United States Healthcare Administration Graduate Programs & Degrees
What Is a Healthcare Administration Degree?
A healthcare administration degree is a program that teaches healthcare management. You could study business leadership skills, plus knowledge specific to the health industry.
A healthcare administration program could help you prepare for growing healthcare career paths. You'll discover how to navigate the healthcare system, from hospitals to nursing homes. And, you'll learn what it takes to keep health facilities running smoothly.
written by Rana Waxman
What Can You Do With a Graduate Healthcare Administration Degree?
A graduate healthcare administration degree program could help you prepare for roles in the growing healthcare field. About 2.4 million new healthcare jobs are predicted by 2026. That’s 18% growth – much faster than average for all other occupations.
By studying healthcare administration, you could prepare for career paths like Medical and Health Services Manager. These professionals are also called Healthcare Administrators. They manage different aspects of medical and wellness services. That includes everything from small hospital departments to entire practices.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Healthcare Administrators should see over 72,000 new jobs by 2026. Much of this growth can be attributed to the aging Baby Boomer population, who need more medical services. Plus, the changing healthcare industry could mean increased demand for workers. Medical practices are becoming larger and more complex. And, the growing use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) could mean a need for professionals who understand this technology.
Do I Need a Graduate Degree in Healthcare Administration?
Many employers in the field of health administration prefer candidates with Master’s degrees. But, the entry-level education required for Health Administrator roles is a Bachelor’s degree.
Requirements for Health Administrators may also depend on the role. For instance, a Nursing Home Administrator may need experience as a Registered Nurse. And, Top Executives within healthcare organizations usually need to earn a Master’s.
Health Administrators manage the business end of healthcare. So, they often need business courses like accounting and finance. They also need knowledge specific to the healthcare field. That includes everything from biostatistics to technology used in medical settings.
Jobs in Healthcare Administration
Social and Community Service Manager
Training and Development Managers
Medical and Health Services Managers
Top States for Employment: Medical and Health Services Managers
Annual Mean Wage
|Metro Area||Annual Mean Salary||Employment|
|Salinas, CA||$117,850||Not Reported|
|Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA||$110,010||230|
|Napa, CA||$109,850||Not Reported|
|San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA||$106,160||240|
Medical and Health Services Managers primarily worked for hospitals, physicians’ offices, and outpatient care centers. They also worked for industries that included:
- Nursing Care Facilities
- Home Health Care Services
- Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories
- Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing
- Scientific Research and Development Services
Popular Healthcare Administration Degree Programs in United States
Healthcare administration degrees are reported by the National Center for Education Statistics under the category of health professions and related services
According to the most recent data (2009/10), there were 6,768 healthcare administration and management degrees awarded to U.S. graduate students. The majority (98%) were at the Master’s level.
|Master’s in Health Services Administration||National Louis University||MHSA|
|Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Management||Colorado Technical University||N/A|
|MBA Health Care Management Track||Quinnipiac University||MBA|
Master of Science in Health Care Administration vs. MBA in Healthcare Administration
Both the MBA and MS in Healthcare Administration cover business and healthcare knowledge. But, these programs differ in how they are structured.
An MBA in Healthcare Administration is a business degree. So, you may cover a broad overview of business – including economics, finance, and management strategy. On top of that, you’ll take courses in the healthcare administration concentration. That said, the balance may be tipped in favor of general business courses.A Master of Science (MS) in Healthcare Administration focuses on business concepts as they apply to the healthcare field. So, most of your courses will take a close look at the inner workings of this industry. Think healthcare law, policy, management, and more. If you’re interested in studying business through a healthcare lens, this program may be ideal.
Healthcare Administration Degree Guide
Master of Science in Health Care Administration
MBA in Healthcare Administration
Length of Program: 37 credits
Length of Program: 30 credits; two years (part time)
This M.S. program specifically focuses on information technology within the healthcare field. You’ll also study core business concepts as they apply to healthcare – like finance and economics.
In the MBA, students pursue a core business curriculum. That includes areas like finance and leadership. They also take courses on the concerns of health organizations – from ethics to information technology.
No specific program accreditation
The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
What Are the Requirements for a Graduate Healthcare Administration Degree?
A Master of Health Administration (MHA) program usually requires between 32 and 60 credits. (Give or take a few!) These typically include core business courses, like finance and marketing. You’ll also apply business concepts to healthcare topics. For example, you could study medical supply chains or healthcare financial management.
Common MHA course requirements may include:
- Epidemiology. This branch of medicine focuses on disease. You’ll explore the causes of disease, and how it spreads. You could also learn how to design research that answers epidemiological questions.
- Health Information Management. Managing information is important for all healthcare facilities. In this course, you’ll study topics like electronic health records and informatics.
- Health Care Marketing. This course applies marketing tools and strategies to the needs of health organizations. You could study public relations, and how marketing fits into a larger strategy.
- Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare Management. Most MHA programs include one or more courses on law and ethics. You could study both classic and contemporary theories. And, you’ll apply them to healthcare scenarios you could face on the job.
- Leadership in Health Care. Healthcare administration professionals may lead teams or projects. A leadership course covers key skill areas, like communications and self-analysis. And, you could take a look at different leadership styles to learn which one fits you!
Some MHA programs let you choose a specialty area. So, you could take coursework in that discipline. Some potential specialties include:
- Acute Care
- Long-term Care
- Health Informatics
- Organizational Development and Leadership
- Health Policy and Management
- Management of Aging Services
Finally, many programs call for a capstone project. This is a chance to pull together everything you’ve learned in the program.
Choosing an Accredited Graduate Healthcare Administration Degree
Accredited graduate healthcare administration program must meet rigorous quality standards. So, accreditation can help you ensure your program measures up.
The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) is the authority in this space. They look at factors like program flexibility, outcomes, and a commitment to improvement. CAHME accredits healthcare administration programs that award the following degrees:
- And others
They also recognize multiple disciplines in the healthcare management field. CAHME accredits programs in the following areas:
- Health care administration
- Health services management
- Hospital or other health care organization-specific administration and management
- Health planning and evaluation
- Health policy
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Healthcare Administration Degree?
An online Master’s in Health Administration may take about two years to earn. That’s for full-time students in a general program. If you study part-time or opt for a specialization, your program could take longer.
Earning a Ph.D. in Health Care Administration could take up to seven years. Often, the program length depends on how long you take to complete your self-paced dissertation.
Health Administration Programs That Could Be Completed in 36 Months or Less
|University||# of Credits Required||Start Dates||Minimum Months to Complete|
|Northcentral University||60||52 (weekly starts)||36 months|
|Pfeiffer University||36||3 starts per year||24 months|
|Walden University||53||N/A||30 months|
|Utica College||36||3 starts per year||24 months|
How Much Does a Healthcare Administration Degree Cost to Earn?
The average cost of earning a graduate degree from a public institution is $11,617 per year. This means you could find programs both more affordable and more expensive than the average.
Check out the graduate tuition costs of four institutions with healthcare administration programs, as reported by NCES. We compared those costs to the typically most affordable and most expensive college options, also reported by NCES.
Instate/Out Of State Tuition
What Are the Costs per Credit for a Healthcare Administration Degree?
Cost per credit to earn a graduate degree in healthcare administration could be as low as $200. It could also be as high as $1,000, or more. Factors include the type of school you’re attending, and whether you’re in state or out of state. Compare costs per credit for these schools with healthcare administration programs:
|University||# of Credits Required||Cost Per Credit||Tuition Cost|
|Saint Leo University||36||$720||$25,920|
|Penn State World Campus||49||$975||$47,775|
|Saint Joseph’s University||36 to 42||$870||$31,320 to $36,540|
Top 55 Graduate Healthcare Administration Degree Programs in United States
- Accredited online university.
- Capella University offers doctoral programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.
- Competency-based curriculum delivers both foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so that what you’re learning in your courses is immediately applicable to your career goals.
- Tuition around $4,000 a term - about half the cost of most other online universities
- Master of Business Administration, Healthcare Management, Data Analytics, Information Technology Management, Accounting, Leadership and more
- Programs start monthly - Apply free this week!
Northcentral UniversityDoctor of Philosophy in Business Administration - Health Care Administration Doctor of Business Administration - Health Care Administration Doctor of Health Administration Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration Master of Business Administration - Health Care Administration MPA Health Care Administration
Rivier UniversityMBA (Healthcare Administration)
Walden UniversityDoctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) - Healthcare Management Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) - Population Health Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) - Systems & Policy Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) - General - Tempo Learning Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) - General Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) - Leadership & Organizational Development Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) - Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation (Part-time)
Ashford UniversityMA in Human Services - Mental Health Administration MA in Healthcare Administration specialization
Northern Illinois UniversityMaster of Public Health - Health Services Management Master of Public Health - Health Promotion
Southern New Hampshire UniversityMBA w/conc in Healthcare Management MS Healthcare Administration MS Management w/conc in Healthcare IMBA w/conc in Healthcare Management
National Louis UniversityMaster’s in Health Services Administration
American InterContinental UniversityMaster's - Healthcare Management MBA - Healthcare Management
Purdue University GlobalM.S. in Management and Leadership - Health Care Management M.B.A. in Health Care Management Master of Health Care Administration
Grand Canyon UniversityMaster of Public Administration with an Emphasis in Health Care Management M.B.A.: Health Systems Management Ed. D. in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Health Care Administration M.S. in Health Care Administration
Colorado Technical UniversityMaster of Science in Management - Healthcare Management Master of Business Administration - Health Care Management Master of Science in Healthcare Management Doctor of Management - Healthcare Management and Leadership (Executive Format)
University of the SouthwestMBA Healthcare Administration
Liberty University OnlineDoctor of Business Administration: Healthcare Management Master of Science: Healthcare Administration- 42-hour
Colorado Christian UniversityBusiness Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Health Care Administration
Union Institute and UniversityMaster of Science in Healthcare Leadership