Top 10 Online Master in Healthcare Administration Degrees


Healthcare administrators play a unique role in every healthcare organization, advocating for practitioners and patients alike.

As a healthcare administrator, you have to stay on top of changes to policies, programs, and legislation, and consider the implications for both healthcare professionals and consumers. And in a notoriously chaotic environment, you have to be a constant source of clarity, organization, and structure.

Whether you’re looking to start your career in the public or private health sector, or you have several years of experience, an online MHA is a great way to give you a leg up.

You don’t have to move across the country to learn this potent blend of people skills, administrative expertise, and healthcare knowledge. There are countless online healthcare administration degree programs that can land you the credentials and expertise you need to propel your career. To help you sort through them all, we’ve used data from The National Center for Education Statistics and ratings from school-ranking entities like,,,,, and—so this list of the top 10 online MHA programs is the best of the best.

We’ll show you each school’s:

  • Tuition cost
  • Program length
  • Graduation rates
  • Awards and accolades
  • Accreditation
  • Anything else we think will help you decide

Let’s find a school you’ll love! For starters, here are some highlights:

Most affordable

While a lot of people get a master’s in the hopes of securing a better job, nobody wants to spend a fortune doing it. Some of the best online MHA programs can get pretty expensive. That’s not to say that they aren’t worth it, but if you’re worried about the cost of your education, you may want to look a little further down the list.

Colorado State University (#6 on our list) delivers consistently affordable education, regardless of where you live. You can complete your entire MHA for about $18,000 total. Even if you don’t have financial aid, that’s a very affordable master’s level education. The University of Scranton (#8) costs just a little more—$11,000 per year, regardless of where you live.

Best graduation rate

For some people, starting a degree program is rewarding in itself. Every class gives you new tools, skills, and insights you can immediately apply in the workplace. But most people start a degree program because they want a degree.

If you want to give yourself the best odds of actually completing your MHA degree, look no further than #1 on our list, University of Southern California. They have a 92% graduation rate. Although to be fair, University of North Carolina (#4) is right behind them with 91%.

#2 on our list, Penn State University, has a 25% graduation rate. That’s less than half the national average, but it gives us an opportunity to point something out: graduation rate often isn’t as meaningful as it looks.

In order to “count” towards a school’s graduation rate, students have to be attending a college for the first time (not a transfer student) and full time. Then they have 150% of the “normal time” to graduate. If they don’t finish in that time, they count against the graduation rate. It doesn’t mean they didn’t eventually finish the program. And since most of these MHA programs are designed to take one to two years, but give you as many as 5+ years to finish, a low graduation rate shouldn’t be a shocker. But here’s the kicker: only 6% of PSU’s students at the World Campus were first time, full time students.

All that to say, even PSU’s staggering 25% graduation rate shouldn’t scare you away.

Highest job placement rate

Only one school on this list reported their job placement rate. But even if the others had reported it, they couldn’t compete with Minnesota State University’s 100% job placement rate after 12 months. They’re #10 on our list, but if you don’t currently have a job, or you’re on the hunt for a better one, they’re worth a strong consideration.

Granted, this is a master’s program. Several of the schools on this list require you to have several years of professional healthcare management experience. One even requires you to be working full time while taking classes! So probably, job placement rate isn’t the best measure of the quality of one of these programs. It’s sure nice to look at and think about though.

Most concentration options

Crafting your degree for a specific position or organization is one of the surest ways to bump your resume to the top. Specializations, concentrations, and emphases help you stand out from the mass of applicants with what looks like the same education on paper.

In my experience ranking online college degrees, no school can compete with Colorado State University’s Global Campus (#6). They offer a-la-carte specializations for 12 credits, and they have a lot to choose from. The online MHA program is no exception. There are 14 specializations you can add to an MHA from CSU.

Now, on to the top ten!

1. University of Southern California

Image source: University of Southern California

Tuition cost: about $42,000 per year

Program length: 36 credits

Graduation rate: 92%

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 1
  • Rank on 2
  • Rank on 2
  • Rank on 3

University of Southern California offers an online executive master of health administration through the Sol Price School of Public Policy. This program is not fully online. There are two five day residencies that take place on campus.

You need a minimum of five years of professional experience at the mid to senior level to enroll in the program. Courses include topics like:

  • Healthcare economics, finance, and reimbursement
  • Operational efficiency processes in healthcare organizations
  • Quality of care

Through the program, you’ll learn how to navigate the intricacies of healthcare administration, exploring how healthcare economics impact current health issues. You’ll also prepare to be a lifelong student of healthcare, learning how to utilize the latest research to teach both caregivers and consumers.

The Sol Price School of Public Policy has been around for almost 90 years, and has built a reputation for both groundbreaking research and ethical approaches to social issues.

Here’s what they want potential students to know:

“The mission of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy is to improve the quality of life for people and their communities, here and abroad. We achieve this mission through education and research that promote innovative solutions to the most critical issues facing society.”

2. Penn State University

Image source: Penn State University

Tuition cost: about $46,000 total

Program length: 49 credits

Graduation rate: 25%


  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 1
  • Rank on 2
  • Rank on 4
  • Rank on 6

Penn State University offers an online master of health administration in health policy and administration. The program is a collaboration between their World Campus, the Department of Health Policy and Administration, and the School of Public Affairs.

This program is not fully online. In addition to online classes and an online independent study, you’ll have two “face-to-face management intensives.” These are weeklong residency experiences that include coursework, networking, and events at healthcare organizations.

You need at least five years of full-time professional experience (doesn’t have to be in healthcare) to be admitted to the program.

Here’s how Penn State describes the MHA:

“The health care system of the future must focus on greater efficiency and quality through improved technology, organization, and management. There is growing demand for new leaders who can find solutions to the problems we face, both now and in the future.”

One graduate praised the program for its applicability:

“The exceptional breadth of the MHA curriculum drew me to Penn State World Campus. The program covers the most significant, real-time challenges facing the health care professional today. I have found the application of achieved learning objectives to be of immediate value to myself, and to my organization.”

That broad curriculum encompasses topics like:

  • Financing healthcare
  • Clinical issues for health services management
  • Quality improvement in healthcare
  • Healthcare marketing
  • Healthcare economics
  • Health law
  • Information systems in health services administration

See what other graduates and professors have to say about the online program in this short video:

3. George Washington University

Image source: George Washington University

Tuition cost: about $29,000 per year

Program length: 50 credits

Graduation rate: 84%

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 4
  • Rank on 4
  • Rank on 6
  • Rank on 7

George Washington University offers an online master of health administration through the Milken Institute of Public Health.

This program is not fully online. In addition to online courses, you’ll have four “real-world immersion experiences” on campus.

The MHA program director says that through the immersion experiences, “You will spend significant face-to-face time with some of the nation’s most influential healthcare leaders.”

Two of the immersions are 40 hours long, and two are 20 hours long.

One student said the immersion experiences were his favorite part of the whole program:

“Each time I leave an immersion, I feel reenergized to get back to my job and try to incorporate some of the skills and tools I learned at the immersion.”

The program is designed for working professionals in the healthcare industry. Here’s what one student shared about her experience taking classes through GWU while working as a nephrologist:

“The MHA at GW enables me to continue my daily work as a health care provider while also gaining the appropriate training and credentials from a prestigious school that will help me advance my career.”

In this four-minute video, you can get an introduction to each of the main subject areas the program covers:

4. University of North Carolina

Image source: University of North Carolina

Tuition cost:

  • In-state: about $10,000 per year
  • Out-of-state: about $27,000 per year

Program length: 49 credits

Graduation rate: 91%

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 1
  • Rank on 2
  • Rank on 4

University of North Carolina offers an online health policy and management executive MHA through the Gillings School of Global Public Health.

This program is not fully online. There are a total of six on-campus workshops—three per year. These take place over a total of eight weekdays and six weekend days.

Despite its impressive 91% graduation rate, UNC cautions students who are looking for an easy MHA:

“The focus of our MHA program is on the realities of today’s healthcare marketplace and the unique skill sets necessary to navigate and succeed in that marketplace. Our program is not easy, is not for everyone, and require significant student commitment . . . just what you should expect from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.”

All of UNC’s MHA students are employed full time.

The program is divided into six modules, with one on-campus workshop per module:


You’ll take class with master of public health (MPH) students, and UNC encourages networking with them to add their unique perspective to your experience.

Note: While the course sequence is designed to be completed in two years, you have up to five years to complete the program. They discourage getting “off-track,” but sometimes that can’t be avoided (especially since all UNC’s MHA students also work full time).

5. University of Cincinnati

Image source: University of Cincinnati

Tuition cost:

  • In-state: about $13,000 per year
  • Out-of-state: about $25,000 per year

Program length: 39 credits

Graduation rate: 67%

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 3
  • Rank on 4
  • Rank on 5

University of Cincinnati offers an online master of health administration through a partnership between the College of Allied Health Sciences and the Carl H. Lindner College of Business.

This program is fully online. There are no residencies, immersion experiences, or required campus visits of any kind.

Here’s what they say about the program:

“Now more than ever, there is an incredible demand by patients for high-quality health care services. We work to enhance and improve patients’ quality of life by discovering, teaching and applying knowledge related to the health sciences, with health administration as a major aspect of this effort. The college recognizes three universal issues in today’s health care system: cost, access and quality. We develop professionals who are dynamic leaders prepared to manage the challenges of today and tomorrow.”

And here’s a student’s perspective:

“The program is very educational and covers current information we are able to use immediately. If you are looking to pursue a rewarding yet challenging career in health care management, this is the program for you. UC’s MHA program is currently developing the healthcare leaders of tomorrow. Go Bearcats!”

Note: It doesn’t appear that there is any minimum requirement for professional experience. (They do want you to tell them about your professional background, though.)

6. Colorado State University

Image source: Colorado State University

Tuition cost: about $18,000 total

Program length: 36 credits

Graduation rate: Not available

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 1
  • Rank on 6
  • Rank on 7

Colorado State University offers an online master’s in healthcare administration through their Global Campus.

This program is fully online. There are no required campus visits of any kind.

Here’s what they say about the program:

“The Master of Healthcare Administration program prepares students for a wide variety of leadership roles within the healthcare industry. The program incorporates leadership skills, knowledge, analytical abilities, global perspective, and management tools needed to effectively and efficiently lead and manage in both private and public healthcare organizations. Students gain an increased understanding and awareness of the policies, laws, politics, problems, and issues facing the healthcare industry with an emphasis on the areas of quality assurance, risk management, managed care, insurance, healthcare laws and regulations, ethics, and other information and practices important to managing within a healthcare environment.”

CSU offers 14 specialization options that you can add a-la-carte for 12 additional credits. Here’s what you can choose from:

You’d be hard-pressed to find an online program that offers more specialization options than CSU Global. This is the perfect program to craft your degree for a particular organization or position.

Note: It doesn’t appear that CSU’s online MHA requires any minimum professional experience.

7. Saint Joseph’s University

Image source: Saint Joseph’s University

Tuition cost: about $16,000 per year

Program length: 36 credits or 42 credits

Graduation rate: 80%

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 5
  • Rank on 7
  • Rank on 9
  • Rank on 9

Saint Joseph’s University offers an online master of science in health administration.

This program is fully online. It doesn’t appear that there are any residency requirements or on-campus visits included in the program.

Here’s what they have to say about the program:

“Professionals with organizational skills and technical abilities specific to health systems are in demand as health care organizations incorporate electronic health records (EHRs), move to effectively serve an influx of new patients, and reorganize to focus on patient-centered care and prevention while managing costs. The online MS in Health Administration provides you with vital skills in research, laws, and industry practices to ensure you have the specialized knowledge to help healthcare organizations in a time of constant change and growing complexity.”

They offer a general track and two concentrations:

  • Organizational development and leadership
  • Informatics

If you choose a concentration, it adds six credits to your degree program. Here’s how they describe each concentration:

Organizational development and leadership

“This concentration is designed to enhance your skills in managing and developing healthy organizational cultures in healthcare environments. Coursework explores group dynamics and team leadership, organizational theories and systems thinking, leadership competencies for guiding organizations, and implementing successful change management throughout complex healthcare systems.”


“Coursework in this concentration focuses on effective management, development, and evaluation of electronic medical records and other emerging healthcare technologies. Built for today’s rapidly changing digital healthcare environment, the Informatics concentration covers issues related to IT infrastructure and applications with emphasis on improving the quality of care through enhanced data management.”

You can explore the courses offered in each concentration as well as core courses on the website.

Note: SJU’s website doesn’t state that there is a required minimum for professional experience.

Fun fact: SJU has a helpful article that tells you more about what a job in health administration entails.

8. University of Scranton

Image source: University of Scranton

Tuition cost: about $11,000 per year

Program length: 47 credits

Graduation rate: 79%


  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 1
  • Rank on 2

The University of Scranton offers an online master in health administration degree through their Jesuit Health Leadership Program.

This program is not fully online. However, it doesn’t appear that you have to ever set foot on campus. There is a three credit supervised internship that requires 150 hours of fieldwork, but it looks like you can complete it locally.

Here’s how they describe the online MHA program:

“The online Master of Health Administration offers the flexibility of an online learning environment as well as an effective, manageable internship. You will learn from top-tier, practicing industry professionals who understand the real-world challenges you will face as a healthcare leader. With the online MHA’s focus on top trends in industry change, the program goes beyond preparing you for today’s healthcare industry. As a graduate, you will be prepared to lead the future of healthcare with the confidence and integrity that The University of Scranton can provide.”

The MHA program is divided into 24 “core competencies” spread across five main areas of study:

  • Communication and relationship management
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism
  • Knowledge of the healthcare environment
  • Business acumen

University of Scranton boasts that it has one of the few programs with “expert practitioner faculty.” The program’s Department Chair also sits on the board of directors for the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. You can see bio information for all of the programs faculty on the page I linked above.

See what some of the faculty have to say about the program:

Fun fact: University of Scranton is one of 28 Jesuit institutes of higher education in the United States. One faculty member had this to say about the school’s Jesuit roots:

“The Jesuits have always been teachers. And as such, they believe in developing the speaking skills, the writing skills, the critical thinking skills of their students, as well as developing a sense of responsibility to other individuals.”

9. University of Central Florida

Image source: University of Central Florida

Tuition cost: about $34,000 total

Program length: 44

Graduation rate: 69%

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 3
  • Rank on 6

University of Central Florida offers an online executive master of healthcare administration through their College of Health and Public Affairs.

This program is fully online. There are no required campus visits.

You must have a minimum of three years of healthcare management experience to be admitted to the program.

Here’s what they say about the program:

“The EMHA program focuses on the structure of healthcare organizations and examines important issues that impact the healthcare industry. . . . The cohort model provides faculty the opportunity to discuss issues in greater detail and allows students the ability to network amongst their peers.”

You’ll be part of a cohort with a maximum of 30 students, so you’ll take classes with the same people as you progress through the program. And here’s something you should know about being an online student at UCF:

“Just because you’re taking classes online doesn’t mean you’re on your own. UCF is committed to guiding you and helping you thrive throughout your online student experience. Wherever you are, you have instant access to important resources to help you succeed in your online coursework and beyond. From peer-assisted learning and online tutors to financial aid and academic advising, everything you need to earn your online degree is right at your fingertips.”

10. Minnesota State University

Image source: LinkedIn

Tuition cost:

  • In-state: about $20,000 total
  • Out-of-state: about $41,000 total

Program length: 43 credits

Graduation rate: 42%

Job placement rate: 90% within three months, 100% within 12 months


  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 3
  • Rank on 6

Minnesota State University’s Moorehead campus offers an online MHA degree. Through the program, “Students are exposed to real-world, interprofessional experiences in which they are able to witness the confluence of theory and practice.”

This program is not fully online,but you won’t have to go to the campus. Towards the end of the program there’s a capstone project which takes place at a “mutually agreeable site.” The first half of the project is an 80 hour internship at a healthcare organization (which is very brief compared to most), and the second half is a written project in which you develop a solution to one of that organization’s problems.

The five main areas the program emphasizes are:

  • Leadership
  • Professionalism
  • Communication and relationship building
  • Knowledge of the healthcare environment
  • Business skills

You need to write a 750 word essay as part of your application to the program. That’s not very long, but I haven’t seen that in very many applications.

Note: That job placement rate is really impressive. But the data is from one year of graduates (2015), and I’m just speculating, but I’d imagine the sample size is pretty small to have such nice round percentages (90%, 100%). Plus, in a program like this, most people probably already have a job. OK, I think that’s enough disclaimers.

Fun fact: MSU has developed a mission, vision, and values specifically for the MHA program.

A quick note on pursuing graduate studies

In order for a school to recognize your undergraduate degree, the school you previously attended and the one you wish to attend usually have to be accredited by the same organizations.

Most of the schools on this list are accredited by different regional accrediting bodies—three from the Higher Learning Commission and four from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, two from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and one from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Three of them have an additional stamp of approval from CAHME.

If your undergraduate degree is from a school that was accredited by a different organization, don’t let that deter you. It just means you will need to contact the school and see what credits they will accept. You might need to “repeat” a couple of classes you’ve already taken, or you may need to move on to another school. But you won’t know until you check.

The best school is really up to you

We can’t tell you exactly which school is the best choice for you—and you shouldn’t let anyone else do that, either. You have to weigh the factors that are most important to you and let that guide your decision. Choosing a degree program is a huge investment—both in terms of what it immediately costs you and how it affects your life. So take your time.

We hope this list has helped make the decision a little easier for you. Good luck in your future studies!

Ryan Nelson
Ryan has a B.A. in English Literature from Western Washington University. If he could rewind and go to college all over again, he'd do it a little differently. For now, he's living vicariously through people like you by helping you find the best online schools for your field.

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