By Iris Stone
In today’s economy, more and more students are returning to school to earn an online master’s degree in healthcare administration. Why? First, healthcare is a booming field, accounting for a significant number of added jobs in the United States over the last year. This trend shows no sign of stabilizing, and students currently earning degrees in healthcare can expect job security for a long time to come. Second, every industry requires the leadership of competent managers, and healthcare is no exception. Hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, outpatient centers, and other facilities all need experienced leaders at their helm. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the demand for health service managers is expected to grow by 23% between 2012 and 2022, a figure the Bureau of Labor Statistics deems “much higher than average.”
Current healthcare professionals and bachelor’s degree holders will be happy to hear that earning an advanced degree in this field doesn’t have to break the bank. Going to school online is the perfect solution for many adults, who enjoy taking classes over a distance while keeping their full time jobs and fulfilling familial obligations. Of course, more “traditional” students are turning to online classrooms as well, benefiting from the increased flexibility that virtual education affords.
Here at Top Master’s in Healthcare we are all about making your life easy and saving you both time and money. That’s where this ranking comes into play.
We’ve compiled a list of the 20 most affordable online master’s programs in healthcare administration, health management, and related fields. But don’t be fooled by these schools’ low prices; while cost was the primary motivator in making our selections, you may be surprised to see that the list also includes some of the best online master’s degrees in healthcare administration in the country. Note that for public institutions, for the purposes of the ranking we assigned an approximate tuition value based on the average of their in-state and out-of-state rates. Also keep in mind that some colleges may offer reduced rates for online learners or unique financial aid options that we were not able to fully account for in our research.
Note: Tuition figures are gathered from College Navigator (March 2015). Please note that actual cost may vary from program to program. We encourage you to contact the institution for the most current information.
20. Minnesota State University Moorhead
Online Master of Healthcare Administration
Students can count on the online master’s degree in Healthcare Administration program at Minnesota State University-Moorhead to adequately prepare them for the next level of their career. Faculty members equip students with the tools they need to zero in on key policy decisions in the highly regulated healthcare arena. This allows graduates to build on existing leadership skills and improve service delivery. Courses include Health Care Law and Ethical Decision Making, Marketing Management, and Health Care Policy and Reimbursement. U.S. News & World Report ranked Moorhead #106 on its list of best regional universities in the Midwest.
Tuition: $6,066/yr (In-state) $12,132/yr (Out-of-state)
19. Colorado State University – Global Campus
Online Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration and Management
Greenwood Village, CO
With the average salary for medical and health services managers topping $90,000, completing an advanced degree in healthcare can be lucrative. Fortunately, Colorado State University’s – Global Campus prepares students for those jobs with its affordable online master’s degree in Healthcare Administration and Management program. CSU-Global’s year-round, fully online classes fit busy schedules, allowing students to further their education while continuing to work. Graduates walk away with the requisite skills for demanding leadership positions in both the public and private sectors. The Best Schools website ranked CSU-Global #6 on its list of 25 Best Online Master of Healthcare Administration degree programs.
18. Bellevue University
Online Master of Healthcare Administration
Bellevue University not only has the nation’s largest Master of Healthcare Administration degree program, according to Modern Healthcare magazine, but also produces quality graduates who are prepared for a variety of leadership roles. Students gain the expertise and skills the Healthcare Leadership Alliance deems necessary for positions of authority in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and clinics. Students in this online master’s degree in healthcare administration program learn how to make key business decisions while remaining mindful of legal and ethical issues, manage organizations or multidisciplinary teams, and conduct organizational analyses. Bellevue uses an adult-learner model and includes a capstone research project in its curriculum.
17. Liberty University
Online Master of Business Administration: Healthcare Management
Liberty University offers a twist on the usual Master of Business Administration degree program, allowing executive-minded students the option to concentrate in Healthcare Management. Through this specialty track, which functions much like a typical, accredited online master’s degree in healthcare administration, students learn not only the basics of leadership, but also the skills they need to effect change and enact policies in healthcare organizations. Professors focus on the financial, ethical, and professional issues that healthcare leaders face, as well as solid foundational theories and practices vital to organizational success. Graduates can secure positions in public health departments, consulting firms, and universities and research institutions, among others. SuperScholar.org ranked Liberty #11 on its list of the 25 Best Online MBA Programs of 2014.
16. Park University
Online Master of Healthcare Administration
Students who seek a leadership role in any number of medical organizations will find that Park University’s online master’s degree in Healthcare Administration is a great step forward. Students learn how to effectively manage day-to-day responsibilities but also how to enact change, motivate coworkers, and lead organizations toward growth. Though courses are available online, students can also visit the downtown Kansas City, Mo., campus if they desire face-to-face class time. Park also earned a spot on BestColleges.com’s list of the best online masters degrees in healthcare administration in the nation, and Park was the only program in the state of Missouri to earn such recognition.
15. Montana State University Billings
Online Master of Health Administration
Mid-level managers, clinicians, and working professionals seeking a leg up in their careers can consider Montana State University-Billings’ online master’s degree in Health Administration program. Students take specialized online courses, with a focus on the delivery of healthcare in rural areas, and attend a two-day, on-campus professional seminar each semester. Those without a background in healthcare management or administration also complete an internship, ensuring that all graduates have the work experience they need to be successful in upper-level management. Regardless of professional background, all students complete a capstone project and have access to career services, financial aid, tutoring, and a virtual bookstore. U.S. News & World Report ranked MSU-Billings #88 on its list of best regional universities in the American West.
Tuition: $5,276/yr (In-state) $11,226/yr (Out-of-state)
14. St. Joseph’s College of Maine
Online Master of Health Administration Degree
The master’s degree in Health Administration online at St. Joseph’s College of Maine is designed for those with at least two years’ experience in the healthcare industry who are interested in taking on leadership roles. This affordable and flexible program is the only online master’s degree of its kind in the country that holds accreditation from the National Association of Board Examiners of Long-Term Care Administrators (NAB). Students have the option to explore special summer programs, which affords them a plethora of networking opportunities while still enabling them to graduate in just two years. Uniquely, St. Joseph’s caters to its religious demographic by offering a specialization in Catholic Healthcare. On that note, The Best Colleges ranked St. Joseph’s Online College the #8 Top Online Catholic College of 2015.
13. University of Nebraska Omaha
Online Master of Public Administration: Concentration in Healthcare Administration
Health care professionals seeking a prestigious and practical online master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Administration can look to the University of Nebraska-Omaha to meet their needs. Core courses include Health Care Policy, The U.S. Health Care System, and Health Care Finance. This specialization is perfect for students who are passionate about healthcare and plan to work as managers in hospitals, clinics, and other health service organizations in the private, public, or non-profit sectors. U.S. News & World Report ranked this online program among the top 15% of MPAs in the nation, signifying its status as a top online master’s degree in healthcare administration as well.
Tuition: $4,414/yr (In-state) $11,970/yr (Out-of-state)
12. Wayland Baptist University
Online Master of Business Administration: Specialization in Healthcare Administration
Wayland Baptist University takes a Christian-centered approach to its 100% online specialization in Healthcare Administration, offered through its Virtual Campus. WBU offers courses year-round through a quarter system, with classes in Management of Health Facilities, Long Term Care Administration, and Health Professionals in Human Resources Management available to those in the MBA-HA program, which functions similarly to a standard online master’s degree in healthcare administration. The mission of the online program is to offer quality education students can access anytime and anywhere, while still providing personalized and individualized support. While Wayland Baptist University always ensures affordable tuition rates, the financial aid office works hard to ensure that 95% of students receive both need-based and merit-based assistance. U.S. News & World Report ranked WBU the #73 Best School in the West in 2013.
11. University of South Dakota
Online Master of Science in Administration: Health Services Administration Specialization
The online master’s degree in Administration with a specialization in Health Services at USD is perfect for mid-career healthcare professionals looking to take on management and leadership roles in the industry. Students take courses year-round through the Desire2Learn online learning platform and typically complete their degree in two years. USD is committed to helping its online learners succeed and offers many support services including tech support, online advising resources, a writing lab, and online library resources. Coursework focuses on administration, the legal and ethical implications of decision-making, and communication, ensuring the program truly puts the “administration” in “online master’s degree in healthcare administration.” U.S. News & World Report ranked USD the #93 Public School in the nation.
Tuition: $5,050/yr (In-state) $10,687/yr (Out-of-state)
10. Wilmington University
Online Master of Science in Management with a Concentration in Healthcare Administration
New Castle, DE
Wilmington University is committed to providing adult learners with a high-quality online education with the same excellent faculty, courses, and access to student support services that traditional students enjoy. Online learners additionally benefit from a flexible class format, rolling admission, and courses that start every eight weeks. Distance learners passionate about management, medicine, and helping others will find the affordable online master’s degree in healthcare administration (categorized as a major in Management with a Concentration in Healthcare Administration) a great choice to kick-start their careers. The program offers a blend of business management and healthcare courses, plus an engaging list of required classes, such as Strategy in Organizations, Analysis of Decision Making, and Legal Aspects in Health Care. As of 2015, WU proudly bears the label of “Military Friendly School.”
9. Saint Leo University
Online MBA: Healthcare Management Concentration
St. Leo, FL
Saint Leo’s MBA in Healthcare Management is the perfect online degree program for those looking to increase their knowledge and emerge as leaders in their field. Students can complete this flexible and affordable program in as little as one year by taking up to two courses every eight weeks. Note that this makes SLU a particularly cheap online master’s degree in healthcare administration, given that the yearly tuition cost represents nearly the total price of attendance! Students take required courses in both business administration and health management and graduate armed with the latest technology and skills to solve complex problems in the industry. U.S. News & World Report ranked Saint Leo University the #65 Best Regional University (South) and the #27 Best College for Veterans.
8. University of Texas Pan American
Online Master of Science in Health Sciences
UTPA offers a completely online, one-year master’s degree in Health Science for working adults at an affordable cost. While not technically a master’s degree in healthcare administration online, this program nonetheless attracts those wanting to acquire the skills and confidence to become a healthcare leader. Courses such as Research in Health Care, Professional Proposal Writing, and Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Care give students a well-rounded education that equips them to communicate effectively with all members of a healthcare team, analyze and influence healthcare policy, develop and manage budgets, and effectively manage people and resources. Forbes ranked UTPA the #127 Best School in the South for 2015.
Tuition: $4,187/yr (In-state) $10,559/yr (Out-of-state)
7. Kaplan University
Online Master of Health Care Administration
Kaplan University understands the rapid changes in both technology and healthcare and is committed to providing those in its online master’s degree in Health Care Administration program, which features relevant, up-to-date curriculum. Courses are forward thinking, giving students the insight and problem-solving skills they need to become leaders in the industry. The curriculum focuses on ethics, policy, financial management, and healthcare assessment, and graduates may seek management positions in private, governmental, and non-profit organizations. This flexible program offers multiple start dates. The Best Colleges ranked Kaplan University the #2 Top Online College of 2015.
6. Western Governors University
Online MBA Healthcare Management
Salt Lake City, UT
WGU offers an online MBA in Healthcare Management that equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to help them advance their careers as healthcare professionals. Students who commit 15 hours per week on their studies can expect to complete the program in two year. Online learners in this unique, accredited online master’s degree in healthcare administration work with an assigned mentor on rigorous assignments and complete required coursework in six-month semesters that are based on assessments, not classes. The assigned mentor works with each student directly to tailor an education plan best suited to each individual’s needs. Modules include studies of Human Capital, Ethical Leadership, and Financial Management culminating in a capstone project. WGU was ranked #1 in GuidetoOnlineSchools.com’s Top Online Colleges list in 2013.
5. King University
Online Master of Business Administration: Specialization in Healthcare Management
King University offers an accredited and affordable online MBA with a specialization in Healthcare Management for those looking to take on leadership and management roles in the field of healthcare. The curriculum focuses on skills development, ethics, management, and research. King uses the Case Method four-step learning process to help online students acquire valuable skillsets. These steps cover reading and analyzing data, planning a course of action, discussing issues with a team and providing real-world scenarios, and evaluating how critical-thinking shapes outcomes. G.I. Jobs named King a Military-Friendly school – an honor reserved for the top 20% of schools dedicated to openly embracing veterans and current service-members, making this program one of the top online master’s degrees in healthcare administration for military-affiliated applicants.
4. West Texas A&M University
Online Master of Business Administration: Emphasis in Healthcare Management
WTAMU’s online MBA program is highly regarded, consistently earning distinctions from U.S. News & World Report, College Choice, Online MBA Report, SuperScholar.org, and Top Management degrees, to name a few. It is also highly affordable, ranked #1 in 2014 by Simple Dollar for its low tuition. Those choosing an emphasis in Healthcare Management have the option to complete 100% of their coursework online, typically graduating from the program in two years. The program is more business-focused than some other online master’s degrees in healthcare administration, and students complete core courses in both business administration and healthcare management. Finally, participants prepare for graduation by putting together a portfolio of their academic work and completing an internship.
Tuition: $4,108/yr (In-state) $4,648/yr (Out-of-state)
3. Midwestern State University
Online Masters in Health Administration
Wichita Falls, TX
Midwestern State University’s affordable online master’s degree in Health Administration is designed for those want to continue working full-time while completing the program. Although “cheap” accurately describes MSU’s rock-bottom costs, it far underestimates the school’s high quality. Courses include Health Services Administration, Managerial Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Healthcare Law and Bioethics. After completing both required coursework and electives, students finish the program by passing comprehensive exams. Graduates move into the job market confidently, armed with the technical and leadership skills to succeed in a variety of healthcare arenas, such as the city health department, public health department, and OSHA. College Prowler rated MSU above average in all areas in its 2015 Niche Rankings.
Tuition: $3,627/yr (In-state) $4,797/yr (Out-of-state)
2. Grantham University
Online Master of Healthcare Administration Program
Grantham University’s 100% online master’s degree in Healthcare Administration offers students the skills necessary to understand the complexities of a rapidly changing healthcare system while also having a comprehensive business education. This affordable program offers financial aid and scholarships, and a textbook and software grant is also available for those who qualify. Grantham highly encourages veterans, active military members, and healthcare professionals to apply, admitting new participants continuously throughout the year. Graduates feel prepared to assess the healthcare industry’s legal and ethical challenges, use cutting-edge technology applicable to the field, and apply for positions as managers and leaders. College Factual ranked Grantham University in the top 25% for Mid-Career Salary Boost.
1. Trident University
Online Master of Science in Health Administration
Trident University tops the list of affordable degrees in Health Administration, offering a tuition rate that makes a graduate education accessible to nearly all students. In addition to financial accessibility, Trident also scores well on measures of student happiness, GetEducated.com gave Trident University an A in Student Satisfaction. Trident is committed to helping all students achieve their goals on their own time, which is why it offers year-round courses and rolling admissions. Students also benefit from extreme schedule flexibility and are able to take just about any class they need for their degree during the year over the course of eight sessions. This online master’s degree in healthcare administration prepares graduates to take on leadership roles in management, human resources, ethics, finance, and delivery systems in the field of healthcare.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
U.S. News Ranking and Reviews
Wayland Baptist University
The Best Colleges
Wikipedia-Western Governors University
College Factual Wikipedia
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