Healthcare in America is an massive and ever-growing industry. In this complex field, the interests of patients, clinicians, insurers and investors converge. Highly skilled management professionals are needed to oversee staff, make administrative decisions
and supervise day-to-day operations in every area of healthcare. Facilities such as hospitals, nursing centers, pharmaceutical companies and other medical establishments hire professionals with advanced degrees in healthcare management for leadership
positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 22% increase in the demand for health services managers by 2020. The same source reports that healthcare managers earn a median salary of $96,540. While it’s possible to enter the field with only
a bachelor’s degree, top earners in the industry almost always hold advanced degrees, and command an average salary of $144,000.
With lucrative salaries, prestigious positions and high demand for professionals holding advanced degrees in healthcare management, earning a master’s in this field is highly attractive. Fortunately for today’s working adults, a growing number of schools
now offer a master’s degree in healthcare management or administration entirely online. Distance education makes learning convenient and efficient, allowing students to balance the demands of work and family with a commitment to a degree program. As
with traditional on-campus master’s degree programs, online schools come in every conceivable form, from old and prestigious traditional schools to innovative new programs, from teacher-led lectures to self-paced modules. Find the program that fits
your priorities and get started on the road to a lucrative and prestigious career in healthcare management.
Our ranking of the 10 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Healthcare Management for 2017 presents the best of the best, ranked for affordability, flexibility and academic strength.
- Affordability (1/3): Average cost for out-of-state tuition, measured by credit hour.
- Flexibility (1/3): The number of flexibility-enhancing elements specific to the degree program including concentrations, degree specialties, prior learning or life experience crediting options, accelerated or self-paced courses, personalized
student advisement/guidance, and competency-based credit options.
- Academic Prestige (1/3): The academic prestige of the parent institution operationally defined through the analyses of the rankings/reviews of prominent education review entities such as U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review.
1. Saint Joseph’s University
Saint Joseph’s University (SJU) is a private, Roman Catholic Jesuit university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The school was founded in 1851, making SJU the seventh-oldest Jesuit university in the United States. SJU serves 8,415 students and offers
over 60 undergraduate majors, 53 graduate programs, 28 study-abroad programs, 12 special-study options, and an innovative co-op education program which pairs paid work experience with classroom learning. Numerous spiritual and service opportunities
reflect the school’s religious affiliation; such programs include the Faith-Justice Institute, Institute for Catholic Bioethics, Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support, Pedro Arrupe Center for Business
Ethics, and the Richard Johnson Center for Anti-Violence. Over 98% of tenure-track faculty hold terminal degrees in their fields of specialty, and the student-to-faculty ratio is very low, just 13 to one. SJU has earned an excellent academic reputation,
with U.S. News and World Report ranking it 11th in Regional Universities, North.
Saint Joseph’s University offers an online Master of Health Administration which is both remarkably flexible and highly affordable, making it our top pick in online healthcare management degrees. This master’s degree program is one of the few in the country
accredited by the National Association of Boards of Examiners of Long-Term Care Administrators (NAB), and the only NAB-accredited program available entirely online. The 42-credit program consists of a ten-credit core curriculum of, two elective courses,
and a capstone course. For the capstone, students may choose an applied research paper or an applied management project. Students can follow a General Studies track or pursue a concentration in Management and Supervision of Catholic Healthcare Organizations.
Courses start four times a year in February, May, August and November and last 12 weeks. At a rate of two courses per term, students can earn their degree within two years. Those beginning from an undergraduate level and wishing to accelerate may take
advantage of the “Fast Track” option, taking graduate-level healthcare administration courses to satisfy their bachelor’s program requirements and then applying those same class credits towards the Master of Healthcare Administration Degree. All online
classes are taught by professionals who are currently employed in the healthcare industry, ensuring that students acquire practical knowledge which is relevant and up-to-date. Students benefit from a rigorous and respected online business department;
U.S. News and World Report ranks SJU 45th for Best Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA). Tuition is highly affordable at $391 per credit, making this comprehensive and flexible program an all-around excellent value.
- Cost Per Credit Hour: $391
- Academic Prestige: #16
- Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Two specializations. Four start dates. Option to accelerate.
2. Colorado State University- Global Campus
Colorado State University (“Colorado State”) is a public research university located in Fort Collins, Colorado, and is the flagship university of the Colorado State University System. The school was founded in 1870 as an agricultural college, and the institution actually predates the state itself, having been established in the Colorado Territory. Colorado State is large and growing; current enrollment stands at 32,236, and the school plans to have 35,000 students by 2020. In spite of its large size, Colorado State maintains a relatively low student-to-faculty ratio, at 17 to one. Colorado State is considered one of the nation’s leading research universities, and has contributed to developments in addressing real-world problems such as climate change, infectious diseases, bio-terrorism, and clean energy. The Carnegie Foundation has designated Colorado State as a research university with “very high research activity” and a “community engaged university”. The school provides students with ample opportunities to engage in learning outside the classroom through internships, field experience, laboratory research, and study abroad. U.S. News and World Report ranks Colorado State 129th in National Universities and 61st in Top Public Schools.
Colorado State University offers an online Master of Healthcare Administration and Management degree. Graduates of the program will have an in-depth understanding of practices relevant to management in the healthcare field, such as quality assurance, risk management, managed care, insurance, healthcare laws and regulations, and ethics. The program consists of 36 credits and includes a Capstone Project in Organizational Management Strategy and Execution. All students are also required to complete an 80-hour supervised internship at an approved healthcare organization. The curriculum consists of 8 three-credit classes in such topics as Healthcare Policy Analysis and Healthcare Information Systems. Students wishing to hone specific skills may add a 12-credit specialization in Organizational Leadership, Human Resource Performance, Human Resource Management, Fraud Management, or Strategic Innovation and Change Management. Distance learners view the same lectures as their on-campus peers via streaming and archived video, as well as video recorded in the field. Students benefit from a rigorous and respected online business department; U.S. News and World Report ranks Colorado State 48th for Best Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA). Tuition costs $500 per credit.
- Cost Per Credit Hour: $500
- Academic Prestige: #4
- Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Several specializations.
3. University of South Dakota
The University of South Dakota (USD) is a public research university located in the rural town of Vermillion, South Dakota. USD is the flagship school of South Dakota and is home to 9,971 undergraduate and graduate students. USD was established by the Dakota Territory legislature in 1862, making it the oldest public university in the state. The university is home to the state’s only medical school, law school, and business school. USD’s National Music Museum is notable for its collection of over 15,000 American, European, and non-western instruments. U.S News and World Report ranks USD 202nd in National Universities and 110th in Top Public Schools.
The University of South Dakota offers an online Master of Science in Administration degree with a concentration in Health Services Administration. The cross-disciplinary program provides graduates with the tools and organizational skills necessary to effectively perform administrative roles in healthcare organizations. The course of study consists of 36 credits, with 24 in core Business Administration classes and 12 in the Health Services Administration concentration. Classes in Health Services include topics such as Advanced Strategic Management of Health Care Organizations, Advanced Health Care Systems. For their final course, students may choose between a Health Care Practicum or an advisor-approved, relevant elective. All courses are taught by the same faculty that teach on campus, and are academically rigorous. U.S News and World Report ranks USD 40th in the nation for Best Online Graduate Business Programs (excluding MBA). Tuition at USD is affordably priced at just $442 per credit hour.
- Cost Per Credit Hour: $442
- Academic Prestige: #9
- Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a
4. Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University (CTU) is a private university based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The school was founded in 1965 as a technical school with a focus on training former military personnel in technical and vocational subjects. Today, CTU offers
undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees, and serves about 26,000 students. The university began offering online degrees in 2000, and now over 92% of students take classes entirely online. The student body is largely made up of non-traditional
learners, older students looking to advance or change careers. Accordingly, workplace skills are emphasized in all disciplines. Popular programs at CTU include such career-focused areas as Accounting, Business Administration, Computer Science, and Health
Colorado Technical University offers an online Master of Science degree in Management with a concentration in Healthcare Management. Students can expect to develop an in-depth understanding of the financial, ethical, marketing, organizational, and managerial
issues relevant to the field of healthcare. A total of 48 credits are required for graduation, with 28 in core business classes and 20 in the Healthcare Management concentration. Healthcare-specific classes include Quality Improvement in Healthcare
and Managing the Healthcare Organization. A capstone project in Healthcare Management is required. Distance learners enjoy extensive support services, including an online library, academic advising, real time tutoring, interactive orientation videos
and networking and support through online student communities on social media sites. Classes are presented through a flexible learning interface, which allows students to choose between audio, visual or exercise-based learning modules depending on their
preferred learning style. U.S. News and World Report ranks CTU 95th in the nation for Best Online Graduate Business Programs (excluding MBA). Tuition at CTU is priced at $585 per credit hour.
- Cost Per Credit Hour: $585
- Academic Prestige: #10
- Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Three start dates.
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6. Grantham University
Grantham University is a private institution based in Lenexa, Kansas which conducts all academic programs entirely online. The school was founded in 1951 as the Grantham Radio Licensing School by Donald Grantham, an engineer and World War II veteran who offered Federal Communications Commission License certification training to other veterans following the war. Today, Grantham continues to offer extensive supports to military students and to offer strong programs in engineering. The school launched a distance education program in 1961 and currently awards over 40 online degrees and certificates in career-focused fields such as Criminal Justice, Computer Science, Financial Planning and Human Resource Management.
Grantham University offers an online Master of Healthcare Administration degree at an excellent price point. The program consists of 37 credit hours, and is designed to be completed in two years’ time. Degree candidates study ethical and regulatory issues, technologies and management skills relevant to the field of health care, and practice solving complex problems through the study of real-world scenarios. Classes include Health Services Management, Healthcare Strategic Management and Human Resource Strategies. All students complete a research-based Healthcare Administration Capstone project, as well as a one-credit introductory course in Graduate Student Success. With weekly start dates, degree seekers can begin their studies right away. The university supports its online students through a virtual library, tutoring, professional development, and career services. Tuition at Grantham is exceptionally affordable at just $325 per credit hour.
- Cost Per Credit Hour: $325
- Academic Prestige: #43
- Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Weekly start dates.
7. King University
Founded in 1867, King University is a private, Christian institution based in Bristol, Tennessee. The school offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, minors and pre-professional programs, as well as graduate degrees in business, nursing and education. The university was founded by Reverend James King, a Presbyterian minister, and is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. Spiritual activities are encouraged, and opportunities include weekly chapel services, spiritual study through the King Institute for Faith and Culture, Christian ministry groups, and service projects. All students complete a common core during their first year, and each freshman class travels to Washington D.C. to visit offices of state, museums, galleries, and various public organizations. Enrollment at King comes to 2,920, and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio of just 11 to 1. U.S. News and World Report ranks King 91st in Regional Universities, South.
King University offers an online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Management. The course of study consists of 36 credit hours and can be completed in as little as 16 months. The curriculum covers methods of management, research, theoretical systems, quantitative analysis, skills development and ethical practices. Courses include Project Management, Business Communication and Policy Development. The curriculum is based around real-world scenarios, and students complete intensive case analyses, individual projects and small group discussions in each class. With tuition priced at just $305 per credit, a master’s degree from King represents an incredible value.
- Cost Per Credit Hour: $305
- Academic Prestige: #25
- Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Accelerated program.
8. Western Governors University
Western Governors University (WGU) is a private, nonprofit, online American university based in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1995, the governor of Utah, Mike Leavitt, proposed the idea for an innovative, multi-state distance learning network. The university was officially founded in 1997 with the backing of 18 other Unites States governors, with the goal of increasing access to higher education for working adults through student-centered learning. All courses at WGU are offered online through a competency-based format, with academic progress determined by demonstrated aptitude rather than time investment. The school serves some 78,709 students, almost all of whom are adults employed full time. WGU recognizes the time constraints and scheduling limitations of nontraditional learners (the school’s mascot is a “night owl”). The university prioritizes flexible educational delivery by offering self-paced, competency-based classes. Each student is also paired with an academic mentor, who serves as their advisor, coach and school liaison.
Western Governors University offers an online Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management. The program’s academic content was developed with input from a national advisory board staffed by representatives from major corporations and foundations, and reflects the needs of employers in the health care industry. The course of study consists of 10 classes plus a capstone project. Courses include Managing Organizations, managing Human Capital and Accounting for Decision Makers. WGU’s competency-based approach makes this program a good fit for disciplined, self-motivated students who wish to complete their degree quickly and who prefer learning through independent work over lectures or collaboration. Tuition is billed at a flat rate every six months, making WGU a highly affordable option. Because classes are self-paced, students who are able to complete their courses quickly will not only earn their degree sooner, but will also save on tuition under this billing model. At $361 per credit, tuition at WGU is highly affordable.
- Cost Per Credit Hour: $361
- Academic Prestige: #43
- Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Credit awarded through competency assessments. Option to accelerate.
9. Liberty University
Founded in 1971 by Reverend Jerry Falwell, Liberty University is a private, nonprofit Christina university based in Lynchburg, West Virginia. Liberty is the world’s largest Christian university, with over 21,800 students on campus and over 112,500 enrolled
online. The school offers over 500 programs of study and grants associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The campus spans 7,000 acres and boasts state-of-the-art facilities that include a new Science Hall, Center for Music and the Worship
Arts, two highise residential halls, a recreation and fitness center, baseball and softball stadiums, and an astronomical observatory. Student athletes enjoy such amenities as a 60-mile mountain bike trail system, a motocross facility, paintball fields,
archery range and synthetic ski slope.
Liberty University offers an online Master of Science in Healthcare Administration. This interdisciplinary program combines course material from the informatics, public health, and nursing discipline. Students in the master’s program learn to make informed
decisions regarding strategic planning, business management techniques, and financial models and principles. The course of study consists of 16 three-credit classes for a total of 48 credits. Courses include studies in health, such as Biostatistics
and Epidemiology, studies in management, such as Managing Human Capital in Healthcare, and in analytics, such as Informatics and Economic Analysis in Healthcare. Students also complete a capstone course in Healthcare administration as part of the sequence.
Liberty has a generous transfer credit policy, allowing up to 50% of credits applied towards the degree to be transferred in from a qualifying outside institution with departmental approval. Liberty also awards academic credit for prior learning through
training or professional experience. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge through assessments, project portfolios or documentation of training. Extensive online student support services are provided, including an online library handwriting
center. Tuition is reasonably priced at $540 per credit.
- Cost Per Credit Hour: $540
- Academic Prestige Rank: #23
- Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Credit awarded for work experience, training and aptitude assessments
10. University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati (UC) is a large public research university based in Cincinnati, Ohio. With an enrollment of 44338, the university is one of the 50 largest in the United States. The university offers over 600 programs of study, including graduate
degrees in business, law and engineering. UC pioneered the first cooperative learning programs, the first bachelor’s degrees in nursing, the first oral polio vaccine and the first use of lasers to remove brain tumors. UC’s innovation, research, selectivity
and academic rigor have earned the school a prestigious reputation. The Carnegie Foundation has designated UC as a doctoral research university with “very high research activity” and The Chronicle of Higher Education named the school as a “Research
Heavyweight”. U.S. News and World Report ranks UC 135th in National Universities.
The University of Cincinnati offers an online Master of Health Administration through a partnership between the schools’ highlyanked College of Allied Health Sciences and Carl H. Lindner College of Business. This comprehensive program is designed to
blend real-world experience with competency-based coursework to thoroughly prepare graduates for executive positions in medical facilities. Students can customize their course of study by choosing a concentration in Global Heath Systems or in Emerging
Issues in Health Systems Management. Graduate certificates are also available in Healthcare Administration, Finance, Operations, and Policy and Regulation, allowing for further specialization. The program consists of 39 credit hours, and includes a
10-course core and capstone project in Health Systems Management. The course of study is designed to be completed in two years and costs $747 per credit hour.
- Cost Per Credit Hour: $747
- Academic Prestige: #5
- Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Specializations offered.