Healthcare Administration Graduate Programs Online provide a convenient format for those who want to study the managerial side of the health care industry. Most programs aim to build leadership and decision skills. Distance learners might also learn how to conduct pertinent research and use their findings to improve patient care or business operations.
written by Rana Waxman
For today’s busy adults and at-work professionals, Online Healthcare Administration Graduate Programs could bring a Masters, Doctorate or Certificate within reach. A fairly complex field, healthcare administration has many components to it. Students might therefore study it from the lens of management, public health, health systems informatics, health policy or advocacy.
Some accredited online healthcare administration graduate programs of study might require students to complete applied experiences as well as course work. The curriculum is largely tied to the focal point of the degree.
So, while some potential topics of study are provided below, make sure to read university course lists. Pair that information with professional goals as you compare online health administration degrees.
An online Masters in Health Administration program could help students learn the managerial processes required by facilities and functions in the healthcare industry. While there may be advanced and part-time options, students who work towards a Masters in Healthcare Administration degree online might complete their program in about 2 years.
DID YOU KNOW?
Per the BLS, For Health Services Managers, advancement to top level executive positions usually requires a masters degree.i
An online MHA degree is a professional rather than an academic degree. Participants might study to gain competencies and knowledge to pursue a career in managing health services organizations, consultancy, or public health infrastructure.
The MHA degree sets itself apart from the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees because it focuses specifically on health administration in nonprofit, federal, state, and local level.
Students might be required to complete 36 graduate credit hours which could include and internship and a final strategic healthcare management capstone. A synthesis of course work, the capstone could ask students to develop a strategic plan for a health services organization.
Who Might Pursue an Online MHA?Persons who enroll in an MHA degree program may already be at work in the field of health but may strive to move out of the practitioner field and into management roles.
To be accepted into an online MHA degree program, applicants may be required to already have a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. What is classed as a 'relevant field', however, varies greatly and might be anything pertinent to healthcare, politics, business, economics, sociology, and so on. One to two years of work experience in the health care field (or equivalent) may also be required.
CAHME Accredited Online MHA Programs: Several accrediting bodies that are recognized for MHA programs include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and the Commission on the Accreditation of or Healthcare Management Accreditation (CAHME). Accredited programs may follow specific guidelines to ensure students build a set of core competencies. Several of these are highlighted below.
Also, participants might work towards a more general MHA degree while others might study to earn a certificate or concentration.
An online MBA is a professional degree in general business where students could choose healthcare management as a concentration. This is one aspect that is different from an MHA degree where healthcare is the principal focus for core and concentration courses.
Frequently, an online healthcare MBA program’s core highlights organizational leadership – and how to develop it. Students could also build analytical skills which could be applied across all the functional areas of business – marketing, economics, information systems, accounting, finance, strategy, and global awareness.
Specific courses in health care management might help students understand the finer points of how to plan, direct and coordinate healthcare in a variety of settings. Applicants who do not have a prior background in business may need to take some prerequisite courses to bring them up to speed.
An online MPA degree is a professional degree where students could build apply administrative skills in the areas of leadership, human capital development, policy and governance in government, nonprofit and community arenas.
Whereas an MBA might challenge students to think about issues in private businesses, online MPA students might critically assess issues that are faced in public sector organizations today. Graduates may take away an ability to directly impact the efficiency of health-related organizations, implement effective health care public policy and improve access to quality care.
The doctorate is the highest degree level available within healthcare administration. Online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration programs may appeal to executives who want to conduct extensive research based on managerial science.
In order to apply to a doctoral degree program in healthcare administration, students typically need to have already earned a bachelors and a masters degree from an accredited college or university. Some programs may require that the masters degree be in healthcare administration or a related field.
Full-time students might expect to complete an online healthcare administration doctoral program in about three to five years but should know that the research component could stretch program length.
An online DHA program is an advanced professional doctorate degree and the highest award in health administration. It is known for its action-oriented focus designed to enable graduate to strategically shape the direction of health care.
Online DHA programs may have course plans built for licensed, certified or registered health care practitioners who plan to pursue facility administration positions within health care organizations. Applicants often have at least five years or more of experience in health care policy, management or clinical care.
Students might learn via an assessment of evidence-based case studies, simulation exercises, consulting projects, presentations, and more. Most course plans require students to learn about leadership strategies in health environments. Related topics often explore the tactics that generate value, growth and competitive advantages in health care organizations. See some examples below.
Graduates could take away an ability to come up with data-driven solutions, make sense of advanced-level leadership concepts, theories, and infuse techniques into professional practice.
An online DBA degree is a professional doctorate and the highest academic award in business. A health administration DBA could enable students to learn tactical leadership and managerial decision making as they apply to this arena.
Participants are often executives who want to learn how to apply theory and insight from research to solve practical problems found in business and management. Much like an MBA (which is often a prerequisite), DBA degree programs are built around core topics, applied business analysis research and making sense of global factors.
Seminar courses add to the mix with specific health systems topics. Students might, for instance, delve into how healthcare policy and economic influences impact health policy and the ways resources and services are allocated.
An online PhD in Healthcare Administration is an academic doctorate and the highest academic award for scholar-researchers. Program courses might discuss strategies related to total quality management in health care. More narrowly, they might focus on strategic planning in health care and managed system and comparative health care system analysis.
PhD programs in healthcare administration typically aim to enable distance learners to understand key points of view so may be theoretical in nature. They often build research-based health care skills that could apply to industry management issues and may task students with the generation and critique of original research.
Individuals who wish to enhance their skills and knowledge with respect to a specific theme or method in the field of healthcare could consider an online graduate certificate. For instance, students could learn about clinical trials and how to strategically lead a clinical research team.
Online graduate certificates in healthcare administration typically take a full-time student about one year (more or less) to complete and might consist of between 15 and 18 credits. Admissions requirements for online certificate programs may include the submission of undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. In some cases, a resume that documents relevant work experience is mandatory as well.
Are you too busy and entrenched in your work to make it to campus? There is a spectrum of healthcare administration schools online – some with 100 percent online experiences and others that may require brief residencies or an on-campus orientation.
Nonetheless, online Health Administration Graduate programs pose an alternative to the traditional in-person formats and do not often have pre-set schedules. Here’s how that might help you.
We’ve listed above some examples of online health administration graduate programs but there are more to find from partner schools. Easily set filters for Masters programs such as online MHA, MBA, and MPA programs or Doctoral level PhD, DBA and DHA degrees. Not ready for a full degree? Look through available online certificates. Excited about your choice? Use the on-page form to contact schools right away.
Source: [i] bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-4