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Best Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration Degree Programs

Some of the best online bachelor's degree programs in healthcare administration are available from schools in Minnesota, North Carolina, and Alabama. Here we discuss the degree program in detail, including courses, financial aid, and potential careers.

Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in Healthcare Administration

There is no shortage of online bachelor's degree programs in the field of healthcare administration or healthcare management. These programs are usually offered as a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree and may be fully online or offered in a blended format. Some of the top schools for this online degree may be considered the best for the various concentrations offered, hands-on learning opportunities, flexible formats, accreditation, and/or availability of earning an advanced degree. Explore some of the best schools for an online bachelor's degree in healthcare administration below.

1. Brigham Young University-Idaho

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Rexburg, ID$4,11864%

Brigham Young University-Idaho has an online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Healthcare Administration that is designed to help prepare students for various careers in the field and/or master's degree programs in healthcare or business. Students who think they are interested in pursuing the major can take an introductory course to learn more about the industry. The BS program is pursuing certification from the Association of University Programs in Healthcare Administration (AUPHA), and will have a number of connections for internships and mentoring opportunities at regional hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and healthcare insurance companies.

2. University of Alabama at Birmingham

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Birmingham, AL$8,56894%

The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a completely online BS in Healthcare Management as well as a blended format. Students in the program can choose from tracks in general manager, clinical manager, long-term care administration, and pre-professional. The program also offers an optional fast-track for students interested in earning their master's degree in health informatics or healthcare quality and safety.

3. Herzing University-Minneapolis

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
St. Louis Park, MN$14,00097%

Herzing University-Minneapolis has an online BS in Healthcare Management that can be completed in 3 years and accepts some transfer credit. Students can choose from a concentration in managed care or leadership. Students in the program may also earn some dual credit to count towards a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management if they would like. The program also has the option for students to earn 2 unique certifications through concentration courses: Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification (LSSYB) and Certified Specialist Managed Care (CSMC).

4. Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Omaha, NE$16,308100%

Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health provides a blended BS in Healthcare Management that takes 4 years to complete. Students take online and on-campus courses and have the opportunity to begin their MBA in Healthcare Management right after graduation. Students in the program may pursue a minor in either Spanish for Healthcare Professionals or Healthcare Sign Language, and students can choose to participate in the professional organization, American College of Healthcare Executives.

5. East Carolina University

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Greenville, NC$7,18881%

East Carolina University has a blended BS in Health Services Management that requires a final internship experience for hands-on learning. Students take online and on-campus courses in a cohort model. The program is certified by AUPHA and is designed for those wishing to become a mid-level manager in healthcare, working professionals with their associate's degree, or students interested in completing prerequisites for a master's program. The school also offers some unique scholarship opportunities for students in health services.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6Maryville University of Saint LouisSaint Louis, MO$28,470100%
7Concordia University-Saint PaulSaint Paul, MN$22,27599%
8Southeast Missouri State UniversityCape Girardeau, MO$7,41896%
9Roger Williams UniversityBristol, RI$34,522100%
10Thomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphia, PA$40,65199%
11Fresno Pacific UniversityFresno, CA$32,45898%
12Davenport UniversityGrand Rapids, MI$18,41497%
13Misericordia UniversityDallas, PA$33,240100%
14Husson UniversityBangor, ME$18,17099%
15Winona State UniversityWinona, MN$9,42589%
16University of Massachusetts-DartmouthNorth Dartmouth, MA$13,92193%
17Mercy College of Health SciencesDes Moines, IA$17,95291%
18St. Joseph's College-Long IslandPatchogue, NY$27,84098%
19Norfolk State UniversityNorfolk, VA$9,49097%
20University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesMinneapolis, MN$14,76081%
21Mary Baldwin UniversityStaunton, VA$31,110100%
22University of MaryBismarck, ND$18,44498%
23Dallas Baptist UniversityDallas, TX$28,87097%
24Immaculata UniversityImmaculata, PA$27,350100%
25Pennsylvania College of Health SciencesLancaster, PA$28,41289%
26Saint Joseph's College of MaineStandish, ME$35,650100%
27Carlow UniversityPittsburgh, PA$29,454100%
28Colby-Sawyer CollegeNew London, NH$42,39897%
29SUNY College of Technology at AlfredAlfred, NY$8,75093%
30Florida International UniversityMiami, FL$6,54684%

All statistics provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition based on 2017-2018 school year.

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Online Healthcare Administration Degree Overview

Undergraduate- and graduate-level degree and certificate programs in the field of healthcare administration are available in online formats. These programs are designed to equip students with a well-rounded knowledge of the healthcare system and the necessary skills to perform administrative and leadership-based duties in the field. Students usually learn about topics in healthcare finance, quality care, leadership and ethics, and more. Many of these degree programs may be available fully online, while others may have some in-person residency requirements.

Online degree programs in healthcare administration may allow students to further focus their studies in a particular area of the field with specializations and/or elective courses. Certificate programs in the field are also available in specific subfields of healthcare administration and help prepare students for professional certifications or licensures. It is fairly common for online programs in healthcare administration to conclude with some sort of culminating course and/or project. Explore some of the different program options in healthcare administration below.

Online Associate Degrees in Healthcare Administration

Online associate degree programs in healthcare administration are typically available as Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees. Students can complete these degree programs fully online; some programs allow students to finish in as little as 16 months while others may allow students up to 4 years to finish. These programs may give students the option to move directly into a bachelor's degree program in the field after graduation.

These healthcare administration programs require around 60 credits and generally consist of general education courses as well as core courses in healthcare administration. Some programs may also include some open electives and/or some professional development courses intended to help prepare students for their future careers. Learners may be able to study at their own pace and typically take courses in topics like medical terminology, health policy, healthcare systems, and medical coding. Graduates of these programs are equipped with real-world skills used in the field and may qualify for entry-level positions in healthcare administration.

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Healthcare Administration

Online bachelor's degree programs in healthcare administration are most commonly offered as a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Healthcare Administration or a BS in Healthcare Management. These programs can be found completely online formats but many use a blended format. On-campus coursework for blended programs may include some general education courses, major courses, and/or hands-on internship opportunities or capstone experience. Students may be able to complete general education courses, core business courses, and/or concentration courses online.

Generally, like traditional bachelor's degree programs, online bachelor's degrees in healthcare administration can be completed in 4 years. However, there are some programs that may only take 3 years to complete and/or some programs that allow for transfer credit from prior college coursework. Some of these programs may also follow a cohort model and/or in the case of blended programs may schedule the online courses at various points throughout the program to help students stay on track and graduate in a timely manner.

Some online degree programs in healthcare administration may offer admission on a rolling basis, allowing students to start the program at various times throughout the year. Some programs may not require test scores for admissions, while other schools may require test scores and/or a minimum GPA.

Online Master's Degrees in Healthcare Administration

Usually offered as Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degrees, online master's degree programs in the field are fairly common. These programs may range between 36 and 52 credits and while the coursework can typically be completed entirely online, some programs may include a residency experience. Some of these programs can be completed in as little as 15 months, while others may offer students 2- and 3-year degree-completion options. Master's degree programs in the field are designed to further develop students' leadership skills and help prepare them for advanced positions in management and leadership.

Many of these online healthcare administration graduate programs do not require a thesis, but students may take a final capstone course where they apply what they have learned throughout the program to a comprehensive project. Students typically take core courses in the field and some programs may offer various areas of specializations so students can further focus their studies and prepare for specific careers. These programs also usually build into the curriculum important skills in team-building, strategic planning, financial management, and practice management.

Online Doctoral Degrees in Healthcare Administration

Online doctoral degrees in healthcare administration are also fairly common and are generally found as Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) degrees. These programs may require between 58 and 60 credits and some can be completed in as little as 3 years. Students can usually complete coursework completely online, but some programs may include a couple on-campus residencies. Doctoral programs in the field are usually designed for students wishing to work in academia, research, and/or advanced leadership positions in the field.

Online DHA degrees typically include core research courses, courses in the major, and electives to help students focus their studies in various areas of interest. Some programs may offer different tracks based on a student's educational background, such as if they have an MHA or a master's in another field, which could affect what core courses in healthcare administration are taken. Most of these degree programs do require students to complete a dissertation and/or doctoral capstone experience.

Online Certificates in Healthcare Administration

Online certificate programs in healthcare administration are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate certificate programs in the field may range between 12 and 18 credits, while graduate-level certificates may range between 15 and 18 credits. These programs can usually be completed in 1 year and may be able to count towards a bachelor's or master's degree in the field, depending on the certificate level.

These online certificate programs may be available in specific areas of healthcare administration, such as long-term care administration or Catholic health care leadership. In general, they include core courses in healthcare administration that provide students with foundational concepts and skills in the subject. Some of these programs may conclude with a culminating course that has students apply what they have learned to a project. Depending on the program, graduates with their certificate may also be prepared to pursue licensure, such as those that earn a graduate-level long-term care administration certificate.

Healthcare Administration Concentrations

Concentrations for online bachelor's degree programs in healthcare administration vary greatly by school. Some concentrations may be in the form of tracks that are designed for specific career specializations, such as general managers, clinical managers, or long-term care administrators. Other concentration areas may be based on levels of prior work experience, such as a health services management concentration for a traditional student versus an allied health management concentration for working professionals in the healthcare field. Some schools may also offer more general concentrations in areas such as managed care or leadership.

Common Courses for Healthcare Administration

Students in online bachelor's degree programs in healthcare administration typically need to complete general education requirements, some core management or business courses, courses in healthcare management, and/or their specific concentration. Learn about a small sampling of the common courses for these degree programs here:

  • Financial Management- Courses in financial management for healthcare administration degree programs focus on financial principles within the healthcare system. Students may explore topics in cost analysis, budgeting, resource allocation, funding, and compliance.
  • Ethics- Most students take a course that examines ethical issues in healthcare management and/or the various legal issues within the healthcare system of the United States. Courses may discuss topics such as privacy, informed consent, physician patient relationships, and corporate social responsibility.
  • Healthcare Policy- In addition to a course on ethics and legal issues in healthcare, students generally take a course that is focused on health policy issues and their economic impacts. Students in these courses may also study how healthcare policy is made and explore current policies in the U.S.
  • Human Resource Management- Healthcare administration students in human resource management courses apply human resource principles to a healthcare environment. These courses discuss topics in medical staff relations, training and development, recruiting, hiring, firing, and more.
  • Operations Management- Courses in operations management for a healthcare administration degree take on the perspective of a healthcare professional and explore the logistics of healthcare as a business. Students in these courses may cover topics in supply chain management, financial performance, quality improvement, and systems theory.

Most online degree programs in healthcare administration conclude with a practicum, internship, and/or capstone experience. Some programs allow students to choose between an internship or capstone project, and the internship is designed to provide students with hands-on learning in the healthcare field. During their internship, students generally get to participate in a wide range of healthcare management duties as they observe professionals in the field.

Capstone projects may require students to work on a team or alone on a range of topics, depending on the program. However, for these projects students are generally required to identify a problem within the healthcare field and research potential solutions and report their findings.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration?

While many online bachelor's degree programs in healthcare administration can be completed in the traditional 4 years, there are several options for students wishing to finish their degree faster. For example, there are at least a couple different online bachelor's degree programs that give students an accelerated learning option. Depending on the program, these accelerated programs may take into account students' prior work experience in the field, transfer credits, and/or provide self-paced courses that allow students to work through the program as quickly as they would like. Some of these accelerated programs may allow students to finish their bachelor's degree in as little as 1 year.

How to Choose a Healthcare Administration Degree

When trying to decide which online healthcare administration is the best fit, students may consider a wide range of factors, including program format, available concentrations, affordability, accreditation, hands-on learning opportunities, available resources, and required technology. Students must first and foremost find a degree program that fits their lifestyle in terms of format, as well as helps them reach their ultimate career goals in terms of concentrations, tracks, or coursework. Students should also determine if they would like to participate in on-campus learning and/or other hands-on learning opportunities, such as internships.

It is also important that students take note of the available resources to ensure that they have all the tools needed to be successful. Most online programs still offer academic advising to online students and commonly have courses taught by the same instructors who are on campus. Online students should also consider the technology requirements for online coursework. These requirements may include specific operating systems, software, plug-ins, microphones, and/or speakers. Below we explore a couple other factors to consider in more detail.

Accreditation

While comparing online degree programs in healthcare administration, it is important to check for accreditation. Many of these programs are accredited by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA), and students may prefer to search for programs that have full certification with the organization to ensure quality and high academic standards of learning. AUPHA is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare by ensuring excellence in education in the field. The organization provides certification membership for bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs, as well as some international programs.

Healthcare Administration Licensure & Certification

Medical and health services managers need to have at least a bachelor's degree, generally need some work experience, and may be required to hold some professional license and/or certification, depending on the position. For example, nursing home administrators are required to hold a valid state license, but requirements for the license vary by state. Organizations like the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards can help students find their specific state's requirements. Other areas of the healthcare field may require administrators to hold other related licenses, such as a social work license or registered nurse license.

Professional certifications are also a common option to demonstrate excellence in various areas of the field. These certifications are not usually required, but may help students be competitive. Students may consider earning certification in areas like medical management from the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management or health information management from the American Health Information Management Association. There are also certifications available for specific positions, such as a Certified Assisted Living Administrator or Certified Nursing Home Administrator from the American College of Health Care Administrators.

Career Options for Healthcare Administration

Graduates with a degree in healthcare administration can work in a wide range of management positions within the field of healthcare and may work in an array of settings, including physician's offices, hospitals, government, home healthcare services, or long-term care facilities. Specific job titles for graduates with an online degree in healthcare administration may include:

  • Clinic director
  • Office manager
  • Nurse manager
  • Consultant
  • Center director
  • Clinical manager
  • Healthcare manager
  • Healthcare administrator
  • Residential care manager
  • Healthcare practice manager

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups most of these different job titles under the heading medical and health services managers. According to the BLS, these managers made a median annual salary of $99,730 in 2018 and have a job outlook of 18% from 2018 to 2028. This job outlook is much faster than the national average and may be due in part to the increased need in medical services as our population ages.

Most medical and health services managers work in an office setting and may be responsible for overseeing a department, medical practice, or entire medical facility. These professionals generally work full time and may be required to be on call or work nights and weekends, depending on the needs of their facility.

Medical and health services managers are responsible for helping plan and oversee health services by supervising staff, monitoring records, and communicating with other departments as needed. These managers may set goals for the area they oversee, establish policies and schedules, ensure compliance with healthcare standards and policies, examine budgets, and train staff members.

How to Become a Medical and Health Services Manager

Students interested in becoming some kinds of medical and health services manager, such as a clinical manager, health information manager, or healthcare executive, generally need to have at least a bachelor's degree. This degree usually needs to be in an area like health administration, health management, public health administration, or a related business or health degree. Many employers may prefer and/or require applicants to administrative positions to hold a master's degree, which may also be in similar subject areas. It is also fairly common for these medical and health services managers to need so many years of work experience in a clinical or administrative position. Depending on the position, certification and/or licensure may be required.

In addition to education, experience, and/or licensure, many of these managers need to possess quality leadership and communication skills to help them manage their team, department, organization, etc. efficiently and effectively. This also requires great attention to detail and the ability to analyze data as these managers ensure compliance with laws, organize schedules, and oversee financial information. With the heavy use of technology in the field, it is also beneficial for these managers to have technical skills with various types of software used in healthcare, like electronic health record (EHR) systems.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

When considering an online healthcare administration degree program, prospective students should think about the cost of the degree and potential for financial aid. Tuition rates for online bachelor's degree programs in healthcare administration vary by institution. One school, Nebraska Methodist College, broke down its tuition rate by credit hour to come to a total of $580 per credit hour for the program that totals 120 credits. Online students also need to consider the additional costs of meeting all technology requirements for online courses.

While tuition rates may seem daunting, many schools offer scholarships and/or financial aid options to on-campus and online students. Many schools offer grants, loans, and/or veterans/military benefits to help bring costs down. While students can compete for scholarships, some schools and/or departments may offer healthcare-specific scholarships. For example, East Carolina University offers a number of scholarships in various amounts to students studying health services and information management. Other professional organizations, such as AUPHA, may also offer scholarships for healthcare administration students.