long-term care internship over the course of a semester.
If you choose to apply to DMU, the school offers three application deadlines: January 8, May 18, and September 9. Application packets must include official transcripts, three evaluations or letters of reference, a statement of purpose and objectives, and a resume or CV. These materials should demonstrate an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, healthcare management experience, and leadership potential. DMU does not require GRE or GMAT scores at this time.
Tuition: $665 per credit
Seton Hall University (South Orange, New Jersey)
Online degree offered: Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)
As the only institution in New Jersey to offer a CAHME-accredited master of healthcare administration, Seton Hall University is uniquely placed to serve students in the Garden State and beyond. This online program has been in existence since 1997, making it one of the first in the nation.
Whether you choose to pursue a full- or part-time learning path, plan to undertake 42 credits. The full-time option takes approximately two years to complete. While all coursework exists through distance learning, students visit the South Orange campus three times during the program to participate in networking and professional skills development workshops. Regardless of when they start, degree seekers join a cohort and navigate coursework together.
Topics covered in SHU’s degree include population health management, emergency management for health professionals, and strategic planning and marketing in healthcare organizations. Prior to graduation, all learners complete a capstone project.
Admitted online students must submit application materials by July 1 to begin their studies in the fall. Requirements for consideration include an accredited bachelor’s degree, a GPA of 2.8 or higher, three letters of recommendation, a statement of goals and professional interests, and a resume. Latest data available shows the program has a 59% acceptance rate. 96% of graduates receive a job offer within three months of graduating. Newly minted graduates also enjoy a thriving and active network of more than 650 alumni working in both domestic and international healthcare management positions.
Annual Tuition: $1,310 per credit
Clarkson University (Potsdam, New York)
Online degree offered: Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management
Clarkson University’s David D. Reh School of Business provides an online Master of Healthcare Administration that holds the honor of maintaining both CAHME and Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) accreditation—one of only 28 universities in the country to do so. Whether pursuing a part- or full-time degree, students undertake 48 credits, with full-time studies taking approximately 30 months. A combined Master of Business Administration in healthcare management and Master of Science in healthcare data analytics is also available.
Topics explored include structural dynamics in healthcare, legal aspects of healthcare, and strategic issues for healthcare organizations. Learners can also select two elective courses, including an immersive study abroad to learn about the Swiss healthcare system. All students must participate in a practical experience requiring 10-20 hours per week over an entire academic year. The career services department works with online students to find a suitable internship near their place of residence.
Approximately 89% of CU students receive a job offer by the time they graduate, and 97% find work within six months of earning their degree. An independent report found that Clarkson is one of the top 25 business schools when it comes to departments with the highest-paid graduates.
Admission requirements include official transcripts from any schools attended, GMAT/GRE scores, resume, statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation. International students must also provide evidence of English proficiency testing and a certificate of finance. The department offers several merit-based scholarships to help offset costs, ranging from 15%-75% tuition remittance.
Annual Tuition: $1,174 per credit
University of Scranton (Scranton, Pennsylvania)
Online degree offered: Master of Health Administration (MHA)
If you’re looking for an online health leadership program taught in the Jesuit tradition, the University of Scranton can provide this and more. This CAHME-accredited master of healthcare administration offers concentrations in areas of health informatics and global health to help learners further solidify nuanced skills and knowledge needed in cutting-edge organizations. Those who participate in the global health specialization take part in two study abroad trips.
The university’s 44-credit curriculum follows the ACHE Healthcare Leadership Alliance competency model to ensure distance learners receive a comprehensive education. Specific courses include healthcare organization and administration, healthcare operations and quality, and health services and systems. During the final semester, all learners participate in an internship to build hands-on skills.
Approximately 90% of graduates reported a job placement within six months of graduating and an average salary increase of $10,536. Alumni go on to work as healthcare executives, case managers, hospital directors, and quality assurance leaders. The majority of applicants possess at least a few years of professional experience, though not all of them have a healthcare background. Once admitted, students spend between two and six years meeting requirements, depending on their schedules. The majority of degree seekers graduate within 30 months. The school offers six different start dates each year to make it easy for busy professionals to begin their educations.
Regarding admission requirements, applicants should have at least three years of professional work experience and a GPA of 3.0 or higher from an accredited bachelor’s program. US does not require GRE or GMAT scores.
Annual Tuition: $940 per credit