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Online Healthcare Administration Degree Programs


Article Sources

Methodology

To be included in our rankings for the top colleges for online degrees in healthcare administration by degree level all colleges had to meet the following 4 requirements:

  1. Offer a degree or certificate program in that subject, either in an online or hybrid format
  2. Have at least 1% of students attending some form of distance education
  3. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2015-16
  4. Have reported data for all 19 ranking variables for associate/bachelor’s and 11 ranking variables for master’s (listed below)

We then ranked colleges and universities in the United States that fit our criteria, using 2016-17 data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the weights specified. The final totals were:

  • 17 colleges for online associate degree in healthcare administration
  • 95 colleges for online bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration
  • 85 colleges for online master’s degree in healthcare administration

We then scored the final list of colleges by degree level on a 100-point scale using these specific data points:

Associate/Bachelor’s

    1. Associate’s/Bachelor’s Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject
    2. Ratio of undergraduate students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
    3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
    4. Retention rate
    5. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
    6. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students
    7. Student-to-faculty ratio
    8. Variety of Programs, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered via distance education at any level
    9. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
    10. The availability of any tuition plans (4 variables considered)
    11. a. Payment b. Guaranteed c. Prepaid d. Other
    12. Services (2 variables considered)
    13. a. Academic/Career b. Placement for Completers
    14. Credit offerings (4 variables considered)
    15. a. Dual b. Life c. AP d. Military

Master’s

    1. Master’s Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject
    2. Ratio of graduate students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
    3. Average in-state tuition for graduates
    4. Credit offerings (2 variables considered)
      1. a. Life
        b. Military
    5. Services (2 variables considered)
      1. a. Academic/Career
        b. Placement for Completers
    6. The availability of any tuition plans (3 variables considered)
      1. a. Payment
        b. Prepaid
        c. Other
    7. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media

NOTE: The accuracy of data derived from IPEDS depends on colleges regularly reporting to IPEDS. Not all colleges are as regular as they should be in updating this information with IPEDS.OnlineDegrees.com, therefore, has gone a step further to ensure the rankings you see are accurate and verified. We manually check each college website to provide you the top rankings you can rely on. Because of this double-check, the number of colleges may vary for each degree level.

Methodology Sources:

      • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources:

    • B.S. Degree with an a Major in Office Administration and Technology, Valdosta State University, https://www.valdosta.edu/programs/b-s-degree-with-a-major-in-office-administration-and-technology/, Accessed May 2018
    • Business Administration Program Curriculum, Ashworth College, https://www.ashworthcollege.edu/bachelors-degrees/business-administration-degree-online/curriculum/, Accessed May 2018
    • Certificate in Business Office Administration, Charter College, https://www.chartercollege.edu/programs/business/office-administration-certificate, Accessed May 2018
    • Diploma Mills and Accreditation, U.S. Department of Education, https://www2.ed.gov/students/prep/college/diplomamills/diploma-mills.html, Accessed May 2018
    • Office Administration Certificates, Okanagan College, http://www.okanagan.bc.ca/Programs/Areas_of_Study/Business/Business_Programs/Office_Administration_Certification.html, Accessed May 2018
    • Online Associate in Arts in Business Administration, Strayer University, https://www.strayer.edu/online-degrees/associate/business-adm, Accessed May 2018
    • Program of Study for BS in OAT, Valdosta State University, https://www.valdosta.edu/colleges/education/adult-and-career-education/degree-programs/undergraduate/OAT/BS-in-OAT-POS-Online.php, Accessed May 2018
    • Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/secretaries-and-administrative-assistants.htm#tab-4, Accessed May 2018
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Healthcare administration is going through a number of changes thanks to new technologies, laws and medical breakthroughs, making it an interesting and challenging time to be working in this field. Baby boomers and a growing, aging population are placing different demands on healthcare systems — giving rise to diverse career opportunities. In fact, job opportunities in the field are expected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is much faster than average for all other occupations.

Successful healthcare executives must combine business and leadership skills with a working knowledge of the healthcare system. Online health administration programs cover a wide variety of business and health related topics.

Healthcare administrators are also known as medical managers, health service managers, or healthcare executives. While a large number of healthcare executives work in hospitals, many are also employed by individual medical practices, long-term care and nursing facilities, or various government agencies. Depending on their qualifications and experience, they may manage anything from a small medical practice to a large hospital. A typical healthcare manager may carry out the following duties:

  • Maintaining records
  • Managing finances
  • Working with healthcare professionals in the facility to develop better practices to improve the quality of services
  • Organizing work schedules
  • Working closely with department heads to monitor and develop goals
  • Ensuring staff is recruited and trained
  • Staying abreast of regulations, laws and ensuring compliance
  • Representing the facility at investor or board meetings

Healthcare administrators are required to coordinate between different administrative and departmental levels and therefore people skills, leadership, communication and analytical skills are essential.

Choose a degree to help you meet your career goals

Different degrees will help reach different career goals. While certificate programs are widely available and can be typically completed in less than a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration is generally considered the minimum barrier for entry-level employment. However, many employers are looking to recruit candidates with a master's degree or higher.

Take a look at the education level most medical and health services managers have:

Medical and Health Services Managers
Education Level Required & Percentage of Respondents
Associate
19%
Bachelor's
65%
Master's
12%
Source: 2018 Occupational Information Network (O*NET), U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

While admissions criteria can vary from college to college, take a look at what you can expect to learn under the different degree program levels, the typical time it takes to complete the program and the career possibilities after earning your degree.

What can I expect to learn in an online associate degree?

As changes in medicine, technology and the law move the industry forward, qualified individuals who contribute to the business side of healthcare may play an increasingly important role.Online associate degree programs in healthcare administration teach students how to perform the day-to-day functions that keep medical facilities operating smoothly.

Typical duration: Two years

General prerequisites: High school diploma or GED

Typical coursework: The core curriculum of these programs can include courses in finance, facility operations, personnel practices, and managerial techniques. Some of the course topics may cover:

  • Introduction to medical terminology
  • Medical law and ethics
  • Healthcare entrepreneurship
  • Healthcare management

Possible electives: Healthcare communication, human resources management, sociology

What can I do after earning an associate degree?

An associate degree may be used to obtain an entry-level position in the field of healthcare administration. Potential careers include:

  • Health office receptionist
  • Medical transcriptionists
  • Customer service representative
  • Health office manager
  • Medical coder and biller
  • Assistant healthcare administrator
  • Medical assistant

What can I expect to learn in an online bachelor's degree program?

Online bachelor's degree programs in healthcare administration are designed to give students the ability to step up into leadership roles. Students in a bachelor degree program can learn the skills they need to manage workforces at healthcare facilities including employee relations and how to implement training programs for staff.

Typical duration: Four years

General prerequisites: A high school diploma or an associate degree in healthcare administration, GRE

Typical coursework: In addition to fundamental subjects like finance, facility operations, staffing and personnel practices required to pursue management jobs in the healthcare field, courses may include:

  • Healthcare management
  • Ethics and law in healthcare
  • Healthcare entrepreneurship
  • Introduction to public and community health

Hands-on experience can vary from course to course and can be through different exercises like writing an employee training manual, participating in a simulated job interview, and drafting a case study on a hypothetical healthcare organization.

Possible electives: Biology, healthcare economics, death and dying, healthcare terminology, algebra, anatomy and physiology, project management

What can I do after earning a bachelor's degree?

A bachelor's degree is often the minimum degree required to work at many larger healthcare facilities. Some of the possible careers are:

  • Healthcare administrator
  • Social or community service manager
  • Human resources manager
  • Healthcare consultant
  • Health services manager

What can I expect to learn in an online master's degree program?

As technology, laws and industry standards evolve in the field of medicine, more and more qualified leaders will be needed to help healthcare organizations navigate through new challenges and come out on top. Online master's degree programs in healthcare administration (MHA) are designed to train these leaders.

Typical duration: Two years

General prerequisites: A bachelor's degree in healthcare administration from an accredited institution and/or an entrance exam

Typical coursework: Students in these programs can learn the core concepts of running a healthcare organization by taking courses in subjects such as healthcare law and ethics, healthcare informatics, marketing and strategic planning, human resources management, finance and accounting and project management. Some of the course topics covered may include:

  • Healthcare economics
  • Healthcare marketing
  • Healthcare policy
  • Healthcare leadership

Additionally, students in these programs may be required to complete a comprehensive examination or a master's thesis that focuses on a research area of the healthcare field. Supplementary business classes like business writing courses or sociology can also boost your profile.

Possible electives: Gerontology, epidemiology, long-term care

What can I do after earning a master's degree?

The specialization you choose during your master's program can help you procure a role in the field that interests you the most. Here are some potential careers:

  • Healthcare administrator
  • Social or community service manager
  • Human resources manager
  • Program manager at a rehabilitation center
  • Administration and policy
  • Research assistant

What can I expect to learn in an online doctoral degree program?

Online doctoral degree programs in healthcare administration focus on teaching students the business acumen needed to run a healthcare facility — such as human resources management, finance, healthcare ethics and healthcare informatics.

At this level, there are several ways that healthcare administration students can earn a degree.

  • A Doctor of Health Administration, or DHA, is a degree program that focuses on the real-world management skills that can help students pursue managerial roles in the field.
  • Students who are interested in the research end of the profession can pursue a Ph.D. in health administration, which prepares them for more academically driven careers in healthcare.
  • Students who want to combine healthcare administration with business can earn a Doctor of Business Administration with a specialization in healthcare administration.

Typical duration: Three to seven years

General prerequisites: A master's degree in healthcare administration from an accredited institution

Typical coursework: The curriculum in these programs aims to prepare students for upper managerial positions as well as high-level policy-making roles in the in the healthcare system. Courses may cover public administration and public safety, healthcare finance and accounting, and healthcare marketing. Other course topics can include:

  • Healthcare research methods
  • Healthcare communication
  • Legal and ethical issues in the healthcare industry
  • Healthcare management

What can I do after earning a doctoral degree?

Doctoral degrees open up a higher level of potential job roles — some of which allow autonomous research. Some of the positions that may be open to candidates with a doctoral degree are:

  • Political scientist (healthcare policy research and analysis)
  • University professor
  • Healthcare executive
  • Researcher

Specializations in Healthcare Administration

Healthcare administrators are needed to oversee operations in a variety of health-related fields. While many work in hospitals, others do not. Some specializations for medical management professionals include:

  • Hospital administration
  • Clinical administration
  • Group practice administration
  • Nursing home administration
  • Assisted living administration
  • Home healthcare administration
  • Healthcare policy research and analysis
  • Insurance and pharmaceutical consulting
  • Health information management

Some career tracks may be available immediately upon graduation, while others might require years of work experience. Regardless, online degree programs in healthcare administration can help prepare students with the knowledge and skills needed to begin a career in the medical management field.

We’ve used factors that students that are especially useful for students interested in online healthcare administration programs. To present you with the best opportunities, our methodology has taken into consideration factors like number of online programs offered in healthcare administration, tuition, ratio of students participating in distance education programs compared to the total enrollment, student-faculty ratio, services such as academic and placement, and more.

NOTE: The accuracy of data derived from IPEDS depends on colleges regularly reporting to IPEDS. Not all colleges are as regular as they should be in updating this information with IPEDS. OnlineDegrees.com, therefore, has gone a step further to ensure the rankings you see are accurate and verified. We manually check each college website to provide you the top rankings you can rely on. Because of this double-check, the number of colleges may vary for each degree level.

Associate
Bachelor's
Master's
1
Peirce College
Philadelphia, PA
Average in-state tuition
$14,400
No. of online programs
17
% of students in distance education
88%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,526
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
21%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
2
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL
Average in-state tuition
$8,328
No. of online programs
31
% of students in distance education
55%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,893
Admissions Rate
92%
Graduation Rate
53%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Midway University
Midway, KY
Average in-state tuition
$23,700
No. of online programs
25
% of students in distance education
77%
Avg. amount of Aid
$9,573
Admissions Rate
57%
Graduation Rate
52%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Provo College
Provo, UT
Average in-state tuition
$13,441
No. of online programs
13
% of students in distance education
83%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,004
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
54%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
Saint Leo University
Saint Leo, FL
Average in-state tuition
$21,600
No. of online programs
62
% of students in distance education
74%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,500
Admissions Rate
58%
Graduation Rate
48%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Ohio Christian University
Circleville, OH
Average in-state tuition
$10,680
No. of online programs
23
% of students in distance education
91%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,769
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
29%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
7
Norfolk State University
Norfolk, VA
Average in-state tuition
$5,478
No. of online programs
5
% of students in distance education
51%
Avg. amount of Aid
$10,920
Admissions Rate
90%
Graduation Rate
42%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
Florida International University
Miami, FL
Average in-state tuition
$4,721
No. of online programs
45
% of students in distance education
60%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,301
Admissions Rate
54%
Graduation Rate
57%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
Colorado Christian University
Lakewood, CO
Average in-state tuition
$21,810
No. of online programs
50
% of students in distance education
58%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,663
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
50%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
1
Tiffin University
Tiffin, OH
Average in-state tuition
$23,700
No. of online programs
52
% of students in distance education
51%
Avg. amount of Aid
$12,509
Admissions Rate
69%
Graduation Rate
28%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
Montana State University-Billings
Billings, MT
Average in-state tuition
$4,397
No. of online programs
17
% of students in distance education
57%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,058
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
27%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Kaplan University-Davenport Campus
Davenport, IA
Average in-state tuition
$13,356
No. of online programs
114
% of students in distance education
100%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,772
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
39%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Champlain College
Burlington, VT
Average in-state tuition
$39,718
No. of online programs
67
% of students in distance education
54%
Avg. amount of Aid
$15,962
Admissions Rate
75%
Graduation Rate
60%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
Saint Joseph's College of Maine
Standish, ME
Average in-state tuition
$34,610
No. of online programs
23
% of students in distance education
54%
Avg. amount of Aid
$19,342
Admissions Rate
80%
Graduation Rate
59%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Louisiana State University-Shreveport
Shreveport, LA
Average in-state tuition
$5,656
No. of online programs
5
% of students in distance education
76%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,637
Admissions Rate
84%
Graduation Rate
30%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
University of Maryland-University College
Adelphi, MD
Average in-state tuition
$6,936
No. of online programs
92
% of students in distance education
89%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,814
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
9%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
8
Midwestern State University
Wichita Falls, TX
Average in-state tuition
$5,216
No. of online programs
10
% of students in distance education
43%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,939
Admissions Rate
81%
Graduation Rate
45%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
Wilmington University
New Castle, DE
Average in-state tuition
$10,890
No. of online programs
46
% of students in distance education
62%
Avg. amount of Aid
$2,552
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
26%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
Concordia University-Saint Paul
Saint Paul, MN
Average in-state tuition
$21,750
No. of online programs
53
% of students in distance education
67%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,544
Admissions Rate
55%
Graduation Rate
55%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
1
Minnesota West Community and Technical College
Granite Falls, MN
Average in-state tuition
$5,146
No. of online programs
34
% of students in distance education
55%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,515
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
Colorado Christian University
Lakewood, CO
Average in-state tuition
$21,810
No. of online programs
50
% of students in distance education
58%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,663
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
50%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Berkeley College-Woodland Park
Woodland Park, NJ
Average in-state tuition
$22,820
No. of online programs
22
% of students in distance education
45%
Avg. amount of Aid
$11,147
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
33%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Terra State Community College
Fremont, OH
Average in-state tuition
$3,876
No. of online programs
4
% of students in distance education
47%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,089
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
Bossier Parish Community College
Bossier City, LA
Average in-state tuition
$3,335
No. of online programs
13
% of students in distance education
47%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,254
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Herkimer County Community College
Herkimer, NY
Average in-state tuition
$4,470
No. of online programs
17
% of students in distance education
37%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,315
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Concordia University-Wisconsin
Mequon, WI
Average in-state tuition
$28,330
No. of online programs
50
% of students in distance education
36%
Avg. amount of Aid
$11,559
Admissions Rate
63%
Graduation Rate
53%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
Waldorf University
Forest City, IA
Average in-state tuition
$20,544
No. of online programs
37
% of students in distance education
78%
Avg. amount of Aid
$10,541
Admissions Rate
72%
Graduation Rate
29%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
9
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Green Bay, WI
Average in-state tuition
$3,966
No. of online programs
16
% of students in distance education
29%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,123
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
New England College
Henniker, NH
Average in-state tuition
$23,599
No. of online programs
47
% of students in distance education
63%
Avg. amount of Aid
$15,668
Admissions Rate
100%
Graduation Rate
42%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
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Accreditation

Completing an accredited program can give you higher validation in terms of employability and can allow you to transfer credits while applying for further education. Well-known accrediting bodies for healthcare administration degree programs include:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
  • Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA)

These organizations assess healthcare administration education programs rigorously based on educational processes, assessment structures and other criteria.

Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but administrators in all are required to hold licenses to work in nursing care facilities. Most states require healthcare executives to have at least a bachelor's degree along with passing a national licensing exam. The National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) has information on examinations and licensing for assisted living facilities.

Certification is not mandatory, but is available through various associations such as:

  • Professional Association of Healthcare Office Management
  • American Health Information Management Association
  • American College of Healthcare Administrators

It may be worthwhile to spend some time researching the course you are applying for before enrolling

While a degree in healthcare administration generally leads to a position in medical services management, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (shown in the table below) lists several other related occupations, along with current wage and employment data.

Career
Employment
(2017)
Average Salary
(2017)
Projected Job Growth
(2016 - 26)
Medical and Health Services Managers346,980$111,68019.8%
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians204,220$42,82013.5%
Receptionists and Information Clerks1,014,900$29,6409.1%
Source: 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2016-26 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Employment Statistics

Healthcare Services Managers

Industries with highest concentration of employment
  • Outpatient Care Centers
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
  • Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals
  • Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories
  • Other Ambulatory Health Care Services
States with highest employment level
  • California
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
Top-paying metropolitan areas
  • San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA Metropolitan Division
  • Vallejo-Fairfield, CA
  • Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY Metropolitan Division
  • Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA NECTA Division
  • Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Other resources for aspiring students of Healthcare Administration

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