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If your asking yourself “is a Masters in Healthcare Administration worth it”?, you may want to examine your goals and priorities. The only way to determine if an MHA degree program is right for you is to know what you want before you start putting your time and money into it. For an MHA degree program to be worth your time and effort, you need to be passionate about working in the healthcare industry. When you love what you do, it’s important to provide yourself with the skills you need to be as successful as possible.

Whether you work in a government agency, a hospital, or other healthcare facilities, having a Masters degree in Healthcare Administration can increase your options and provide you opportunities to advance your career. A Masters degree offers you advanced tools and resources that will give you the edge over other candidates. Even if you are already working in the field, earning your Masters degree may be just what you need to compete with others who vying for the same positions you are. The right MHA degree program will give you the advantage you need to move forward no matter where you are in your career. 

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable MHA Programs in America

One way to be sure your MHA degree will be worth it is to find an affordable program that provide a real return on investment. Great Business Schools features only accredited, trustworthy institutions. The Most Affordable ranking organizes schools by their tuition rate, according to current IPEDS data.

1. University of Florida

u florida

When you are looking for affordable online MHA programs, you want to consider the Master of Health Administration from the University of Florida. The degree program emphasizes healthcare as it applies to the United States as well as the policies, laws, ethics, and business of the healthcare industry. Students can expect a rigorous education that focuses on the intersection between the healthcare industry and the business industry. The program provides students with the fundamental skills they need to work in a hospital or medical facility.

The University of Florida offers a blended online and on-campus program to students in the MHA program. Students can take a portion of their classes online to keep up with more complex needs or concerns about flexibility. Some of the courses are also provided through the school, so students are able to gain the experience of enjoying classes on campus while they work on their degree program. It gives students the opportunity to keep up with obligations, work responsibilities, or related concerns while they work on their degrees.

Highlight: The University of Florida requires students to take a summer internship in health administration as part of the master’s degree program.

Degree: Master of Health Administration

2. California State University, Long Beach

csu long beach

When you are looking for online healthcare masters degrees for your long-term career goals, the Health Care Administration program at California State University in Long Beach is a good choice for your plans. The degree program is available in an accelerated format or through a traditional format. Students are able to focus on the degree program that fits their personal situations and goals. It emphasizes management as well as the critical details associated with working in a medical facility. The degree program recognizes that students must understand the healthcare industry as well as the business industry to advance in their careers.

California State University in Long Beach offers courses that fit the needs of working adults. The traditional on-campus program is available in the evenings, so students can choose from classes that start at four or seven in the evening. The accelerated course material is available to students who want to work at a faster pace, so it offers solutions to help cut back on the time required for the degree. Since the programs are designed around working adults, it allows students to focus on the format and timing that fits their specific situations.

Highlight: California State University in Long Beach only allows students to start the Health Care Administration masters degree program in the fall.

Degree: Health Care Administration, MS 

3. Texas Woman’s University

texas woman

Texas Woman’s University offers a Master of Healthcare Administration program that focuses on teaching students about leadership and management as it applies to the healthcare industry. It ensures that students are ready to take on a leadership role in a medical facility or hospital, so it provides a strong foundation in the skills that students need to handle the challenges of working in a fast-paced environment. It also recognizes that medical facilities need business professionals to ensure that they are able to continue offering services to patients, so it provides a strong foundation in business and management to assist with the concerns that may arise in the workplace.

Texas Woman’s University stands out by emphasizing ethical leadership in the medical field. Since the program emphasizes the use of high ethical standards, students are able to handle the challenges that may arise with changes to government policies and regulations. It also ensures that students are able to adapt without taking undue risks with patient health and well-being. By focusing on the ethics that may apply to the medical industry, the program allows students to focus on addressing potential problems at an early stage.

Highlight: Texas Woman’s University is CAHME-accredited for the healthcare administration program.

Degree: Master of Healthcare Administration

4. University of North Florida

u north florida

Students who are planning to work in healthcare administration roles will find that the Master of Health Administration program at the University of North Florida is a good choice for their plans. The program emphasizes hands-on experience and experiential learning by encouraging students to work directly with experienced professionals through internships. Students are able to learn the practical application of theories and ideas in internships and career opportunities before they finish their degrees.

The University of North Florida allows students to study abroad in healthcare administration. The study abroad programs ensure that students understand the differences between countries and their systems within the healthcare industry, and provides insight into different methods of leadership that may assist with long-term career goals. Students are able to take advantage of the study abroad programs as well as the courses available at the college to develop the leadership and management skills they need for their career goals.

Highlight: The University of North Florida is recognized by the CAHME for the healthcare administration program and is also a member of the CAHME mentorship circle.

Degree: Master of Health Administration

5. Texas A&M University

texas am

Texas A&M University offers as a Master of Health Administration program that is affordable and flexible for student goals. The program allows students to choose from two possible tracks: the resident track and the executive track. The resident track is designed around students who are moving from different industries and may need to learn more about the healthcare industry. The executive track is designed for students who already work in the healthcare industry and want to advance in their careers through a higher level of education. In both programs, students learn the leadership skills they need to keep up with their career goals.

Texas A&M University emphasizes the role of public health in healthcare leadership and management to help students reach long-term career goals. By emphasizing public health, students are aware of the impact of their decisions in a medical facility.

Highlight: Texas A&M University has been CAHME-accredited each year since 2008 for its health administration program.

Degree: Master of Health Administration

6. University of Central Florida

u central florida

The University of Central Florida offers an affordable healthcare administration masters program to help students reach their long-term goals for a career in the medical field. Health Administration program emphasizes leadership and strategic planning as it applies to the healthcare industry. By ensuring that students are ready to plan ahead and prepare for potential challenges, it limits the complications that may arise when students face difficult decisions.

The University of Central Florida is recognized by the CAHME as a school with an excellent mentorship program. It is a member of the CAHME Mentorship Circle and it is an accredited degree program. Since the program meets or exceeds the high standards of the CAHME, students can feel confident that they are getting a quality education when seeking their degrees.

Highlight: The University of Central Florida offers a flexible mixed-mode learning format for students who are currently working or have obligations that limit their ability to attend traditional courses.

Degree: Health Administration, MHA

7. University of Illinois at Chicago

u illinois chicago

When you are looking for an affordable master of healthcare administration degree program, you will want to consider the MHA at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The degree program emphasizes topics related to business in healthcare with a focus on leadership, management, and healthcare finance topics. It also ensures that students are ready to handle the challenges they may face when working in an administrative role.

The University of Illinois at Chicago allows students to study on a part-time and full-time basis through traditional on-campus studies. Students can also obtain an executive degree that is designed around the needs of working adults. The executive program is a hybrid online and on-campus program that allows students to work at their own pace.

Highlight: The University of Illinois at Chicago offers a preceptorship for a 12-month period that allows students to work with managers in the healthcare industry.

Degree: Master of Healthcare Administration

8. University of Memphis

u memphis

The University of Memphis offers a Master of Health Administration that emphasizes professional development and leadership within the healthcare industry. The degree program works around the needs of students who may have a job or personal obligations that limit their time to work on a degree. It allows students to take evening classes to ensure that they are able to keep up with their studies.

The University of Memphis stands apart as the only university in Tennessee that is CAHME-accredited for the health administration degree. Since the program meets or exceeds the standards set by the CAHME for accreditation, it sets high standards for student education. Students can expect a rigorous curriculum that teaches them at a fast pace and encourages them to improve their skills.

Highlight: The University of Memphis offers small class sizes with an average student to teacher ratio of six to one.

Degree: Master of Health Administration

9. Portland State University

portland state

The Health Administration track of the Master of Public Administration from Portland State University is an affordable program that allows students to gain the leadership and business skills they need to advance in a healthcare administration career. The degree program focuses on public service as well as healthcare administration skills to provide students with a well-rounded and comprehensive understanding of their career opportunities.

Portland State University encourages student engagement with the local community through different community service programs. By encouraging community service efforts, the university prepares students to work in a challenging career. It also allows students to gain hands-on experience in different environments and industries.

Highlight: Portland State University is NASPAA-accredited and CAHME-accredited for the healthcare administration degree program.

Degree: Health Administration, MPA

10. University of North Carolina

unc chapel hill

The Master of Healthcare Administration from the University of North Carolina is designed to teach students about the intersection between public health and health services to prepare them for the challenges of taking on a leadership position. It prepares students to work in a fast-paced environment and ensures that students understand business and the healthcare industry to provide effective solutions to challenges that may arise.

The University of North Carolina differs from other programs by offering a distance program to keep up with the needs of working adults. The program recognizes that students have some experience in a career and allows students to continue working in their jobs while they complete a degree. It offers a flexible schedule to assist with student goals.

Highlight: The University of North Carolina allows students to obtain dual or concurrent masters degrees when they want to combine an MHA degree with other relevant degrees for specialized skills.

Degree: Master of Healthcare Administration

Will a Certification in Healthcare Administration Help My Career?

Earning a Healthcare Administration certification will definitely provide you with additional skills that you will need to further your career. A certification for healthcare administration can be completed in less time than a regular degree program. This type of educational program is a great choice for someone who is already employed in the field and has years of experience but little to no formal education or degrees. The certification you earn will give you the credentials you need.

Enrolling in a Healthcare Administration certification program, you may be able to attend all or at least a portion of your classes online. This makes it easier for you to remain employed at your current job and still work toward advancing your career. The ability to put what you are learning into action while you are working is a great way to reinforce the skills so they are easier to retain. Certification programs also allow you to keep your current credentials in good standing. Many licenses and certification programs require a specific number of continuing education hours each year to remain current. These types of programs are excellent for completing those requirements.

How Much Can I  Make with an MHA?

The average salary for a graduate with a Masters in Healthcare Administration is approximately $76,000 per year. Operations and project managers also make between $65,000 and $75,000 a year. Healthcare consultants can expect a somewhat higher wage, at around $80,000. A Director of Operations can bring in approximately $98,000 to $100,000 per year depending on the size and nature of the facility. Executive Directors who manage large medical facilities can sometimes earn over $100,000 a year. The larger the facility, the more responsibility falls on their shoulders.

No matter what industry you work in, your level of experience is a key factor in determining your salary. Individuals who started working in a medical office right out of college will gain a wealth of experience that they will continue to build on throughout their careers. Returning to school to earn a Bachelor’s or Masters in Healthcare Administration will only boost their earning potential providing them with a degree to support their many years of experience. The more education an employee has the better off they are in terms of applying and earning upper-level management positions.

How Do I Get an Entry-Level Job in Healthcare Administration?

Getting an entry-level job in the healthcare administration field often involves working in a medical office or some other type of medical or healthcare business. By working in an office, you learn the basics of how the office works. From filing to scheduling employees, every task that goes into the day to day operations of the office can be learned while working in an entry-level position. The experience you earn in these lower-paying jobs will lay the foundation for future positions as you continue to advance your career.

Office administrators, human resources officers, and executive assistants in a medical office are great starting points. Getting your foot in the door in one of these types of positions will make it easy for you to find your niche. Some administrators prefer working in an office setting which is ideal if they don’t want to worry about dealing with patients who receive constant care. Another alternative is administration positions in a healthcare facility where you are dealing with long-term care patients and their families. No matter what type of administrative career you choose, a Masters in Healthcare Administration will greatly improve your ability to land the higher-paying jobs.

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