By TMHA Staff
Are you interested in earning an online master’s degree in healthcare administration? Do you need to take most or all of your classes online? Would you prefer an accelerated program that allows you to graduate in one year? People who answer “yes” to all three of these questions should know two things: first, your options will definitely be limited, but more importantly, your mission is not impossible!
In our exhaustive search of online MHA programs, we have identified 10 full-fledged, reputable colleges that can confidently claim to graduate you with an MHA degree in just 12 months. There will, of course, be sacrifices. To obtain your entire graduate education in such a short time frame, you will absolutely need to attend school full-time, and you may even need to take more than the recommended number of classes each semester. But for some students, this trade-off is worth it. In exchange for your 100% attention in the short-term, these online degree programs can offer you long-term advantages that include better employment opportunities, higher pay, and more respect in the field of healthcare administration.
After identifying these 10 one-year online MHA degrees through the National Center for Education Statistics’ online tool, College Navigator, we took an additional step to actually rank them according to the feasibility of the 12-month timeline. To do this, we took an eclectic approach that was almost more art than science. It is difficult to accurately capture all the different facets of a program’s curriculum and scheduling options using purely quantitative methodology. However, we did look closely at each of these 10 programs individually with a few specific questions in mind:
- Does the department make the explicit claim that the program is doable in one calendar year?
- How many courses are a required part of the curriculum?
- How many semesters are required to complete the degree?
- Does the program offer year-round classes, including accelerated summer or winter terms?
- What is the school’s policy on transfer credits?
- Does the school utilize the traditional semester system, or do they offer accelerated courses (such as those in 8-week or 10-week formats)?
Taking the answers to all of these questions in sum, we were able to pinpoint the very best options for students seeking a one-year master’s degree in healthcare administration online.
At the top of our list are the programs that consist of fewer courses, offer clear pathways (for example, by laying out an unambiguous one-year course schedule from start to finish) for degree completion. Programs with flexible features, such as multiple yearly start-dates and compact/accelerated course terms, also did well on this ranking.
At the lower end of the ranking are those degrees that only qualify as one-year degrees for students who claim a certain number of transfer credits or are willing to study overtime to meet their deadline.
In the middle of the pack are the online MHA programs that conditionally qualify as one-year degrees. Examples include Western Governors University and Walden University, both of which allow students to earn credits based on competency gained rather than time passed. These are great one-year options for quick learners and the highly-focused, but may not be the best bet for inexperienced students or those juggling multiple commitments.
The basic message is this: if you’re intent on earning your MHA degree in one year, you do have options! In fact, you have a variety of choices that encompass all sorts of different scheduling tactics and learning methodologies. All you have to do is pick the school that is best for you.
10. Capella University
Online Master of Health Administration: Health Care Leadership Specialization
Designed to be completed in 18 months, Capella University’s online master’s in healthcare administration program is already one of the fastest and most convenient ways to earn your advanced degree. But students who enter with the appropriate transfer credits (up to 12) from another university or community college can easily reduce their graduation timeline to just a single year. Presuming you can account for these credits, you’ll only need to take an additional 10 courses (three courses per 10-week term) in order to earn your one year master’s degree in healthcare administration online.
9. Brandman University
Online Master of Business Administration, Health Administration
Compared with other schools on this list, Brandman University is unique in that it offers a single MBA degree with a wide range of concentrations, which include, of course, healthcare administration. But that’s the only quirk in a highly efficient and streamlined online master’s program. With just 4 required courses (or 12 credits) in Brandman’s healthcare administration emphasis, you’ll have a degree before you know it! Plus, students whose professional and/or educational experience makes them eligible for course waivers can truncate this already accelerated degree program into a one year online masters in health administration.
8. Liberty University
Online Master of Business Administration – Healthcare Management
Liberty University is another school that promotes flexible transfer allowances to make it possible for students to earn an affordable one year masters in health administration online. Whether they come from accredited university, junior college, or community college, Liberty grants you the ability to apply up to 12 applicable credits toward the core curriculum of its online MHA degree. Students can also transfer credits from courses they used to earn a different degree at Liberty (provided they are at the same academic level), making it possible to earn two degrees for the price of one (and a half)!
7. Grand Canyon University
Online Master of Science in Health Care Administration
Like many of the other programs on this list, Grand Canyon University makes it possible to get an accredited one year MHA online without breaking the bank. At GCU, you can transfer up to 12 relevant credits from a reputable institution; complete all of your coursework at any time from anywhere; and earn a complete professional degree for the price of a single semester at brand-name school. What sets GCU apart, however, is its commitment to excellence in the face of convenience. With capstone research projects and courses like Health Care Innovation and Leadership Styles and Development, GCU doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to preparing students for the challenges of management.
6. Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY
Online Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Health Care Management
For students without prior education in the field or applicable transfer credits, there aren’t many ways to complete a full MHA program in just a year. At Stony Brook University, however, even relative novices can earn this top one year online masters in health administration by taking courses year-round. While summer and winter sessions may appear to raise the tuition a considerable amount, the sunken costs of existing transfer credits actually balance out the savings—not to mention that the value of a prestigious degree from Stony Brook can hardly be overestimated.
5. Walden University
Online Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)
Walden University’s Tempo Learning program makes it one of the most flexible and accelerated ways to earn an online MHA—but also one of the most challenging. Tempo Learning offers MHA students at Walden two paths to degree completion: Course-Based and Competency-Based Learning. Where Course-Based Learning is a more traditional fixed-rate approach to coursework, Competency-Based Learning allows students to forge ahead at their own pace, dramatically reducing their graduation timeline and tuition rate (in the best case scenario). All told, this is the best one year masters in health administration online for students who are confident they can succeed without deadlines or traditional benchmarks.
4. Western Governors University
Salt Lake City, UT
Online MBA Healthcare Management
Western Governors University is widely regarded as the first university in the country to offer the competency-based learning model described above. Where transfer credits and permission for augmented course loads put unnecessary pressure on students and administrators alike, competency-based learning allows students to complete as much work as quickly as they want, thereby demonstrating the knowledge and facility to which transfer credits can only tenuously attest. But if you are intent on earning a one year master’s degree in healthcare administration online, be prepared for a serious challenge; fewer than 20% of WGU students have their diploma in hand by the 12-month mark.
3. Saint Leo University
Saint Leo, FL
Online MBA: Health Care Management Concentration
Combining comprehensive surveys of community health evaluation and epidemiology; US health insurance; health care taxation and economics; medical policy and law; and administrative technology and management techniques into a one year online masters in health administration is impressive enough. But to provide all of that for less than $9,000 is the kind of value that very few schools can provide. Fortunately, Saint Leo University meets the membership requirements of that exclusive club. SLU also makes it easy to stay focused throughout this demanding degree track by offering 8-week sessions that cover as few as two courses at a time.
2. Plymouth State University
Online Master of Business Administration: Health Care Administration
Since 1974, Plymouth State University has been offering a range of competitive MBAs that are as affordable as they are convenient. Plymouth’s online MHA one year program epitomizes both of those qualities: with a total price that barely breaches five figures, rolling admission, plus a year-round scheduling option for full-time students, it’s possible to earn this degree from home—starting now—in as little as 12 months. Students with an undergraduate degree in business can even take the option to waive the two introductory “cornerstone” courses in the beginning of the program, bringing them that much closer to earning their degree without ever stepping foot on campus.
1. Louisiana State University-Shreveport
Online Master of Health Administration
With only 10 required courses, Louisiana State University at Shreveport sets a new low for the number of required courses to earn a one year master’s degree in healthcare administration online. This makes it easy for students to earn their degree in just three semesters: four courses each in the Spring and the Fall, and two courses in an abbreviated Summer semester. While LSUS’s low course load and tuition may inspire some skepticism, this degree shares plenty of features with the traditional programs mentioned above. For example, the 10-course curriculum doesn’t include two “fundamentals” classes in statistics and economics, which you can waive – if you have the appropriate experience – or take alongside core MHA classes.
We hope you’ve found this ranking of one year online master’s degrees in healthcare administration to be useful and informative!
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