Online Healthcare Administration Degree

Healthcare administration (HA) degrees ready people to manage others in health care settings. With demand for these skills high, now is the perfect time to start. There are a wide range of online schools that offer life friendly HA degrees at all levels.

An online healthcare administration degree studies the business and operations side of health care. Most programs touch on ways to manage people, budgets, facilities and quality patient care. There are three main levels for online degrees in HA. Bachelors, masters (MHA, MBA healthcare) and Doctorates (PhD and DHA).

Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration

A bachelors in health care admin is either a BA or BS degree. Either one is the entry point to a career in health services management. Most BA/BSHA programs cover about 120 credits and may take four years full time to complete. The course work in a BSHA program aims to build a range of health care related business skills. Things that have to do with how to run the behind the scenes operations of medical facilities. For instance, how to coordinate hospital staff and the challenges that go with it.

While gaining knowledge in these areas, you may also learn how to meet an organization’s goals. This takes a certain kind of critical thinking and being able to solve problems. To do these things you often study financing, marketing, accounting and law. You should also know there are online schools that offer a focus. One example is Columbia Southern U. They have a BS in health care admin with a focus in medical services management. It aims to ready EMTs, fire fighters and other first responders to pursue leadership in the EMS field.

How much does it cost to earn a BSHA online? An average tuition for an in state school that has HA degrees is $6,578. For out of state schools, the average cost is $27,520.

Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration

Master of Science in HA programs often award the MHA degree. Many employers today want those with this level of study. Most MHA programs cover about 36 credits and may take about two years full time to complete. They usually cover a wider range of management topics. Things like strategy, policy setting and quality improvement.

Some programs also involve a supervised admin experience. This might be in a hospital or a health care setting. But this is not always the case. There are many grad students that are mid career who work in the health care field. They may seek an extra set of leadership skills or to refine their management style. If you want to build more business skill, there’s also the MBA with a focus in health care. Online health care MBAs focus on areas like finance and marketing.

Then stack on a handful of topics relating to the system and functional sides of health care. Many online schools offer dual degrees too. One example is Pfeiffer U’s MHA/MBA program. It is an intensive that stacks admin and health service focused topics.

PhD in Healthcare Administration vs DHA

Many schools offer either the DHA or the PhD in Health Care Administration. Both are the highest level of study and ask for quality research. But are distinct paths to know about.

A PhD in health care admin is a research based degree. It often requires learning the field from the inside out. Then, coming up with an original theory or published work. The work of a PhD may allow for new ideas in policy, practice and patient improvements. As such, it often appeals to those who want to excel as thought leaders or educators.

A DHA is a practitioner focused degree. Some refer to it as a doctorate degree for health care execs. It may also appeal to those who already have a doctorate (E.g. D.N.P. M.D., D.O., J.D., or PharmD). One goal of a DHA program is to help people that work in upper levels of management. Courses often build a deep knowledge of how to make data driven decisions. Decisions that improve patient outcomes. Or cut costs without giving up safety and quality of care.

How much does it cost to earn an MHA, PhD or DHA degree online? The average cost of a of a grad degree from a public college is $11,617 per year. This means you will be able to find programs both easier to afford and more costly than this.

What can I do with an Online Healthcare Administration Degree?

A health care admin degree may help you start or step up a career as a health services manager. You’ll often need a bachelor’s degree to enter the field and a grad degree to climb the ladder. At last check, the most common work force degree is the bachelors, with a 64.6% share. Many health care admins also have a masters (23%), professional degree (7.5%) or doctorate (4.88%).

Health services managers work in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and doctor’s offices. In these settings, they often go by different titles depending on what or who they manage. Experience and education may also impact career choice and movement.

  • Clinical Director
  • Nurse Manager or Nursing Director
  • Program Manager
  • Human Resource Manager

If you are less inclined to want to manage in a corporate setting, there are other career paths to think about. Health care policy analysts often have a PhD, as do post secondary teachers. In both areas, research and skills in how to communicate plus subject matter expertise are crucial.

Is a Degree in Healthcare Administration worth it?

An online degree in HA may be worth going for. Five and six figure salaries coupled with high demand may mean a bright future. First, on high demand. Per the BLS, the need for skilled managers in medical and health services is growing by 18% to 2028. That’s much faster than the average for all other occupations.

There are a few reasons that make this so. Among them is an aging population. As people age, they need more procedures, places to take care of them, services etc. Another factor is the wide spread use of informatics in health care. Electronic health records (EHRs) are creating jobs for those with health care IT skills. Especially for those with health care IT skills and a master’s degree. Second, salaries. Per the most recent BLS figures, the median yearly salary for medical and health services managers was $100,980. True, there’s a scale. But it ranges from $58,820 to $189,000.

Health Administration Degree Jobs & Salary

Occupation Average Salary Jobs
Medical and Health Services Manger $100,980 406,100
Nursing Care Facilities Manager $92,750 22,670
Clinical Informatics Manager $90,920 633,900
Medical Services Manager $100,980 406,100

Top States for Jobs as a Medical and Health Services Manager

State Jobs Annual Mean Wage
CA 36,940 $133,040
TX 33,320 $107,880
NY 25,740 $147,000
PA 17,330 $98,560
MA 15,810 $132,960

What classes will I take with an Online Healthcare Administration Degree?

HA classes vary and depend on the degree level. That said, most programs balance management themes with insight into health care systems.

Bachelor’s Degree Courses

A bachelor’s program will tackle broad themes and work to build basic skills. They often begin with an overview of the U.S. health care system and medical language and terms. While learning the basics of ethics and patient rights, you may learn business too. Classes of this nature center around key functions. They may teach topics like:

Health Care Professional Development

The health care pro development class is a starter course. It aims to help students learn about the health care sector as a whole. Students may learn about learning outcomes and working in a professional organization. They may also learn about their learning path. This program may help students define what their futures may be.

Organizational Behavior

This healthcare administration course often focuses on the dynamics at play in this environment. It often includes a focus on how groups and individuals impact the organization as a whole. Students may learn about conflict negotiations. They may learn about implementing change. Often, they may learn about culture and design of organizations. These programs may help students understand relationships in health care.

Health Care Accounting

Some students may take a health care accounting course. The goal of this course may include teaching students about health care billing and costs. It may discuss some areas of accounting practices. This may help a student who wishes to work in a managerial position within a health care company or practice. Key concepts are used in this program.

Health Care Management

This course helps students learn management theory in the health care world. They may learn about the way health organizations are structured. This type of program aims to teach admin concepts like problem solving and planning. It may include some areas of decision making as it applies to the industry. Students may also learn about major and modern issues in this field.

Graduate Degree Courses

Masters programs like the MHA often study management from a deeper angle. Usually this includes more statistics, analysis and tactical planning. It also means knowing how to funnel data into cost effective decisions. As you study strategy, other classes build your knowledge in leadership. This often entails learning about policy, standards and process.

You might also want to study one area of HA in more detail. A focus area groups a few topics, and many schools offer them. One example is an MHA in informatics. This may provide more guidance in how to manage data privacy. You might also learn how to lead data driven initiatives. These often enhance patient quality, safety and care.

Doctorate programs like the PhD and DHA cover many research methods, writing and skills in how to present. More so with the PhD, as we mentioned earlier. If you are working towards a DHA degree online, chances are many classes will explore the finer points of leadership. This often means learning your own style and refining it further.

Yet other topics may address negotiation and labor relations tactics for health care. You may study strategic change management and other areas as well. These may build a broader knowledge of issues, trends and practices. Classes have different names from school to school. Here are a few samples of some classes you may take online.

Navigating the Regulatory Environment In Health Care

This type of course usually focuses on rules in health care. Students may cover topics related to compliance. They may also discuss ethics and the role of health care in providing support. Privacy and compliance are often key concepts of this type of program in some cases. Students may also learn about privacy laws, auditing, and monitoring. They may learn about correction steps, too.

Scanning the Health Sector as An Industry Expert

This advanced program aims to help students learn about emerging trends in the industry. Students may learn about trends in delivery, systems, and the health of residents. They may also learn things like how to validate info to ensure it is accurate. They may learn how to communicate solutions properly even in various contexts.

Tackling the Talent War In The Health Sector

This type of program aims to help students to learn about trends in the health sector. This may relate to hiring and developing a workforce. They may learn about recruiting new talent. They may also learn about succession planning and retaining employees. Often, topics will include diversity, morale, engaging employees, and supporting an aging workforce.

Ethical Marketing

This type of program aims to help students to learn aspects of marketing in health care. The goal is generally to market in the most ethical manner. Students may learn about value propositions and new markets. They may learn how to use social media and branding. The focus is often on helping to market health care providers in the industry.

How long does it take to get a Healthcare Administration Degree online?

A bachelors degree in HA may take four years full time if not less. Some online schools offer faster paced paths that may take 18 months. These usually apply to students with transfer credits. If you’re working towards an MHA degree online, such programs may take from one and a half to two years. Some can even take more time if there is an internship or you study part time.

Earning a PhD or DHA degree online may take three or four years if you study full time. Some online schools help you apply prior MHA or master’s credits to a doctorate. If you have fewer courses, this may mean a shorter time frame.

University Level of Degree # of Credits Required Starts Per Year Minimum Months to Complete
Concordia University Chicago Bachelors 128 3 18
National University Bachelors 180 12 48
Stratford University Bachelors 180 3 30
Clarkson College Masters 39-45 3 16
Purdue Global University Masters 52 4 24
University of Phoenix – AZ Masters 36 3 17
Southern New Hampshire University MBA 36 5 15
Central Michigan University DHA 63  3 36
A.T. Still University DHA 62 2 36
Northcentral University PhD 60 Weekly 45

15 Online Healthcare Administration Degrees

Many online schools offer health admin degrees at all levels. In most cases, you take all your courses via web technology, though there are a few exceptions. Here are 15 schools with online degrees in HA.

  1. Concordia University Chicago
  2. National University
  3. Oregon Tech Online
  4. Ottowa University
  5. Colorado State University Global
  6. Clarkson College
  7. Purdue University Global
  8. University of Phoenix – Arizona
  9. Southern New Hampshire University
  10. Minnesota State University Moorhead
  11. Central Michigan University
  12. A.T. Still University
  13. Northcentral University
  14. Capella University
  15. Franklin University

FIND AN ONLINE HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION DEGREE

Let’s take a closer look at the online health care administration degrees that these 15 schools have to offer. 

1

Concordia University Chicago

BA/BS in Health Care Management

Fully Online


This online BA requires 128 credits. It includes a wide range of courses and an active learning project. The main goal of the classes is to cover key areas of a health care organization. A few topics you may study are:

  • Intro to Health Care Law
  • Human Resource Management
  • Systems Approach to Organizational Change

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $32,880
Grad $9,180

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$20,207

Average Net Price:
$17,051

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program & credit for military training.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

2

National University

BS in Healthcare Administration

Fully Online


This online BS entails 180 quarter credits. Apart from courses, the program includes planned internships and a capstone. Topics range from policies to analysis of health care data and:

  • Case and Outcomes Management
  • Intro to HC Planning and Eval
  • HA Budgeting and Finance

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $13,320
Grad $15,480
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$5,202

Average Net Price:
$29,382

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
WASC Senior College and University Commission

3

Oregon Tech Online

BS in Health Care Management

Fully Online


This BS offers several options. One is a clinical option (182 Q credits). The other is a Radio logic Science option (205 Q credits). Students must have a current state or national registry in an approved allied health field for the clinical option. Or hold the ARRT registry for the Radio logic Science Option. If you are a freshman with no health care experience, there is also an Administrative option. This option has two tracks:

  • Health Data Analytics
  • Psychology

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $29,637
Grad $22,245
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$7,568

Average Net Price:
$16,670

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & recognized student veteran organization.

Accredited:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

4

Ottawa University

BA in Health Care Management

Fully Online


This online BA consists of 124 credits (non clinical track). The clinical track will enable those who have a registry or license (e.g., radiologist, RN, etc.) to transfer in course work and complete the core courses. Some of the topics you may study are:

  • Health Care Policy and Regulation
  • Quality in Health Care
  • Human Resources in Health Care Organizations

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,316
Grad $11,770
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
N/A

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training & dedicated point of contact.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

5

Colorado State University Global

BS in Healthcare Administration and Management

Fully Online


This online BS entails 120 credits. There’s also a dual enrollment option. It involves taking three grad level courses while going for the BS. Doing this may help you gain early admission to CSU’s MHA program. As an undergrad, you’ll study areas such as:

  • Population Health Management
  • Intro to Health Care Strategy
  • Health Care Information Systems

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $8,400
Grad $9,000
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,682

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

6

Clarkson College

MS in Health Care Administration

Fully Online


This online MS requires from 39 to 45 credits. All students must complete designated service courses as part of their course work. Among the required classes are topics such as:

  • Health Care Project Management
  • Strategic Planning in Health Care
  • Health Care Quality and Regulatory Issues

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $14,040
Grad $11,658
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$5,739

Average Net Price:
$20,153

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

7

Purdue Global University

Master of Health Care Administration

Fully Online


This online MHA consist of 52 credits. All the classes revolve around management in health care. There’s also a capstone. In the core content, you’ll study health law, health care ethics and some business topics. These include areas such as:

  • Health Care Financial Management
  • Health Care Marketing
  • Human Resources for Health Care Managers

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $14,358
Grad $10,580
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$5,289

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

8

University of Phoenix – AZ

Master of Health Care Administration

Fully Online


This online MHA program entails 36 credits. The program aligns with the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). You can pursue the MHA on its own or add a focus. There is also an option to pursue a dual MHA/MBA degree. Another part of the program is that it uses the Novel Initiative. Apart from learning key manager topics, you may read two novels:

  • “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” (Skloot, 2010)
  • “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” (Fadiman, 1998)

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $9,552
Grad $16,752
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$4,010

Average Net Price:
$12,767

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission.

9

Southern New Hampshire University

MBA Healthcare

Fully Online


This online MBA requires 36 credits. Nine of these courses deal with core business and manager topics. The other three classes are about how to run the day to day operations in health care. These may be:

  • Health Care Informatics
  • Quality Management
  • Social and Organizational Issues in Health Care

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $31,136
Grad $18,810
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,913

Average Net Price:
$39,743

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

10

Minnesota State University Moorhead

Master of Health Care Administration

Fully Online


This online MHA consists of 43 credits. The program melds parts of the MHA with MBA and economic graduate course work. Nursing professionals may also enroll in a dual MHA/MS in Nursing program. Any of these degrees focuses on expanding your manager skill sets. Classes for this MHA might be:

  • Health Info Systems
  • Health Care Delivery Systems
  • Organizational Strategy and Systems Leadership

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $16,586
Grad $9,540
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$5,221

Average Net Price:
$16,589

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission.

11

Central Michigan University

Doctor of Health Administration

Online modules with occasional face to face seminars


This online DHA program entails 63 credits. It combines theory and practice with research for a dissertation. The main focus of the program is to help health care execs learn applied skills. Such as when and how to revise strategy to boost the success of their business. You may gain these skills while learning:

  • Comparative Health Systems
  • Probability and Stats for Health Care
  • Health Care Dynamics

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $24,120
Grad $17,150
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$7,882

Average Net Price:
$15,266

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

12

A.T. Still University

Doctor of Health Administration

Fully Online


This online DHA program requires 62 credits. Some of these are core courses, others relate to the dissertation. The core courses stack management science and leadership with areas like:

  • Health Policy, Law and Regulation
  • Quality Improvement and Performance Excellence
  • Coaching, Mentoring, Interpersonal Communications

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad N/A
Grad $37,486

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
N/A

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

13


This online PhD BA entails 60 credits (20 courses). It focuses both on research and business admin theories and skills. As such, it may study health care through the lens of strategic planning. Since NCU offers both the PhD and DHA degrees, there may be some overlap in content. Here are a few topics you may be taught:

  • Health Law, Ethics, Policy
  • Communications, Marketing, PR for Health Care Admin Leaders
  • Data Driven Decision Making

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,474
Grad $18,095
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,144

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission, WASC

14

Capella University

Doctor of Health Administration

Fully Online


This online DHA program entails 76 quarter credits and asks for at least 100 hours of supervised practice. Courses cover leadership and health policy process. You may choose the basic study plan or add a focus in one of these:

  • Leadership in Health Care
  • Health Care Quality and Analytics
  • Health Policy and Advocacy

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $14,540
Grad $15,233
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,781

Average Net Price:
$17,368

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

15

Franklin University

Doctor of Health Administration

Fully Online


This online DHA program entails 58 credits. While it has a research core and requires a final dissertation, there’s also a focus on leadership. Students can also customize their program with a menu of electives. Among the major courses are:

  • Advanced Health Info Governance
  • Health Care Policy, Regulations and Reform
  • Health Care Quality, Process and Improvement

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $9,577
Grad $16,080
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$8,438

Average Net Price:
$12,459

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

*Unemployment Earnings.  Sources for school stats and data include the NCES and IPEDS.