October 4, 2023

Top 10 Online Healthcare Administration Programs

Top 10 Online Healthcare Administration Programs

Healthcare administration is a rapidly growing field with tons of opportunities for advancement. One of the best ways to get into the field is with a degree in healthcare administration.  

Fortunately, some of the best healthcare administration programs come entirely online, meaning students with full-time jobs or busy home lives can still earn their degree. Some online programs also charge lower tuition rates, making this flexible option more affordable than on-campus education.

But, where do you begin? There’s so much to consider when deciding which online degree program to go with. A major factor to consider is how likely you are to graduate from the program. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of online healthcare administration programs with the highest success rates. 

Top 10 Online Healthcare Administration Programs 

We looked at accredited online healthcare administration programs and ranked them based on their graduation rate. Because many schools offer multiple healthcare administration degrees, this ranking utilizes undergraduate graduation rates. This ranking also includes useful information including relevant tuition rates and available programs. 

1. University of Virginia

The University of Virginia, one of the best public research schools in the nation, makes its bachelor's in healthcare management much more accessible by offering it online. To reach even more students, UVA charges the same tuition rates to students regardless of where they live, so out-of-state students practically get a discount.

The university has two pathways for entry:

  • Path One: Requires an approved Allied Healthcare associate degree and liberal arts core

  • Path Two: Students can apply for 45-60 credits 9 with a C or better) into the program.

Therefore, only individuals with some college experience can apply. 

2. University of Southern California

A leader in public education on the West Coast, the University of Southern California comes with a steep cost, although that can be expected from many schools in the region. While USC doesn't have an undergraduate healthcare management degree, the executive master of health administration helps current professionals advance their careers. USC states that potential career options include director, senior manager, and vice president at healthcare facilities. The executive MHA takes 24 months to complete, though most students work full-time while earning the degree. 

3. University of North Carolina

The University of North Carolina boasts one of the best healthcare programs in the nation, perfect for anyone looking to continue their education and earn the master of healthcare administration. The executive MHA takes two years to complete and, aside from three on-campus sessions each year, the entire program comes online. However, UNC's top-notch program attracts tons of applicants, and the program only has a 40% acceptance rate. Regardless, students enjoy a high graduation rate and an excellent degree.  

4. Northeastern University 

Available online with multiple start dates throughout the year, Northeastern University's bachelor's in healthcare administration focuses on topics like management, finance, and regulations. The school estimates that the program takes four years to complete, though full-time students studying year-round could finish the degree faster. The cost might seem high, but many students receive financial aid through Northeastern.

5. George Washington University 

Located in Washington, D.C., George Washington University extends many of its programs online. The executive master of healthcare administration comes entirely online, except for several on-campus immersions, and uses eight 10-week learning modules, making the program take two years to complete. Only current bachelor's degree holders with two years of healthcare experience (or three years of experience in another industry) can apply. 

6. University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota, the flagship school in the University of Minnesota system, ranks among one of the best colleges in the region. The university's online bachelor of science in health management is a four-year program that charges the same tuition rate to in-state and out-of-state students. Because UMN charges a per-credit rate, those with transfer credits pay an even lower total tuition rate. For those looking to continue their education, UMN also has an online executive master of healthcare administration which takes two years to complete. 

7. University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida offers two healthcare administration programs online and charges a low tuition rate for those who live in Florida. UCF's bachelor of science in health services administration focuses on managerial topics and takes most students four years to complete. Potential career outcomes include health services administrator, human resources administrator, and health information manager. The executive master of health administration also comes entirely online and helps current professionals advance their careers. 

8. Florida International University 

Florida International University has an extensive network of alumni and business partners, ideal for anyone worrying about finding a healthcare administration position after graduation. The university also charges a low online tuition rate to all students, and the bachelor's in health services administration does come entirely online. The master of health services administration also comes entirely online, though students can opt to enroll in a fast-track option that does require some onsite attendance in Miami.

9. Drexel University 

Intended for part-time students who want to continue working while studying, Drexel University's bachelor of science in health services administration comes entirely online but still offers practical knowledge that directly applies to healthcare careers. The degree prepares students for a wide range of careers in healthcare, including human resources, insurance analysis, and healthcare administration. While the graduation rate isn't particularly high, the low tuition cost and flexibility of the program is worth paying attention to. 

10. University of Cincinnati*

While the University of Cincinnati has an incredible campus just on the edge of downtown, many of the bachelor of science in health information management students choose to study online. The online BS health information management program only requires 52 credits, meaning students must transfer in most of the lower division coursework. After graduating, students can also directly enroll into multiple online masters programs through UC, ideal for students looking to earn both a bachelor's and master's degree. 

>> Show Me Online Healthcare Administration Programs

Who is a Healthcare Administration Degree Right For?

Perfect for anyone looking to take on a leadership position within a hospital, healthcare administration deals with the planning and coordination of medical and health services. An online degree in healthcare administration leads to careers in healthcare administration, human resources, health services, and other roles in the healthcare industry.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that medical and health services managers, also known as healthcare administrators, earn a median salary of $104,830. Projections show a 28% job growth rate for medical and health services managers from 2022-2032.

How to Choose a Healthcare Administration Program 

Schools and programs verify the quality of their academics through accreditation. Accreditation means that a college and/or program meets the academic standards set by an accrediting body, and accrediting bodies tend to serve as industry leaders. In many instances, accreditation also proves that a program adequately prepares students to become licensed. 

When looking at online healthcare administration programs, you want to make sure that the school has received regional accreditation. All schools in our ranking hold regional accreditation.

Additionally, be on the lookout for programmatic accreditation. While not that common for healthcare administration programs, programmatic accreditation means that the degree, usually a graduate degree, meets industry standards. Look for accrediting bodies like the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)

What to Expect in a Healthcare Administration Program

Whether you study at the undergraduate or graduate level, a healthcare administration degree prepares students for careers within a healthcare facility or organization. However, most job outcomes move individuals away from clinical work and focus on administrative duties, such as management, hiring, and other leadership tasks. 

Healthcare Administration Coursework

A healthcare administration curriculum focuses on a combination of business and healthcare topics. 

As organizational leaders within healthcare facilities, healthcare administrators must understand the complexities of the entire system. Because many hospitals are becoming increasingly technological and multicultural, the curriculum often includes courses on administration programs, ethics, and communication.

Some courses that students could take include:

  1. Introduction to health services systems
  2. Health policy and management
  3. Financial management of health systems
  4. Cultural competency in health sciences
  5. Legal aspects of healthcare
  6. Communication and IT for healthcare professionals

Types of Healthcare Administration Degrees

A healthcare administration degree could go by many names, though each degree usually teaches similar subjects and leads to administrative and management careers. Degrees also come at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level, with each leading to roles with more responsibilities. 

Types of healthcare administration degrees include:

While the names of the degrees can vary, they usually lead to the same outcomes. However, if you want to learn more about a degree at a specific school, research the required curriculum and program outcomes of that degree.

Paying for a Healthcare Administration Degree

One of the most difficult parts of a healthcare administration degree could be finding a way to pay for your education. As college costs continue to increase, students rely more and more on student loans. While schools often charge lower tuition rates to online students, the savings may not be enough to make the degree affordable. However, students can reduce the cost of their degree through financial aid. 

Aside from students loans, some of the best ways to finance an online healthcare administration degree include:

Scholarships: Scholarships are perhaps the best way to reduce the cost of your education. Thousands of scholarships exist, including some that apply specifically to healthcare administration students. Some of these scholarships are also renewable, meaning one application could help you pay for your degree over a two- or four-year period.

Grants: Like scholarships, grants award money that does not need to be paid back. However, grants can be more difficult to secure, and some grants only go to students who demonstrate financial need or academic excellence. Regardless, grants could help you further reduce the cost of your online degree. 

Employer Assistance: Current employees could get some or all of their degree costs covered by their employer. Employer assistance eligibility varies by employee, program, and employer, so not all current workers are eligible. Also, in return for the compensated degree, many employer assistance programs require students to then commit to several years of work with the company. 

Fellowship: Usually reserved for graduate students, a fellowship pays the student in return for relevant work. Not only does this help students pay for their degree, but they earn valuable work experience in their field, too. 

Also, federal financial aid helps students cut the cost of their degree, sometimes at no expense to the student. Be sure to use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before committing to any program. 

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