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Accredited online programs leading to a master’s in healthcare administration (MHA) prepare graduates for advancing their careers, increasing their earning power. An Online MHA is specifically tailored for working health professionals that cannot attend campus programs or devote the time to commuting or relocating. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts that jobs for medical administrators and health services managers will increase by 20 percent during the 2016 to 2026 decade, adding 72,100 positions. The median annual wage is $98,35. It typically takes two years of full-time study to complete an MHA degree online. It may take three to four years if students opt for master’s specializations or a joint-degree.
Most online healthcare administration master’s degree programs require 32 to 60 credits for completion. This comprehensive guide helps students review the types of online MHA programs, school admission requirements, the importance of accreditation, and voluntary certifications. Discover the top online MHA programs, graduation requirements, and types of available financial aid.
www.onlinemasterscolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.
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Best Online Master of Health Administration Programs
Schools’ admission prerequisites, time-to-degree, accreditation, and total cost are a few key points to factor in when reviewing online master’s programs in healthcare administration. The total price of an online MHA degree can vary greatly depending on whether the institution is public or private, and whether the student pays resident tuition or out-of-state fees. Considering many factors, here are some of the Best Online MHA Programs for 2023:
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With the student debt rising at record levels and the tuition fees increasing ever-so, affordability is perhaps the most important factor. This is more true in Online MHA programs as the program can get expensive for students.Here are the Most Affordable MHA Online Programs for 2023:
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The online MHA degree is designed for working healthcare professionals who seek advancement in the administrative sector. Specializations in the degree include financial management, human resources, program management, and patient advocacy. But before students enroll into a program, it is essential to understand the MHA Degree Programs fully. In this section, we will walk you through the full details of Online MHA Programs.
Time to complete an online master’s in healthcare administration program
The timeline depends on the number of credit-hours and internships required for graduation, as well as if the master’s student is full-time or part-time. Generally, most online programs take two or three years to complete.
Curriculum in Online MHA Programs
Online MHA course requirements vary by program. Some include on-site internships, some do not. Core coursework can include studies in:
Health Care Finance
Total Quality Management
Policy and Legislative Development Processes
Healthcare Law and Ethics
Health Services Marketing
Principles of Population Health in Public Health
Health systems management
Health services management
CAHME Accreditation for Online MHA programs
The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) is voluntary for programs and universities. However, a CAHME regional accreditation provides assurance to employers that their programs adhere to strict professional guidelines respected by healthcare employers. It also shows that an MHA-grad didn’t come from a substandard diploma mill. Employers may favor the hiring of candidates who graduate from a CAHME Accredited institution. According to the Commission, over 90 percent of graduates of accredited programs land a healthcare management job within three months following graduation. In January 2015, CAHME announced accreditation for wholly online MHA programs.
It’s important to search each prospective university to determine the quality of the degree program. CAHME reports that just over 80 percent of all programs hold CAHME accreditation. All the programs listed in this guide are CAHME accredited.
These also vary by each program.
Undergraduate Degree: Generally, online master’s in healthcare administration degree programs require the student to hold a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA.
Professional Experience: Many expect master’s students to have two years or more of healthcare administrative experience.
Background: Schools may require a specific performance level on graduate exams. Helpful undergraduate courses include studies in economics, marketing, finance, biological and clinical sciences.
Letters of Recommendation: Master’s students should compile two to three recommendation letters from former professors and employers familiar with their career objectives, academic advisers and colleagues. Letters should focus on a student’s work ethic, financial/analytical skills, leadership qualities, public health and collaborative skills.
Statement of Purpose: In most cases, grad students also must submit a personal statement. The essay should address a master’s student’s career objectives, professional experience, reasons for selecting their MHA degree program, and the progression of their interest and education toward their career.
GRE Test : Some universities require a GRE test score.
Concentrations in Master’s of Healthcare Administration
If you have always envisioned a career in the healthcare field but aren’t quite sure you want to go to medical school, a master’s degree in healthcare administration may be right for you. A health administration degree can open up the opportunities for a wide assortment of career options. Healthcare administration involves the management and supervision of different health systems in our society, including public health systems and hospital networks. There are several concentrations you students can focus on when earning your Master of Healthcare Administration.
Educators in the healthcare industry provide patients with information and help professionals learn new skills and take on more responsibilities within their scope of practice. A Master of Healthcare Administration with a concentration in education will help individuals learn how to develop a curriculum and assess and evaluate various approaches to teaching and learning. Once you graduate from a program like this, you’re typically ready to provide continuing education to professionals in the healthcare field. You’ll be a leader who knows how to effectively harness the changing trends in the industry and deliver appropriate knowledge to a variety of audiences.
One of the crucial aspects of healthcare administration is dealing with patient information. Privacy is of utmost importance in patient care, and regulations for managing clinical information are constantly developing as the scope of the healthcare industry progresses. A Master of Healthcare Administration with a concentration in informatics focuses on the organization, storage and use of information such as patient records. With a degree in informatics, you can help medical practices optimize their recordkeeping so patients retain privacy and information is easily accessible, helping the organization runs as efficiently as possible.
The average lifespan has increased in the past century. As more and more seniors are retiring and trying to balance their health with a high-quality lifestyle, more medical providers are necessary to assist them. In fact, the Administration on Aging estimates that in 2060, the number of people aged 65 and older will double from what it was in 2013. Elder care does not just involve medical treatment; it also encompasses aging adults’ physical, emotional and social needs. Individuals completing a Master of Healthcare Administration with a concentration in gerontology may go on to develop strategies for medical practices that specialize in elder care to humanize the aging process and remain aware of the comprehensive needs of aging adults.
A concentration in operations will provide graduates of a master’s program in health administration with the skills and knowledge to help healthcare organizations reach their goals. It takes much more than skilled medical professionals to run a successful medical practice. Efficiently managing all the moving parts, including employees, patient records, professional knowledge, marketing and finances is required for a fruitful future. When you graduate with a Master of Healthcare Administration with a concentration in operations, you can go on to direct or manage a healthcare facility, operate in an insurance company or laboratory or work as a healthcare consultant.
A Master of Healthcare Administration with a concentration in health policy is ideal for individuals who have strong health-related job experience and business administration skills. Health policy is changing quickly, and individuals who are interested in being leaders at the forefront of these changes will excel in a health policy career. Graduates from a program like this can work at medical facilities, consulting firms, federal regulatory agencies and public health agencies to help create solutions for healthcare issues facing society today.
FAQs for CAHME Accredited Online Healthcare Administration Master’s Programs
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does an online master’s in healthcare administration degree cost?
Tuition and fees vary dramatically by institution. Private colleges and universities typically charge rates at the top of the scale, while public universities can cost much less. Most programs charge between $20,000 to $50,000.
Can a master’s student work while attending the MHA program?
It is extremely challenging to undertake an online MHA degree on a full-time basis while maintaining an outside job. Part-time students may have an easier go of it, but the work will still be rigorous.
What do health services managers do?
Medical and health services managers, also called healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. They might manage an entire facility, specialize in managing a specific clinical area or department, or manage a medical practice for a group of physicians.
Is Health Administration a good career?
Healthcare administration is an excellent career choice for those seeking challenging, meaningful work in a growing field. … Healthcare administration is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the nation, with high median salaries, and offers plenty of opportunity to those looking to grow professionally.
Are all MHA distance degree programs offered entirely online?
There are programs that run the gamut from 100% online to hybrid programs requiring a balance of on-campus and online studies.Of course, online programs that include an internship require presence at a real-world healthcare organization. Investigate target universities to determine how much time will be needed away from home.
Will the MHA faculty want to interview me?
Following the submission of a complete application and supporting materials, the university admissions committee will evaluate whether a student meets the admission requirements. If approved, an MHA student can expect to be invited to interview with faculty. Master’s students may be invited to discuss the program and their qualifications with current students. For online students who cannot commute to campus, the graduate program may arrange telephone or Skype interviews.
Will I still have access to student resources in an online MHA program?
It’s important to ask potential programs which support services are available for distance students who may be logging in from all around the world. Typically, MHA students have 24/7 access to tech support. Conventional student services such as academic advising, career services, and financial aid may be available only at designated hours in the university’s time zone. Grad students should ask about provisions for library access.
What are the computer/technology requirements for an online master’s in healthcare administration program?
Students’ online program’s technical support staff will discuss the best way to prepare their computer for online learning. Some students may have to have their web browser configured to mesh properly with the university’s online course management software. Having practical experience with email public health, streaming multimedia, discussion threads and video conferencing are a plus.
What does a healthcare administrator do?
Healthcare administrators perform many duties to maintain the quality of healthcare services and improve organizational efficiency, including ensuring legal and regulatory compliance. They may manage an entire hospital network, a hospital facility or a medical practice, or a specific department or clinical division. These professionals manage personnel, authorize staff budgets, and set goals and objectives.
What is accreditation and why is it important?
Regional accreditation, awarded to schools that meet high academic standards based on their geographic location, ensures financial aid eligibility, and facilitates credit transfer. The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) offers voluntary accreditation to some graduate programs in healthcare administration and related fields. CAHME-accredited programs meet criteria established for excellent healthcare management education.
MHA programs can be pricey. So before you enroll, one should look at the per cost per credit, total tuition fee etc. Fortunately, students have abundant sources of public and private financial aid to pay for their online programs:
The first step in applying for federal loans and grants is to complete the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA ®). This one-stop application service analyzes financial need and reports finding to selected online MHA programs. Federal assistance is offered in the form of the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. Master’s students may borrow up to $20,500 in non-subsidized loans. Direct PLUS Loans are for students with tuition that exceeds the maximum amount on non-subsidized loans.
All states have their own programs for graduate loans and grants. The U.S. Department of Education has a search tool to find contact information for each state.
Most online MHA programs offer their own scholarships, grants and tuition waivers. MHA students should check with each program on their list of potential schools to find out what’s available. There are professional associations and health management organizations that offer scholarships healthcare administration graduate students. Some of these are:
Certifications and Licensing for Healthcare Administration Master’s Graduates
Certification is voluntary. A certification recognizes an MHA grad’s core knowledge in healthcare administration areas and may be required by employers. It also demonstrates a commitment to ongoing education to maintain certification. To earn the credential, a must pass the Certified in Public Health exam, administered by the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE). The exam is open to Public Health students or graduates from a CEPH-accredited program. The exam covers core areas in General Principles, Public Health, Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Learn more at NBPHE. Public Health administrators may also earn a voluntary certification from the Public Health Practitioner Certification Board (PHPCB). Other certifications are available from the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management and the American Health Information Management Association.
Careers & Salaries for Online Healthcare Administration Master’s Graduates
Graduates of an online MHA degree program are prepared to take on a wide range of professional options. Here are some positions that fit the specializations offered in an online master’s in healthcare administration along with annual wages reported by Indeed.com:
Healthcare Administrators: $98,350
Director of Healthcare Operations: $96,111
Directors of Environmental Health: $88,584
Health Information Management Managers: $69,473
Healthcare Policy Analysts: $67,357
Clinical Coordinators: $53,878
Healthcare Consultant: $52,989
Public Health Educators: $42,736
Additional Resources for Online MHA Students
Students pursuing their master’s in healthcare administration online, or those who have recently graduated, should examine membership in a professional organization. These associations provide job boards, articles and forums in healthcare administration, and extensive networking opportunities:
National Public Health Association: Dedicated to supporting the research and teaching of healthcare leadership principles, the National Public Health Association promotes ethical public health and the importance of public health competency to improve humanity.
Association for Women in Public Health: AWC has represented women in public health for more than 100 years. The organization promotes First Amendment rights, advocates for professional standards in the field and campaigns for equal pay for women. Members receive access to job boards, online publications, professional development events and travel benefits.
Social Media Association: As social media transforms healthcare administration and marketing for both brands and consumers, the Social Media Association helps members navigate the evolution of this dynamic form of public health. Events and a regularly updated blog with social media news always give members something new to discover.
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