October 14, 2023
Ultimate List of Healthcare Administration Degrees | 2024

Healthcare administration is one of the fastest-growing professions in the healthcare field, with ample opportunities for those with degrees. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the industry will add over 650,000 jobs between 2022 and 2032. 

Fortunately, there are several ways to earn entry-level and advanced degrees in healthcare administration. With so many available career paths, it’s important to pursue a degree that aligns with your goals.

This guide will break down the different types of healthcare administration degrees, their prerequisites, relevant coursework, costs, career opportunities, and more. Read on to find a healthcare administrator degree that suits your dream career.

Part One Types of Healthcare Administration Degrees

Your career goals should be at the forefront of your mind as you decide which healthcare administration degree suits you. While several healthcare administration jobs accept associate's or bachelor's-educated candidates, the highest-paying healthcare administration jobs will require a master's degree or higher. Academic jobs will almost always require candidates to hold a doctorate degree.

While advanced degrees open more doors, they require more time, money, and effort to earn than associate's or bachelor’s degrees. You should consider these factors in combination with your goals to discover which degree is best for you.

Types of Healthcare Administration Degrees

Healthcare Administrator Degree Prerequisites Total Program Cost Program Length
Associate of Healthcare Administration Degree
  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Minimum GPA
$5,000 to $20,000 16-24 months
Bachelor of Healthcare Administration Degree
  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Minimum GPA
  • Standardized Test Scores
$30,000 for in-state and upwards of  $100,000 for private universities 4 years
Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) Degree
  • Bachelor's Degree in Business or Healthcare Administration
  • GPA minimum
  • GRE or GMAT scores
  • Relevant work experience
  • Resume or CV
  • Letters of recommendation
$10,000 to $75,000 12 months to 3 years
Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management Degree
  • Bachelor's Degree in a related field
  • GPA minimum
  • GRE or GMAT scores
  • Relevant work experience
  • Resume or CV
  • Letters of recommendation
$54,000 to $73,000 12 months to 3 years
Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) Degree
  • Master's Degree
  • CV or resume
  • Interview
  • Letters of recommendations
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Personal statement
  • Relevant work experience
$150,835 (avg.) 3 to 5 years
Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration
  • Master's Degree
  • CV or resume
  • Interview
  • Letters of recommendations
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Personal statement
  • Relevant work experience
$106,860 (avg.) 3 to 5 years

Part Two Associate of Healthcare Administration Degree

An Associate of Healthcare Administration degree provides the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to begin working in healthcare services. It also provides a foundation to build upon if you want to pursue advanced education in the future. As you build upon your education, you'll become qualified for advanced healthcare administration jobs.

People who are unsure about their career choice or goals are best suited for pursuing this degree. It is the quickest path to entering healthcare administration, though it only prepares graduates for entry-level healthcare careers. Graduates may choose to begin working or go directly into a bachelor's curriculum following program completion.


Common prerequisites for an associate's in healthcare administration include the following:

  1. High school transcripts 
  2. Application fee
  3. Letters of recommendation
  4. Minimum GPA or GED score as required by the program
  5. Online application
  6. Personal essay 
  7. Provide proof of a high school diploma or GED
  8. Standardized test scores such as the SAT


Associate degree curriculum is often more generalized than advanced degrees. These programs focus on broad healthcare administration knowledge. Some courses you can expect include:

  1. Conflict Resolution
  2. Healthcare Customer Relations
  3. Health Policy
  4. Medical Coding
  5. Medical Ethics
  6. Medical Office Management
  7. Medical Terminology 
  8. Patient Privacy
  9. US Healthcare Systems

Career Opportunities

The associate degree grants quicker entry into the workforce for healthcare administrators than advanced degrees. Some entry-level healthcare administrator positions available to associate-educated candidates include:

  1. Customer relations representative
  2. Insurance customer representative
  3. Medical administrative assistant
  4. Medical billing and coding
  5. Medical records assistant
  6. Medical scribe
  7. Medical secretary
  8. Medical transcriptionist
  9. Office assistant

How Much Does an Associate Degree in Healthcare Administration Cost?

Associate degree programs are the cheapest healthcare administrator degrees available. Typically offered at community colleges, these programs cost $5,000 to $20,000.

The total program cost varies depending on the college you attend, full or part-time student status, resident or non-resident student status, and many other factors. The most cost-effective way to earn an Associate of Healthcare Administration degree is by attending a community college in your county of residence. Online programs may be more expensive due to their convenience.

How Long Does it Take to Get an Associate Degree in Healthcare Administration?

Most associate degree programs require 30 to 45 total credit hours for graduation. In theory, this means you should be able to graduate in as little as 16 months. However, most colleges recommend planning for 24 months due to course offerings and general education requirements.

Students in online programs can complete their associate degrees quicker because online schools work at a faster pace and offer year-round classes.

Online vs In-Person Associate Degrees in Healthcare Administration

Most community colleges offer Associate of Healthcare Administration programs. If you're a resident student, these programs are often the most affordable options. However, you may have in-person class requirements that interfere with your schedule. 

While online degrees allow you to work on your own time, they tend to be more expensive. Weighing the pros and cons of these options will help you select a program that best suits your needs.

Part Three Bachelor of Healthcare Administration Degree

A Bachelor of Healthcare Administration degree allows more specialization than an associate's degree while still imparting a broad range of knowledge to students. You can earn this entry-level degree through traditional four-year programs.

There are two types of bachelor's degree programs for healthcare administration:

  1. A Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree focuses on humanities and social sciences

  2. A Bachelor of Science (BS) degree focuses on cultivating technical skills

Bachelor's degree graduates can analyze financial and economic data, enhance operations through strategic planning, and assess healthcare policies and procedures for efficiency and ethical considerations.

>>Related: Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration Degree Guide 


The requirements for entry to a bachelor’s program are:

  1. High school transcripts 
  2. Application fee
  3. Letters of recommendation
  4. Minimum GPA or GED score as required by the program
  5. Online application
  6. Personal essay 
  7. Provide proof of a high school diploma or GED
  8. Standardized test scores such as the SAT


Courses in a bachelor’s degree program include:

  1. Communication and Technologies
  2. Ethical Considerations of Healthcare
  3. Healthcare Administration
  4. Healthcare Data Management
  5. Healthcare Finance
  6. Healthcare IT Infrastructure and Network Management
  7. Healthcare Quality Management
  8. Healthcare Regulatory Compliance and Accreditation
  9. Healthcare Reimbursement
  10. Legal Considerations of Healthcare
  11. Managing and Leading
  12. Organizational Behavior
  13. Patient Safety Systems and Strategies
  14. Performance Improvement Measurement and Methodologies
  15. Principles of Epidemiology
  16. Public Health and Safety

Career Opportunities

Individuals who earn a bachelor’s degree will be better qualified for the following roles:

  1. Community health manager
  2. Healthcare consultant
  3. Health insurance analyst
  4. Health policy analyst
  5. Health promotion specialist
  6. Health services manager
  7. Medical reimbursement analyst
  8. Medical services administrator
  9. Nursing home administrative assistant
  10. Private practice officer manager
  11. Social worker

How Much Does a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration Cost?

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration can cost $30,000 for in-state colleges to upwards of $100,000 for private universities. 

How Long Does it Take to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration?

Earning a Bachelor of Healthcare Administration degree takes four years. You can finish the program in less time if you already have an associate's degree or transfer credits. Non-transfer students who take summer classes may graduate in as little as three years, though this is very uncommon.

Online vs In-Person Bachelor's Degrees in Healthcare Administration

Most major universities and colleges offer bachelor’s degrees in healthcare administration. While it is possible also to earn the degree online, most students find in-person programs more beneficial for their knowledge and career goals. 

Top accredited programs include: 

  1. Auburn University
  2. California State University, Long Beach
  3. East Carolina University
  4. James Madison University
  5. Texas State University
  6. University of Alabama
  7. University of Massachusetts

>> Show Me Online Healthcare Administration Programs

Part Four Master of Healthcare Administration Degree

A Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) is a graduate degree for professionals who want to transition into healthcare management or leadership positions.


You must have a bachelor's degree in business or healthcare administration to pursue an MHA. Otherwise, you may need to complete more prerequisite courses before getting accepted. 

Other MHA requirements include:

  1. GPA greater than 3.0
  2. GRE or GMAT scores
  3. Letters of recommendation
  4. Proficiency in the English language
  5. Relevant work experience
  6. Resume or CV
  7. TOEFL Score (if applicable)
  8. Written personal statement


MHA curriculum varies by program. However, most master's level healthcare administration degrees require 30 to 65 credits.

Specific coursework includes:

  1. Budgeting and Financial Management
  2. Business Model Innovation
  3. Business Strategy in the Global Environment
  4. Consulting Practicum
  5. Epidemiologic Inference Public Health
  6. Epidemiology
  7. Financial Accounting
  8. Healthcare Consulting
  9. Health Finance and Management
  10. Leading Organizations
  11. Managed Care and Health Insurance
  12. Marketing in Healthcare Organizations
  13. Medical Practice Management
  14. Population Health
  15. Power, Influence, and Negotiation in Organization
  16. Project Management
  17. Quality and Patient Safety
  18. Quantitative Tools for Managers
  19. Statistical Learning

Career Opportunities

An MHA opens doors to a number of high-level roles as healthcare executives. From hospital CEO to nurse manager, it’s a highly versatile degree. Some of the job titles for a professional with a master’s degree in health administration include:

  1. Chief executive officer
  2. Chief operations officer
  3. Clinic director
  4. Clinic manager
  5. Department or division director
  6. Department or division manager/supervisor
  7. Facility manager
  8. Healthcare consultant
  9. Health services manager
  10. Hospital administrator
  11. Hospital admissions director
  12. Long-term care director
  13. Long-term care manager
  14. Medical records manager
  15. Nurse manager
  16. Nursing director
  17. Operations manager
  18. Practice manager
  19. Program manager
  20. Social Worker

How Much Does a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration (MHA) Cost?

The total cost of an MHA ranges from $10,000 to $75,000 and varies widely depending on the school you attend, where you live, and whether you're a resident or nonresident student. An MHA can cost as little as $200 per credit hour for in-state tuition, while out-of-state students may pay upwards of $1,500 per credit hour. 

How Long Does it Take to Get an MHA?

You can earn an MHA in 12 months to 3 years, depending on whether you attend full or part-time. Most individuals work during the program, so very few complete it within 12 months. 

Some programs can be taken online through a series of seven-week classes. Individuals can complete multiple courses back to back or take time off in between courses. 

Online vs In-Person MHA Programs

The COVID-19 pandemic made online programs in all fields, including healthcare administration, more abundant than ever. Distance learning is still popular in 2024, and there are still many MHA degrees you can earn in an online format. However, many colleges continue to offer in-person and even hybrid options, catering to individual schedules and needs.

Top accredited MHA programs include:

  1. Cornell University 
  2. Georgetown University
  3. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
  4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  5. Johns Hopkins University

Part Five Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management focuses on general business and financial practices rather than those specific to the healthcare industry. This degree is one of the hottest degrees in healthcare because it opens a wide variety of opportunities for healthcare professionals.


In order to be eligible for a program in an MBA in healthcare administration or management, the following admission requirements must be met.

  1. Bachelor’s degree in a related field
  2. GPA
  3. GRE/GMAT test scores
  4. Letter of intent or personal statement
  5. Letters of recommendation
  6. Personal interview
  7. Relevant work experience
  8. Resume or CV
  9. TOEFL score (if applicable)


Some of the core courses include:

  1. Healthcare Law
  2. Healthcare Finance
  3. Strategic Organization in a Healthcare Organization
  4. Marketing Management
  5. Business Computing
  6. Executive Skills Development & Decision Making
  7. Financial and Managerial Accounting
  8. Fiscal Issues in Health Systems Management
  9. Data Analysis
  10. Contemporary Issues in Healthcare Policy
  11. Issues in Quality Management for Healthcare Systems
  12. Principles and Strategies for Managed Healthcare
  13. Community Health Assessment and Planning
  14. Human Resources
  15. Public Health
  16. Informatics
  17. Operations Management
  18. Capstone 
  19. Information Systems
  20. Electives

Career Opportunities

AN MBA in healthcare management qualifies you for high-level roles as a healthcare executive, including:

  • Policy analyst
  • Clinical director
  • Hospital's chief executive officer
  • Medical records manager
  • Health and social services manager
  • Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)
  • Chief Financial Operator (CFO)
  • Medical Manager
  • Nursing home administrator
  • Health information manager
  • Healthcare administrators
  • Pharmaceutical project manager

However, because this degree focuses on business, individuals can also use the degree for non-healthcare-related jobs such as financial management and marketing. 

How Much Does an MBA in Healthcare Management Cost?

According to the Education Data Initiative, the average cost of earning an MBA is $71,880. Earning a master's degree ranges in cost from $54,000 and $73,000 on average.

However, actual costs vary widely depending on factors like whether you attend a public or private university or whether you attend school in-person vs online. For example, earning an MBA at Harvard costs $115,638, while attending Binghampton University costs $22,620, about one-fifth of Harvard's tuition.

It is important to consider the reputation of the program as well as accreditation. Generally, these programs will be accredited through the university or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which accredits roughly 5% of business schools. 

How Long Does it Take to Get an MBA in Healthcare Management?

The length of programs will vary greatly depending on whether the program is completed full-time or part-time. It typically takes 1-3 years to earn an MBA in healthcare administration.

Additionally, some online programs can be completed in a series of seven-week classes. Individuals can complete multiple courses back-to-back or take time off in between courses. 

Online vs In-Person MBA in Healthcare Management Programs

U.S. News & World Report identified the top online MBA Healthcare Administration programs.

Top accredited programs include:

  1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  2. University of Arizona
  3. Rice University
  4. University of Massachusettes, Amhurst
  5. University of Utah

Part Six Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA) Degree

A Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) degree expands students' knowledge of healthcare administration and business. DHA programs focus on taking knowledge and applying it to current practices to improve the healthcare profession.

The doctorate in healthcare administration is a terminal degree and capstone for healthcare professionals pursuing top executive positions. Although you can pursue a DHA if you have academic and research aspirations, a Ph.D. in healthcare administration is more suited to those goals.


You must meet the following requirements to become a DHA program candidate:

  1. A master’s Degree
  2. CV or resume
  3. Interview
  4. Letters of recommendations
  5. Minimum GPA of 3.0
  6. Personal statement
  7. Relevant work experience
  8. TOEFL scores (if applicable)


Common DHA courses include the following:

  1. Communications, Marketing, and Public Relations
  2. Finance
  3. Global Health
  4. Health Education
  5. Health Informatics
  6. Health Leadership
  7. Issues in Disease Prevention
  8. Patient Quality and Safety
  9. Research
  10. Research Design and Data Analysis
  11. Strategic Planning and Change
  12. Systems Thinking
  13. Writing Assessment

Career Opportunities

DHA-educated administrators have some of the highest-paying medical jobs. They take on high-level administration positions in hospitals and other healthcare systems, work as researchers focused on improving healthcare delivery, and become educators. Some of the top jobs you can get with a DHA include the following:

  1. Chief nursing officer
  2. Hospital CEO
  3. Hospital CFO
  4. Nursing home administrator
  5. Hospital administrator
  6. Chief operating officer
  7. Education
  8. Health informatics manager
  9. Health services manager
  10. Hospital admissions director
  11. Long-term care director/manager
  12. Medical records manager
  13. Nurse manager
  14. Nursing director
  15. Project manager
  16. Research director

How Much Does a Doctorate in Health Administration Cost?

On average, earning a doctorate degree costs $150,835, according to the Education Data Initiative (2023). Reports from US News estimate much lower costs for online DHA programs, which cost as little as $31,000 to $54,000.

Factors that will impact the cost of your DHA include whether you attend school in person or online, whether you attend a public or private university, full vs part-time student status, and residency. Some university programs pay for doctorate tuition in return for service at the university, like teaching or research.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration?

Students typically take three to five years to complete a doctorate degree, depending on whether they attend school full or part-time. Most programs focus on classroom education for the first few years while students take the end of the program to craft and defend their dissertations.

The true length of the program depends on the depth of the dissertation and the associated project. Students are unable to graduate without defending their dissertations.

Online vs In-Person Doctorate in Healthcare Administration Programs

Doctorate programs are less common than master’s degree programs. This is due in part to an ongoing need for faculty to teach the course and an overall lack of applicants. Most programs are offered online, both synchronously and asynchronously. 

Top programs for a DHA include:

  1. Central Michigan University
  2. Franklin University
  3. Colorado Technical University
  4. A.T. Still University
  5. Walden University

>> Show Me Online Healthcare Administration Programs

Part Seven Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration

Similar to a DHA, the Ph.D. in healthcare administration is a terminal degree. Unlike the DHA, which focuses on cultivating leadership and business skills, the Ph.D. in healthcare admin focuses on research and education. The main purpose of these programs is scientific and investigative research, especially through experimentation.


In order to be considered for a Ph.D. program, individuals must meet the following requirements:

  1. CV or resume
  2. Interview
  3. Letters of recommendations
  4. Master’s degree in a related field
  5. Minimum GPA of 3.0
  6. Personal statement
  7. Two or more years of healthcare industry experience
  8. TOEFL score (if applicable)


You'll primarily participate in research-focused coursework throughout a Ph.D. program, which may include:

  1. Comparative Health Policy
  2. Ethical Considerations
  3. Healthcare Education
  4. Health Economics
  5. Health Informatics
  6. Legal and Regulatory Challenges in Healthcare
  7. Research Methods

Career Opportunities

Ph.D.-educated healthcare administrators can take on the same roles as those with a DHA. However, many opt for a Ph.D. to enter industries like education and research. Many Ph.D. in healthcare administration graduates become academic professors.

How Much Does a Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration Cost?

The Education Data Initiative reports that a Ph.D. costs $106,860 on average, which is slightly less than other doctorate degrees. Like DHA programs, some universities waive or discount Ph.D. tuition in exchange for teaching or research services. Around 21.4% of Ph.D. students take advantage of programs like these to offset their tuition costs.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration?

Like a DHA, Ph.D. students must prepare, present, and defend a dissertation before they can graduate. So, while the programs typically take between three and five years, the length of your Ph.D. in healthcare administration may vary. Most Ph.D. programs require that students base their dissertations on new research and knowledge, which can make them slightly longer.

Online vs In-Person Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration Programs

Online degrees are fairly common for this type of advanced degree.

You can find many online Ph.D. in healthcare administration programs. However, many students prefer in-person programs due to the research and dissertation demands of this type of degree. In-person courses give students access to lab space, physical libraries, their peers, and professors. The campus environment also provides a sample population for survey-based research.

The following universities offer the top Ph.D. in healthcare administration programs:

  1. University of Pennsylvania
  2. University of Texas Health - Houston
  3. University of Alabama at Birmingham
  4. University of Illinois at Chicago
  5. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

>> Show Me Online Healthcare Administration Programs

Part Eight Accredited Healthcare Administration Degree Programs

While there are many factors in determining the right healthcare administration degree, especially an advanced program, accreditation is the MOST important. No matter what program you choose - private or public, in person or online - you must ensure it is accredited.

Why Accreditation is Important

Attending an accredited healthcare administration program has several benefits that include, but aren't limited to, the following:

  1. Financial Aid: You may not qualify for certain types of financial aid if you attend a non-accredited program
  2. Transfer Credits: Credits from non-accredited programs may not transfer if you change schools or try to pursue a higher degree
  3. Job Market Competitiveness: Employers know which schools offer accredited, quality programs. Those who attend non-accredited universities are less competitive job candidates.

Accrediting Bodies

Accreditation ensures that programs offered at universities sufficiently prepare students for the demands of their careers. Several bodies accredit healthcare administration degree programs:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International

The CAHME is the gold standard for healthcare administration degree accreditation, while the CAHIIM covers healthcare informatics and information management programs.

Students seeking an MBA with a healthcare management focus may expand their selection to ACBSP and AACSB-accredited programs. These bodies accredit business education and professional development programs.

>> Show Me Online Healthcare Administration Programs

Part Nine Healthcare Administration Resources

For more information on healthcare administration degrees and careers, check out these other articles!

  1. Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) Degree Guide
  2. MBA in Healthcare Management Degree Guide
  3. Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration Degree Guide
  4. Top 10 Online Healthcare Administration Programs
  5. Top Entry-Level Healthcare Administration Jobs

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