The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and with it comes a growing need for skilled healthcare managers who can navigate complex healthcare systems and lead teams to provide quality patient care. One way to advance your career in healthcare management is by pursuing a master’s degree in the field. This is where online Master’s in Healthcare Management programs come in. These programs offer flexibility and convenience, allowing students to complete coursework on their own schedule while continuing to work in their current healthcare roles. In this ranking guide, we will explore the benefits of online master’s in healthcare management programs and highlight some top programs to consider.
But what is healthcare management? What are some available healthcare management jobs? What level of education is required to go into the healthcare management industry? This guide will serve you by touching on the most asked questions. It provides detailed answers to help you get primed on your healthcare management career journey.
What Is Healthcare Management?
This career field features depth and breadth. It has many different job functions and celebrates a diverse range of job titles. Some need help to pinpoint an all-encompassing healthcare management definition. The answer varies depending on whom is asked. Let’s examine how a few different sources define healthcare management.
List of Healthcare Management Definitions:
- Career Opportunities in Health Care Management: Perspectives from the Field defines healthcare management as a profession that provides direction and leadership to organizations. These entities oversee personal health services within divisions, departments, units, and administrative services.
- The Handbook of Research on Geographic Information Systems Applications and Advancements says healthcare management includes supervising a healthcare organization’s functions. Healthcare managers provide direction, leadership, and management to healthcare units. These professionals ensure the optimal delivery of available healthcare services.
- Handbook of Research on Trends in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Conditions defines healthcare management as oversight of hospitals, hospital networks, and healthcare systems. There is management at different levels of organization and planning of clinical support processes and activities. Healthcare management includes medical and health services or health administration. The leadership type ensures that outcomes are attained within health organization areas. Healthcare managers maintain an organization’s proper running and that jobs are defined and assessed. They may also ensure that resources are used efficiently.
What is an Online Master’s in Healthcare Management?
Many business schools within the nation’s best colleges and universities offer Master’s in Healthcare Management degree programs online. The online Master’s in Healthcare Management program is ideal for students to study from home. Those with responsibilities like full and part-time jobs or childcare obligations thrive within online education.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Master’s in Healthcare Management?
Typically, Master’s in Healthcare Management programs range from 32 to 60 credits. Full-time students can complete an online master’s program within two academic years. Alternatively, there are joint-degree online Master’s in Healthcare Management programs with master’s specializations that take up to three or four years to complete.
What Can I Expect to Pay for an Online Master’s in Healthcare Management?
The overall cost of an online Master’s in Healthcare Management depends on several factors. Students attending business school in their home state often pay lower tuition rates. They may pay around $200 per credit hour. Out-of-state students sometimes pay higher tuition rates, from $700 to $1,500 per credit hour.
In-state students can expect to pay $6,500 to $36,000 for their entire master’s degree program. Out-of-state students can expect an overall degree cost ranging from $26,000 to $75,000. Some business schools charge a flat tuition rate for all graduate students, regardless of where they live.
What are Some Online Master’s in Healthcare Management Degree Admissions Requirements?
Online master’s programs in healthcare management applicants are typically expected to have work experience in the healthcare field. However, some online master’s degree programs admit professionals without backgrounds in healthcare.
GRE and GMAT score requirements vary by institution. Increasingly, applicants do not need to submit a GRE score at all. Business schools are lightening up on standardized test requirements.
Is Accreditation Important when Choosing an Online Master’s in Healthcare Management?
Accreditation status is an essential consideration for prospective business students. Colleges and universities receive accreditation from entities recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The accreditation process involves a comprehensive review of a school’s student services and educational programs.
A school’s accreditation impacts course credit transferability. It also affects student eligibility for federal financial aid. Program candidates should ensure the school offering the program has achieved national or regional accreditation.
What Does an Online Master’s in Healthcare Management Coursework Include?
The coursework for an online Master’s in Healthcare Management program includes studies in management, finance, research, marketing, and human resources. These components are delivered with a specialization in healthcare leadership and services. Other courses discuss issues specific to the healthcare industry. Online graduate students are exposed to medical supply chains, global health, and health information systems.
Healthcare management students learn about the modern healthcare industry’s various laws, regulations, and ethical standards. Online programs culminate in a capstone course or thesis. Graduate students demonstrate the knowledge and skills they gained with a comprehensive research project. Practicum courses are required as well. These courses allow students to receive on-site guidance from experienced professionals at clinics, hospitals, and other health care providers.
What Kind of Healthcare Management Degree Specializations Exist?
Some of the nation’s best online Master’s in Healthcare Management programs allow students to focus their coursework on a concentration. These emphases cover niche areas of the healthcare industry. Specializations for graduate students may include the following:
- Survey research.
- Acute care.
- Long-term care.
- Maternal and child health.
- Healthcare ethics.
- Environmental health science.
- Health informatics.
- Health policy and management.
Within an acute or long-term care concentration, students can complete courses that address the challenges managers and administrators encounter in an acute care facility. This can include hospitals or long-term care facilities like nursing homes.
Online students who pursue health informatics or health information technology concentrations learn about technology platforms and programs. These courses cover how to track data related to healthcare services. Courses in these concentrations explore healthcare and the internet, data infrastructure, and health information management systems.
Health Care Ethics
Healthcare ethics and health policy specializations are for students interested in healthcare regulations and patient advocacy. Students learn about legal areas of the industry. The minority health concentration deals with issues and challenges surrounding the treatment and care of minority groups in the United States. The gerontology specialization focuses on healthcare demands and concerns for older people.
Course Examples Within These Specializations:
- Epidemiology and health planning.
- Leadership in healthcare administration.
- Healthcare financial management.
- Healthcare law and compliance.
- Healthcare strategies in competitive markets.
- Healthcare information systems.
- Healthcare ethics and decision making.
What Other Degrees Are There in Healthcare Management?
Many education options exist for students wishing to pursue a healthcare management career path. Most healthcare manager jobs require some degree and equivalent work experience. Business students can choose whether to pursue a healthcare management degree on campus or online. They also decide to pursue an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree.
Undergraduate degrees are the most common among healthcare managers. An associate degree is sufficient for many functional managers and mid-level management positions. This fact depends on the employer. On the other end of the spectrum, healthcare management executives are expected to hold graduate degrees.
The U.S. Department of Labor site O*NET OnLine cites that nearly 20% of medical and health services managers pursued an associate degree. Sixty-five percent hold an undergraduate degree, while over 10% have a master’s degree. Healthcare management degrees include both healthcare-related and business coursework, as well as general education classes.
Is an Associate Degree in Healthcare Management a Good Place to Start?
The fastest route to a healthcare management career begins with an associate degree. Most students take two years to complete the degree, depending on their course load and the individual student’s pace.
There is a technical nature to the subject matter. This program can lead to an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Some colleges may grant an associate of arts (AA) degree.
General education courses will include English composition, biology, sociology, math, etc. A healthcare management major will study courses dealing with needed topics. They could consist of the following:
- Medical terminology.
- Healthcare computer information systems.
- Human resources.
- Medical practice management systems.
- The healthcare claim cycle.
- Healthcare accounting systems.
- Healthcare law and compliance.
- Business office operations.
Should I Consider a BS in Healthcare Management?
A bachelor’s degree is a four-year degree. It generally requires four years of full-time study to complete. Some students enroll directly in a full-time, four-year program. Other students opt to earn an associate degree in healthcare management. They can obtain an entry-level job and transfer academic credits toward an evening or online undergraduate program. These students sometimes finish their degrees while working full-time.
Students pursuing an undergraduate degree in the field typically earn a Bachelor of Science in healthcare administration or a BS in healthcare management. Some programs award a Bachelor of Arts (BA).
Healthcare management students in four-year programs take many of the same core courses as associate degree program students. They may be required to complete additional business classes like statistics, economics, and financial reporting. They take additional general education courses like history, geography, communication, and humanities.
What Can I Do with a Master’s in Healthcare Management?
Some job seekers pursue an entry-level degree in a specific functional area like health information technology or medical billing and coding. These professionals may work in supervisory positions within a particular department after some time.
Some business professionals prefer the broader range of business classes in bachelor’s and master’s degrees. This training allows for multiple routes to a healthcare management career.
Business school graduates earning a degree in healthcare management can start working in human resources, accounting, bookkeeping, medical records management, billing, compliance, or another business area. Once they gain experience, they can be promoted to a functional manager role.
Business professionals with a broad-based background in healthcare management and business are eligible for senior-level positions that oversee multiple departments.
What Kind of Jobs Do I Qualify for with a Master’s in Healthcare Management?
A healthcare management career offers a path into one of the fastest-growing job fields. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that healthcare and social services will become the nation’s most significant employment sector by 2031. The Atlantic reports that healthcare overtook retail in 2017 and is now the nation’s largest employer.
Some professionals’ interests lean toward computer-based administrative tasks over patient-facing clinical work. Healthcare management jobs are an excellent option for these workers.
Candidates typically need healthcare education and relevant work experience to land a job as a healthcare manager. Many related business disciplines fall under the umbrella of healthcare management. Aspiring managers can get their start in any of those business areas. They leverage their experience to earn management roles.
What Are the Benefits of Earning a Master’s in Healthcare Management Online?
Clinical jobs generally require hands-on training with medical equipment and tools. Many administrative, management, and clerical positions involve computer-based tasks. Online education can be a natural fit for those occupations.
Online healthcare management degrees are a popular option for graduate students planning to work full or part-time while pursuing their degree. They can complete coursework on their schedules. The ability to earn an online healthcare management degree allows students to choose their business school based on the quality of the academic program instead of the university’s location.
What Salary Does a Healthcare Management Career Provide?
Candidates researching healthcare management career options commonly ask questions related to earning potential. These questions include the following:
- What is the starting salary for healthcare managers?
- How much can I make with a Master’s in Healthcare Management?
- What is the range of healthcare manager salaries?
Salaries vary significantly depending on the manager’s education, job function, and experience. There are other factors like geographic location and employment setting. It is vital to remember that new graduates with diplomas, associate, or bachelor’s degrees will start in entry-level or administrative roles before they advance into management. Many healthcare administrators have leadership experience and a Master’s in Healthcare Management.
Setting realistic salary expectations means first looking at salaries for administrative roles that serve as starting points for healthcare management career paths. Here are a few examples reported by the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook. They list the median salary for each job as $100,000.
Healthcare Management Job Category Median Salary
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||$46,000|
|Healthcare and Social Assistance Accounting Clerks||$45,000|
|Medical Secretaries and Administrative Assistants||$40,000|
As of January 1, 2023, PayScale reported the average entry-level healthcare manager salary as $71,000; Glassdoor listed the average healthcare management pay as $70,000; and Indeed indicated healthcare manager salaries average $80,000.
The higher end of the salary range reflects healthcare administration roles that require years of experience and an advanced degree. Functional managers (like medical office managers, billing supervisors, or medical records directors) fall toward the lower to middle end of the scale.
What Professional Associations in Healthcare Management Can I Pursue?
Business school students and job-seeking graduates can obtain membership with professional organizations. They can learn about career development and networking opportunities through conferences and seminars. Online and on-site training courses, advocacy programs, and job openings exist. The most vital professional organizations in the healthcare field include the following:
- Association of Healthcare Administrative Professionals (AHCAP): This nonprofit organization offers member benefits, including low tuition costs for continuing education courses. Members receive invitations to the association’s annual national conference. There are six free webinars every year.
- Health Care Administrators Association: It was established in 1980. The HCAA provides services to third-party administrators in medicine and health. Current members represent many employers, including healthcare consultants, insurance providers, and audit firms. HCAA features a Certified Self-Funding Specialist certification. Employees working in self-funded health care planning can get this certification. The credential consists of seven courses.
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management: The AAHAM was established in 1968. Today, it oversees over 30 regional chapters nationwide. The association features five professional certifications in compliance, revenue cycle, and integrity. AAHAM hosts the Annual National Institute, a conference attended by 600 members and exhibitors.
Are There Affordable Online Master’s in Healthcare Management Programs?
Here are some affordable programs currently available to distance learners:
Clarkson College’s online Master’s in Healthcare Administration features an accelerated degree. Working professionals wanting to advance their careers and maximize their leadership potential will appreciate this degree. Courses start every six weeks. Graduate students can take one class at a time. Dedicated Clarkson instructors lead courses with experience in and out of the classroom.
Required courses include finance for healthcare leaders. Students also take the fundamentals of scholarly writing, healthcare delivery systems, and managed care. Courses include human resources and organizational behavior, healthcare leadership, and research methods and analysis. This degree consists of 39 credits. Clarkson University is recognized by major-ranking publications like U.S. News and World Report.
Concordia University features an excellent online Master’s in Healthcare Administration. This program equips healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills managers need. Enrolled students can earn their degrees in two years. They can complete the Master’s in Healthcare Administration by taking seven-week courses, one course at a time.
The program offers a blended format of classes. Students spend less time on campus and complete their coursework online. Courses include healthcare law, healthcare organizational management, ethics in healthcare management, healthcare quality assurance, and information systems in health services. A project-based capstone is required and designed to enhance management skills further. Program candidates must show a confirmed undergraduate degree at the time of application.
Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Management
Here is our list of the top online Master’s in Healthcare Management programs available to students. These degrees are online and accredited. The programs are displayed in alphabetical order.
One of the nation’s best online Master’s in Healthcare Management is featured at the College of Business at Auburn University at Montgomery. This professional degree focuses on developing business leaders. They manage complex environments and drive innovation in hospitals and healthcare entities. AUM’s online Master of Healthcare Administration program is an excellent choice.
The School of Management at City University of Seattle provides an excellent online Master’s in Healthcare Management. This stellar Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (MSHA) puts distance learners on the right path to reach their goals. This online master’s program allows healthcare professionals to develop advanced skills. Enrolled students gain the knowledge and skills to take on leadership roles.
An online Master’s in Healthcare Management is at Concordia University, Nebraska’s College of Business and Technology. Enrolled students become the kind of leaders our healthcare system needs. Concordia University, Nebraska’s Master’s in Healthcare Administration is comprehensive. Students apply business best practices to healthcare settings while incorporating moral and ethical principles into leadership strategies. This online healthcare degree has it all.
Dominican University’s Brennan School of Business features an exemplary online Master’s in Healthcare Management. This excellent Master of Science in Healthcare Management features convenient options. Enrolled students learn to lead in healthcare settings. The business school’s graduate program in healthcare management fuses management fundamentals with insights into a growing industry. Online healthcare students will want to enroll in this degree.
Gannon University’s Dahlkemper School of Business features an online Master’s in Healthcare Management. The Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree is STEM-designated. It was developed to meet the needs of growing healthcare systems worldwide. Enrolled students learn through flexible, student-choice lessons. Courses are taken in the classroom or online. The 36-credit program is a high-quality Master’s in Healthcare Management.
Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business offers an online Master’s in Healthcare Management. The excellent MS in Healthcare Management curriculum features experiential leadership experiences. Enrolled students benefit from nationally recognized certifications and a wellness focus. No previous industry experience is needed for this experience-based program. It includes two semesters of leadership experience in a professional healthcare setting. Indiana University hits a home run with this online healthcare management degree.
John Hopkins University’s Carey Business School offers an online Master’s in Healthcare Management. The online Master of Science in Health Care Management is part-time. The entirely online program features a flexible format. It allows students to complete the program while continuing their personal and professional obligations. Enrolled students create schedules that work for them. This program builds leaders who will improve the quality and access to health care.
The School of Business at Liberty University features an online Master’s in Healthcare Management. Liberty’s online Master of Science in Healthcare Administration helps business students understand nursing, informatics, and public health disciplines. This online MS in Healthcare Administration teaches students to manage business needs better. Graduates can enter human resources and benefits management as careers. Start moving forward to rewarding careers with Liberty’s online MS in Healthcare Administration.
The Joseph A. Butt, S.J., College of Business at Loyola University New Orleans offers an online Master’s in Healthcare Management. Students prepare for dynamic healthcare futures in Loyola’s cross-disciplinary online master’s degree. Career advancers and career launchers gain knowledge and tools in business and healthcare. They become industry leaders through Loyola’s AACSB-accredited curriculum. This degree is firmly based in the Jesuit tradition. It focuses on the ethics of business within the healthcare industry.
The Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University offers an online Master’s in Healthcare Management. This online Master of Science in Healthcare Management trains talented healthcare professionals. They get the necessary skills and business acumen to sustain optimal performance in the dynamic and complex healthcare landscape. This interdisciplinary curriculum equips distance learners to champion collaboration. The online healthcare management degree will propel your career forward.
Park University’s College of Management offers an online Master’s in Healthcare Management. The Healthcare Administration program is in the Robert W. Plaster School of Business. Park designed the program for people wanting to begin or advance careers as leaders in healthcare. Online MHA candidates master health systems management’s legal, organizational, financial, managerial, and political aspects. Graduates meet global society’s challenges with innovative leadership and problem-solving approaches.
Southeast Missouri State University’s Harrison College of Business and Computing has an online Master’s in Healthcare Management. Students earning the online MS in Healthcare Management learn business and management skills. The curriculum shows them how to succeed in the healthcare business sector. Enrolled students can customize their degrees with emphasis options. Choose from administration, informatics, and general. Students can complete an internship for credit. This online Master’s in Healthcare Management has a lot going for it.
The Fox School of Business at Temple University features an online Master’s in Healthcare Management. Students seeking a degree enhance their careers in the healthcare industry. The business school’s online Master of Health Administration (MHA) from Temple caters to the needs of professionals. Students with at least three years of work experience will love the MHA. This online program will help current healthcare professionals excel in the industry.
The College of Business at Texas Woman’s University offers an online Master’s in Healthcare Management. Students can complete the online Master of Healthcare Administration degree in two years. Graduates are ready for the next step in their careers. The online format features synchronous and optional face-to-face meetings. Healthcare Administration students earn the Master of Healthcare Administration degree with one of two specialized emphases. Specializations provide students with healthcare management and operational skills. This degree has it all.
The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona features an online Master’s in Healthcare Management. Enrolled students are taking the next step in their careers. Some are making the transition into healthcare administration. The online MS in Healthcare Management has a lot to offer. Business students study alongside expert faculty and combine a dynamic healthcare curriculum with core business classes. This online program is for you if you want hands-on healthcare consulting experience.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has an online Master’s in Healthcare Management at the Charlton College of Business. UMass Dartmouth’s Master of Science in Healthcare Management is online. It provides management and leadership education for students working in the healthcare industry. Professionals acquire the knowledge and tools needed for effective healthcare management. There are strategies for saving time and money while improving the quality of care. This online healthcare degree is noteworthy.
The School of Management at the University of Michigan-Flint offers an online Master’s in Healthcare Management. This Master of Science in Health Care Management is an entirely online program. It prepares students for executive leadership roles in health care. The program is for mid-level managers ready to advance their healthcare careers. These students learn to support patient well-being better. It features a transformative interdisciplinary curriculum. The School of Management built an incredible online program.
The University of Saint Francis Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership delivers an online Master’s in Healthcare Management. Franciscan values guide this Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA). USF MHA graduates make an impact in healthcare. They reverence each person’s unique dignity and serve society. Program leaders encourage fostering peace and justice in the workplace. Experienced instructors teach this online program. It is an excellent online degree.
The University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business features an online Master’s in Healthcare Management. Enrolled students learn to influence the direction of the healthcare industry. This Master of Science (M.S.) in Health Care Innovation features an experiential learning model. All students work closely with healthcare industry experts and mentors throughout the program. The online hybrid degree gives students healthcare knowledge and the chance to work on healthcare-related projects. This degree will give you an edge when applying for healthcare jobs.
An online Master’s in Healthcare Management is available at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. This Master of Management in Health Care (MMHC) degree will take your healthcare career to the next level. Vanderbilt’s program offers robust healthcare management courses. Healthcare leaders and policymakers teach all weekend immersions. A Capstone Strategy Project is embedded in the curriculum. It allows students to put everything they’ve learned to the test as they work with a Capstone Team—this program rocks.
Healthcare managers want to make a difference for the people around them. An online Master’s in Healthcare Administration helps them do that. Graduates of this program get armed with critical knowledge of the healthcare system. To become a healthcare industry leader, you should pursue this degree. It offers the chance to learn from experienced healthcare providers working in academia. It focuses on specific skills that are needed for real-world success.
If you want to learn about financial management for healthcare, quality improvement, community health, enterprise risk management, and analytical methods. This is the degree for you. A healthcare management master’s degree from an accredited university is excellent. Enrolled students progress in their careers in many healthcare settings as they prepare for healthcare leadership and management jobs.