By TMHA Staff
Below you will find our selection of the top online master’s in health services administration degrees for the 2016-2017 school year.
What exactly is a health services administration degree, and who should get one? If you have done any research into graduate programs in the health sciences, then you have surely familiarized yourself with the very popular MHA (Master of Healthcare Administration) and MPH (Master of Public Health) degrees. But you may not know about the MHSA, or the Master of Health Services Administration.
Whether or not there is a legitimate difference between MHA and MHSA programs is a matter of opinion. Some will tell you that there is none; it is a matter of nomenclature only. Others have suggested that the MHSA places a stronger emphasis on business. A third group might point out that, at least in application, there is a difference between healthcare and health services. That is, health services could incorporate a broader range of responsibilities, such as facilities management or technical support.
Truth be told, the best way to tell which type of degree is right for you is by researching individual programs. Not all MHA programs offer identical curricula or career opportunities, and the same goes for MHSAs. As you will see below, these online master of health services administration programs vary considerably in their course offerings, academic focus, and training opportunities.
That being said, we must admit that there is one clear difference between the two degree types: quantity. There are dozens and dozens, if not hundreds, of MHA programs available in the United States, including a large number of online options. For whatever reason, there are far fewer MHSA degrees, and only a handful are available on the web.
Fortunately, these logistical considerations did not keep us from putting together a ranking of the top 10 master’s in health services administration degrees online.
Online Master’s in Health Services Administration Ranking Methodology
In ranking graduate HSA programs, we primarily sought to identify the schools with the most robust programs in health and wellness overall. We considered that the colleges and universities that dedicate significant resources to healthcare/medicine/public health are also more likely to have better facilities, offer better opportunities, support better research, and attract better (and more) students. This same idea applies specifically to MHA degree programs. As such, we used both the total number of health-related programs available at the school and the number of MHA degrees it conferred in 2014-15 as metrics in our ranking.
Lastly, we included annual graduate tuition rate as a third metric – because even the best schools can make little impact if they are financially out of reach. We acquired tuition data from College Navigator. All other information came directly from the schools’ websites.
Each university earned points for its performance in the three aforementioned categories. After gathering the data and crunching the numbers, we assigned the top 10 programs their final scores. These scores range from 41 (for the #10 program) up to 100 points for the top-ranked college. Keep scrolling to see the scores and read about the best health services administration master’s degrees online.
10. University of Oklahoma
Online Master of Arts: Human and Health Services Administration
The University of Oklahoma is transforming the careers of medical professionals around the country with its affordable online master’s in health services administration. This 33-hour degree program caters to working adults, and not just in terms of flexibility and convenience. In fact, applicants must have prior training/work experience in healthcare to be eligible for admission. Once accepted, health professionals can look forward to a curriculum designed to build on their expertise. Classes like Strategic Planning and Evaluation and Women and Leadership develop managerial competencies, while a range of research opportunities ensure that students stay up-to-date on contemporary health topics.
Graduate Tuition: $14,227/yr
9. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Online Masters in Health Services Administration
The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine makes it easier than ever for working students to earn an accredited master’s in health services management degree online. And that’s not just because of the distance-friendly format, which requires only eight days of on-campus training over the course of the entire program. The college also provides a variety of options to accommodate busy multitaskers. Much of the program’s flexibility revolves around its cohort-style format. New students can join a cohort in either January or June, progressing through the curriculum in either the regular or “fast track” with classmates who learn at a similar pace. Depending on which track they choose, online learners can earn their degree in as little as 18-24 months.
Graduate Tuition: $12,200/yr
8. Mercy College
Dobbs Ferry, NY
Online M.P.A. in Health Services Management
Unlike many other programs on this list, Mercy College’s MPA in Health Services Management has no specific prior learning/experience requirements. In just 48 credit hours, this affordable online master’s degree in health services administration provides students of all backgrounds with a comprehensive introduction to variety of roles and competencies in health care leadership. In addition to health care, courses address a variety of general business topics, from finance and law to human resources. Online students also have access to the college’s robust career development services, which include faculty mentors, job listings, and resume and interview workshops.
Graduate Tuition: $15,514/yr
7. Hodges University
Online Master of Science in Health Services Administration
Thanks to expert faculty members and a commitment to practical training rooted in real-world experience, Hodges University is home to one of the best Master’s in health services management degrees online. Hodges University’s Master of Science in Health Services Administration program is as flexible and convenient as it is affordable, featuring accelerated 7.5-week course modules offered at one of the lowest tuition rates on this list. This allows students to transition quickly and smoothly into the next stage in their career, whether as a clinical manager, assistant administrator, or health informaticist.
Graduate Tuition: $12,380/yr
6. University of Central Florida
Online Executive Health Services Administration, M.S.
The University of Central Florida’s top online master’s in health services administration is the perfect way for those on the front lines of the health care industry to make the leap into a management role. With a program so large that it confers hundreds of HSA degrees each year, UCF easily distinguishes itself as one of the leading online colleges in the country for current and future medical professionals. Of course, quantity means little without quality. Fortunately, UCF’s health services curriculum has plenty of the latter, too. Coursework touches on statistics and research, organizational behavior, resource management, and many other topics that train students for a wide range of executive responsibilities.
Graduate Tuition: $18,293/yr
5. Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Online Health Services Administration, MS
Combining the legal training of a health policy program with the employment relations education found in a typical health care administration degree, Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s MS in Health Services Administration is truly one-of-a-kind. To accommodate the sheer breadth of this degree program, IUP splits the curriculum for this top online master’s in health services administration between two academic divisions: the Department of Nursing and Allied Health Professions and the Department of Employment and Labor Relations. And with this expansive curriculum comes a great deal of flexibility. Students can earn their degree in as little as one year or take up to five – all without a single campus visit.
Graduate Tuition: $13,289/yr
4. The Sage Colleges
Online MS in Health Services Administration
Like IUP, The Sage College’s MSHSA is a highly interdisciplinary degree program that is designed to prepare students for an array of responsibilities in a rapidly evolving industry. But that alone doesn’t capture the experience at Sage College, which offers one of the best master’s in health services administration programs online. Where other programs too often take a “one size fits all” approach coursework, TSC provides a multidisciplinary curriculum embedded with plenty of unique features. Take, for example, the dietetics internship specialization. By choosing this option, program members can advance their leadership training while simultaneously obtaining expertise in one of the most important subfields of health and wellness.
Graduate Tuition: $12,290/yr
3. Mississippi College
Online Masters of Health Services Administration
Ranked 14th in the country by BestColleges.com, Mississippi College’s MHSA program easily stands among the best online master’s in health services administration. Like its competitors, this program’s design will appeal to both medical professionals and full-time students alike. The interdisciplinary coursework finds a comfortable balance between theoretical and practical subjects, with classes that focus on research methods as well as financial planning, marketing, and management. But to truly separate itself from the pack, Mississippi College has gone low – very low – on costs. At just over $10,000 a year, it’s nearly half the price of many programs on this list.
Graduate Tuition: $10,302/yr
2. University of Wyoming
Online M.S. in Health Services Administration
The University of Wyoming may be the only program on this online master’s degree in health services administration ranking to actually undercut Mississippi College on tuition costs. Even so, UW brings much more to the table than affordability. Students will also appreciate the program’s pace, which allows even part-time learners to earn their degree in just two years (five consecutive semesters). But perhaps the most distinguishing feature of UW’s MSHSA is its comprehensive curriculum, which offers a rotating list of unique specializations. Health Economics and Outcomes and Biopharmaceutical Regulatory Compliance are among the concentration options for the 2016/17 school year. Coming up in 2018? Health Science Writing, Health Institution Leadership, and Clinical Research Administration, among others.
Graduate Tuition: $9,647/yr
1. Regis University
Online Master of Science in Health Services Administration
Thanks to its strong focus on business and managerial principles, Regis University’s affordable online master’s in health services administration “is much like an MBA in health care.” For a highly competitive price of less than $11,000 a year, Regis equips students with expertise in heath care law, management, and finance that will prepare them for a wide range of leadership positions in the medical industry. The curriculum is also uniquely adaptable to individuals’ backgrounds and career interests. For program members with little experience in the field, a “bridge course” can help them get up to speed on contemporary practices. Seasoned professionals, on the other hand, can fulfill their credit requirements by custom-designing their own special topics courses.
Graduate Tuition: $10,800/yr
This concludes our ranking of the best master’s in health services administration degrees online.
Didn’t find what you need? We used a similar methodology in our ranking of the Top 10 Online Master’s in Health Sciences 2016-17. Check it out!