Online MHA Programs – Masters in Healthcare Administration

With the emergence of online masters in healthcare administration(MHA) and an increasing need for healthcare administrators, more and more public health and healthcare professionals are going back to get their MHA degree. The field is growing at a higher rate compared to other fields – especially with an expected growth rate of 18% between now and 2028 for medical and health services managers. This large of an expected growth increase may provide many opportunities for those looking to change careers or those looking to take on leadership roles within their healthcare organization. 

For those currently working in the field, online MHA programs are a great option for many reasons, such as having more flexibility and the opportunity to continue working while taking classes. 

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Read on to view some available online masters in health administration programs or click on the jump links to view more information about online MHA degrees.

Online MHA Programs List

According to the Commision on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), there are over 100 programs that meet their accrediting standards; however there are only a handful that are available online. The list below provides information about the eight online universities that offer CAHME accredited MHA programs. All of the programs listed are offered 100% online or with the option of online format.

Des Moines University

Program Name: Master of Health Care Administration

Credit Hours: 48

Length of Program: 2+ years

Prior Work Experience: None required

Location: Des Moines, IA

This online MHA program at DMU is offered entirely online. It focuses on health systems and business literacy, financial management, leadership, health policy and professional development. This is the only program in Iowa approved by the Iowa Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators, where completion of this program fulfills the board criteria to sit for the licensure exam.

George Mason University

Program Name: Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management

Credit Hours: 47

Length of Program: 32 Months

Prior Work Experience: None required

Location: Miami, FL

The online MHA in Health Systems Management is offered 100% online. It is meant to develop students’ leadership abilities, business knowledge and skills and governance within the healthcare environment. The courses are in both synchronous and asynchronous formats, with a field practicum required in the final semester of study, providing students with the opportunity to demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills.

Seton Hall University

Program Name: Master of Healthcare Administration

Credit Hours: 42

Length of Program: 24+ Months

Prior Work Experience: None required

Location: Miami, FL

The online MHA program at SHU focuses on developing student’s skills in leadership, management, analytical and critical thinking, and communication. The program is available in both full and part-time options and students are required to attend three, five-day in-person intensives/residencies on campus. If a student’s undergraduate GPA falls between 2.8-2.99, professional work experience in healthcare is recommended.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Program Name: Master of Healthcare Administration

Credit Hours: 49

Length of Program: 24+ Months

Prior Work Experience: 3 years of management experience in healthcare

Location: Chapel Hill, NC

UNC’s online MHA program provides students with an understanding of healthcare, management methods and finance in policy-related careers. Students are required to attend on-campus sessions 3 times throughout the duration in the program. While standardized test scores are one of many factors they consider in making admissions decisions, GRE scores are not required to apply any more.

Florida International University

Program Name: Master of Health Services Administration

Credit Hours: 48

Length of Program: 18-24 Months

Prior Work Experience: None required

Location: Miami, FL

FIU’s online MHA program is offered 100% online and an 18-month fast track is available in a hybrid format as well. The program establishes skills in finance, operations, marketing, management, quality assessment, and information technology in healthcare. As part of the curriculum, students must participate in an administrative residency or master’s research project. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is mandatory for application.

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George Washington University Master of Health Administration

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GRE: Scores not required

Work experience needed to apply: 2+ full years, currently employed

Minimum GPA to Apply: 3.0+ preferred

Credit Hours: 50

CAHME accredited: Yes

Program Options: Online

University of Central Florida

Program Name: Executive Masters of Health Administration

Credit Hours: 44

Length of Program: 24+ Months

Prior Work Experience: 3+ years in healthcare management

Location: Miami, FL

The online executive MHA program at UCF is designed for those who have three or more years of experience in healthcare management and focuses on providing students with advanced skills in leadership, finance, and business. Students will take courses such as “Leadership for Health Care Executives,” “Health Care Quality and Risk Management,” and “Financial Accounting for Health Care Managers.”

University of Scranton

Program Name: Master of Healthcare Administration

Credit Hours: 53

Length of Program: 30+ months

Prior Work Experience: 3 years of management experience

Location: Scranton, PA

Scranton’s online masters in health administration program allows students to select one of three specializations – general (47 credits), health informatics (53 credits) and global health (53 credits). Each specialization requires 150 hours of fieldwork experience prior to graduating and the global health specialization includes two, 10-day study abroad trips. GRE scores are not required for acceptance.

What to Expect from an MHA Degree Online – Courses and Outcomes?

The curriculum and requirements will be very similar to that of a traditional MHA degree. Depending on the online MHA program, courses will either be asynchronous, self-paced learning with pre-recorded lectures, or synchronous, set days and times with live lectures and class discussions. However, no matter the format of courses, the outcomes across online MHA programs should be extremely similar to each other.

Students and working professionals who attend receive an online MHA degree will be prepared to take on larger responsibilities in healthcare management, make informed decisions about policies that affect diverse populations and healthcare organizations, and lead human resources among many other things.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an MHA Degree Online?

A student’s commitment to the program can greatly influence how long it takes to complete the MHA degree online. If a student has the availability to attend full-time, a student can complete their MHA degree between 18 and 24 months, compared to part-time programs that may take up to 3 years to complete. 

Online Masters in Health Administration Requirements

The admissions requirements for an online MHA degree are usually consistent with on-campus MHA program requirements. This includes having a bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA, a resume/CV, personal statement, transcripts and letters of recommendation. Some programs may require GRE scores, but most programs require previous work experience.

Having work experience is slowly overtaking the requirement of GRE submissions when looking at online mha programs. Many programs are now requiring a minimum of three years of relevant work experience in either healthcare or management. However, it is also important to look closely at admission requirements because some schools require the applicant to be currently working in the health sector to be admitted into the online MHA degree program.

Why Are There Online MHA Programs That Don’t Require GRE?

Depending on the school, some programs don’t require GRE scores to be submitted when applying, for example, all the eight online MHA programs listed above do not require GRE scores. There are multiple reasons for this, including the possibility of stricter requirements, such as having a higher cumulative GPA requirement or needing to have multiple letters of recommendation. Another reason why online MHA programs may not require GRE scores is because the program requires the applicant to have a specified number of years of work experience in the healthcare field, which proves their commitment to the program and the field.

The benefits of attending a program that does not require GRE scores include saving money on the exam and exam prep, saving time on preparations, and having more time to focus on other documents or the personal statement because there is less workload before applying.

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Why is CAHME Accreditation Important for MHA Programs?

CAHME Accreditation is an important factor when reviewing MHA programs and should be taken into consideration when applying for multiple reasons. 

Authority of CAHME and Rigorous Process of Accreditation

While there is more than one accrediting authority, the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) is the only organization recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation to grant accreditation to individual graduate-level academic programs in healthcare management. Because of this recognition, CAHME has a rigorous process when it comes to granting accreditation for a program and can take years before the program becomes accredited due to the lengthy process. 

In order for the program to become accredited, they must meet all 10 eligibility requirements. These requirements can be broken down into four different types of criteria that are then evaluated: 

  1. The mission, vision, goals, and values of the program
  2. Student and graduate resources
  3. Curriculum  
  4. Faculty, scholarships, and services

This ensures there is a set standard and quality among MHA programs.

High Quality Education for Students

CAHME accredited mha programs guarantee students high quality education through appropriate and up-to-date content focusing the competencies and current industry standards. This allows students to know prior to beginning the program that they are receiving the best education possible. 

In addition to the quality of education, students benefit from attending a CAHME accredited program by having access to post graduate fellowship programs that accept students only from CAHME accredited programs, access to scholarships that are only available to students attending an accredited program, access to select case competitions, and the option to apply to jobs where employers only interview students who have graduated from a CAHME accredited program.

Competent Candidates for Employers

With many health administrative programs available, and the field becoming increasingly popular, it has become difficult for employers to know who the best candidate for the job may be. 

CAHME accreditation allows employers to know that graduates from these select programs have been trained on industry based competencies and are skilled, competent and ready to be leaders in the field. Plus, CAHME accredited mha programs promote continuous quality improvement in the preparation of future healthcare leaders meaning employees have a greater likelihood of success and employers who hire these graduates create the best return on their investment.

In the end, attending a CAHME accredited program will help students set themselves apart from others in the industry. 

Is Healthcare Administration a Good Career?

Similar to online MPH programs, online masters in health administration degrees provide an opportunity to work for a wide range of healthcare organizations since the field is extremely diverse in nature. Professionals in the healthcare administration field have the potential to work in management, financial planning, or even federal regulatory compliance and be top-level managers, analysts, and planners to contribute to better operating facilities.

Example job titles are:

  • Clinical Director
  • Health and Social Service Manager
  • Program Manager
  • Medical Records Manager

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for Medical and Health Services Manager positions (positions often requiring an MHA or similar degree) are expected to grow 18% between 2018-2028. Additionally, it states that in 2018 the median annual wage for these positions was about $99,730 in the US, which makes this role one of the highest paid public health jobs.

Frequently Asked Questions about Online MHA Programs

Who should consider an online MHA degree program?

Employed executives, physicians and healthcare professionals who want to advance their
management and leadership capabilities, but can’t commit to a full-time on-campus program because of work.

Can I apply to online MHA programs if my bachelor’s degree is not in healthcare?

It depends on the school. As you can see in the online MHA programs list we compiled, while many schools don’t specify the required areas of bachelor’s degrees, some schools have work experience requirements, such as up to three years of work experience in management positions and/or currently employed.

Are campus visits required for online MHA programs?

If the program you choose is 100% fully online, campus visits are usually not required. Some schools offer online hybrid options to students and some may require students to join in-person immersion sessions.

What are immersions for online MHA programs?

Immersion sessions provide opportunities for students to network and interact with other accomplished healthcare professionals. Some immersion sessions may be required and they can take place on campus, in the United States or abroad depending on the school.

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Information last updated August 2020