Schools Offering Healthcare Administration Degree Programs

Healthcare administration is one of the fastest growing fields in the United States. With a large aging population and increased access to healthcare with the implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act, the field of healthcare administration is predicted to grow rapidly in the next ten years. With a faster than average growth rate of 20 percent, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 72,100 new healthcare administration jobs will be added nationwide between 2016 and 2026.

This unique discipline blends the fields of health policy, business, and science. Professionals in the field allow institutions to provide high-quality care to patients by coordinating the healthcare practitioners and the support staff behind operational roles in medical facilities.

With a degree in healthcare administration, graduates can choose to specialize and contribute to daily operations work in healthcare facilities such as medical and research hospitals, laboratories, government agencies, healthcare supplies, insurance, and medical clinics. While most people in healthcare administration have a bachelor’s degree and some previous administrative experience, many students are choosing to earn a master’s degree to prime themselves for management experience and earn higher salaries.

In the quickly expanding field of healthcare administration, there are several professional career paths available for graduates. Some of these careers include titles such as clinical manager, nursing home administrator, medical office manager, hospital information manager, and hospital administrator. Certification is also offered through a variety of professional associations such as the American College of Healthcare Executives, the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management, and the Health Care Administrators Association.

Accredited schools offering degrees in healthcare administration typically offer several professional specializations. While the areas of specialization vary by school, some of the most popular areas of specialization in healthcare administration degree programs are as follows:

Read on to discover what to expect from a healthcare administration school.

Admissions Requirements for Healthcare Administration Programs

Every school has its own unique admissions requirements. Here’s a list of commonly requested items to provide when applying to a healthcare administration program at any level:

  • Grade point average (GPA) on a four-point scale from an accredited high school, college, or university (GPA minimums vary for each school)
  • SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, or MCAT standardized test scores
  • Two or three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose, interests, and career goals
  • Resume or curriculum vitae including education and experience
  • Application and fee

For non-native English speaking applicants, most programs have additional requirements:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores (test score requirements vary for each school)

For applicants who have earned degrees outside of the United States, many schools require a course-by-course transcript evaluation of all international degrees. World Education Services (WES) is the preferred provider for most schools.

Healthcare Administration Program Accreditation

Accreditation is a quality standard of educational evaluation used to regularly assess the quality of an academic institution. Students and employers benefit from accreditation in that they can trust the quality of education being delivered has been vetted by an authoritative outside organization.

Additionally, students can only qualify for federal education grants and loans if they attend accredited educational institutions. Accreditation committees are made up of faculty from other accredited colleges and universities. Typical areas of criteria for evaluation an educational institution include:

  • Objectives and goals
  • Overall mission of the school
  • Quality of education or facilities
  • Reputation of the school
  • Student requirements for admission
  • Services available to students
  • Student outcomes
  • Institutional or programmatic management of finances

The Council for Accreditation of Higher Education (CHEA) is the main authority which endorses programmatic and institutional accrediting organizations. There are two main entities which accredit healthcare administration programs:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)

The majority of the schools featured here have achieved regional accreditation from one of these highly-regarded organizations:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

On-Campus Healthcare Administration Programs

When selecting schools, students have the choice of on-campus, online, or hybrid programs. Here are four on-campus programs to consider.

George Mason University

The bachelor’s degree of health administration program at George Mason University is offered by the Department of Health Administration and Policy and prepares its students to work in a wide range of medical facilities.

The program can be completed on a full- or part-time schedule and there are three separate concentrations offered: health systems management, assisted living/senior housing administration, and health informatics. Required courses include the Mason Core classes, as well as instruction in health professions careers and healthcare delivery in the United States. Please note that all students are required to complete a criminal background check prior to a required internship.

  • Location: Fairfax, VA
  • Accreditation: Commission on College of the Southern Association of College and Schools
  • Tuition: $377.50 per credit
  • Program Length: 24 months

University of Memphis – School of Public Health

The master of health administration program (MHA) at the University of Memphis is one of 84 programs in the United States accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) and is the only accredited MHA program in Tennessee. The program is the recipient of the 2018 CAHME/Ascension Award for Excellence in Healthcare Leadership Development and has high graduation and job-placement rates.

The program requires 53 credits and allows students to complete coursework on a full-time, part-time, or executive track schedule. Students applying to the program should have a bachelor’s degree or be on track to complete a bachelor’s degree before the program begins, and must also submit GRE or GMAT scores, two letters of recommendation, a written statement, and a resume highlighting their education and experience.

  • Location: Memphis, TN
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
  • Tuition: $503 per credit
  • Program Length: 24 to 36 months

Johns Hopkins University – Bloomberg School of Public Health

Johns Hopkins University offers a full-time two-year master’s of health administration program through the Bloomberg School of Public health. In the first year of the program students take 6-7 courses per term and the second year of the program students partake in a full-time field placement and take three courses online, enabling students to work anywhere in the world. Many students complete their field placement with Johns Hopkins University. Applicants to this program should have two years of post-baccalaureate health-related work experience or a doctoral degree in the field of public health. Each admitted student to the master’s of health administration receives a 75% scholarship in the second year of the program.

University of Minnesota – School of Public Health

Ranked in the top two master’s of healthcare administration programs by the U.S. News & World Report, the University of Minnesota offers a program for students with some healthcare management experience who desire higher leadership positions in healthcare settings. Students in the program begin and move through the program together. The school emphasizes experiential learning through career development events, support from faculty, and a summer residency program.

The program has a 100 percent job placement rate for its graduates and offers a three-year double master’s degree program option for those who also wish to pursue a master of business administration (MBA).

  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
  • Accreditation: Committee on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
  • Tuition: $980 per hour
  • Program Length: 21 months

Online Healthcare Administration Programs

Online and hybrid programs are becoming increasingly popular. They allow professionals the opportunity to work while they complete their degrees. Here are three online master’s programs in healthcare administration to consider.

Seton Hall University – School of Health and Medical Sciences

The online master’s of healthcare administration at Seton Hall University follows a sequence of coursework taught over six semesters in groups of learning teams. There are three in-person intensive/residency visits (five days each) throughout the program, giving students, professors, and peers an opportunity to meet face-to-face.

Ninety-six percent of graduates receive job offers within three months of completing this program. Additionally, 15-credit graduate certificates are available in an online format. With small class sizes and curriculum that emphasizes six learning domains ranging from leadership to professionalism, students complete their degrees with a capstone project in an area of specialized study as the final project for this degree program.

  • Location: Nutley, NJ
  • Accreditation: Committee on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
  • Tuition: $1,212 per credit
  • Program Length: 24 months

University of Scranton

Offering one of the first online master’s of health administration programs to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), the University of Scranton is a Jesuit university with two specialization options: health informatics and global health.

While a majority of the coursework is asynchronous and designed for working professionals, there are a few classes that require some synchronous class time where faculty and students meet at a predetermined time online. Teaching faculty in this program are known professionals in the industry and are well-acquainted with industry trends.

An 150-hour fieldwork internship is included in the curriculum and the global health specialization requires two ten-day trips abroad which focus on interactive and multicultural approaches to solving global health issues.

  • Location: Scranton, PA
  • Accreditation: Committee on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
  • Tuition: $940 per credit
  • Program Length: 24 to 36 months

The George Washington University – Milken Institute School of Public Health

Ranked number 12 on the U.S. News & World Report’s list of best public health schools, the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University offers a fully online master’s degree in health administration.

With an emphasis on experiential learning, graduates from this program learn to develop their leadership, management, and communication skills by studying law, regulation, and quality improvement in a variety of healthcare facilities. With four real-world immersion experiences and collaborative real-time online classes, professionals can expect to finish their degrees in two years.

  • Location: Washington D.C.
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $1,765 per credit
  • Program Length: 24 to 36 months

Online Healthcare Administration Professors to Know

The field of healthcare administration attracts faculty with a wide-range of professional experiences in academic and professional health-related capacities. Here are three featured faculty members from the schools mentioned above.

Dr. Silvia Balbo studies the interaction of DNA and chemicals to investigate how lifestyle and environment exposures cause disease. She’s an expert in the areas of environment and exposures, food and nutrition, alcohol, tobacco, DNA damage, and more.

Dr. Balbo leads toxicology courses and teaches and trains postdoctoral fellows in a laboratory setting. Notably, she’s a member of several professional organizations and her work has been published extensively in the academic field, as well as across several news media outlets.

Dr. Rita DiLeo has a wide variety of professional experiences and an educational background in the healthcare industry. In her roles as a clinician, a former CEO of a telecommunications company, and healthcare administrator, she has served communities that fuel her passion for improving patient rights and outcomes.

She is a specialist in interventional radiology and special procedures and earned a bachelor of science in healthcare administration and a master’s of public administration. She completed her dissertation, "The Association Between Designation As Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality and Hospitals’ Patient Experience Scores," for her doctorate of science in health services administration from the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Dr. Anne Hewitt has been at Seton Hall University since 2000 and taught a range of courses, including strategic planning, health management, health policy, community health, emergency preparedness, and global health and program evaluation. She is responsible for organizing the internship and practicum courses for the master’s of health administration program.

Dr. Hewitt is the founder of the Seton Center for Community Health and her current research interests include community health planning, health policy, social causes of health disparities, and the incorporation of e-learning technology into graduate-level education.